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Hooked on Insta-Feedback: Five Steps to Empower Yourself When Delays Develop

A few years ago a friend from high school asked me to photograph her homegrown wedding.  I was all too excited and honored to have the opportunity to tap into my old hobby and immediately agreed.  I studied photography back in high school before digital cameras were mainstream, which meant that I was trained on a 35mm SLR camera and actually developed photos in the darkroom!

The couple plays rock, paper, scissors to decide who reads their vows first!

I eagerly prepared for the wedding, dusting off my old 35mm pentax, buying both color and B&W film, getting extra batteries for my flash and charging up my digital point & shot as a backup.  The festivities began and I started capturing the moments with my camera.  It was loads of fun, except I kept looking at the back of my 35mm SLR to view images of the pictures I just took only there was nothing to see.

Note, my lovely Pentax 35mm SLR, getting good film is harder these days!

I couldn’t shake my habit of viewing and critiquing pictures as I took them.  As the celebrations progressed I found myself getting nervous and worrying; what if all the pictures I’ve taken on my SLR are terrible, what if I have the fstop wrong or the shutter too slow, what if everything is out of focus!  So I started taking more pictures with my digital backup even though it didn’t have the same level of control with the composition and settings.

My concerns, fears and need for immediate feedback resulted in an excessive number of photos.  I ended up having hundreds of shots from the day worthy of sharing with the bride and groom to use in their wedding album.  Not that having too many photos is a problem per say.  But consider the implications in situations with limited resources.

One of my favorite shots from the celebrations!

With the development of tools like the internet, smart phones and digital cameras we’ve become accustomed to instant results and immediate feedback.  If you have a question you can google it and get the answer instantaneously.  If you need approval from your boss while in a meeting you can text them and get a response within seconds.  We’ve become so accustomed to getting the information we think we need when we want it that when we don’t get it one might panic or feel lost in uncertainty!

When these situations arise, and inevitably they will, you can be prepared to better handle it.  Follow these 5 steps to empower yourself when delays develop.  And remember, humans have thrived for thousands of years without these technical gadgets and you can too.

  1. Take a deep breath to center yourself – panic and self-pitty will get you nowhere!  So move past such feelings by centering yourself.  Breathe deeply in through your nose visualizing calm and breathe out through your mouth letting go of frustration.  Take several deep breaths until the negative feelings have passed.

  2. Take stock of what you know and what is within your control – There’s no use in getting worked up about that which is out of your control.  By taking stock of what is within your control you can do your best with what you’ve got!

  3. Accept the uncertainty – Once you accept the uncertainty, a weight is lifted.  Just like working with what is within your control, the uncertainty is beyond your control.

  4. Use the information, knowledge and skills that are currently at your disposable – By knowing what you know, what you can do, and what you don’t know and cannot control you are in a position to make informed decisions and take reasonable actions.

  5. Be decisive – When you’re used to insta-feedback that is unavailable it is easy to get carried away with self-doubt.  Don’t let that self-doubt cause to you to irrationally call your decisions into questions.

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