Photography Advice

Photography advice is readily available all over the internet and social media.  It is generally from photographers with very little experience or who are trying to sell you something.  With 50 years of experience with a camera and international publications and awards, I have learned a few things about photography along the way.  Since becoming a photo educator I have been honored to deliver over a thousand in-person and virtual presentations to photographers around the world.

These photography advice articles are sincere lessons that I have learned that I am confident will help you to improve your photography and to be able to do it with more focus (pun intended)!  Bookmark this page and check back often!

  • Top 16 Super Important Year End Tasks That Every Photographer Should Do

    Top 16 Super Important Year-End Tasks That Every Photographer Should Do

    Table of ContentsIntroduction#DoTheWorkThe List1. Clean Your Cameras and Lenses2. Remember Your Lighting Gear3. Bags and Cases Get Dirty Too4. Check and Update Firmware5. Insurance6. TECH: Computers, Hard Drives, and Memory Cards7. File Management8. Personal Development9. The Business of Business10. Bookkeeping11. Look at the Numbers12. Establish New Business Goals13. Update Pricing14.…

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  • There is NO Competition

    Stop Thinking Photography Is a Competitive Business, and Here’s Why!

    Table of ContentsIntroductionWhy are photographers so damn competitive?A Little HistoryCompetition Is a Self-inflicted ProblemDo YOU!Top 5 Ways To Avoid Competition With Your PhotographyIn Closing Introduction Competition is a critical topic, and one I realize is getting in the way of many photographers finding the success they seek. And remember, only…

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  • How To Make Sure People Dislike Your Photos

    How To Make Sure People Dislike Your Photos

    Yes, you read the title correctly. So why would you want someone to dislike your photograph? You wouldn’t! But that is what frequently happens when you give your photo a title. You may know that I operate an online learning community called The TOGKnowledge Photographic Community and a Facebook Group.…

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  • Why Most Photography Workshops Suck

    Reasons Why Most Photography Workshops Suck

    Sorry, but it needed to be said I know what you are thinking. Doesn’t Joe teach at photography workshops? Why would he say most photography workshops suck? Before I tell you why let’s be sure we are on the same page. Just because someone is an excellent photographer doesn’t guarantee…

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  • 5 Ways Collaboration Will Improve Your Photography

    5 Ways Collaboration Will Improve Your Photography

    The Oxford Dictionary defines collaboration as “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” Pretty simple right? It really is that simple. You know that old proverb; “Two heads are better than one”? Well, that phrase has been around since 1546. We still know it because it…

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  • Fix it in Post Cover

    The Problem With “Fix It in Post” and “Get It Right in the Camera”

    It’s time we put some updated sensibilities’ behind the statements “fix it in post” and “getting it right in the camera”. A few people mentioned these phrases to me recently and honestly I was surprised to hear how they interpreted the meaning behind them. I was even more surprised and…

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  • 7 Things My Subjects Have Taught Me About Photography

    7 Things My Subjects Have Taught Me About Photography

    Learning to be a better photographer is not all about learning photography. Especially if you want to photograph people. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to read your camera manual, learn about exposure controls, Depth of Field and the dreaded Inverse Square Law. Let’s face it, there is no…

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  • 9 Behaviors that GREAT Photographers embrace

    9 Behaviors That GREAT Photographers Embrace

    We all look at the most successful photographers and wonder what would it take to “be them”. There are some things that we can point to with certainty that are key to their success. Skills, intelligence and very importantly discipline. You have probably heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder”.…

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  • Why you need Professional Photographers of America

    Why You Need To Join Professional Photographers of America (PPA)

    Did you know that Professional Photographers of America is NOT just for professional photographers? And it’s not just for photographers based in the US. PPA is short for Professional Photographers of America. It is the world’s largest nonprofit photography association organized for photographers by photographers, with over 30,000 members in…

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  • THREE most important things you can do to improve your photography in 2020

    3 Most Important Things You Must Do To Improve Your Photography

    It’s a new year and the beginning of a new decade. All of which means – opportunity. Opportunity to become a better photographer. Opportunity to improve your photography skills and even improve your ability to make money as a photographer if that is your goal. 2019 was a great year…

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  • It is time to hold the photo industry media accountable!

    It’s Time To Hold the Photo Industry Media Accountable!

    I am so disappointed! First and foremost – I am disappointed with the companies that make our cameras. Not just my brand – Olympus, but all of them… Canon – Nikon – Sony – Fuji – Panasonic – all of them. Secondly – I am disappointed in photography YouTubers who…

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  • If You Want To Find Success as a Photographer Stop Asking for Opinions!

    If You Want To Find Success as a Photographer Stop Asking for Opinions!

    If you want to find success as a photographer – STOP asking people what they think about your photographs or what they think you should do to improve – just stop. It’s not helping you – in fact it’s making it harder to progress and improve as a photographer because…

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  • What is Dynamic Range and Why is everybody so worried about it?

    What is Dynamic Range?

    Over the last month or so I have been asked more and more questions about dynamic range, and I am seeing more and more articles and YouTube videos with headlines about this topic. Indeed, it is becoming the big buzz phrase in GEARtographer discussions all over the internet. I’m seeing…

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  • EP233TC 80 100217

    Can We Please Stop Watermarking Photographs?

    My Facebook group recently blew up in a heated debate: Why is watermarking an issue? Painters add their signature right into their painting as an assurance that people will be able to identify them as the artist but they do it in a way that you frequently need to hunt…

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  • Success as a photographer - it's in the details

    Success in Photography – It’s in the Details

    Last week, published an article by a very talented Canadian shooter named Ryan Cooper. The article was titled “Why being pickier will make you a better photographer.” The article reminded me of a presentation that I’ve been doing variations of for almost ten years. It’s titled The Art of…

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  • A picture doesn’t have to be perfect - to be perfect!

    A Picture Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect – To Be Perfect!

    A few weeks back, Darryl Currey from Australia, who is a member of my Facebook Group posted an image with a question. He asked, “Does a photo have to be perfect to be perfect?”and “Have we become more obsessed with the technicalities of photography than the art of it?” My…

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  • EP227TC 77 091117

    Will That New Camera Make You a Better Photographer?

    More megapixels, faster shooting speeds, greater dynamic range… it all costs more money – lots more money- but will it make you a better photographer? 2017 has been an exciting year in the world of photography, especially when it comes to the cameras that we use. Sony released the A9…

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  • EP226TC 76 090417

    When Should You Start Getting Paid for Your Photography?

    When should you start getting paid for your photography? I can actually answer that in four simple words… When you are ready. But what does that mean? When you are ready? Let’s face it – we have all met the photographer who has owned their prosumer DSLR camera for three…

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  • How you can use Smartphone Photography to Improve ALL of your photography

    Smartphone Photography Can Improve All of Your Photography

    In part one of this Smartphone photography set, I promised to share my favorite apps for shooting and processing my smartphone images, and I told you that I would share a list of apps that can help you improve ALL of your photography – even with your expensive pro cameras.…

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  • EP218 Best Camera is a Smartphone Part1

    A Smartphone Is the Best Camera to Improve Your Photography

    I want to challenge your way of thinking about camera gear and prove to you that your smartphone is the best and possibly most important camera that you own. Now, I bet you are thinking I’ve lost my mind; that I’ve finally crossed over to the dark side, sold my…

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  • 80% of Portrait Photography is Psychology

    80% Of Portrait Photography Is Psychology

    I have mentioned often that 80% of portrait photography is psychology and 20% of it is photography. I go into the psychology in a lot of other pieces, so I wanted to take a moment to address that 20%. 20% of portrait photography. . . Understand that the 20% that…

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  • Work the Shot to Dramatically Improve Your Photography

    Work the Shot to Dramatically Improve Your Photography

    Before I go any further, let’s make sure that you know not to be that cliché guy with a camera telling your model “work it baby – that’s hot!” If you really want to improve your photography, work the shot. I’ll also share with you at the end what your…

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  • What is your style?

    10 Tips To Find Your Photographic Style

    How do I find my photographic style? This question has been coming up a lot lately. Do you know what your style is? More importantly, does it even matter? Here, I list 10 steps you need to take to find YOUR photographic style. More and more, I am finding new…

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  • What Does It Mean To Be a Professional Photographer?

    What Does It Mean To Be a Professional Photographer?

    When can I call myself a professional photographer? What makes a photographer a professional? I have been asked these two questions a lot recently and I have learned that my answer tends to surprise people. So I think it’s time to sit down and have a little talk about what…

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  • Photography Composition Rule - Ignore the Rule of Thirds

    The BEST Photography Composition Rule

    If you want to learn about photography composition, fill the frame, fill the frame, fill the frame! Seriously, fill the frame. Hey, gang. Guess what this conversation is about? Yeah, photography composition and why you should fill the frame. I’m honestly kind of dumbfounded. As I’m lecturing and I’m spending…

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  • The MOST Important question for photographers to ask

    The Most Important Question For Photographers To Ask

    I wanted to take a moment to share with you an article that I saw on It’s about a topic that’s been discussed many, many times for year over. It’s about why asking what camera settings were used is not as helpful as you think. “Can you tell me…

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  • conventions

    How Important are Photography Conventions and Conferences?

    Where can you meet and learn from the most well known photographers? Touch, try, and drool on the latest and greatest photography gear? Meet other like minded photographers and talk and share ideas and stories? At Photography Conventions or Conferences. In this post I am going to talk you to…

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  • STOP asking for Constructive Criticism on your Photography

    STOP asking for Constructive Criticism on your Photography

    And STOP being so quick to give bad constructive criticism! Stop it, stop it, stop it! Posting your pictures on Facebook, Flickr, 500px or ANY website with those two horrible words – Constructive Criticism – is NOT helping your photography. For years, I have watched photographers posting their works online…

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  • The Best Way to Dramatically Improve Your Photography Skills

    Best Way to Dramatically Improve Your Photography Skills

    Hey gang! If you’re reading this, then you’re either really bored, think I write better than J. K. Rowling (which I assure you I do not), or you want to improve your photography skills. If the last one is the case, BRAVO! You’ve come to the right place. Improving as…

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  • It’s Okay To Suck if You Want To Be a Great Photographer

    It’s Okay To Suck if You Want To Be a Great Photographer

    You heard me right… Don’t be afraid to SUCK! if you want to become a great photographer. Yes, it’s okay to fail in order to become a better photographer. In fact, you need to fail if you want to improve your skills! Think about it- the lessons that tend to…

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  • Don't be a ZOMBIE Photographer

    Don’t be a ZOMBIE Photographer

    Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah, Habari gani… well, you get the idea. It’s the holiday season and as we near the end of 2016 I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you MY Holiday wish lists for all of you. This year has been an incredible ride, meeting…

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  • Why You Should Join a Camera Club or Photography Meetup Group

    Why You Should Join a Camera Club or Photography Meetup Group

    The best reason to join a camera club or photography Meetup group is for the human interaction. The educational opportunities are amazing, lectures, workshops, . .

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