The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Words of wisdom

Just came across an interesting list of dos and don`ts and truisms about being a successful photographer on Alec Soth`s blog. The list is funny and very helpful, not sure how tongue in cheek all of it is meant to be but there are some gems of wisdom there. For example:

Do fifty of them—you will definitely get a show.


Do it sharp, if you can’t, call it art.

On the don`t it says:

Don’t do it about yourself—or your friend—or your family.


Don’t whine, just produce.

And my personal favourite:

Remember digital point and shoots are faster than Leicas.

Only a brave man says that in the photoworld!

This brave man is Charles H. Traub from a book called the Education of a photographer.

We all need lists like this to learn from and make us smile.

I like making lists and my list of jobs is getting longer and longer everyday. Aside from keywording stock and editing and entering competitions I also need to get out and shoot because as Mr Traub says:

Photography is about looking – Learning how to look takes practice.

If it would just stop raining!




7 responses

  1. Tomo

    I love photographer’s words.
    I’ve just find an interesting site abot their words. I suppose that the web site have a problem to see, but you can see the profound statements.

    I like Henri Cartier Bresson’s words best so far.

    September 12, 2007 at 3:49 pm

  2. Hi Tomo San. Thanks for the link I can`t seem to get any quotes so far apart from the teaser at the top but just what we photographers need: pithy, easy to remember pearls of wisdom that help us on our way.

    September 12, 2007 at 10:34 pm

  3. I like the learning to look quote. It reminds me that we also have to learn not to look too hard for something we want that isn’t there. Or perhaps that’s just me? 妄想族の世界!

    September 15, 2007 at 2:52 am

  4. P.S am hunting for your e-mail but can’t find it. have a couple of questions I want to ask. could you mail me?

    September 17, 2007 at 8:55 am

  5. I love discovering verbally dextrous and literary photographers and the blogosphere is the perfect resource for such. Such as your good self, of course.

    September 21, 2007 at 2:50 am

  6. Andy Miles

    I’ll confess to ignoring the words when I recognised some Alec Soth’s work (from Sleeping by the Mississippi). I just sat and enjoyed looking through the galleries. Feeling inspired again and will continue doing it my own way (which Damon will tell you sometimes even works!)

    September 21, 2007 at 8:34 am

  7. Thanks for the comments guys. A picture paints a thousands words, as they say, so why oh why does some “art” photography need a thousands words to explain it all then? I`ll confess to no deeper meaning to most of my work I just like pretty, interesting or ironic pictures, but Andy, I must say although Alex Soth`s images are direct and do not perhaps need the captions in any excessive form of verbosity, they tell a story that we want to know a little more about: a name, date, a teasing bit of history.
    Thanks Paul for the compliment coming from an Irish man that really is a complimant too.
    I have been stupidly busy but want to write more soon so keep visiting.

    September 21, 2007 at 3:14 pm

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