Eye on Image-Making: Eight Tips for Aspiring Photographers | Black Star Rising:
"Shawna’s Eight Tips
During the presentation of her fashion photography, Shawna shared with us eight tips for aspiring professionals:
1. Pursue what you are passionate about. You will never excel at something unless you are motivated by passion and are driven to succeed. The reason is simple: you are competing with similarly motivated and passionate people. Let’s say you decide to try your hand at wedding photography — perhaps for the money and not because you love capturing the emotions weddings produce. You will be competing with other photographers who live, eat, sleep, and breathe weddings. Even if your pictures are technically as good as theirs, do you think they will be as compelling and as satisfying to your clients? Is doing something you have no passion for the key to long-term success?
2. Network. Photographers are often great networkers, but they usually network with the wrong people — other photographers. It’s fine to attend meetings of photography organizations and socialize with your peers. But unless you are an assistant, you probably won’t get hired by another photographer. Instead, you need to network with people who can help you get work and with whom you can forge partnerships. In Shawna’s case, this means art directors"
There are more. Read it all. If you are thinking about being a photographer, or a designer, these are good tips from a young person doing it. I know you hear it from us old guys all the time, but here it is from someone who is actually in the trenches.