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Hindsight

Published by Catherine Nguyen

“Hindsight, usually looked down upon, is probably as valuable as foresight, since it does include a few facts.”
-Grace Paley

Photography is a wonderful resource for experiencing hindsight, a chance to discover the shapes and shadows that my lens reveals after the fact. And I love the obvious play on words. If only hindsight happened that quickly in all areas of my life.

I am always learning from my photos. Weeks, months, or even years later, I sometimes pull pictures to use in a blog or an article and notice things I wish I had done differently: “Why didn’t I shoot this from an overhead angle?” “Would this have looked better in black and white?”

My biggest challenge as a photographer is ensuring that I see and capture colors accurately. Even though I calibrate my screen once every other week, many factors contribute to how I perceive color during a shoot, such as a room’s ambient light or the brightness of my screen. I took a color workshop last year, which I loved. A lot of the course amounted to a refresher for me, but I learned more about how to balance color in a photo, which made it worth my time. Balancing color can be a tricky process, and I wish I’d taken the class long ago. That’s hindsight.

I’m grateful to have so many opportunities to grow and evolve as a professional photographer. This past year, for example, I hired a much-needed assistant to help with my work. I had already tested the waters by hiring my nephew to work as an intern for a few months, and that experience helped me figure out how I could best lay out expectations and delegate tasks when possible. I also explored outsourcing certain editing tasks, only to realize that the results looked overly processed. I pulled all editing back in-house to ensure that my clients will receive a seamless collection of images from each shoot. Finally, I learned to turn to the community of small business owners around me, benefitting from their advice on technology and other helpful resources. Hindsight.

On a more personal level, I also learned to loosen my grip on things… at least a little. Fatigue of both body and spirit prompted me to lessen control of my grip. After helping my parents relocate to the Triangle and seriously injuring my knee, I revisited lessons I’ve learned about taking care of my health and making sure not to put too much on my plate. I now have an intense appreciation for mobility and energy. Because of these lessons and bearing in mind opportunities I had previously missed out on, I embraced a carpe diem philosophy towards certain ventures that have made themselves available. Hindsight.

A lot of us are in a state of reflection right now, looking back on the events of the past year as well as hoping for a prosperous 2022. I challenge you to look back through photos from the last 12 months with hindsight and the value of lessons learned in mind. It could be very eye-opening.

Contact Catherine Nguyen Photography for your next interior or exterior photography project and let’s experience some hindsight together. Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!