Advice

27 05 2009

To kick off my new blog (which I really will try to keep updated as best I can) I thought it appropriate to use this article as an anchor.  I first wrote it several years ago, and it’s been floating around the internet (albeit with “photographer” changed to such things as “hairdresser” and “scrapbooker” quite often) ever since.

***************************

What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know

These are my thoughts, nothing more and nothing less.

I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here’s my answer.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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 and anxious.

- 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, either.

- You cannot specialize in everything.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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?

- 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”.

- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

- 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.

- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- CJ

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165 responses

27 05 2009
JL

Love the quotes.

Having a blog doesn’t make you any more common than having a Twitter feed. It’s all relative. Just like a photographer’s vision of a stunning image.

Keep ‘em coming, thanks.

25 06 2009
Johannah Sentenn

Cheryl,

where have you been all my life and why have I just discovered you? I’m a film photographer about to renew my 12-year portrait business and you have given me a great gift of inspiration and strength through your images and your words. Thank you a million times over.

Johannah

1 07 2009
cheryljacobs

Johannah, thanks very much for the wonderful compliment. Very nice to meet you, and best of luck with your business!

– CJ

3 07 2009
Alan Bremner

Hi Cheryl

I stumbled upon your blog (and website) today and this post is exactly what I needed to read right now. I’ve been trying to figure out where I want to take my photography recently and this has made me realise I haven’t been shooting what I want to shoot. Time for change!!

Thank you for posting this.

Alan

P.S. Your work is beautiful!

P.P.S. The link to your twitter feed in the sidebar is wrong :)

3 07 2009
JL

Hey!
I just came across your blog and LOVE<LOVE<LOVE the pointers!!! Especially the first one! YOu have no idea how much you have helped:)

10 08 2009
Mary Phillips

Thank you so much for putting into words all the things I forget that are so very critical! I’m printing this out to hang up in my office! Also will be signing up for the first workshop I can!

18 08 2009
Pamela Topping

Hi Cheryl,

I was feeling frustrated because my daughter (almost 3 years old) often covers her face if she sees anybody with a camera around. Your words are inspiring and reminded me that I should focus on personality shining through photographs instead of going for the boring, average portrait.

Thanks again for the extra motivation!

Pamela Topping
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pamelatopping

16 09 2009
Eleanor

Sage advice……Thank you :)

20 10 2009
jeffmendon

“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, either.” Wow. I needed this. Thanks for all the tips CJ.

Best Regards,
Jeff

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12449763@N04/

21 10 2009
Random Excellence – Patterns of Light n' Dark

[...] Cheryl’s blog entry giving advice to photographers here. Or yuou can go visit Mike’s site and read it [...]

21 10 2009
kirk tuck

Read your blog over at The Online Photographer and loved it so much I printed it out and pinned it up next to my desk. Thank you! Kirk

21 10 2009
David Burke

I just discovered your work and voice through a friend. It is beautiful. This post is wonderful. I am going to share this on twitter. It is too valuable not to. Thanks for sharing.

DB

21 10 2009
Chris Moncus

Dang. That helps so much to confirm and strengthen my path as a photographer. Thanks.

21 10 2009
Lydia

I’m so glad someone passed this on to me. It’s something all photographers need to read and be reminded of over and over!

21 10 2009
Riccis

Excellent points… Thanks!

21 10 2009
Alen Abdula

Great read, just made my day :)

21 10 2009
Beau Murphy

Great blog. Such a good perspective on it all. Also found this really motivational….cheers

21 10 2009
Annemari Ruthven

Really great advise and insight. Thank you for this, it gave me a new perspective.

22 10 2009
Lichtmalerin

Hi Cheryl, thanks for an inspiring blog post! Looking forward to read your blog. Best regards!

22 10 2009
Kate

Thank you so much for sharing your exquisite images and your intuitive advice. Your whole website is very inspiring – you are a remarkable and talented woman!
I feel inspired to try new things photographically…eventually I will find the *right* path!
Thanks again :)

Kate

22 10 2009
Brian H

dear lord, thats good stuff.

22 10 2009
Mike

Cheryl – Thank you for sharing these words!

Zack -Thank you for bringing Cheryl’s words to my attention!

22 10 2009
Matt Sanderson

Wonderful post. :)

Really need to take this onboard: The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.

I get so wrapped in getting a photo ‘technically’ exposed correctly, ‘technically’ focussed correctly, ‘technically’ processed correctly that i forget to take a photo of a good subject. :(

– Matt

22 10 2009
LluisGerard

Nice Advice, yes sr!

My favourite one is:
Accept critique, but don’t apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so.

Sometime ago, I made this mistake. Somebody says something about my photographs and then, everyday and every moment, taking a photo I was pressured on (by myself). The most important thing is to know your own style, don’t make effort about opinions, and take it on. Just reinvent yourself trying to save what is about technique and what is about art.

Regards from Barcelona (and excuse my english if something is weird :).

22 10 2009
bryan

wow….gotta thank Zack Arias for turning me on to your words of wisdom. Refreshing and pithy. count me in as a subscriber.

22 10 2009
Chris Ridley

Great advice, nice see someone actually write it up!

22 10 2009
Mary Anne Morgan

Really great thoughts and advice. Think I will read it often to push my reset button. So very true and great for the artist’s heart. Thank you!

22 10 2009
chocokat0718

This is fantastic advice! :) and I love that you still shoot film. Gorgeous!

22 10 2009
Jeff

I’d have to make the “Accept critique” one 2-part. One part emphasizing the value of truly considering critique/opinion. The other part saying what you already said.

+ “If you don’t want opinions on your work, disable commenting for that image/site.”

22 10 2009
Robyn

Thank you for sharing this awesome tips list. I needed to read this today! Wonderful words of wisdom!

22 10 2009
Michael Gowin

Well said, and good for me to hear (read) today.

Best–

Michael

22 10 2009
James Smith

Excellent post and very well presented. This post is something that every aspiring and working photographer needs to read. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!

James Smith

22 10 2009
Amy J in SC

All great advice.

“Learn to say “I’m a photographer” out loud with a straight face.”

So true. I find myself time and time again saying, “I enjoy photography instead of “I’m a photographer.”

I’m gradually getting there.

22 10 2009
Hotkey quiz and finish worksheet and framing photo | Coeur d'Alene High School Photography Blog

[...] For today’s post- Read this great post called What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know. [...]

22 10 2009
Shardayyy | Photography

Very nice and true words of wisdom.

Thanks

22 10 2009
Admin

Excellent article for novice or pro! Key: “be yourself” and you will inspire others and yourself, it will surprise you.

22 10 2009
Daniel Solorio

Thanks very much for sharing, I wish you the best of lucks for your blog, you have one more reader already.

22 10 2009
I am a Photographer… « William Ainsley Photography

[...] then today – I read this blog post here.  There is tonnes of advice in this article, that could almost make me cry.  It is hitting [...]

22 10 2009
quadraphotography

What a fantastic post ! Thank you!

22 10 2009
Amy

Beautiful and honest. Love it.

22 10 2009
ashleykaryl

Some excellent points here and a great start to a new blog. I am a professional photographer and I often try to give advice along these lines, but I find quite frequently that people aren’t willing to listen or adopt tried and tested concepts like these for furthering their photography. I think this is often because many people are getting a lot of bad advice these days on internet forums etc.

22 10 2009
Kent Marcus

Thankyou for this, it is always good to hear what this article contains.

22 10 2009
Alan Howarth

Hi Guys
Great advice about limiting kit, should echo those thoughts for Photoshop tools and technique – there’s a big difference between being a photographer and being a digital image manipulator.
Everything else is on the button too.
Best
Alan

22 10 2009
David McDonald

Just fantastic advice! thanks for writing this. And am also delighted to have found your blog/site/Twitter.
This particular article is a terrific inspiration on the fundamentals of being a photographer. Refreshing to read it, especially as how we are relentlessly assaulted and distracted by the gear market these days.

Cheers.

22 10 2009
kristicrosson

Great post! I love the solid, simple advice.

22 10 2009
nicole

great job here…. words all should heed.

22 10 2009
johnwaire | photo

words of wisdom!

22 10 2009
Kathryn

Thank-you so much!
What great advice…muchly needed right now!
How inspiring and motivational!
Wow…I will be referring back over and over again…thank-you!

22 10 2009
lifeat50mm

Wow, great words of wisdom. Found your blog from a link on a friend’s twitter feed, I will definitely be checking back often, thanks for the advice!

22 10 2009
Ron Morse

Best advice I think I’ve ever read on Photography. I really needed to hear what you had to say. Thanks for posting this. I think I will be re-reading this many times.

22 10 2009
deeba

Well written & great perspective. My mantra too…and I enjoy striving with my P & S! You are inspirational!

22 10 2009
Tricia

Thanks for a great article. This should be given out with every camera sold.

22 10 2009
Robb

Thank you so much for this.
Like others that posted here, I’m printing this out and putting it on my wall.

Namaste,
Robb

22 10 2009
Justin Bonaparte

Great pose, thanks for sharing!

22 10 2009
Christina

Thankyou!! What a wonderful post!!

22 10 2009
Brittany

Great great article! Thank you for sharing…these are definitely things that I need to remember!

22 10 2009
Rebekah workman

Definitely advice to respect. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

22 10 2009
liz

thank you for these words of wisdom.
i especially resonate with .. say no. ;-)

22 10 2009
Angie king

Thank you its just what I needed to read today!

22 10 2009
Jason

Wow! That is amazing advice. I feel inspired and it has made me do some introspection…

22 10 2009
Mike Tittel

Excellent words of wisdom for all photographers regardless of ability. Keep up the great work.

22 10 2009
lizzy c

Great Post.

Too true….

22 10 2009
Dick Glaser

Following Mike’s link on TOP, I couldn’t not tell you how true your words are. All to often we get distracted and don’t fill our frames with what we want to say.
Thank You so much for this inspiring post.
All the best to you.

22 10 2009
shoot. « Heather Bethune

[...] one ever does.” -CJ (from this blog: advice for photographers) [...]

22 10 2009
Erin Wallis

Thank you! So beautifully said!

22 10 2009
Nate

Hi Cheryl…

Many times, as artists, we forget why we started in the first place. We get caught up in the successes and failures of being photographers and forget that it’s not about us; it’s about the client, the moment, and the feelings.

Thank you for such great “words of wisdom”! I’d like to print this out and display it in my photography class at college, if that’s alright.

Thanks again!

23 10 2009
cheryljacobs

Nate, thanks for the compliment. Please do feel free to display it. Always happy to help.

– CJ

23 10 2009
A Photo Editor - Listen Up, Advise From A Photo Dino

[...] Read them all (here). [...]

23 10 2009
John Zimmerman

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for these wise words. I am the President of the Montreal Camera Club and some of the points you make are the very same points I try to convey to our members, especially the new ones. I would like to be able to print this and hand it out at our meeting (with your permission).

23 10 2009
cheryljacobs

John, absolutely. Please feel free, and I’m glad to contribute.

– CJ

23 10 2009
Srikanth

Excellent portraits and inspires to do more of film. Thanks for the advise, I’am in no competition and will enjoy my journey.

-srikanth Bussireddy

23 10 2009
Advice for the aspiring [blank] « Hope and Social's Blog

[...] Advice for Aspiring Photographers(found via the consistently excellent “The Online Photographer“)  [...]

23 10 2009
eye spy: bullies and candles » Twin Cities dog and pet photographer – Lucky Mutt Photography

[...] What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know by Cheryl Nicolai – This kind of hit the Twitter world by storm over the last couple of days, but I had to include it.  Great advice and something worth reading more than once. Last, but not least, a photo of one of my favorite girls, Susie Q…formal introduction to come soon. Enjoy your weekend! [...]

23 10 2009
tiffanyfindley

Love this blog. Funny how things come along at the exact time it’s needed. I need this.

23 10 2009
Andrew Ptak

Need to hear this every now and then, no matter how experienced you are. Thanks.

23 10 2009
larryparkesphotography

Excellent words…and Great advice! We should take them to heart!
Thanks, PhotoDino!

23 10 2009
larryparkesphotography

BTW, if you don’t mind, I’ve added your wonderful advice article to my new blog…I think it’s a great addition. If you’d rather I didn’t use it, just let me know and I’ll delete it.

check it out here…
http://larryparkesphotography.wordpress.com/some-great-advice/

Thanks again, Larry

23 10 2009
Matt

Nice advice and a way to not veer from the path.

As a somewhat new photog myself. I find it easy to get hooked into this or that advice or you should buy this or that. I just continue to fight the urge, grow at my own pace and shoot what I find interesting. yeah it is nice to have encouragement or wow! that shot is amazing, but all in all. I’m not doing for them, I’m doing it for myself. A way to express myself. Without your own vision or understanding of what speaks to you…you have lost the integrity of the shot and yourself.

23 10 2009
Michael VaughAn

This page deserves a bookmark- excellent thoughts and timeless too.

23 10 2009
Adrien Bisson

Wow! You really cut through to the truth!
Thanks!
Adrien

23 10 2009
Rob Hammer

I feel like I should print this and put it on my bathroom mirror. Thank you.

23 10 2009
sheilaparas

Thank you for this very inspiring post. You opened my eyes, my heart and my mind.

23 10 2009
Words To Live By « Beyond the Mundane

[...] To Live By Rarely do I read something that hits the nail so accurately on the head.  This photodino opened my eyes, my mind and my heart to who I am, and the kind of photographer I want to be. So [...]

23 10 2009
Paula

“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.”

This isn’t just great advice for photography, it’s great advice for life, no matter what journey you’re taken.

24 10 2009
Zitate (04) – Schreib's halt auf!

[...] dazu hat Cheryl Nicolai, Photographin, in ihrem Blog formuliert: “What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know“. Ihre Bilder sind übrigens wunderbarer Beleg dafür, dass tiefe Innenwelten, Sensibilität, [...]

24 10 2009
Albert Normandin

So true especially in these very trying time……

25 10 2009
emerycophoto

Love this post. Good words and advice to share. Thank you.

26 10 2009
Rob Hann

Good, good, good, good, good. Thanks!

26 10 2009
Myla

Thanks so much for this, I really needed to read this today.

26 10 2009
What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know | :::Media-Digest

[...] Photographer Should Know by jesse ~ Oktober 26th, 2009. Filed under: Photo-Wissen, Photographie. “I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wi… AKPC_IDS += "14117,";Popularity: unranked [?]SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "What Every Aspiring [...]

26 10 2009
dave wright

wise words.

people get caught up in gear and technique, spend thousands on bodies and lenses and lights, refine their post-processing technique so they have the sharpest photos… but of what?

26 10 2009
tracytesmer

you are an inspiration and incredible
your images speak to my heart and my soul
thank you so much for this post
I am a film photographer making a return to film after 5 years of digital
and your words and your art have just renewed my spirit and conviction

27 10 2009
What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know « Darwin Wiggett

[...] more great nuggets and useful advice cruise on over to Cheryl’s blog – great [...]

27 10 2009
Nick Fuller

My name is Nick

and

“I am a photographer!”

27 10 2009
Nick Fuller

ooops, great words by the way.

27 10 2009
Guy Tal

Some of the wisest words I read in a long time. Bravo!

Guy

27 10 2009
Robert

I followed Darwin Wiggett’s lead and came over to your blog. Wonderful advice. I look forward to more of your blog.

27 10 2009
Gary Haigh

I see in your beautiful photographs a light touch, a freshness and a calm urgency. I don’t know if that makes sense. I am a grain person also (Tri-x in Rodinal ). Keep on posting your photos so I can look and learn.

Gary Haigh

Oz

27 10 2009
GOOD ADVICE « My Blog

[...] and challenge me to better myself. The other day, while blog-hopping, I came upon this particular blog post. I could identify with many of the points in that post. For instance, I find myself constantly [...]

28 10 2009
GOOD ADVICE « ReneeTanPhotography

[...] and challenge me to better myself. The other day, while blog-hopping, I came upon this particular blog post. I could identify with many of the points in that post. For instance, I find myself constantly [...]

28 10 2009
And I’ll jump on the bandwagon « Central Illinois Photoblog

[...] few days – and it should. It’s that good. Take a look at the specific quote, but then go over and read the whole article – it will probably have some influence on you as a photographer. Seriously. But still – [...]

28 10 2009
Cosa dovrebbe sapere ogni aspirante fotografo | adolfo.trinca.name

[...] sono imbattuto in questo interessante articolo o come lo chiama lui avviso ed ho pensato bene di riportare quello che Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai ha [...]

28 10 2009
Adolfo Trinca

Thank you for this great words. I traslate it in italian lenguage and post it on my blog. Thank you again.

28 10 2009
Carmen Chan

thank you for these words of advice :) a lot things i have to constantly remind myself about as someone who is still trying to find my vision.

29 10 2009
DWF » Blog Archive » Photography Advice From a Dinosaur

[...] the first few lines! Cheryl is my new truth speaking heroin and you can read the rest of her advice right here. Back Home Tweet This!Share this on FacebookPost this to MySpaceShare this on del.icio.usDigg [...]

29 10 2009
Maré

Hi! These are great! I am just starting out and it is sometimes hard to remember that it is ok not to look like everyone else!

29 10 2009
What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know » Kimberly Chau Photography

[...] Advice credits go to PhotoDino. [...]

29 10 2009
Curtis Copeland

Great insight Thanks for the emotional booster!

29 10 2009
What every (aspiring) photographer should know « Queensberry Connects

[...] Read the full article here – noticed in GRINZ. [...]

31 10 2009
Deon Grandon

Wow. Your wisdom is a God sent. I just took a lighting class a few weeks ago and came away with a whole new arsenal. Whoever, there was a canon rep there with all the latest cameras. I am shooting with a Pentax K100D. For the past several weeks now I have been looking and scheming how to buy a new 5D mark ii. Your words help me to remember that it is not the tools we have that make the photos, its the 12 inches behind the camera. Thanks for your wisdom.

2 11 2009
Ren Faustino

Your pieces of advice are truly enlightening. I am new to the world of photography and I am thankful I was able to read this early on. It is true that frustration is a big part of this passion when you are still learning from scratch. What hit me the most is to bring out your own style, learn from within, not by comparing your works to others.

3 11 2009
taylor

Truely inspirational…as budding photographer! I am currently addicted to your site!

4 11 2009
Casey

I know it has been said before but this is exactly what I needed to hear. Frustration is pushing me further. :) Thanks so much!

4 11 2009
marty golin

The best “noodling-the-web-lunchtime” I’ve had in ages. Wonderful stuff! (ps. Do you ingest or inject your film?)

4 11 2009
Stuff You’ll Like | Chuqui 3.0

[...] Advice: 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. 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. 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, either. [...]

5 11 2009
Bela

The words: photographer, photo, camera, equipment can be substituted with other words [no, I am not talking about the hairdressers blower] like emotions, relationship, friendship…
This article (I can’t get a better term) is much more then “words of wisdom for new aspiring photographers”. Thanks!

5 11 2009
A good advice « asa 400

[...] text from Cheryl’s blog, PhotoDino. Thank you very [...]

10 11 2009
Inspiring. 2x « Amadeusz

[...] Inspiring. 2x Today I found great pictures and wise words by Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai… And she doesn’t wear anything pink. Ever. “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.” + [...]

12 11 2009
Jes

Great words. Thanks for sharing this!

12 11 2009
Kristina

Wonderful advice! It really makes you take a moment and think about yourself as a photographer and focusing on your own skills and art first and foremost.

12 11 2009
jay.eads

thank you. i got nothing better than that

j

12 11 2009
Rod

Just wow – this has made me take a good and hard look at myself and what I am looking for from my love of photography.

13 11 2009
Jennifer Mendoza Stanelle

I love this!! I want to print it out and hang it on my mirror (or laptop, I look at that more). Thank you for this.

13 11 2009
Melinda Bunker

This is a great read- thanks for sharing this! You inspire me!

17 11 2009
Key Fobs » elisalou designs

[...] recently stumbled on these words of wisdom on PhotoDino’s blog. It was written for photographers but could really be applied to any biz. She makes some [...]

17 11 2009
annaliza

that’s so neat. i like it.

17 11 2009
19 11 2009
Great Advice: All Photographers Should Read. » Chicago Wedding Photographer-Jen's Blog

[...] I came across this article tonight and I thought it contained some great advice, and will ad it to my growing list of required reading for people on this forum http://photodino.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/advice/ [...]

19 11 2009
Brian Noah

well said!

23 11 2009
Kum

why photography alone?
this is true for almost all kinds of art.
my engineering prof tells me that the difference between arts and engineering is that engineering is all about measurements and numbers and precision and teamwork to create a good product for all audiences
art is different – its about feelings and effects and a single person’s style and creating a work perfect product for a smaller set of audience but more importantly, experiencing the feeling of digging inside our emotions and accurately portraying them.
You have given a very good advice for the second one. Its not a great money maker, but it is required to make a fine artist.

23 11 2009
cheryljacobs

Actually, Kum, I would disagree. Photography that is made sincerely and comes from the individual’s experience and perspective can be a great money maker. The best way to ensure financial frustration as a photographer is to produce work that looks like everyone else’s.

23 11 2009
nir

Beautiful words of wisdom!

I request your permission to ‘echo’ your words on my blog with credit and link.

23 11 2009
cheryljacobs

Please feel free to share.

23 11 2009
Words of Wisdom « images of my thoughts

[...] Words of Wisdom Jump to Comments Not my own. Those of PhotoDino – Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai; [...]

24 11 2009
ConaPlailla

I really enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep up writing such exciting posts.

27 11 2009
Advice for Web Entrepreneurs « EVOL.reverse

[...] What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know – can easily be applied to entrepreneurs. [...]

30 11 2009
Jason Grubb

These are great words! Thank you! Needed to hear this today… rethinking who I am and what I’m about!
Jason

13 12 2009
Álvaro

Good article! I read it translated to Spanish at http://www.moccablog.com/article/701/lo-que-todo-aspirante-a-fotografo-debe-saber. Strong opinions, nice recommendations.

15 12 2009
اس ام اس عاشقانه

the blog is good i like it very mcuh

28 12 2009
What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know | Lorissa Shepstone

[...] worth reading for anyone interested, even remotely, in photography from Photodino, “Advice: What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know” Never compare your journey with someone else’s. -Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai, [...]

28 12 2009
Robert

“…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…”

Ben Graham said in the “Intelligent Investor” 1949, ”

“…one lucky break, or supremely shrewd decision – can we tell them apart – may count for more than a lifetime of journeyman efforts. But behind the luck, or the crucial decision, there must usually exist a background of preparation and disciplined capacity.”

6 01 2010
Millions of moments… « Queensberry Connects

[...] is why the quote Nigel picked up from Cheryl Nicolai resonates: “People photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a [...]

9 01 2010
Michael Ririe

Great comments… love the thoughts on the photographers voice and style.

11 02 2010
for aspiring photographers » nancy ray photography

[...] ask me for advice all the time, and i think that Cheryl Jacobs has said it wonderfully here in her post.  i have included the body of her blogpost below. [...]

13 02 2010
GOOD ADVICE « imsuyin

[...] and challenge me to better myself. The other day, while blog-hopping, I came upon this particular blog post. I could identify with many of the points in that post. For instance, I find myself constantly [...]

16 02 2010
A few things….. « Fire Rainbows

[...] while ago, a friend of mine also sent me a link to blog by photographer Cheryl Jacobs. She talks about the advice she would give to an up and coming photographer but i think the things [...]

16 03 2010
Tammy Fusco

I thought I was a dinosaur, living in the dark ages. Still not wanting to let go of my 35mm. I’ve been told I should go to digital because I can see right then if I got “my picture”. Call me old fashioned, wasteful or whatever. But the part of using a 35mm is it makes me shoot from the heart. Take my time think about that persons personality, shoot when then have no idea I’m snapping away. This has been a love of mine for over half my life. Capturing a person or persons inner spirit. My niece sent me this site and I’m grateful to her. I have been telling her how I just can’t go to digital. She takes amazing pictures with her digital camera. I guess it just comes down to what is best for the photographer. Thank you for your wisdom and for sharing it to those of us that really needed to hear.
Best regards Tammy

29 04 2010
A good word for photographers « The Queensberry Blog

[...] if your photographer also understands that, as one professional put it, people photography is about people, not about photography, you’re on the way to a [...]

28 05 2010
Chasity Mccoy

You have done it again! Incredible read!

30 05 2010
Jim Flanagan

If I had a nickel for every time I came to photodino.wordpress.com! Amazing article!

5 07 2010
Advice for the aspiring [blank] « Hope And Social

[...] Advice for Aspiring Photographers (found via the consistently excellent “The Online Photographer“) [...]

11 08 2010
Radish

I was feeling kind of low. Thanks for the post.

6 09 2010
tomi paasonen

Hi Cheryl
I’m not a regular regular reader of your blog, I just stubled on this by accident and just wanted to say how much i liked it. It’s very inspiring. Especially the first one struck a chord with me about how “style is a voice not a prop or an action”. I still have ways to go to find that elusive style of mine, but I think these words of wisdom will help me along the way.
Thanks Tomi

15 09 2010
Tomek

Hi there again:)

As for the problem with the exposure (green dots), it has been solved in a simply way, I found out that my card reader was faulty and in some way transmitted wrong tones to the computer.

As for your blog, I am very glad to be the one of few people who discoverd it by chance online. Thanks for your well balanced in wisdom words to all those who deserve to be called possionate photographers.

Tomek

3 10 2010
Lo que todo aspirante a fotógrafo debería saber | garci.es

[...] Photodino Comparte esta [...]

7 02 2011
Tiring but fulfilling day! | Douglas Low

[...] Highlighted in blue are the ones that really really hit me. Credits to Photodino and here is where you can link to their blog :Photodino. [...]

20 03 2011
essfolkman

Fabulous advice. Now unless you are super thick-skinned, vacuous, see-through transparent & a complete ‘tick all the boxes to move on’ drone … soak it up and reacquaint yourself with it on a regular basis. Keep it REAL !!

Too many people are so coldly formulaic with their advice about how to conduct and brand / market yourself in 2011 – “Do this and that … and do it in a particular (well proven) way, appeal to the masses, the lowest common denominator is correct – not you. Adopt the latest trendy style …. and ditch it and move onto the next one just as fast. Emulate rather than innovate.”

Err NO !!! (the above = selling out early, losing your soul and having the ability to be VERY controlled and detached) … as sure way to lose the passion for what you do REAL FAST.

13 06 2011
kitkat

you inspire me! thank you so much, cheryl! looking forward to work with you through your online critique session.

25 08 2011
Alex Pott - Fashion Photographer

Great article. Especially the second last paragraph about the endless marathon. SO true!!! There’s a lot of stuff here that they simply don’t teach at school.

13 11 2011
Advice from Cheryl Jacobs « pPod: pThing O’ the Day

[...] ran across this advice from photographer Cheryl Jacobs today. My favorites [...]

13 11 2011
christianathanos

What a great way to start your blog! This is amazing and has changed the way I see photography.

25 11 2011
gnohz

Great advice and inspiring quotes. Thanks for all that :)

21 04 2012
msievers

This totally fits your personality, CJ! Hope to see you soon.

10 06 2013
Sandra Åberg

Lovely post and good words about being a photographer.. even for the experienced!!! We can not be reminded enough!!

12 06 2013
Becky Male

You said so many things that rang true to me. This was well written and very insightful! Thank you

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