That time a client shot me down

You find your passion. You create a job. You feel the liberation.

But without knowing it, you’ve just entered the fifth circle of hell, though I’m just going to call that circle…



Expectation from your clients, expectation from yourself. Maybe from family or friends or everything else. And, of course, from the market.

And the market makes it all the worse, because its real leverage isn’t that you care what it thinks. It’s that your damn living is on the line.

It’s enough to drive you to drink.

Though, who am I kidding, even when we don’t care what it thinks, don’t we all care anyway? Once in awhile I’ll get that email from someone letting me know they … Read more...

Beware: The “weak sauce mindset” will cripple your photography

First position.

From my really, really limited understanding of ballet, first position is…umm…well, the first position you learn. I guess that didn’t need explanation. It’s also a foundation.

In your business…

First position must be this…

You are not a sad sack of a product wrapped in plastic, hanging on a store shelf.

There is no price tag over your head.

You are one of two people in a negotiation to find a way to reach an outcome you both desire. You don’t need to “sell” yourself, but you must advocate. This right is yours, because you care and take care, and you commit yourself to creating the very best possible outcome.

You are a problem solver who solves a … Read more...

She wasn’t happy with her pictures

“I’m a little disappointed,” she said.


I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The pictures were rock solid.

My friends concurred. My associates agreed. It was every bit a match for what I had shown when I met with the client.

But she wasn’t happy.


I was dazed. I was confused. For fuck’s sake, it was a hard, long day, and I pulled a rabbit out of a hat to make it all happen. I was a little bit angry, and a lot surprised, all leaving my head pulsing with a big, pounding “WTF?”

Then she explained.

“Well…it’s not that there was anything wrong. They’re beautiful. But it feels like you held back. You were shooting the way you … Read more...