7 Life Lessons Learned Through Photography

A little history about myself: I don’t have any professional training or education in photography. I went to school for aerospace engineering and didn’t even pick up a serious camera until three years after I had my BS. Everything I know about photography I’ve learned through seven years of passionate practice, and lots of lessons from the school of hard knocks. Along the way I began to realize just how many of those glib, overly-simplified sayings that corporations use to get you to buy their crap are actually true. Here are seven of my favorite cliche phrases that turn out to be pretty great tenets to live your life by.

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Lesson 1: Image is Everything!

(i.e. the Peter Lik school of thought)

For those of you who haven’t heard of Peter Lik, he’s probably the most commercially successful landscape photographer of all time. A few years back he traveled to New England for the fall color change, took a single frame of some pretty trees reflected in a pond, made a single print of that shot, and sold that print for a million dollars. Yup, a million. He has galleries in major destination cities like Honolulu, Aspen, Vegas, and Miami, and each is immaculately presented: the photos are huge and beautifully lit, with ridiculous wow factor. The galleries reek of upscale chic and you can expect to shell out at least a couple grand if you want to hang his work on your wall.

Personally I’m not a huge of fan of Lik’s. He’s a decent photographer but often I find his colors over-saturated and feel that he could do more with his compositions. And the guy himself is uh, somewhat over the top. He presents himself as an extreme wilderness adventurer with an unparalleled dedication to his craft, which may be true if you come at it from a standpoint of an armchair photographer, or it may not if you come at it from the standpoint of someone like Marc Adamus, who just spent weeks by himself backpacking and photographing in the Yukon Territory. But as much as Peter Lik’s extreme persona rubs me the wrong way, I admit to having a huge amount of respect for his business acumen and marketing savvy, because he understands one thing very clearly: how you present yourself to the world is how the world will see you.

I’m not saying you have to be a caricature of awesomeness to be successful in life. I am saying there are some fantastic lessons to be learned here, one of the most important of which is how you value yourself. Do you approach your work with an attitude of self worth or self doubt? Let me give you an example. When I was first starting to do art festivals I had the most rinky-dink, cheap booth setup I could make: a back wall for displaying framed prints and a handful of wooden boxes for displaying matted prints.

First go at an art show booth - please pity me!

What this setup said was, “ooh, I’m just starting out, please pity me!” It smacked of self doubt. But I learned my lesson, and now my booth says, “I respect myself, I respect my work, and so should you.”

Professional art show booth - respect me!

Another great example for all the artists out there is pricing. The tendency is to say “I’m just starting out,” or “I’m just a beginner,” or “I’m not trying to get rich from this,” and to set your prices super low. And true, if I can make a 12×18 print for $6 and sell it for $7, well then I’ve made a profit. But what does that say about how I value my work? And how other people should value my work?

A second great lesson to take away from this is not just how your present yourself, but what you present in the first place. I once heard that the difference between a professional and amateur photographer is that the professional takes way more bad photos. But the question is, what photos does the professional show? Consider two guys of equal talent. One shares all the photos he takes, good and bad. You know what happens? He builds a reputation for himself as a mediocre photographer who occasionally produces good work. The second guy is brutal in his self-editing and only shares his absolute best stuff. Even though he’s not a better shooter than the first guy, he builds a reputation as an excellent photographer. Here are two sets of images I took. What does each set say about me as a photographer? The first says that I shoot a random mish-mosh of stuff, not that impressive. But the second set says “here’s a guy who takes seascape photography very seriously.”

What does this jumbled portfolio say about you?

Seascape photography portfolio

So what’s the moral of the story here? You don’t have to be disingenuous and pound your chest, saying “I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread!” But if you value yourself, your work, what you do, and you show people that then people will value you too. And that goes for life as well as art.

Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below.

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Lesson 2: Just Do It

(i.e. You Never Know Unless You Go)

A lot of photographers, myself included, spend as much time talking themselves out of shooting as they do into shooting. I get it: your time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it on a wild goose chase, or a wild light chase as the case may be. So you start to ask yourself questions like “How are those clouds looking?” “What’s the forecast say?” “Is the storm going to break in time?” “Where’s the best place to be?” “Will I be able to find something to shoot?” Ostensibly questions like this aim to help you make an informed decision about whether or not to go shoot. But the hidden purpose of these questions is to cast doubt on the idea of shooting in the first place. Once you start to ask yourself a dozen questions about whether something is worth doing, more often than not you say to yourself, “meh, I’ll just not go.”

But in my experience it is damn near impossible to actually predict what’s going to happen, with light or with any other new experience, so you should just go out and shoot. Just do it. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. Despite having been rabidly interested in photographing good light since 2006 I still can’t predict with any certainty when good light’s going to occur. I can look at a bunch of clouds in the sky, squint my eyes up, and say, “yeah, maybe it will blow up, but maybe it won’t. I give it 50/50 odds.” I swear, I’m no better than a coin. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out shooting, looking at the sky and being absolutely convinced that the sunset is going to be spectacular, and it ends up fizzling. Or how many times I’ve been out just poking along, not expecting anything from the sunset, when all of a sudden the clouds just ignite with color.

Let me give you a case in point. When I first moved to Santa Cruz I lived in an apartment with an ocean view. Very handy for checking out the conditions on the coast. One day it had been raining incessantly all morning but when I heard the rain stop in the afternoon I went out to check the view. Still completely overcast, but with the tiniest, faintest, merest strip of slightly brighter overcast just above the horizon. I literally had a 20 minute debate with myself over whether I should go out or not. In the end I decided to go, and this is what the conditions were like when I got to the beach:

Four Mile Beach, Santa Cruz, cloudy day

I can hear you all cheering with excitement. Yeah, pretty glum. And the part of me that wanted to stay home was doing a little victory dance in my head, “see, I told you it would suck.” Still, I had come all the way out to the beach, I figured I ought to scout around. I headed off to the south end of the beach and found some neat mudstone rocks I’d never seen before. I mentally cataloged them and wandered on my way. As sunset approached I found myself back near that mudstone just as the sun slipped into some unseen break in the clouds, and the light began to do this:

Four Mile Beach, Santa Cruz, sunset

As the sun continued to drop below the horizon the clouds lit up with a combination of magenta and pink I’ve yet to see repeated. Suffice it to say that I stood on, watching this, with my mouth agape like some slack-jawed yokel. At least I had the presence of mind to hit the shutter button a couple of times, and came home with this image:

Four Mile Beach, Santa Cruz, sunset

The moral of the story here is clear: in photography and in life, it’s easy to second guess yourself, to ask doubting questions, and to talk yourself out of doing things. But you never know what the experience is actually going to be like until you actually try. So just do it. Or, as my friend and fellow photographer, Jeff Swanson, would say: “f/it and be there!”

Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below.

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Lesson 3: Never Give Up!

(i.e. Perseverance Pays Off)

Some things in life you can control. Most things you can’t. In photography it is much the same. Say you work in a studio; well then, you’re pretty darn fortunate because you get to control just about 100% of the creative process. You control the environment, the lighting, the set and props, make up and wardrobe, and even to some extent you control what the model looks like and what she is doing. But in nature photography you’re lucky if you control 50% of the process. You and your camera show up but nature has to meet you halfway. Your camera technique can be impeccable, and your composition masterful, but if the light doesn’t cooperate then you get bupkis. Or conversely, the light is killer but you screw up somehow; either your brain is only half awake, or you accidentally left your camera at ISO 204,800 from when you were trying to shoot those nocturnal hummingbirds. Either way, you go home with nadda.

So what can you do? Only one thing, and that is just give up. Not! Just wanted to see who was paying attention. All you can do is keep trying. Over and over and over.

In early 2010 I was spending a lot of my afternoons scouting the Santa Cruz coast for new locations to shoot. On March 13th I came across this neat shelf about four miles north of town. The shelf showcased a number of cool features, like a gaping seacave, vivid green algae, and this rocky pinnacle. Even cooler, as the waves crashed against the shelf they would wrap around this pinnacle and form a 15-foot waterfall down the back side.

Four Mile Beach sunset

This had the makings of an awesome photo, but everything had to be just right: nice light to the southeast, and a tide and swell high enough to send water around the rock to make a great waterfall, but not so high as to inundate the tiny, precarious spot I would be shooting from. So I took note of when the right tide would be and started making trips.

On March 14th I came out at sunset and had some ok light, but it was all to the west. Boo.

Four Mile Beach sunset

Ten days later the tide was right again. So on March 24th I visited the shelf and got the exact waterfall action I was looking for but the heavy clouds kept any color from creeping into the sunset. Boo.

Four Mile Beach sunset

On March 30th conditions were looking promising so I again took a trip to the shelf. Again I had some decent light but it was all to the west, with nothing of interest happening over my little rocky point. Boo.

Four Mile Beach sunset

Now I was 0 for 4 attempts (if you count my first scouting trip) on shooting this wavy waterfall. But did I give up? Heck no! Just bided my time and on April 9th the tide and clouds were looking good. So out I went yet again and this time everything fell into place exactly how I hoped it would: the clouds to the southeast lit up with color, and the tide and swell sent gorgeous cascades of whitewater around the rocky pinnacle to give me my waterfall.

Four Mile Beach sunset

I had my shot, which made all the repeated efforts worthwhile in their own right, but a little extra bit of coolness came when Popular Photography licensed this photo for a book they published last year.

The moral of the story here is pretty clear: when you want something, go after it. Over and over and over. Never give up!!!

Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below.

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Lesson 4: No Risk No Reward

(i.e. Business as Usual is Boring)

I am anti-icon. The Tunnel Views, the Golden Gate Bridges, the Torres del Paines, the Antelope Canyons. Each of these places is so spectacular and is famous within the photography community that they have become cliches. They are beautiful but boring, and you can find better things to take pictures of.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever shoot these places. In fact, there are great reasons to shoot the icons. If you’re just starting out they can be a great place to test and improve your photography skills. By shooting an icon you have taken one big variable out of the equation: the location. You know the location is going to be jaw-dropping. Now all you have to do is compare your photos of the spot to photos you admire to see what’s different about your composition, technique, and lighting. It’s a fantastic way to learn, and I admit to copying the hell out of shots I like in order to try to learn from the photographers who took them. Shooting icons is also useful if you’re trying to improve the commercial viability of your portfolio. One big lesson I’ve learned in the art show world is that people only buy art they can connect to on a personal level, and most people are going to identify much more easily with a photo of Tunnel View than of some gorgeous backcountry lake they’ve never heard of (that being said, the market for Tunnel View photos is pretty saturated, so you better bring some juice to your shot!). And heck, these places have become icons for a reason: they’re insanely beautiful. It’s hard to go to places of such grandeur and to not need to take a photo. So yeah, there are some great reasons to shoot the icons (and full disclosure: my portfolio has its fair share of icon shots :)).

But for purely personal and artistic reasons, ditch ’em! Leave the parking lots, pull-outs, and crowds behind. Get off the beaten path and go exploring. The uncertainty can be daunting when you don’t know what you’re going to find, or if you’re going to miss out on a great shot somewhere else because you asked yourself, what’s just past that bend? And face it, a lot of times that’s exactly what happens: you try to discover some new vantage point at Horseshoe Bend and get totally skunked, while your friends at the classic view are happily capturing some breathtaking sunset. Yeah it sucks, but the flip side is so incredibly rewarding that in my opinion you can’t afford to not take the risk. Look at Galen Rowell (for those of you who don’t know him, he was a giant of a photographer, and is hands-down my #1 influence. Check out his spellbinding work at http://www.mountainlight.com/). That guy practically lived off the beaten path, and by doing so he popularized so many of the icons we photogs shoot today: Horsetail Falls, Mobius Arch, Cuernos del Paine, and more.

As a more personal example, take a visit to Yosemite I made a few years back. I had one night free to do my own photography and I felt like doing a little exploring. The sky was full of dramatic clouds and as always when that’s the case, the temptation was to go to a safe spot, like Valley View or Tunnel View. But instead I decided to take a chance and see if I could find something unusual:

As I hiked up the endless and steep switchbacks along the Upper Yosemite Falls trail the storm clouds began to break up, and gorgeous warm light was streaking through the Valley. By the time I got to Columbia Rock the texture and light saturating Yosemite were spectacular, and I was able to take this photo:

Yosemite Valley and Half Dome from Columbia Rock

But as happy as I was to see that image pop up on the back of my camera it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped to find. So I continued up the trail and soon came to a spot where it was possible to scramble up the cliffs along the north side of the trail:

While this was slightly unsettling it wasn’t inherently unsafe. And in this case on that night I was able to come home with an incredibly unique shot of Yosemite Valley which has since become one of my best-selling and best-known pieces:

Yosemite Falls and Half Dome at sunset

What’s the lesson here? Get out of your comfort zone! I’m not saying you have to scale cliffs or do something dangerous or unsafe. Just push your boundaries a little bit. Don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes or miss out on opportunities by trying something unknown. You may fail more than you succeed but when you do succeed it will be surprising and novel and amazing. And personally, I think that new experiences are the foundation to having an interesting life. So try something new, try something unknown, and make your time on this planet as interesting and rewarding as possible. And for you photographers: this is a guaranteed recipe to create images that are yours and yours alone. And who among us shooters doesn’t want that?

Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below.

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Lesson 5: No Pain No Gain

(i.e. Some Lessons Have to Hurt)

I’m lucky in that I’m a good student. Sit me down with a textbook or a teacher and I can learn just about anything. But the problem I’ve found with that kind of academic learning is that it’s temporary. The knowledge comes into my brain, bounces around for awhile, and then six months later it flutters out of my ear or nose or something. Not really sure how it gets out, but I do know that it’s gone.

But you know what does stick around? Knowledge that was painfully gained. If some lesson hurt you to learn it, then I guarantee you are going to hold that lesson dear for a long time to come. Let me give you an example:

When I was living in LA and just starting out with photography I spent a lot of time exploring the southern part of the Palos Verdes coast around Abalone Cove. In late March of 2008 I went out a couple of nights in a row: the first night I decided to experiment with night photography, so I cranked the ISO on my trusty old Nikon D50 to a whopping 1600 and took some really awful photos.

The next night I was in more of a seascape mood so I hit the beach, found this rock, and created this composition. ISO1600 on Nikon D50

Being fairly inexperienced with photography and seascapes I was very happy with what I thought was a novel composition, some interesting motion in the water, and decent light and drama in the sky. In other words, I had a keeper! And I couldn’t wait to process this shot into a little bit o’ magic once I got home.

But once I actually pulled the image up on my computer I discovered to my horror that I had left my ISO at 1600 from my shoot the previous night. And on the D50, ISO1600 was pretty much the equivalent of pouring sand on your sensor. Here’s a close-up of the image; you can see how much of the detail is completely obscured by noise.
ISO1600 on Nikon D50

Crap! My amazing shot…ruined!!! Well you can bet that since that I’ve double and triple checked my ISO before every shoot.

Another, more tragic example. Watch the video and then read on..

Yes, that is my camera falling lens-first onto a rock in the volcanic table lands near Bishop, CA. A first-person glimpse into a $750, blink-of-an-eye equipment loss. But you know what? That $750 lesson has stuck with me and now I always make sure my tripod is level and secure before I leave it alone.

These kind of mistakes suck. They hurt, they’re expensive, they wound your pride. But the moral of the story here is to not be afraid to make them, or to fail spectacularly. Because those failures and mistakes will teach you stronger and more enduring lessons than a constant string of successes will.

Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below.

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Lesson 6: There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea

(i.e. Zen and the Art of Landscape Photography)

Any photographer will tell you how much it hurts to miss a shot. Maybe you got stuck in traffic and the sun set without you. Maybe you risked going to one spot and the light blew up somewhere else. When these things happen it’s like someone slowly and painfully sucking the life force out of you. At least that’s how I used to feel. Until I learned the only real answer to losing out on an opportunity is to take a deep breath, enjoy the experience as best you can, and then move on. Because you know what I realized? If you go out looking you will ALWAYS find another sunset.

Let me tell you guys a story about my friend. He got married a few years ago, then went on his honeymoon in Europe and had the time of his life. When he got back to California I asked him about the trip. He told me about all the great things they saw and did, the amazing food they ate, and the lively people they met. He also mentioned how one night, when they were just chilling in their room overlooking the Mediterranean, he and his wife saw the most beautiful sunset they’d ever seen. Me, being a photographer and somewhat of a sunset connoisseur, got pretty excited about that and told him I couldn’t wait to see the pics.

When the photos finally showed up online I hungrily dove in to them, searching for that epic sunset. Then I saw the pictures of it and well, I was a little disappointed. Not because it wasn’t a beautiful sunset; it absolutely was. But was it one of the most beautiful I’d ever seen in my life? Not by a mile.

And that’s when it hit me: I had no right to ever complain about missing out on shooting a sunset, because I’d already seen so many incredible light shows that my cup was overflowing with beauty. I mean, if I had missed this crazy sunset over Santa Cruz, I couldn’t really be upset, because I’d been fortunate enough to have already seen these two. And if I had missed those I couldn’t be upset because I’d seen this one in Death Valley, and this one in Death Valley. And I’d seen this one in Santa Cruz, and this one in South Africa, and this one in New Zealand, and this one in Santa Cruz. And these two, and this one in the high Sierra, and this one in New Zealand, and on and on and on and on.

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I realized had a pretty good track record when it came to beautiful sunsets. And suddenly I was hit with an epiphany: if this was the trend in my past, wouldn’t it likely be the trend in my future as well? In other words: if I kept looking for amazing sunsets, I was going to keep finding amazing sunsets. And that instead of being disappointed by the ones I’d missed, I could choose instead to be excited about the ones I’d see in the future. It was at that point that a great calm descended over me, because I knew I never again had to be upset about missing good light.

Of course this was all a metaphor for life in general, which meant that I had no right to be upset about missing any opportunity whatsoever, because there would always be another one down the road. I realized that opportunity only knocks once if you give up. But it knocks time and time again if you’re always there to open the door. And that you will find what you’re looking for, no matter what it is, as long as you keep looking.

Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below.

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Lesson 7: Go Big or Go Home

(i.e. Do it Right)

The last of my lessons has possibly the most egregiously cheesy title: Go Big or Go Home. It sounds like something a drunk frat boy would shout at a bar before downing another shot of Jaegermeister. But by teasing apart the phrase you can find that there is some substantial meaning there.

For me it means to do something all the way or not at all. Whatever you’re doing, do it as well and completely as you can. In short: do it right. If it’s something that represents you personally or professionally, don’t half-ass it, and don’t quit if you know it can be done better.

Another way to look at it is this: is it Good Enough, or is it Good? After all, there is a huge difference between the two. I can’t tell you how many prints and mats I’ve had to scrap because they had some tiny flaw; something I know my customers would never notice. But I knew it was there and simply couldn’t sell something to a customer that I knew wasn’t right. It might have been Good Enough, but it wasn’t Good.

But why not settle for Good Enough? The reason is when you care about something enough to do it right, to try as hard as you possibly can to make it not just Good Enough, but well and truly Good, that’s when you start to push your own limits, to produce remarkable things, and to make people stand up and take notice.

Let me give you an example: the first time I visited New Zealand exclusively for photography was in 2007, and I was still learning the ropes of the craft. Even worse, I had a Good Enough attitude. I had visions for shots that I wanted, but that might be difficult or uncomfortable or expensive to achieve. “Eh,” I told myself, “when I’m a professional photographer I’ll get that shot. When I’m a professional I’ll stand in that freezing cold stream to get that composition I really want. When I’m a professional I’ll start hiking at 3 am to get to that lake by sunrise. When I’m a professional I’ll pay for that helicopter ride to the top of the glacier. For now I’ll just settle for where I’m standing.”

It took a few years but I ultimately had the epiphany that I had that sentiment completely backwards. It’s not as if someone bestows upon you the title of “Professional Photographer” and you are all of a sudden then endowed with magical abilities to scale mountains, stand in icy streams, and afford helicopter rides. Rather it’s the opposite: it’s your commitment to your craft that makes you a professional. It’s your dedication to an image that makes you wade into that frozen river; that’s what makes you a professional. It’s your drive to get up early and hike long miles to capture an amazing vista; that’s what makes you a professional. It’s your willingess to go the extra mile to fly to the top of the glacier that results in unique images; that’s what makes you a professional. It’s all about doing it right. Being Good, not just Good Enough.

So when I returned to New Zealand in 2012 for a month-long photo adventure it was with this mindset: whatever it took to get the image I wanted, that’s what I was going to do. I wanted to photograph the Southern Alps from the air, so I spent the money on a scenic flight. Headed out for a scenic flight around the Southern AlpsMy result was this intimate landscape shot of the Godley River and Lake Tekapo; it’s now one of the most unique photos in my portfolio. Godley River and Lake Tekapo, South Island, New ZealandI wanted to not just photograph a glacier from its face, but from within the glacier itself. Ice arch in the Fox Glacier, New ZealandSo I paid for a heli-hiking tour on the Fox Glacier, and was able to capture this photo from within the heart of the ice itself. Ice cave in the Fox Glacier, New ZealandI envisioned a shot of the icebergs in Hooker Lake, so I purchased a pair of hip waders and spent two nights in a row freezing my legs solid in the lake, and hiking 12 total miles there and back (half of that in the dark after sunset) in order to give myself the opportunity. photographer standing in Hooker Lake, Mt. Cook National Park, New ZealandAnd I came away with this photo, which is now one of my personal favorites. Icebergs in Hooker Lake, Mount Cook / Aoraki National Park, New ZealandMoreover, I’ve sold enough prints of each of these photos to more than justify the expense and effort of getting them. I’ve even been hired as a location guide for a company who wants to begin offering New Zealand photo tours.

I could go on, but I think the point is clear. And the idea is not to make me sound like the baddest dude who ever lived (cuz I’m pretty far down that list), but rather just to illustrate the mindset I now have when approaching my photography, as well as the other things I care about in life: figure out what it takes to do it right and do it. Don’t half-ass your life because you’ll only end up with regrets, and in the end you won’t have a chance to do it over.

Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below.

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It is a wily and dangerous beast, so show it the necessary respect. That is all.


13 Responses

  1. Thanks again Joshua. Lesson #3 is a personal testament to the bane of our landscape photographer existence; the Cosmos not doing what we want it to WHEN we want it to! So many of my non-photographer friends have the misperception that I just roll in to the location, whip out the camera, take the shot, download, and voila! They don’t realize how many hours, or days sometimes, of effort, tenacity, patience, and acceptance of failure that it takes to capture one moment in time. I have been a fan of yours for a while and have travelled to locales like Banner Peak and White Pocket directly because of your images and inspiration. Thanks!

    Jason Rogers

  2. Absolutely right on! Go the max while you are physically capable, because take it from me, THAT doesn’t last forever. Now I feel a little better about the $$$ I’ve been spending on building up my basic gear set and revamping my editing studio. You’re an inspiration!

  3. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading, and learning from, each of your Lessons. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and insight – very helpful and very encouraging. Absolutely love your photos!

  4. Great points and very well made. Nothing like images to illustrate and drive home a point!

    I’ve been preaching this for years to fellow artists, photog and painters alike. Usually falls on deaf ears. But when I go to art shows/events in parks, the ones that get the traffic and the big buyers are those with the biggest and most dramatic displays. I’ve also observed that those photogs/painters with a “willing to engage” about art and their work also are the most popular. I’ve never understood why someone who loves what they do would not be bubbly-excited about discussing it all with enthusiasm. When I wander into an aloof artist’s booth, I exit stage left as quickly as I can. Great insights and perspective, many thanks!

  5. Lesson #2 particularly resonates with me. It is even easier to give in and stay home now that I’m lugging a large format kit around.

    A month or so after I did that private lesson in Santa Cruz with you, I was just dying to get out and take pictures. It had been storming all day and the clouds were thick and dark. I figured I wouldn’t waste the gas to get out to Abalone Cove, so I went to a local pier, planning to shoot some long exposure black and whites.

    As I was parking, color started to peek through the clouds and the sunset turned out to be nuclear. What a rare treat, and needless to say, I was glad I went out, despite my misgivings.

  6. You are a talented writer in addition to your photographic skills. I particularly liked your points about rigorously culling your work, categorizing it and presently it properly.
    I know these things because I have been a creative director and copywriter in the advertising field all my life and the same principles apply.
    I’ll be following your posts with interest.

  7. Thanks for the article….I will be watching for the next one! I have only taken photos for my pleasure, but have steadily gotten better (I think). I was recently thinking “wonder if anyone would ever purchase any of these?”….your ideas about presentation and pricing set me to thinking about such things!

  8. I think you made a good point. After reading your article and seeing how you separated your websites out between landscape and portraits, I’m convinced I need to do the same. I take alot of pictures of the southwest and I want to be known for that. As much as I love to get paid to weddings I would rather be known as a landscape photographer. Besides when people go to my website they’re always looking at my landscape photos and not my portraits unless they’re a potential wedding client.

    I totally agree with showing only your best stuff. I have a few friends that show all there stuff and I think that perception hurts them overall.

    Anyways good articles. I can’t wait to see your other ones.

  9. Josh-I enjoyed this article very much. I also think along the same lines as you and after visiting Peter Lik’s Gallery here in Vegas this week it really hit home. Thanks…looking forward to the next installment.


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