Four Amazing Insights from Top Professionals in Building a Photography Career

Four photography professionals with a combined 142 years of experience. They took different paths but all eventually arrived at the top of their field. These words of wisdom come from interviews conducted by our friends at Space for Arts, a studio listings site built specifically for the photography community.

Push Yourself

"One of my assistants, at the end of every shoot, would ask me, “so did you have fun today?”  We are so lucky to be doing this work and we’ve all got to keep that in mind…we get to have fun doing our jobs. The unprintable advice came from a very close photographer friend of mine who used to assist me whose words of wisdom about lighting were to ‘fuck it up.’ Put the light somewhere you wouldn’t think to put the light. Don’t play it safe. Push yourself." - Art Streiber

Art Streiber specializes in reportage, portraiture, corporate, entertainment and advertising projects. His editorial clients have included Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, Wired, New York, Fortune, ESPN, GQ and The New York Times Magazine.

Below photos by © Art Streiber


Find Inspiration Everywhere

“The first thing I advise photographers to do is to look at a lot of imagery, not just your own work because some photographers only look at their own work. I think everything can be interesting. I actually have a quote written down from Tom Ford, ‘be inspired everywhere.’ Even the colors of coffee, the shades of brown on the white lid can be inspiring…TV, books, lots of old photography, the lives of people, architecture – anything is inspiring. Bugs Bunny could give you ideas!” - Michele Romero

Michele Romero is Senior Photo Editor at Entertainment Weekly

Don’t Overthink It

“There’s a simplicity of not overdoing it. I like to go into shoots not knowing much about the person. I want to walk in and see what presents to me with the person in front of me. It’s not a portrait of what you think they are, but capturing who they are...So I like to tell people, don’t overthink it. Don’t walk in the door concerned about satisfying someone. If you are hired for your work and your work is true to your vision then that’s what they want. Don’t worry about what they want too much. Listen to what is being said, but don’t forget why you’re there and what your vision is.”  - Frank Ockenfels 3

Frank Ockenfels 3 is a photographer driven by a curiosity that creates a visual language of kaleidoscopic abundance of imagery and emotion.

Photos below by © Frank Ockenfels 3 

Create a Moment

“There’s a distinction between taking a picture and making a picture. You see this with Instagram where everyone thinks they can just take a good picture. And sure there are some beautiful pictures and Instagram has been very creative and inspiring and helpful in that sense. But it is one thing to take a picture of friends in a moment and another totally to actually create it. As a professional, creating that moment is key.” - Carol LeFlufy

Carol LeFlufy is the founder of EYE FORWARD, an agency representing photographers and directors with bold, distinctive perspectives who work across all categories.

For the full interviews, visit the Space for Arts blog.

This post is sponsored by Space for Arts. All opinions expressed in this post are based on our personal view.

This post is sponsored by Space for Arts. All opinions expressed in this post are based on our personal view.

Conor Gallagher