As photographers our work is subjective, you work of art is my lousy focus. Yet if you are in the commercial field there is a quantitative measure, your client’s satisfaction, and your satisfaction.
To be successful long-term a photographer must walk off each shoot with as close to a perfect batting average as possible.That being said, on commercial shoots starting in 2001, I have noticed a trend when it comes to this goal of self-satisfaction, an increase through the years as to how many images per shoot I think are, “awesome”. Not to say I think the image is perfect but I feel it has achieved a high enough level to satisfy my clients need and my need. During my early shoots, I would notice out of a 10 shot shoot, I would only be really happy with 1 maybe 2 of the images. (A quick side note, I am a strict architectural photographer who picks 10 angles and shoots those 10 angles, I do not shoot 20 and pick 10.) This would vary but one could say I had a 1:10 success ratio. As my career has matured as each year passed I noticed that ratio getting tighter, 2:10 3:10 and finally in my more recent work 9:10 or even sometimes 10:10. To be successful in this field with the prevalence of competition we need to strive for somewhere above 8:10 ratio, with no work, ever falling into the re-shoot category.