Here’s my answer.
Multumesc Tom !
1- 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.
2- 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.
3- 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.
4- 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
5- 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,
6- You cannot specialize in everything.
7- 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.
8- 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.
9- 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.
10- 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?
11- 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”.
12- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.
13- 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.
14- Learn that people photography is about people, not about
photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human
15- 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.
16- 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.
17- 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 complacency.