Jessica Holden Photography » My Photo Journal

Masthead header

Imperfection can be Perfect!

I don’t normally get terribly philosophical in these blog posts, mostly because I am shy about putting my sometimes overly analytical tendencies too much “out there” for the world to see (which would prove what a nut I truly am!).

But I got my very first macro lens from my dear husband for Christmas, and so off I went early this week to Trader Joe’s to buy a flower to play. I ended up buying an orchid, and I had to wait a few days for it to bloom. So on Friday when the first bloom finally opened, I whipped out my new lens and started shooting. The flower was so very pretty, and the mid-afternoon light shining into the dining room was working with me, lighting up the flower almost from within.

When I uploaded the images, however, to view them bigger than life rather than small on the back of my camera, I almost trashed them all in favor of waiting until the next bloom opened tomorrow, because, you see, the flower that had looked so perfect and sweet as I was shooting was actually missing a main petal! See how it has only four primary petals, when it should have five? And the one about to bloom behind it has the full five?

But as I sat there thinking about it, I realized that maybe, instead, the imperfection actually makes me love this image even more. I am a perfectionist, but I am trying to accept the fact that I am anything but perfect in this endeavor to learn all I can about photography, that I really never will be. But that’s ok. In fact maybe it’s even GOOD–something to be embraced–because I love the journey and don’t want it to ever end. And all those images I throw away for technical issues, or because they show a messy house, or because I am in them and don’t like how my arms look or I don’t like my nose or the deep wrinkles around my mouth or any number of other silly things that really no one else would care about anyhow–certainly not my daughter, for whom I am trying to preserve these beautiful memories of her childhood. In the grand scheme of things, yes, I want to take the best images I can. I want to create beautiful works of art that make people’s hearts sing. But those images that capture our life, in all of its poorly lit and messy and yet loving and wonderful grandeur–they deserve a special place in my heart, too. They deserve not to be deleted for a lack of perfection.

So though it is technically imperfect, I think the flower still is exquisitely beautiful. I think there is something pristinely poetic about it.

Perfection isnโ€™t everything.

  • Cary - January 17, 2012 - 8:15 pm

    Ok, I might have to become a bit stalkerish in a good way of your blog, your work is gorgeous, imperfection is in the eye of the beholder! love it ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - January 18, 2012 - 7:15 am

    Your post made me smile, Jessica. Mainly because some of our best photos are those that are not technically perfect. (I can so relate to this!!) I keep seeing over and over again people mentioning that their photos are not ‘technically perfect’, but their photos are perfect in so many other ways that it doesn’t make a difference! Technique is there to be a guide.

    You are correct! This is most certainly ‘pristinely poetic’!

    Your work is always beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - January 18, 2012 - 8:33 am

    I honestly think it’s the imperfections that make the world beautiful. If everything were perfect, everything would be the exact same right? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m like that too though. TOTALLY like that when it comes to pictures of me too. I’m trying to get over it. I think it’s an absolutely gorgeous picture, and flower. :)Here’s to embracing imperfection!ReplyCancel

  • Lacey - January 18, 2012 - 8:58 am

    Jessica, I love it! You nailed it and it is gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Laura A - January 18, 2012 - 6:07 pm

    That photo is simply breathtaking!ReplyCancel

  • valerie - January 20, 2012 - 5:15 am

    i’m glad you kept it. and glad you wrote about it… ๐Ÿ™‚ for so long, i’ve been shy and embarrassed to post my pictures because they are soo far from perfect, as are my photog skills. but i realized a few months ago, that i will never be perfect, nor will my photography, so i needed to relax and enjoy this journey. hehe… sorry, tangent. anyway, the shot is perfection, and i hope you so enjoy your macro!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - January 23, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    Oh, I’m so glad you kept it! It’s a gorgeous picture, and I’ve been thinking (practically nonstop) about a macro lens, so you’ve given me more reasons to lust after one! Why do we want our pictures (or our lives for that matter) to be so spot on perfect? I’m having such a crazy start to the new year, I practically have to hug imprefection and invite it in for tea!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - January 23, 2012 - 5:16 pm

    and see? I’m hugging imPREfection. So there!ReplyCancel