The Thing About Failures


The last few months of my life have been very up and down. In Feburary I went from four months of full-time writing working on my novel, to going back to long days of commuting and work, trying to catch up on everything else on my days off. I’ve had happy days spent with both mine and Daniel’s family and frustrating days spent ill in bed. I have had happy news making me feel hopeful about the future, only to be followed by disapointments.

A few weeks ago the prints from a roll of film I had been excitedly waiting for came back from the photo lab and turned out to be completely ruined by what I think might have been light leaks. Apart from four frames that is and as bad luck would have it, the most boring of the roll. Normally my first reaction would have been a terrible disapointment and a feeling of loss and sadness for all the moments captured on the roll that I had lost. I’m a perfectionist and sensitive to failure, so I have experienced this kind of disapointment before when taking a failed Polaroid. But unlike those times it didn’t make me think “I’m done with film photography”.

Instead, as I looked through the prints, all clouded and obscured by dreamy red, blue and white light, I had a strange experience of seeing an accidental, magical beauty arising from their failure. No, the photographs are not captured in the way I had seen or intended but some of the photographs are so beautiful because of their flaws. Film photography is slowly teaching me to embrace those flaws and accidents, and to see something in them anyway.

That’s the strange thing about failures. Sometimes we don’t get the outcome we wanted but we get something else that we can keep and take with us, even if it was not what we had hoped for. And no, the photographs were not my only or biggest disapointment recently but they were a nice reminder that failed attempts at achieveing something in life are never wasted. We simply develop from the negatives.


P.s. The scans don’t really do justice to how beautiful the prints look in your hands and there are even a few that I have become so fond of that I will get them printed in larger size, so I can frame and hang them on my walls.





  1. Lea
    February 3, 2018 / 4:35 pm

    Thank you for your kind words, Rhianne! I like your use of the word reassess, I think that’s exactly it. Film constantly make you think again about what you thought you already knew.

  2. Rhianne
    February 2, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    I think thats my favourite thing about film, it makes you reassess the idea of what is a failure and what isn’t. These really are stunning, they look like they’re glowing

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