The Biggest lesson in photography was an utter surprise to me. I would have imagined that is was about technique, equipment or knowledge. Some of this may be true, but what I was not expecting is how connected you have to be with your subject and yourself.
As a fairly new photographer I have gone out, learning the ropes of analog photography, trying and failing. At my darkest moment, I found myself on the darkroom floor, sweeping for the roll of film I had just dropped. I could feel the dust on the ground and thought about how bad that would be for the film, yet I continued for another 30 minutes, sweating bullets as it was not MY roll of film, but that of my daughters. I never found it and had to turn on the light eventually.
I have lost rolls of film, made many developing mistakes with agitation, chemical dilutions, temperature and time. I have mixed up chemicals, turned on the light with the canister still open and lived to talk about it. Conquering these things I imagined, would be what I had to learn to become a good photographer.