...since becoming a photographer...
1. GWC (Guys/Girls with camera)
Beware they walk among us... GWCs are people who will photograph a subject and claim they are a professional photographer. The problem is that they use your standard point and shoot camera. Or a phone camera. They pretend to know what they are doing and some are real perverts. I remember seeing gwcs when I first started when I attended meetups. I didn't pay them much attention but apparently they we're not highly regarded. It wouldn't be that bad if they we're there to learn and stuff, but pretending to be something your not is a big problem and makes us real photographers look bad.
2. Selfie Pics Aren't Legit
I will have to be honest early in my career I saw some selfie pictures of a woman and I wanted to photograph her as soon as I saw her. Luckily a friend of mine show me some regular recent pictures of her. Needless to say my interest level dropped. Then I noticed a trend on model mayhem of people using selfies to fill there modeling portfolio. I decide not to work with someone who had only selfie pictures in there port. A close female friend of mine put me on to the fact that people will generally take 10 to 15 photos to find the most attractive pictures and that the worst ones are generally the ones that gives the true vision of what the person looks like.
3. Keep Going
Most people who know me know that I am a very loyal person. I've learned in order to make it in this field that sometimes you have to step away from what or who you use to photograph. I use to love shooting everything from dark imaginary, Gothic, cosplay, etc. True be told I was having a lot of fun but it wasn't getting me to my goal. It was like a never ending recess and the bell isn't going to ring...unless I ringed it..and I did. Some people get it, it's not that I abandoned them I just don't shoot that theme at the moment. Will I go back to it someday? Of course I will, but for now I have to keep going forward.
4. No Support / Criticism
We live in a very opinionated world where everyone feels their opinion matters more than the next person. Face it, some people will love your work and others won't and won't hesitate to state their opinion. Honestly the no support hurts me more. Some of the people I hold closest to me don't support my work. Its funny when they ask what I have been up to and I squirm to tell them something other than my photography. So, I've learned to ignore the ignorant and embrace the praise. Seriously some people will say it will help you be a stronger artist to get negative criticism. However, if I ask for it then give it and if I don't ask for... then please continue talking to yourself while I swing from my chandelier. As for the support, I have given up on those who I wish would really support me. The stress and pain of it all isn't worth it and I don't have time for it.
You will learn that humans are not reliable. They will lie. They will flake. To counter that I work with people who have only been reliable in the past. Also I work with people who are affiliated with agencies and lastly I only work with new talent that live outside of Maryland.
6. Be Prepared
When I get talent or clothing company wanting to work with me sometimes they need a concept. Luckily I keep a extensive Pinterest of inspirational ideas that interest and challenges me. I offer these these ideas to the client and it helps to get a better idea of what they can expect from the shoot.
So there you have, what about you? What have you learned in your field? Comments are welcomed.