“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

At opening receptions, the conversation often turns to: “How do I take better pictures?” “How can I get my work into galleries?”

Always wear your camera.

Always wearing my camera allowed me to make the photos that launched my photography career.

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Always having a camera with me enabled me to capture cousin Kim talking to Lucky.

Put your phone in airplane mode and leave it in your pocket.

If I’d been looking down at a phone, I would have missed this gentleman’s gift of humor to us at the 1987 World Series.

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What’s his sign about? Click here.

We make pictures. Describing what we do as “making” pictures recognizes that we are creating something, and is more peaceful than saying “shoot” pictures, or that we go out “shooting.”

What’s the best camera?

The one you have with you. How you see - and how you use whatever you already have - are more important than what camera you use.

One camera, one lens.

For candid photography, working with one camera and one lens simplifies your life because you won’t miss pictures while deciding which lens to use.

Books, not gear.

The Eye of Eisenstaedt: How a Great Photographer Sees. A must for every photographer.

Elliott Erwitt’s Snaps, and Personal Exposures.

The Photographic Essay: William Albert Allard - and any other book by Bill.

Jon Lewis: Photographs of the California Grape Strike, by Richard Steven Street.

Ground Time by Kent Reno.

David Kennerly’s Photo Op.

Eye of the Beholder, by James Stanfield.

Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art will help you persist in a world of distractions.

Use travel time to listen to podcasts like Hit the Streets, The Candid Frame, and LensWork.

Print your work.

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Because looking at physical prints is essential to growing as a photographer, print your pictures on paper, even if you use a digital camera.

When you’re finished, set your prints aside. Come back to them after a couple of days, and think about your work again.

Carry a notebook.

La Sarrasine , Rue Jean du Bellay, Le Quatrieme.

La Sarrasine, Rue Jean du Bellay, Le Quatrieme.

Record names, dates, places, exposure times, and how you make your prints.

Want to sell your pictures?

Show your work at a portfolio review.

Make time to prepare before you go. How to prepare? Click here to listen to some tips. Joe McCormack’s Brief will help you keep your presentation brief and to the point.

Bonne chance, et bonne lumière!

“I think photographers should be more like him. He was free and carried little equipment.” – Marc Riboud, on the Eiffel Tower Painter