I love to botch up photographs. It always makes me learn something new. Like me, you too should never be afraid to make mistakes in photography. You can learn a ton from mistakes. Actually I would say, you cannot learn in a better way than making a mistake in first place & then improving on it in the second attempt.
Making mistakes, teach you photography in a reverse manner than those taught by photography books or instructors. Mistakes sometime can even be beneficial in getting good shots. Let me give you an example. You forgot to put lens hood on your lens while shooting & you get this glare in your photograph. Suddenly an ordinary photograph has become visually striking due to the glare. Off-course not all mistakes will be beneficial. Some mistakes can even prove costly, so just tread with little caution when you’re on a paid assignment. In free time, while you develop your portfolio or are dillydallying with your camera, feel free to get out of your normal routine & try something new with your camera. Purposely try to overexpose, try to move camera while using second curtain flash, try to release shutter when you’re jumping & are in mid-air. The possibilities are only limited as per your vision. I bet, you’ll learn a lot about photography & make wonderfully visually appealing photographs by following this tip.
Making mistakes does not make you a bad photographer as most photographers think. It is a way of preparing yourself for the worst & will come handy when you’re in pickle at a middle of an important shoot. Just bear in mind to commit mistakes but not to repeat them. Try committing a different mistake the next time. Have fun with mistakes & learn from them. :)