Photography advice from a professional

This was a shocker for me to get back, i really did not think anyone would take the time to write me something so eloquent, and formal in the opinion of my photography

Well, stylistically, you seem rather "all over the map", so I'd say it looks like you are still in a phase where you are trying to 'find your voice' with photography. Go with that, for now. Don't put labels on anything you do. You will find what you love to photograph, soon enough.

Learn Photoshop. Learn it well. Learn it some more, after that. And never quit learning. And learn more Photoshop. And then some. It is the most important piece of software you will use as a photographer. Period. I cannot even begin to say that enough.

As far as making a name for yourself, and getting published...that is a broad and nebulous subject that there are no formulaic answers I'll just say this: expend your efforts towards making really good photographs...not "being a photographer". The latter will happen in time, as long as you are diligent about the first one.

In the interest of moving towards getting published in magazines, start asking yourself, "What is this shot selling, exactly?" before you even press the shutter. Magazines want images that SELL. Sell in idea. Sell a location. Sell a product. Sell a concept. But it HAS to sell. Magazines aren't going to publish your images just because they are "pretty". Magazines are a business. Businesses must make money. Photography is a vital part of a magazine's ability to sell...and so must your photography.

Don't get hung up on gear or equipment. Too many people have a misconception that tons of expensive gear makes better photos. Almost 99% of the time, I shoot with nothing but a camera. No lights. No flash. No reflectors. Nothing but the camera.

I've been shooting with a Canon 5D for the past few years, which is a nice piece of gear, but a lot of the shots you see on my website were taken with a crappy plastic $60 Holga film camera from Russia...and I bet you won't be able to guess which images those are :)

A good photo comes from your mind, your imagination, your interpretation...your vision of the shot before you even take it. The camera is just a tool to make that vision into a tangible reality.

I always laugh to myself when someone says to me, "your camera takes really nice photos!" which I reply, "thanks...and your mouth makes really nice compliments".


Just do really good work, show it to everybody you can, get your images online to put them in front of even more people...and start developing a thick skin, because people online tend to bash others' work a lot. Even if those people aren't really qualified to give critiques of your work, there is some value in anything that anybody says, if you are level-headed enough to derive the good bits out of the negative stuff thrown at you.

But do take advantage of the internet...get as much feedback from as many people as you can...and this is a big one: pay more heed to the NEGATIVE criticisms than the glowing ones. Don't view negative criticism as an attack on YOU or anything...just let it shape your photography more.

I have been published hundreds of times, I have established a very good name for myself, I have pieces in dozens of galleries around the planet, and I still get people online who bash my work...but it bothers me not in the least. Most of the people that say that stuff are just jealous, I take is as a compliment, to be honest.

There is no "right" or "wrong" in photography. Everyone is going to have their opinions about others' work. We are all different. You cannot please just please yourself for the time being, anyway :)

Shoot everything...everyone...all the time. Just shoot. A lot. Learn from your mistakes. Show your work to as many people as you can. Be nice. Be courteous. Be professional. Be funny. Remember that people will remember you as a human, more so than as a photographer, if that makes any sense :)

Hope some of this helps...I know it's a bit vague...but so is this industry :)

Good luck to you!