1) For the secret of how to find artistic fulfillment, you have to go all the way back to Hamlet. In those pages you’ll find these words from William Shakespeare, “This above all, to thine own self be true”. While feedback can certainly help your growth as an artist, trying to appease the critics can stifle one’s creativity.
2) A camera’s image quality is only as good as the person controlling it.
3) The lens you choose is often more important than the actual camera.
4) Things will not always go according to plan. In fact, they rarely do. The key then is for you to have the ability to make the best of all scenarios. If you prepare for anything that could go wrong, you’ll be able to handle unexpected mishaps in stride.
5) RAW files are like your digital negative. No matter how many copies and edits you make, it’s always possible to go back to this original file and start over. The file is uncompressed, meaning it contains all of the beautiful resolution your camera is capable of.
6) The moment you point a camera at someone, they get self conscious and alter their natural behavior. Engage them in conversation for a more relaxed appearance.
7) Photography is a lot like riding a bike in that you never forget how to do it. Don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit rusty. You’ll find your balance with a bit of practice.
8) We’ve become programmed to quickly search for answers on the web. In art however, it’s the questions that often lead to new growth.
9) The most complex ideas are best expressed through simplicity.
10) Extensive travel is not a prerequisite for creating great photographs. Often there are wonderful and willing subjects right in front of you, or just a short car ride away.
11) Recent studies show how one’s level of grit and determination can predict success more accurately than an IQ score. And so it is with photography as well. It’s those who can find the courage to keep going despite the continuous challenges that ultimately succeed.
12) Say NO to the things that detract from your goals, and YES to those that enhance it.
13) In the Cubist style of painting, it’s not what you see, but how you see that matters. This is also true for photographers looking to further develop their eye. Look beyond the obvious and you’ll find a deeper truth, not only in your subject, but yourself.
14) The ingredients of any spectacular photo are only one part technical. Sure, the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are important. Yet, as any great chef will tell you, recipes are meant to be tinkered with. Today, we have more control over images than ever before. From in-camera settings to the digital darkroom, our pantry overflows with possible options. Rather than settling for the same tried and true formula, keep pushing yourself to learn new methods. Be bold in your experiments, and you just may stumble on a new recipe for success.
15) Avoid categorizing yourself with labels, or engaging in debates that seek to define terms such as “professional” and “amateur”. A good photographer is not concerned with these phrases, but rather focuses on their craft. The word amateur is often does not imply a lack of skill. The actual definition is “to do something for the love of”. This is the spirit that all professionals should strive to retain throughout their career.