8 To Be Great - Secrets Of Success

I saw Richard St. John's video on TED.com today, where he talked about eight secrets of success. This talk is from 2005, but nothing seems to be changed in those 3 years. :)

St. John mentioned 8 traits, what help us to succeed in our lives. And I think they apply to stock photography as well, or even best. So I wanted to share them with you.


I have ever met a passionless photographer, not a professional, and much less a hobbyist. So it's easy to keep passion about photography alive when there's so much beauty around us and interesting subjects and lot of techniques to explore and develop. Maybe you need to find your passion among different genres or styles of photography. Find you passion and then chase it.


Microstock industry requires hard work. You need to develop your portfolio. Quality is most important, but as well is quantity. And that requires work. You are lucky if you know how to work hard and have fun at the same time. Then you are not a workaholic, but workafrolic, like St. John said.

© Anetta
© Kounas

That's the most true in photography than anywhere else. You need to keep things in focus. The better lens you have the sharper focus you can have. ;) But of course you have to focus on building up your portfolio, keep your eye on trends of design and fashion.

You need to learn to ignore distractions and concentrate on one thing, becoming an expert at it.


Don’t allow shyness or selfdoubt to disrupt or even stop you. Find ways how to push yourself beyond your limits (or the line where you think your limits are - usually they are much farther away from your comfort zone). Friends and family can help to push you, or your fellow photographers from stock sites. Ask them to do it.

© Kts
© Iofoto

Learn to be creative. Ideas are just thoughts that solve problems. Formulate the problem (f.e "I want to depict the wind") and then find a solution (shoot wind turbines, or trees bending in storm). You can find "problems" from dictionary, for example.


Find ways to improve your portfolio, your techniques. Strive to become the best at what you do. Practice, practice, practice.

© Lisafx
© Kounas

Successful people provide something of value to people. It doesn't have to involve charity work. It’s delivering a service or product others need or want. And that's easy in stock industry, isn't it?


Never give up. Don't let yourself to be frighten by rejected photos, slow start of sales, seemingly much successful coophotographers (you don't know how, where or when they started). Don’t expect quick results (easy come, easy go). Don't be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause that's the way how we learned to walk. And see, how easy it's now. Are you shamed that you stumbled on your first steps? It's not a shame to make mistakes, it's a shame not to learn from them. A failure has been called "a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top." So don't let to fool yourself of other opinions. Just keep going and never give up.

Photo credits: Anette Romanenko, Diego Vito Cervo, Iofoto, Iris Schneider, John Kounadeas, Kts, Lisa F. Young.

Your article must be written in English

May 13, 2009


No 4 and No 8 I need to take on board ... And the rest lol

April 02, 2009


Glad, that you found it helpful. It encourages me every time I reread it.

April 01, 2009


As a newbie to DT this is just what I needed to hear to get my creative juices flowing again. I've been a bit discouraged by the number of rejected photos I've had, but after I reading your words of wisdom, ideas have been flowing thick and fast. Thanks for that :0)

April 01, 2009


Great blog.. thanks so much for sharing.. and nice pics also!

April 01, 2009


Thank you! I will collect them for my brilliant life. :-)

March 27, 2009


useful article - indeed


March 14, 2009


Thank you for sharing this inspiring article.

February 10, 2009


This article is very true - like with anything else you do in life.....

October 22, 2008


:) so nice to hear. Thanks for good words!

October 22, 2008


This is a very useful article, I benefited.

October 09, 2008


Words of widsom...well said.

October 08, 2008


Thank you, guys, I appreciate your comments.

October 08, 2008


It is true,thanks and learning to you!

October 08, 2008


Great blog and its so true, thanks for this little inspirational reminder!!

October 03, 2008


You must be a good teacher. Thanks for your comment!

October 03, 2008


Great blog Maigi! I particularly agree with what you say about mistakes. As a teacher I keep saying the same to my students: mistakes are our only way to learn if we accept them and try to improve.

October 02, 2008


Mail is on its way. Hope I could help. Good luck with editorials!

October 01, 2008


I like this your posting. My passion is photography of people. Do you have information regarding releases? The people in my pictures do not speak my native language. I don't know if I need a release from the person if it is a candid shot of a child or elderly person in a foreign country. Please reply if you know anything about this to my email address schwartzpat@yahoo.com. thanks

October 01, 2008


Great Blog Maigi! Very inspiring. Thank you.

September 30, 2008


I'm glad you, guys, like it. Richard St. John is a very wise man. Or is it a common knowledge, since he said he interviewed 500 people? Anyway, it gave me strength to keep going. Thank you all for your good words!

September 30, 2008


Yes, thanks Mailis for this reminder... needed it! Hope you are well. C

September 30, 2008


nice, inspiring blog - thank you!

September 30, 2008


Nice pep talk to start my day, Maigi.

September 30, 2008


good writing maigi

September 30, 2008



September 30, 2008


Thanks for sharing! These thoughts will help me keep going! :)

September 28, 2008


You are welcome, Eti. :)
I wonder, if somebody has St. John's book. Those are like universal laws. Apply to every field of life.

September 27, 2008


Nice positive reminders. Thanks for reminding!!!!

September 26, 2008


Glad, you guys, like it! It was very inspiring for me. :)

September 26, 2008


that was GREAT; 8 ways to success. thanks

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