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  1. #31
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    Cheryl

    What is the portrait forum you mentioned?

    Thanks John
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs View Post
    I recently shared this on a portraiture forum, so my apologies if it's a duplication for anyone reading. The two sites have very different audiences, so I wanted to share it here as well. Although it was written with portrait photographers in mind, most of it applies to all genres.

    ***********************************************

    These are my thoughts, nothing more and nothing less.

    I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here's my answer.


    - Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don't look outward for your style; look inward.

    - Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It's like money; you only have it when you don't need it.

    - Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.

    - Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don't fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you're stressed and anxious.

    - Learn to say "I'm a photographer" out loud with a straight face. If you can't say it and believe it, you can't expect anyone else to, either.

    - You cannot specialize in everything.

    - You don't have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don't have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.

    - Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don't, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that's tough.

    - Accept critique, but don't apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn't not make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.

    - Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business "Precious Chubby Tootsies"....but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?

    - Remember that if your work looks like everyone else's, there's no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you're cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as "the cheaper photographer".

    - Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

    - It's easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you've got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don't spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you've outgrown your current equipment and you're being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.

    - Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.

    - Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.

    - Never compare your journey with someone else's. It's a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never "arrive". No one ever does.

    - Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacence.


    - CJ
    Funny thing is, that sounds alot like what I tell to people who ask me questions about art. Even though I'm starting to take photography more seriously.(I've been at this for 8 years now, just not as serious as I am now about it.) I wish more people thought like this.
    By the sea is where I'll make my living.

  3. #33
    Dorothy Blum Cooper's Avatar
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    Cheryl

    What is the portrait forum you mentioned?

    Thanks John
    The other "portrait" forum that this write up was posted on is http://www.ilovephotography.com

    Then again, it could have been another site that the author frequents as well...assumed it was ILP since I saw it posted at the same time as this one.

    HTH.

  4. #34
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Thanks for answering, Dorothy. I didn't see the post.

    Dorothy is correct both about the forum and about the fact that I have also shared this piece on a few other forums, as well as my blog. As long as people find it helpful (and the feedback has been overwhelming) I am happy to share it wherever. I believe it's also now been shared on a Puerto Rican wedding photographer forum.

    That's the beauty of the web -- the ability to freely share useful information with people who may find it valuable.

    - CJ

  5. #35
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs View Post
    - Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

    - It's easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you've got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don't spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you've outgrown your current equipment and you're being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.

    - Never compare your journey with someone else's. It's a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never "arrive". No one ever does.
    I can't tell you how many times I have said these same things to the photo students over in the darkroom, or to people just getting started in online forums...

    Thanks for posting these thoughts. In my humble opinion, you've hit the nail squarely on the head.

    - Randy

  6. #36
    Dorothy Blum Cooper's Avatar
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    Thanks for answering, Dorothy. I didn't see the post.
    You are most welcome

    That's the beauty of the web -- the ability to freely share useful information with people who may find it valuable.
    Amen!!

  7. #37
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stever View Post
    Any advice for expiring photographers?? :rolleyes:
    Yes. Expose of your fixer properly.

  8. #38

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    Excellent, Cheryl!

    Thanks for posting!
    Bob

  9. #39
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    "You cannot specialize in everything."
    Eh, but for now, can't hurt to try 'eh?

  10. #40
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Better to be really good at one thing than to be less-than-average at everything.

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