Photographers are funny creatures, but like all creatures on this planet, photographers like happiness too. Unfortunately, even in photography, things can go wrong. Sometimes it’s something simple, sometimes it’s not, but great photographers know when the plan doesn’t come together you simply adapt and overcome. Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds, but with a little common sense, you can conquer the challenges life throws at you. Here are the 10 things that make photographers happy:

10 Things That Make Photographers Happy

The illumination for the model was a SUNBOUNCE Pro with a Zebra reflector fabric screen.

Number 10 of 10 things that make photographers happy is great weather, especially if your photo shoot involves the great outdoors. But if the weather craps out, what do you do? You move indoors. But wait, what if you still need the outdoors? Then you try to adapt, shoot in the rain, but protect your photographic gear and others involved in your photo session and always stay safe especially if you see lightening. Play it safe and if you decide to do some photography in bad weather, remember it’s a risk and can risk the safety of others. Your safety and the safety of others is critical, so if the weather is really bad, scrap the shoot and do your photography on a better day.

Number nine of 10 things that make photographers happy are great locations. You’ve heard it in Business 101, location, location, location. Location means everything in photography especially if your location can provide an interesting element to your photos besides that of your subject. When I plan an exotic photography workshop or adventure, I research the best locations. Always do your research, it will pay off for your photography and it will help you to know what to expect plus plan your budget.

Number eight of 10 things that make photographers happy are models that show up and on time. Yes, many models “no-show” photographers or arrive late to a photo session. It happens to even the best photographers. Don’t take it personally, you showed up. Look at the situation as it’s probably for the best as a no-show model isn’t worth anyone’s time. However, if she has a justifiable reason, such as a death in the family, car accident, etc., after you’ve verified it, then give the model a second chance. If your model does this more than once, find a more reliable model and if you want to learn how they find photographers, click here.

Number seven of 10 things that make photographers happy are photography critiques from people that matter. Critiques, or critical remarks from family, friends, or those that have no credible photo editor training or skills carries little weight to a professional photographer. While opinions are appreciated, destructive criticism isn’t, though constructive criticism is valued. When someone is critical about your photography especially on social media, say, “Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated,” nothing more. Some of these people are merely attention seekers, so cut them off quickly, don’t try to defend yourself. It’s a waste of time.

Number six of 10 things that make photographers happy is building a great platform. With social media today, publishers love photographers with large social media platforms. Don’t have one? Well it’s never too late to start. Do it, you never know when you’ll want to publish a book or have a product you might want to sell, including your services as a photographer, and your social media platform is a great market that can increases your chances of success.

Number five of 10 things that make photographers happy is access to events or fantastic locations. Access isn’t always easy, but it’s obtainable. You can start by simply asking your local newspaper if they need a “stringer” or some help. And access isn’t just for news or sporting events, even shooting a wedding can involve asking the clergy, in advance, for access to certain areas. Access is easier to gain if you ask before you need it. The old saying, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission” doesn’t apply with photography.

Number four of 10 things that make photographers happy is to listen for ideas and thoughts about a photographic concept from the client or model being photographed. All great photographs are created with team effort. A photographer should never take a narcissistic approach. While a photographer does bring a certain amount of talent to the table, minds are creatively better together as a team than a separate individual mind. You can learn more about why communication is essential when you click here.

10 Things That Make Photographers Happy

On this commercial assignment, everything came together while outside hosted a cold blizzard.

Number three of 10 things that make photographers happy is equipment that works. The key here is proper maintenance and as a photographer, you need to make educated purchasing decisions — avoid product marketing hype. Do your research, read reviews, and if you can get a loaner or rent the equipment beforehand to test drive, do so. Always check your gear the day before the shoot, don’t wait just before the start of a shoot as this allows room for failure. Not sure what camera is best for you, click here to learn which digital camera is best for you.

Number two of 10 things that make photographers happy are clients that pay and pay on time. Sure, they exist, but the ones to avoid are relatives or friends that want to freeload. As Charles Barkley told LeBron James when he entered the NBA, “Learn to say no!” Educate your family and friends. Tell them your photography equipment costs and you value your talent. Explain to them that you can’t enjoy a family event if you’re busy working the event. Not sure what to charge, click here for the million dollar answer.

Number one of 10 things that make photographers happy is when the plan comes together. If the weather is great at a perfect location and your subject shows up on time, you’ll be able to create photographs that draw rave critiques from your social media platform, especially if your client contributed with the concept where you gained proper access and the client paid you.

There you have it, 10 things that make photographers happy, at least this photographer. If they all come together, go for it, take some great photos and getter done!


Rolando Gomez is a professional photographer and author of five photography books that has traveled to 45 countries for assignments. The former soldier and U.S. Army combat photographer has taught hundreds of photography workshops for almost two decades. A 2016, 2017 and 2018 Top Writer for Quora, his partial credits include Newsweek, Parade, Playboy, Rangefinder, Maxim, Rangefinder, New York Times, Stars & Stripes, and various other publications.
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