“When you are starting out, you think your biggest challenge is lighting or cameras or even posing, but you will overcome all of these. You can watch The Lighting Series, learn posing, and buy the best equipment.
But your lifetime struggle will be gaining access to the right kind of subjects: gaining entry to an area or subject that interests you or inspires you. For me, the focus has been on photographing those at the forefront of the progress of mankind, exploration, and understanding the world through science.”
So I think access is the biggest challenge for photographers. You know you've made it as a skilled photographer when your focus shifts from the technical challenges to the challenge of picking your subjects.
For photographers starting out, it’s important to remember that all the resources exist to become very skilled very quickly - this wasn’t the case when I started out. If you want to learn to light, The Lighting Series will get you there; you can depend on Elinchrom equipment and purchase some of the best cameras that ever existed. However, access to the good subject matter will be your lifelong struggle.
So focus on that. What is in front of your camera is more important than the camera, the lights, or the settings. The camera just gets in the way. Remember that.
Or, as a mentor of mine used to tell me, ‘Live a good life and photograph the people in it.’”