Sometimes, as a photographer - or just as a person - you'll set out with the best intentions to create something and fail miserably. You'll get behind your computer, download the images and your heart will sink. All that effort, planning and time for nothing; or was it for nothing?

That "failure" is a valuable lesson. I know it never feels like it, but sorting through old photos I found one such instance - out of a deep well of failures or shall we call them; lessons? This particular one stuck with me though as it was for my series "Arguing with Myself" which I captured at a stage where I was experiencing a lot of inner turmoil and unease.

I basically had to beat my negativity and self-doubt down, tie them up, lock them in a room and swallow the key; to go out and make these photos. They weren't comfortable and I never intended for them to be anything but uncomfortable to go out and make.

Recently I wanted to recreate this painting by artist Mark Maggiori.

Do yourself a favour and click on the image to view more of his work.

Do yourself a favour and click on the image to view more of his work.

I am not sure how it happened, but I think my friend Gerhard Uys shared one of his paintings on Instagram and I was immediately drawn to it, so I got in touch with him and suggested that we should go out and make some cool photos of him as a cowboy. Editors note: Did I mention he f**king loves Cowboys?

So, eventually after months of trying to find a location, a horse and a time, that suited everyone involved we finally shot it in middle July. We all woke up really early, drove out to Hartebeespoort Dam, got the horse saddled up and drove out to the spot, set up for the shot and... I'd love to say; nailed the image, however that would be a lie.

Another shoot, another lesson learnt.

Here's the unretouched version of the failed recreation.

Here's the unretouched version of the failed recreation.

That's a pretty subpar image right? Heck, subpar is putting it kindly. It's shit. I am fully intent on going back and nailing it though. I have a different spot I want to shoot at and I think it'll work.

However, it wasn't a total waste. Right before we packed up the sun was shining through the trees to our left and lighting up the tall grass and I grabbed several portraits that I am pretty happy with and I am glad I took the time to shoot them, but the one that eluded me will be captured. Mark my words.

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I am not going to lie. This winter was a tough one. It wasn't particularly cold or anything, but I was flying by the seat of my pants in regards to my work. I questioned my decisions. I doubted my abilities. I made it out alive though.

When I am not creating work, I tend to not want to create work; if that makes sense. I believe I am a hack and that this has all just been a fluke up until now and I should just go back to working some desk job.

Then I remember that I've pretty much only been on this full-time photographer train for just over a year and for five months of said year I was interning with Zack Arias. It takes a lifetime to build a career and I've not even made a ripple in this pool. Hell, I am not even in the pool, yet.

Roughly a month ago I decided enough was enough; I needed to shoot new work. Just for myself. I needed to grease the gears and shake off the dust. On that first shoot I could feel I was out of sync. I wasn't as confident in myself as I had been, but I was shooting again and that felt pretty damn good.

Here's some images from the shoot with my friend Annicia. Thanks for sitting in front of my camera.

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