I remember having my final project at high school absolutely ripped to shreds by the judges. I had worked for countless hours in the darkroom and spent crazy amounts of money on film and paper, and finished up with what I thought was a really good project. I got 42%. I was utterly, utterly devastated! So much so that I stopped doing photography altogether for a good ten years.
Looking back, being older and somewhat wiser, I can totally understand why I bombed – my subject matter was far too abstract and I had forgotten the rule of “keeping it simple”. This was a hard lesson to learn at 18! Fortunately I got over it, and here I am back doing what I love. Does everyone like my work? Of course not! But I haven’t had a client complain about me yet, and if they did I certainly hope I could rectify the situation without having an epic tantrum 😉