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Photographer’s 10 Commandments

Written by:

Joey Sylvester
|  Categories: Blog, News

10 tips from me to you

Along with a vast wealth of resources, the internet has brought with it massive amount’s of disinformation. Being self taught, I thought it to be a good idea to share some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up a long the way. The information presented in this article is my personal opinion and solely based on my trials and tribulations in the industry.

Stick with your instincts…

You might ask, well what if my instincts are wrong? To which I would reply, it doesn’t matter. See it’s not until the responsibility is fully on your shoulders that you truly start to learn from your mistakes. If your constantly following other peoples advice, you will constantly have someone other then yourself to blame. Don’t ignore advice but try to stick to always listen to your gut…


Yup, It’s an absolute necessity in this industry. The most popular and sought after professional’s have most likely screwed up enough times to write a book. The difference? Professionals know how to keep the ball rolling even after screwing up. If it’s never happened to you, how will you react when it’s game time and the pressure’s on. You gotta crawl before you can walk.

Don’t go overboard…

We have all fallen victim to this at one time or another. Ever heard the phrase “Less is More”? I believe there to be more truth to this statement then a lot people realize. Some time ago I heard of a guy that worked an event as the photographer, DJ, videographer, minister and coordinator by HIMSELF! Obsurd just isn’t a good enough word to describe such behavior. Don’t spread yourself to far, focus on a small area and concentrate.

Share and share alike…

When we look back and examine how we’re able to do the things we love, there is usually 2 constants. Dedication & Team work! Regardless of how much time and effort you put into something, someone somewhere is willing to help you. I have sat in my office for 15+ hours researching something only to find the answer during a 5 minute conversation with a friend. Innovation and overall success is not found down a selfish path.


If there’s one thing I’ve seen ruin great people it’s fear. Regardless of circumstance, we need to have faith and believe in ourselves at ALL times. Embrace the fear, accept the risk and continue forward. What’s the worst that could happen? You fail? Oh well, try again!

Never Give Up…

Regardless of how slow your progress is, never let it stop. When you stop, it becomes that much harder to start back up again. Give it everything you’ve got and then some. Who cares if it’s a couple of minutes or 18 hours straight, in the end it will all be worth it when you sit back and realize, YOUR DONE! 

Keep your cup Empty

If your cup is full people will avoid you like the plague, after all, who likes to clean up after someone else? In other words, have respect for those that came before you. Regardless of technical knowledge or talent. We should all work to better ourselves and those around us. Should you run into a miserable professional, dismiss them like everyone else does. Life has a wonderful way of dealing with people like this.

Make it Work…

I’ve seen so many amazing things accomplished with such little resources. Would it be nice to have that HUGE studio, monster strobe or the unendingly high ISO performance of the next best greatest fantastically awesome camera.. Sure would.. But life seldom gives these things away. Work with what you have and not with what you want. What you want will surely come to you if you deserve it.


There are so many great artists in the industry. The proof is in their work, why? Because not only do they have experience, but they have a deep passion for what they are doing. You could have a life time of experience and  still not come close to the results of someone that truly embraces what they do. The difference? Love. Don’t just do something to say you do it, do something because you love it. Your work will immediately transform and the results will be apparent. 


FINALLY! By now you’ve read the previous 9 steps, and unless you cheated and skipped to number 10, your better off then you were before you read this post. So what are you waiting for? Don’t wait for the rain to stop, there is a rain drop with your name on it waiting to be captured and printed in your portfolio. It’s too cold? Tell that to the photographer who endured the summit of Annapurna to capture a raging snow fall. Too Hot? Explain your excuse to the photographer trekking the gobi to document sand storms. Right now someone is doing something to better them selves and your sitting here reading this. We define our habits, then our habits define us!

1 Comment

  • Sergio

    Nice. I stumbled upon your post via Google. Very nice tips, couldn't agree more myselfm Thanks, S

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