28 Nov Leave Nothing To Chance

Source: Fujifilm X Blog

By Omar Z Robles

A good friend once told me that success often comes when two things take place: chance and readiness. I am a firm believer that it takes more of the latter than anything else. Chance…well, that could be a matter of perception. Too many people believe that situations must be just right in order to be successful, only to end up disappointed and frustrated.

Let’s rethink that approach. Replace chance with persistence, and see how that goes. Don’t worry; this is not solely a self-help post…photography, coming right up.On my recent trip to Mexico, there was a multitude of moments where things were not how I planned – or, where circumstances changed unexpectedly. When you are traveling into new territories, you are most likely going to run into these types of scenarios. What’s important is how you handle them. I’d like to share just a two examples with you and how persistence and readiness help me pull through.A few local people had told me that I should consider shooting in Xochimilco due to the colorful “trajineras”. Trajineras are boats colorfully adorned which take groups of people along the canals. I did a little research and thought it was a great idea. I consulted it with one of the dancers and she was thrilled with the concept. The excitement grew alongside my expectations. In order to make it there, we had to travel nearly an hour outside of the city. Upon arrival, my heard sank. I soon realized that shooting at this location was going to be more than challenging. The place was PACKED with people and to make matters worse, light was fading fast.My initial idea was to photograph the dancer on a floating boat with other boats on the background. It was going to look AWESOME, or at least it did in my head. Unfortunately, the canal was overcrowded and we would be unable to execute the initial plan. Light was still fading and we were too far away from the city to turn back and find a different location. I would have to make due.The important thing is that I had already been rolling with the punches. Since I arrived on location, despite the location being less than ideal, I was constantly shooting. I wasn’t waiting for the perfect setting; I was ready to make the setting work for me. We continued scouting a few locations around the area and shooting simultaneously. At the end of the day, I was really satisfied with the images we achieved.The next example had even higher expectations. It was the Day of the Dead. The plan was to visit two cemeteries with two dancers and use with the festivities happening as part of the backdrop for the images. Again, it all looked incredible in my head. This time we had to travel even farther away, about 2 hours, to Cuernavaca.When we arrived to the first cemetery, I quickly knew the day would be not as I had imagined.

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