No matter how much of a routine you have; batteries charged, memory cards empty, mic on, (lens cap off), there's always going to come a time when something fails, with varying degrees of disaster factor. I think the difference is in how you handle it. How do you handle it? There's always the fear that other photographers simply do not make these mistakes, the classic "schoolboy error". This is when the panic sets in and the internal dialogue goes something like this,
Are people going to see you for the fraud you really are?
Are you a fraud?
Oh God, you probably are.
Yet it's an inevitable part of the job. Certainly, the most rigorous checks I carry out now are a direct consequence of a silly oversight in the past. Like the time I tripped on my tripod whilst filming the only chance I had for catching a plane taking off in Niger. Or, again in Niger, when I forgot to drop the ISO back down once outside the darkness of the plane. That is, once I stepped out into the blinding Nigerien sun. I didn't even realise until I got back home and could see the grainy noise in all one thousand images I'd taken.
Yes, it was most definitely a schoolboy error. I should have realised something was wrong immediately (I was having to pump up the shutter speed something ridiculous). But I didn't and there was no turning back. I had photographs to produce and made the best of a bad job. In every other aspect, the images were satisfactory so I bit the bullet and got the job done.
And that's all it is, biting the bullet. Even the worst-case scenario of no working camera available can usually be overcome. Use your phone, borrow someone else's. It's not going to be the result you planned for (or didn't plan for!) but it's better than nothing. Once you've accepted your situation you can begin to act and given the fact that you're a working photographer, or anything else for that matter, you're capable of finding a solution.
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