How to get ahead in Photography?

I’m really open to suggestions. Truly. I am cool to hear someone’s take on me even when the news is less than expected. Knowing sheds light on where I might improve. That said, I give a lot of suggestions too. I’m honored by photographers who ask me to review their portfolios and offer my thoughts on the art and business of photography. No matter who shows me their book and what level they are on, one question I'm always asked is, “How did you get started in this business?”

The idea of starting and sustaining a photography business is daunting. With the amount of competition in the world, who would even want to try? Just look at any of the source books or portal websites and you'll find seemingly endless numbers of photographers already established in the marketplace. From a newcomers perspective, where is there room for another photographer?

Obvious first questions arise like: Where am I going to get a gig? How can I get assisting work? Later we ask ourselves about marketing like:
Build a website or portfolio? Does anyone use the print source books? And somewhere in there is: Do I get a rep? and How much should I charge? All the while a good MacPro runs you over $3000 and you just want to shoot new pictures. All this has you remembering that Starbucks pays for health insurance.

So I'm again making myself open to offering suggestions. If you have a question related to entering and sustaining in the business of photography, ask me at info(at) Through my own experiences and those of colleagues, you'll get an honest answer that may just be helpful in thriving in this gig.

Thanks to Heather Morton’s, Ask an Art Buyer for inspiring this.