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1.Get inspired but don ’t copy.
2. Learn the best times to shoot in natural light.
3. Be constantly willing to learn and enjoy it.
4. Have masters but think for yourself too.
5. Get it right from the camera.
6. Shoot RAW.
7. Buy photography albums.
8. Print your best photographs and hang them around your house.
9. Take a pause from digital and shoot a few rolls of film now and then.
10. Learn how metering modes work.
11. Ask for help from specialists when needed (stylists, MUA, designers).
12. Always stick to deadlines.
13. Don’t promise more than you can deliver to a client.
14. Always have the right tools for the job, never less.
15. Identify your creative ruts and learn how to deal with them.
16. Figure out if you’re a prime lens or a zoom photographer.
17. Be patient with every client, they are all different.
18. Buy strobes, at least two.
20. Buy modifiers for all strobes.
21. Invest in a good solution for carrying your gear to remote areas.
22. Be active on photography forums, but don’t take them too seriously.
23. Don’t be intimidated by newcomers with entry-level DLSR.
24. Have a good walk around camera.
25. Secure your photos on multiple hard drives.
26. When possible, study your subject before you photograph it.
27. Learn how to use a reflector.
28. Watch a lot of movies, and not just Twilight and the like.
29. Always edit on a calibrated monitor.
30. Go to a shoot as relaxed as possible. Force yourself if necessary.
31. Join local photography communities.
32. Have photographer friends. The more the better.
33. Have a clear, easy to explain pricing method.
34. Ensure your equipment, preferably on the day you buy it.
35. Read a lot of books.
36. Photographers who don’t read have little imagination.
37. Have friends in as many circles as possible; you never know where your next client will come from.
38. Photograph a local sports event at least once.
39. Watch “Blow-up” more than once.
40. Go to art shows and photography exhibitions.
41. Don’t rely too much on stabilizing systems and instead practice for steady hands.
42. Don’t carry a tripod unless necessary but if there is even the remote possibility of needing one on a shoot, make sure it’s there.
43. Try as many perspectives as you can with a subject.
44. Always convert to black and white in post-processing.
45. Shoot for quality not quantity.
46. Clean your camera sensor before every shoot.
47. With fast lenses, shoot wide open only if the situation dictates it.A50mm f1.2 works better at f1.4
48. Go to business classes and read business books.
49. Don’t take yourself too seriously, even if you have clients fighting over you.
50. Buy a good hand strap.
51. If possible, don’t delete any photos from a shoot or event.
52. Shoot with the least amount of physical needs. Eat, rest and stay hydrated.
53. Learn how to switch lenses fast.
54. Always have a good supply of batteries for speedlights.
55. Don’t draw too much attention to yourself, especially on the streets.
56. Photograph people while they’re laughing.
57. Blurred and noisy is better than no photo at all.
58. Use bracketing.
59. Ask yourself why you’re pressing the shutter release before you do so.
60. There is interesting stuff to photograph all around you, just around the corner.
61. Don’t mistake your abilities with those of your camera.
62. Retouch all your good images.
63. Use the lowest possible ISO if the light allows it.
64. Ask for feedback from other photographers, preferably those that are better than you.
65. Look for an alternative to classic camera bags.
66. Include descriptions only if it is a series or if it is documentary photography/photojournalism.
67. Master mobile photography and don’t be ashamed to use that camera.
68. Do an underwater photo-shoot at least once.
69. Experiment with video lights.
71. If you go to art school, make sure you have enough of your own brain left when you get out.
72. Know about any possible restrictions connected to a future photo location.
73. Shoot anything you feel like until you find what defines you.
74. Never settle for anything that leaves you having doubts at the end of a shoot
75. Be nice to your clients.
76. Always mention credits when working with other professionals.
77. When traveling to a foreign country, study the laws about the use of cameras in public domain.
78. Never ask for likes on Facebook.
79. Keep your past clients updated with what you’ve been doing via newsletters.
80. Build good relationships with art directors and editors.
81. Edit your portfolio at least once a year and ask for help when doing so.
82. Master artificial lighting, even if natural is your first choice.
83. Enter photo contests, but pick out the ones that are worth it.
84. Stop using your profession to get dates.
85. Photograph a band, at least once.
86. Never take your camera bag to a party, unless it’s a concert.
87. Master composition and study it constantly.
88. The history of arts has a lot to teach you.
89. Be able to spot a Bresson, Adams or Winogrand photo from a mile away.
90. Music often helps to relax models. Try it.
91. Stop photographing poverty with the purpose of making art.
92. Actually give your friends the photos you take of them.
93. Never be late for a shoot, ever!
94. When hiring an assistant, make sure you give them proper explanations and don’t expect them to read your mind.
95. Don’t get into photography because it’s cool. If you did , get out.
96. Have an exhibition or be part of a group exhibition at least once.
97. Know how to photograph an object professionally, even if it’s not your thing.
98. Be patient with bridezillas. Even if you hate them, they can be disarmed with humor.
99. Have a proper business card.
100. Have a basic set of filters and learn when to use them,
101. Never leave your camera bag on the backseat.
102. Never run out of memory cards.
103. Respect your models.
104. If you’re dating another photographer, never compare yourself to them.
105. If you want to impress a potential date as a photographer, learn how to cook.
106. Don’t make excessive use of fish-eye lenses. They only work for some situations.
107. Go to a new place as often as you can.
108. Unless you’re looking for candids, talk to the people you want to photograph on the street.
109. When shooting an ad campaign, hire at least one assistant to help you with the lights.
110. Don’t be annoying to talk to on the phone.
111. Pick one photo editing app for your smartphone and master it; mobile photography is getting serious.
112. Take a good self-portrait, at least once.
113. Never bad mouth your competition.
114. Come up with interesting offers and marketing strategies to set yourself apart from the rest of the market.
115. Dress properly. Don’t overdress; just look good and clean when shooting.
116. When shooting wildlife, have everything else a ranger would have in his bag.
117. For automotive photography, leave the pretty girls out and focus on the car.
118. Build yourself as a brand, but don’t be another “John Smith Photography”.
119. Go shooting in the rain, at least once.
120. Never show work you have doubts about.
121. When dealing with less confident models, it’s your job to make them feel better.
122. Don’t use oversized logos.
123. Have a flawless, easy to navigate website.
124. Crawl, bend and do whatever you have to in order to get that one good shot.
125. Don’t shoot film just because it’s what hipsters do these days.
126. If you have a day job, don’t quit unless you’re absolutely certain you can make a decent living from photography.
127. Hire an accountant.
128. In wedding photography, never lose sight of the importance of your work for the bride and groom.
130. Don’t always rely on the histogram.
131. Make a short movie about anything, at least once.
132. Don’t be a couch potato waiting for clients to call because it won’t happen.
133. Stop bragging about your gear to fellow photographers.
134. Accept criticism if it comes from someone who’s work your respect.
135. Use the Dutch angle wisely, it doesn’t work for everything.
136. Avoid working for cheap money because it will be harder to get out of that price range.
137. Instead of one body and five lenses, go for two bodies and for lenses.
138. Always format your memory cards before a shoot.
139. Clean your gear as soon as the shoot is over, if it takes place near the ocean.
140. Instead of debating megapixels and lenses on forums, read about the classics.
141. Photograph a local personality, at least once.
142. Find a good printing lab and become a regular customer.
143. Don’t leave any lens in your kit without a UV filter.
144. Enjoy days with bad weather; they provide the best natural light.
145. Don’t shoot 6 frames of the same subject unless it’s in fast motion.
146. Don’t lose your temper if the shoot isn’t going as it should.
147. Stop using abandoned buildings as backgrounds for beauty shots.
148. Don’t blame anyone else but yourself if the photos aren’t good.
149. Do a photography project, at least once
150. Before going out shopping, check online for DYI solutions.
151. Explain to your friends and family that photography is your life and it helps make you a better person, in spite of the crying bank account.
Image credit: samot / 123RF Stock Photo