7 Life Lessons From My Mother

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.

Moms are great teachers. For everyone, here are some important lessons my mom taught me about life . . . lessons that can apply to your photography, too.

1) Someone is always watching. This is great advice to keep in mind in designing and posting stuff on your web site/blog. You never know who is watching. Someone may be watching who needs exactly what you have to offer. He or she may be a millionaire and may have a few bucks to spend on you!  Keep your site/blog up to date with the best you can offer. Also: know your audience. Post, write and design for your specific audience.

2) Always sandwich a criticism with compliments.  If you feel as though you need to criticize another photographer's work, don't just jump in with criticism. Rather, try to encourage the person to do better - before and after you get to your point.

3) Never give up. Every time I got a rejection letter or email, I thought about this quote. Sooooo glad I followed my mother's advice. I know it sounds easy, especially when you are down. However, don't let others get you down. Also remember that timing is everything. A "no" today could be a "yes" tomorrow.

4) To thine own self be true.Ya know, I really did not like it when my mother used this quote. However, it's really good advice for photographers. Be true to yourself. Follow your heart. Photograph what you love. 

5) Sticks and stones can break your bones, but names can never hurt you. Today, it's easy to hide behind fake names on the internet and post bad book, app and photo reviews. Don't listen to what others say while hiding. In fact, don't listen to negative comments from folks who just set out to be mean. Their comments often say more about themselves than you!

6) Don't curse. I vividly remember my mother washing out my mouth with a new, big and white bar of IVORY soap after I used a curse word. Well, I am not saying that today I am a saint, but I never use an inappropriate word on the web. I have dropped people from Facebook and twitter for doing just that. I don't want to be associated with 'em. So, keep it clean and you will not offend anyone.

7) Be a good listener. When I went on my first date, my mother told me to be a good listener. This was good advice, as I got a second date. :-)  Today, we must be good listeners on Google+, twitter, facebook and in the comments section on our blogs. You can't just talk - you must listen. Get to know your audience. Along the lines of being a good listener, remember this: There is always room for improvement.

Happy Mother's Day!
Rick