Day 95: Three Crazy Mistakes I’ve Made

Either I’m running out of topics or I’m feeling like oversharing today. Either way, I’m going to lay these out on the table so that maybe, somewhere out there in internetland, someone will think “Oh thank God I’m not the only one.” Almost everyone on any speaking platform has said the line: “We all make mistakes.” But they don’t really go into detail… and if they do, it’s something lame like “I forgot to do the dishes!” and you’re like, “That’s it?!?!” I forgot to renew my car registration FOR TWO YEARS one time and you’re telling me you forgot to do the dishes for a few hours? Everyone else’s mistakes seem so tiny, so innocent, so good natured, and it makes me feel SO. MUCH. WORSE. about mine. So you, sitting in your office thinking “girl, I’ve done some dumb stuff.” Yeah, boo, me too. And here they are.

  1. That one time I asked to be on someone’s vendor list

Okay, whatever. This is the smaller of the three. But I had a serious vendor crush on someone and I emailed them and told them I loved their work, I wanted to shoot it all day erryday and I asked how one might go about being on their vendor list. That vendor totally didn’t write back. I felt like an idiot. I felt self serving and rude and all the things. Okay, so you don’t just show up in someone’s inbox asking for a huge favor, but I learned that the embarrassing way.

  1. I asked another photographer to cancel their contract with a B&G

Yeahhhhhhh. You see, I had a close friend who was getting married and through some confusion, she thought I was booked on her date, and she booked someone else. You guys, I wanted this wedding SO. BAD. I had helped her choose every other vendor, I had given hours of advice on wedding planning, and in a moment of stress and in the stage of bargaining, I texted the photographer and asked if she would be willing to cancel their contract if they wanted to book with me instead. I was even willing to cover their deposit… like, this is a wedding I would have shot for free.

An hour later I realized what a crappy loser I was being and texted her back apologizing for even thinking of putting her in this spot when clearly, the couple wanted her to be their photographer and not me. She let it slide (I think) but it was still gross of me.

  1. I totally snapped at another photographer

It was a long long long mixed up weird story where plans changed a lot and I read a contract too fast and misinterpreted a section that I later insisted was one way when it was another. The other photographer snapped at me and accused me of lying and then I snapped back because I was super insulted at the accusation. It didn’t paint either of us in a good light. I’m actually sure the other photographer is a sweet person but she got mad and I got mad. It wasn’t good.

Okay, so this isn’t like, a confession box where I spew my misjudgments, say “Oh man, I feel so much better”, and walk away. Like, mistakes are only useful if you grow from them, right? I mean, these three mistakes taught me to step more carefully, lose more gracefully, and maintain some class even when I’m upset. Only because I was able to grow and learn was I also able to forgive my mistakes.

There are also a few rules I have in place for myself to keep me from repeating history.

  1. Give more than you take. If you ask someone for something, be sure you’ve given them three times what you’re asking first.
  2. Sleep on it. Don’t make decisions while you’re in crisis mode.
  3. Put yourself in their shoes. Always consider the situation from the other’s perspective. How would you feel on the other side? What actions/words can you do/say that will make the other person say “Man, that girl is classy AF.”? A planner friend of mine said once, “The relationships with my vendors are more important than the relationships with my clients. I will be working with my vendors for years while my clients will have moved on after their wedding.” and she was completely right… take care of the people and relationships in your industry.
  4. The 2/2/2 rule. How will you feel about this situation in two days? Two months? What about two years? The decisions you make today don’t get erased with time… they’re still there, on your record. Yes you can move on, yes you can grow and forgive, but unfortunately, you can’t change the past.
  5. Listen to your gut. There will be a tiny man in your stomach with a tiny string trying real hard to hold you back when you are about to make the wrong move. You’re stronger than him so you can do what you want, but give him a listen, girl. Trust that he’s there for a reason. If you’re someone like me, with a loud voice and an extra strong dislike for injustice, you might feel like ranting and raving when you feel like you’ve “been done wrong.” But really, hold your horses, take a breath, vent to a friend, and sleep on it.

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!¬† If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is a film & digital hybrid wedding photographer based in Phoenix who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

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