Nice People Finish First

Posted on December 28, 2019

Your attitude and personality plays a key role in getting work as a professional photographer. At least here in Australia. Overseas clients and colleagues tell me that’s not always the case. I’d love to hear your experience on Linkedin.

There is the stereotype of the brilliant artist as a prima donna. That may work for those few at the peak of their profession and here I’m thinking of the performing arts. Their name attracts an audience as much as their work and colleagues tolerate the bad attitude. However that isn’t true for the vast majority of creatives and prima donnas are poor roles models.

One fashion photographer from Texas I worked with in Sydney decades ago was rude to everyone. At that stage I was a mature assistant photographer with nothing to lose so I pulled him aside. Turns out he is the sweetest bloke and the bad attitude was all part of his fashion photographer persona. Thankfully he was grateful for the chat and not defensive. Indeed he ended up getting more work in Australia when he dropped the attitude and was himself. He sent me some colourful cowboy boots as a thank you!


Australians tend to prefer forming working relationships with people who are easy going. Even if you’re the most talented creative, if you’re hard to work with clients will prefer someone else. And vice versa.


There are two types of people: good and bad. This became even clearer for me over the past two weeks as I lost my mum to cancer. Those who cared for my mother clearly demonstrated good. I truly believe most people are innately good. Personally the most rewarding work for me is witnessing and photographing caring professions.

hospital photography
My wish for the new decade is for people to choose good. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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