Photography Advice From the Experts

Whether you’re a casual iPhone shooter, or a serious photographer, it’s always an asset to learn from the best.

I’ve been given a lot of photography (and photography business) advice in my lifetime.

I was curious to hear what some of the top photographer’s in the world would advise at the Google + Photographer’s Conference.

I’m going to list points that were made to me by various photographers, so you can make your own decisions.

(Some of this advice was given in conference sessions, and some of it was said in casual conversations.  All of this advice was given in reference to photography not written blog posts.  These are not direct quotes, in most cases.)

•  Never publish anything but your very best work online.

•  Publishing something, anything, frequently is the most important part of building your audience.

•  Do not watermark your images if you want them to be taken seriously.

•  Everyone should be watermarking their images.

•  Watermarking your images does nothing to reduce image theft.

•  Do NOT take photos of flowers, if you want to be taken seriously.

Bee on a flower

Photo Titled:  I’ve Been Creating a Buzz

•  Floral shots are the most popular shots, by far.

•  HDR photography is “fake” and real photographers don’t need to rely on it.

*  HDR has revolutionized photography.

•  You should have THREE backups of every photo.

•  I wouldn’t have fewer than FIVE backups.

•  You should spend 3-4 hours, minimum, online each day using social networks to improve your business.

•  Real shooters don’t have time for online social networks.

•  You should be online, building your network, most of each day.

•  If you don’t know the “rules” of photography, you’ll never succeed.

•  The next truly great photographer won’t know, or will choose to ignore, all the rules of photography.

•  Never shoot directly into the sun.

•  I like to shoot directly into the sun.

•  I don’t like seeing the sun in a photo.

•  I like seeing the sun in a shot.

•  Spend some time nurturing relationships with top photographers so you can learn from them.

•  Top photographers don’t have time to spend with you, so try to network with “second tier” photographers.

•  If it isn’t shot at sunrise or sunset, you might as well throw it away.

•  Photoshop won’t fix bad light.

•  You can probably adjust the light on this shot in Photoshop.

•  I won’t take a photo seriously unless it’s black and white.

•  I will only look at color photos that have been greatly desaturated.

•  I like pumped up, vibrant, colors in photography.

•  You should have a goal for each photo.

•  If you’re a passionate photographer, you’ll shoot for the sheer joy of it.

23 Responses to “Photography Advice From the Experts”

  1. Pam

    Hahahahaha! Thanks for that, very reassuring – so the message is, please yourself. Excellent!

    Still one-armed here, by the way – waiting to hear what the orthopaedic surgeon says tomorrow about my chipped humerus and mangled shoulder tendons. I think about you every day!

  2. Michelle

    If you’re a passionate photographer, you’ll shoot for the sheer joy of it. – This, I think, is the best advise of all of it (says me, who takes photos only with her Blackberry, because she forgets she might have a small digital camera somewhere in the house).

  3. Mrs Catch

    Wow. That’s really tricky. So many contradictions. I agree about the shooting for the joy of it. A rich patron probably helps too.

  4. tonya cinnamon

    If anything else I tell others.
    Do what you do best and go with what feels natural.
    Ignore the rules .
    If I did what everyone else did there would be no fun in it 🙂

  5. Beverly

    I love this post. I teach photography at a small southern university. Analog photography at that. Anyway, I am used to doling out advice to novice photographers. A couple of my favorite bromides, “learn the rules first, then you can break them”, and “if you chose a cliche subject (flowers?), make sure you are damn good at it, bring something new to it” (which you are and do by the way – I’d add it doesn’t hurt to live in S. California if that is your subject.)

    Also if a photographer comes up to me and says film is dead, I am most likely to turn around and walk away.

  6. Anne

    What good advice. Now I feel permitted to do whatever I like with my camera. A lot of that advice could be applied to making art of all kinds.

  7. Jenny in MN now in AZ

    Ready, set, continue in the circle. Good advice though, from every angle.

  8. Gina

    OMG—you are great, 24!!! Thanks for the tips:)

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