Here are seven winning photographer traits. How many of these seven can you relate to or have?


Of course, you need the technical skills in photography and lighting but there are other characteristics that will help you get ahead in your career. Let’s go over some of them now because they are all important.




Develop Your Instincts: photographer who can identify their instincts versus what the ego wants will have a solid head start on nearly every competitor. You will encounter many clients who offer you a large budget but may deplete your patience on the job. Listen to your instincts because they will tell you if you should accept the job or not.


On the flip side, your instincts may tell you to take a particular opportunity even if it is not whelping. That opportunity will likely open the door for many more at higher budgets. Your ego will likely deny the job, but your instincts will see it as an opportunity to elevate. Listen to your instincts, it is the direct phone call between you and a higher source.


Ageism Sucks and it Keeps you Uninformed:


It’s funny how much I see this on TikTok, the amount of younger people making fun of older populations. What they fail to realize is that the person who has a few years under their belt will have tremendous experience that could benefit their life.


Do you have business questions? They may have encountered it 100 times and can save you years of grief. Do you wonder how to negotiate with a client? Speak to an older person and listen they have tackled more than you could imagine and are a wealth of information. Photographers who appreciate experience and who do not resort to ageist comments will do just fine. That’s one of the best photographer traits to have: observe and learn. If you have it, consider that a big win.


Learn the Rules:

I’m a long time believer of learning the rules, all of us. Know what to say and went to say it. Know how to light and when to use each type of lighting. Your stand which lens is best for each situation. Then once you know all of the rules, feel free to break any one of them that you wish. If you want to make an impact with your art, you have to know which rules to break and why you are breaking them. Following every rule will keep your photography from standing out. You will blend in just like the rest.


Edit Your Friends: 

Your circle of friends will determine your future. If you could adopt any winning photographer trait, adopt this. You’ve heard a version of this over and over but let me give you my experience. Most of my jobs have come from somebody that I know. The same could be said for unbooked artists that I know. They subscribe to a friend circle who are in the same rut, and the same negative way of thinking.


One of the hardest things to do is to check yourself. Are you the friend that elevates everyone around you? Are you looking out for your friends and for new opportunities? If you said YES, then chances are your circle of friends are the same way. If you said NO, the same could be said. Chances are that your circle of friends are only looking out for themselves or have low goals.


Could it be time for a new circle? Only you know the answer to that. Move accordingly.


Spending vs. Investing: 

Another photographer trait is knowing the difference between the two. I know of many photographers who have the latest camera. Last year they had the latest camera also. Next year they will also have the latest model. These people are merely spending, looking for opportunities to buy excuses with every new gear they purchase.


I also know of photographers who invest in themselves. They understand that spending money on gear is good to a certain point but investing in yourself is the way to go. They invest time or money, which at the end are the same thing. They either watch great YouTube channels that teach and invest time from each day to getting better. Or they invest in a course from someone who has already done what they want to do. That is not spending. That is investing.


Know the difference between the two, because they are not the same. INVEST in your photography business. BTW, I have online courses that are an investment. You can also invest with a one-on-one mentorship call with me. Or you can just spend money on another lens and hope it brings you new business.


Know the Value of Time:

Speaking of courses, I will often speak with photographers who say they don’t want to spend money on an online course. OK, that’s fine… But what will you do in the meantime? Will you jump from YouTube video to YouTube video? Will you go in an endless circle hoping that the next channel might give you the information you need? How much time will you spend doing that? Or a better way to ask is: and how many years are you spending not booking the clients that you deserve? How much money are you leaving on the table?


Some photographers will say they don’t want to invest a few hundred dollars in a course, only to turn around and spend several months searching for content that is not there. To save $300, they disregarded thousands of dollars by not entering the market sooner. Know the value of time, it’s worth a lot of money.


Spend your time making money, not hoping a YouTube video out of the thousands you’ve seen might give you the magical recipe. They will not.




If you enjoyed this short blog, then I really urge you read this one about saying NO to clients. You can and should say NO to win, and this blog will tell you how.

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