Pa Thongsaone, me, & D' Marzano

Pa Thongsaone, me, & D’ Marzano

Wayne Lederer

Wayne Lederer

The most common question people that are new to photography ask is “How do I become a better Photographer?“, which reminds me of something I heard a while ago.

The FIRST RULE to being a successful photographer is to be the only photographer you know.

This shining pearl of wisdom was handed down to a large group of wedding photographers at a seminar. The reasoning? If you’re the only photographer in the group, you won’t compete for clients. You’ll be the only option for your friends to go with.  Number one on the call list.

This was one of those pearls you throw back in the ocean.

Here’s my first rule, ready?


I don’t care what kind. Wedding, Landscape, Racecar, Fine Art, Product, Architecture… all of them.

My reasoning?  Sure!

  • Photographers are creative people, great to be around.
  • Photographers collaborate, take your art to the next level, combine it with a friend!
  • Photographers are all different.  Your friend’s photography will be different from yours. There is no competition.
  • Photographers like to talk about cameras, and lenses, and OMG, the light! Not everyone does. If I want to talk about photography for hours, I’ve got friends who do too!
  • Photographers have different strengths. I love knowing who to go to in my happy group to ask specific questions.  They know they can call me too.

I am never HAPPIER than when I’m surrounded by photographers. New photographers are so excited and have so many questions, and the experts are magic in motion.

In pulling together this site, I asked for help from 3 of my photo friends! Just having them willing to help out proves my point. I rarely take self-portraits.  I’ve got two photos on my site here that were taken by photographer friends. The shot of me on my home page was shot by my dear friend Pa. The top photo is a quick phone selfie of Pa, me and the third in our trio, D’ Marzano. They both do amazing work. D’ needs to get a website going! Pa’s work can be found at PLee Photography.

The other photo is from my first post, and was taken by my friend Wayne Lederer.  He normally takes photos of racecars and landscapes. Wayne took the time to capture me photographing the herd of wild horses. I’m so grateful, they are images I’ll keep in my heart forever. That experience could be a post all by itself. His work can be found at Wayne Lederer Photography.

I’ve got cool photos of myself because I surround myself with photographers.  Even the photo I took of myself, for my “About” page took some help from a fellow photographer. My dear friend, Donna Bair, has a heart of gold. When I asked her to use her living room for the shot, and asked for her to be my assistant for the day, she happily gave her all! I do the same for her, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In order to live a fascinating life – one brimming with art, travel, photography, and great friends – you must surround yourself with precisely those things.