5 Pro Photographers Share the Best Advice They’ve Ever Gotten

Moira West


In need of a little advice? We polled some of our favorite professional photographers to find out about the best advice they’ve gotten over the years. From inspirational guidance to practical tips, here are the pearls of wisdom that helped them to succeed:

Jerry Ghionis

Wedding Photographer

“My first (and only) boss once told me that a bad shot is better than no shot. In other words, a beautiful moment captured poorly is better than no moment captured at all. Now, this is not encouraging mediocrity, but with time, practice, and experience, those images that are captured will be better and better. But just remember that everyone starts somewhere.”

Style: Chic
Song: “Beyond Your Mind” by Cinema Life

Ana Brandt

Newborn and Maternity Photographer

“The best advice I received was from my husband. He said, ‘Under promise; over deliver.’ It’s a simple statement, but loaded with goodness, and it can make or break your business.”

Ana Brandt

Sue Bryce

Portrait Photographer

“The best advice I ever got was, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’ What I mean by that is when you’re first starting out, you can feel like everybody asks for something for free. You can start to feel taken advantage of, but people can always give you something. They can always ‘pay’ you in some way, even if it’s not with money.

“You need to start thinking, ‘What’s in it for me? What can I gain from this exchange?’ Which can sound selfish, but you just have to understand the context. It could be an introduction to someone, a recommendation, new contacts, a foot in the door, etc. When you learn to value your time and your craft, it will always be an equal exchange.”

Style: Documentary
Song: “My Delicious Love” by Michelle Lockey
Video by Susan Roderick

Jen Rozenbaum

Boudoir Photographer

“The best advice I ever got was not to feel bad or guilty about making money doing what I love to do.”

Jen Rozenbaum

Tamara Lackey

Children, Family and Portrait Photographer

“The best advice I ever got about photography or business was the advice I gave myself at 3 a.m. in the morning after working insane hours for the first three years of my business. I had this very clear sense that if I didn’t clean up all the redundancy and inefficiency in my business and get serious about running a smart, profitable studio, I would burn out of photography all together. Every warning sign was there.

“Getting clear about running an efficient studio has done nothing but enhance my love for photography and fuel my creative energy.”

Tamara Lackey

Need more inspiration? Find out how pro photographers fuel their creative energy outside of photography. Then get started creating your own inspired photography videos.