What makes photographers successful #2

Here’s the second summary of photographers’ answers to the question:

What is the single most important thing you have done that made you a better and/or more successful photographer?

We now also have some feedback from Alamy photographers after a callout by Alan Capel in the Alamy blog. Please keep submitting and we’ll keep on publishing the summaries. Eventually we’ll put them all together in one document. If you have contributed don’t forget to claim your free link in the Directory  by sending your URL / email / Adress / Company description to editor@fastmediamagazine.com. Your listing will remain free forever.

Here’s how you can contribute:

  • Send an email to editor@fastmediamagazine.com
  • Add a comment to this post
  • Add you answer in the forum (Fast Media cafe/Photographer project)
  • Attitude

    The most important lesson that I have learned is to effectively edit galleries down to what is most engaging, unique and conveys my own vision different from what an editor can find from Generic Stock Agency | John Lander

    The most important thing I have learned is to see. I was taught to be observant by my first drawing and painting teacher. The camera does nothing without the eyes first seeing. Light, color, composition, content. | Curt Dennison

    The most important thing I have done to be a better photographer is to do only the works I love | Valentí Zapater

    “Took a risky year to photograph and write about RAF’s aerobatic team, without money or outlet for resulting book. Fought to have it published then gave one copy to an admired writer. Two more books later with him it’s changed peoples’ perception of my photography. Some risks work.” | Richard Baker

    The single most important thing that makes me – you a better photographer is the most simple, and the most difficult one: OPEN YOUR EYES | Anno Pieterse

    Constantly pushing myself out of the comfort zone | Alex Maxim


    The turning point for me was learning to work with a large-format camera. The inverted view helped me to learn to see better. That got me out shooting more, and since then my photography has improved considerably. I am still learning, naturally; I’ve only been at it for about five years now. | Rakesh Malik

    Try to look around and catch the most interesting in my surroundings. Then I freeze the moment and time in one sharge image.| kombizz kashani

    Learning to see, being in the right lighting conditions for the shot you want, and ruthless editing. If you can’t see the image before you shoot it, the chance of getting a good image isn’t high. Keep returning if the light doesn’t play. Don’t show the ones that you’re not happy with. | Chiz Dakin


    The most important thing in stockphotography is to know WHAT you’re photographing. I’m selling because I know more about the backgrounds and I mostly have the right names attached. It didn’t make me a better photographer, but it made me a better selling photographer in this overcrowded part of the stock spectrum.| Martin Stevens


    Plain old experience. I learn something new every time I shoot. Lighting, modelling, post processing and more. I am always looking to photograph daily things in our life that we may take for granted. Learning to capture simplistic things and strike an emotion within someone who looks at my image | Diana Proemm

    I have been shooting for over 35 years, mostly freelance, now full time.  I never get to a point where I think I cannot grow.  I still attend a local university and take photographic courses.  It tunes yours skills and the reviews can be humbling and make you strive for even higher levels. | Steve Rossini

    20 years ago, I was assistant for an artist photographer one year about. Now: restarting to learn from the blogs trying to rebuild my career in a critical economy. | Flavio Massari

    I have acquired enough knowledge of photography to be able to recognize the mistakes I am making, and to know (or to know how to find out) how to rectify them. | Stephen Power


    Using a tripod for 99.9% of my shooting. Not only does a tripod keep the camera still enough to produce amazingly sharp images, it helps me slow down and look “outside” the camera photographically. | Cynthia Sperko


    I keep my clients relaxed and comfortable, allowing them to shine rather than feel nervous in front of the camera. I use lots of ‘social lubricant’: Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome, Can I Get You Something? | Nataraj Hauser

    Understand what are the real need of the client and delivering as soon as possible. |  Tomeu Ozonas

    Learn the technical stuff. Learn to see the whole picture. | Chuck Luciano

    More successful? The answer to that would be to stop shooting for editorial clients. 90 to 120 days to pay their already insultingly low rates, meh! Moved on, got better paying work and higher end clients and my business is now more successful than ever. | Asher Canon Kingsley III

    Picture: Stock Exchange | Lens |Jay Simmons

    Marco | Editor

    Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

    2 thoughts on “What makes photographers successful #2

    • November 18, 2009 at 2:26 am

      I don’t understand how this can be helpful without respondents including by what measure they became “better” or “more successful”. Some of the answers are very good, but only one seems to make an attempt to quantify the change made by their answer.

    • November 22, 2009 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Carlos, good point. I agree though that despite this the answers are inspiring and interesting. I wanted to keep it as open as possible to get a broad base of answers. They’re still coming in and I will put them all together shortly. Thanks for your feedback


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