Challenges: I feel as a photographer I love challenges. The more challenging the shoot the better. I always tell other photographers you have to fall in love with the process of taking photos. If all you love are the final results you're going to have a tough time shooting. There are times when i've bitten off more than I can chew and I get so frustrated I want to smash my camera against a wall but I can't because the client is in the room. And it's at those times when the going gets tough and I'm ready to explode when I have to calm myself down and embrace the challenge. I take a deep breath, pull myself out of the situation mentally and start problem solving in my head. In the end photography is all about making adjustments and correcting your exposure, composition, lighting etc. There are always going to be challenges in photography and that's why it's such a beautiful craft. Each challenge you overcome make you better at what you do.
Obstacles: This one kinda makes me laugh. Obstacles and photography go hand in hand. Everything in a photographer's world is an obstacle. Dealing with clients brings on obstacles. shooting indoors, shooting in day light, shooting in a dark environments, balancing noise and iso, depth of field and shutter speed. There is no easy way to be a photographer you are constantly making choices and the pressure is always on. Clients want results and your choices affect those results and ultimately your business lives or dies based on your ability to make the right choices. If you're a photographer and you're reading this i'm sure you're running through a list of obstacles in your head that come up at your shoots. We all have our obstacles whether it's understanding lighting, tackling a unique exposure, post processing styles or dealing with difficult clients. If we don't embrace our obstacles and move past them we don't move forward.
Effort: Effort effort effort has always been my mindset when it comes to photography or anything I do in my life for that matter. I'm a strong believer in two sayings: 1) You only get out of life what you put in. & 2) You make your own luck by working hard. I live by those words of wisdom. The moment you stop working hard and putting effort into what you are doing is the moment you start failing. Trust me I've made that mistake. I built up my brand and business to the point where I was making good money and so I started coasting on my success and focusing my effort in other areas of my life. My business slumped big time. It took a lot of work to build it back up again. Moral of the story is effort yields it's own rewards, you've got to put your work in if you want achieve your goals.
Criticism: Unless you're just straight up lazy, in which case you'll find challenges, obstacles and effort hard, for the rest of us criticism will probably be the toughest thing on this list to deal with. We all have an ego and we all feel hurt when people criticize our work. It's normal to feel protective of things you're passionate about. The thing is, as an intelligent human being you have to be able to recognize the parts of a criticism which are constructive and ignore all the other stuff. You have to keep in mind that critiquing photography is entirely subjective. Each person is going to have their own disposition and opinion and that's cool. Everyone is different, not everybody is going to like your work and, if you ask me, you have to approach criticism from that perspective.
Success of others: This one is huge in my books. I have distanced and even cut people out of my life who are threatened by the success of others. To me that is a huge red flag. I find that I can't trust people who are threatened by other people's success. Makes me wonder how my own success will affect them. Build a team of positive hardworking people around you and you will have your success. As photographers from an artistic perspective, there are always challenges and new things to be discovered. However, from a business perspective it's all pretty much been done before. Find those photographers who have achieved success and learn from them. Talk to them go have beer with them be humble and learn from them. Everyone is an open book if you're willing to read.