My Six Favorite Tips for a Successful Career

Last week someone asked what I did to have a strong photography career and be able to photograph some of the most legendary people? For the end of the year, I thought it was great to list some of my favorites habits which I am hopeful will also help you. Watch the video to see me break down some of my favorites.

Stop Lying to Yourself

The idea of having someone hire you to create images for an important event always was honorable for me. Whether it's their wedding, album cover, newborn photography or commercial photography it's an honor. The client could go anywhere but they feel you are the best option. That's why I say don't lie to yourself or the client. If you don't feel comfortable handling a job, do not take it. It's dishonest and terrible for your reputation.

Instead, ask yourself why you feel unprepared and where you do not feel confident. Knowing where you lack is vital! The next step is to fix that problem. 

Make it Easy for Them

Websites are still important but not in the way of a few years ago. Now the potential client likely found the photographer through word of mouth or social media. Where does the website fall in the level of importance if it's not where they first discover you? A great website is a client qualifier and it means they want to see more from you. They are ready to invest more time & research into your brand. 

When they're on your site, make it easy for them to hire you. Make sure your contact information is easily accessible, and then review it on a phone and tablet also. Make sure it a 5-year-old can find your contact information. Also, make it easy for them not keep searching for another photographer. Does your gallery sell your expertise or did you throw a lot of different photography styles that might plant doubt?

Keep a Good Circle of People

I am absolutely a believer of keeping a supportive circle. From my personal experience, I have found 4 major groups of people who circle us day in and day out.

They must all fall into one of the following categories: Promote, demote or fire. 

Supporters: Promote them

Distracters: Demote them

The Cancers: Fire them

The Invisibles: Promote them

Suggest Your Own Job

The vast majority of my career is because I suggested my own jobs. I suggested music videos, fashion films, and additional photo shoots. The Jennifer Lopez shoot for the rehearsals of her Vegas show, I suggested that myself and the video discuss the story.

Learn to Recognize Opportunity

Every failure and success story is an opportunity for more. Watch the video to see what I mean by this. One thing I've done fairly routinely asked myself, "Ok, what am I supposed to learn from this".

The World Does Not Owe You (But You Owe Kindness)

You are not owed jobs or opportunities. You are not entitled to any success, just the opportunity to prove yourself. While that can sound frustrating, it's completely empowering and opposite of that! When you realize that the world does not owe you a single thing, you realize that it must all happen on your own accord. That means you are creating your path, and that also means you create your own style, pricing, and career path. That's a beautiful thing! 

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5 Comments

Great article, thank you for your advice.

Walid Azami's picture

Thanks Yan, I appreciate the feedback

Thank you for your time and efforts.

Vincent Alongi's picture

I love an article like this as the calendar is set to turn. Professional advice and perspective is always welcome. Some quick pointers and good photography to read through before I watch the video? I like that style here.

Walid Azami's picture

Thank you, ​Vincent! I think for the next one I'll be more descriptive.