Rather than subject you to more admittedly elegant legal and business advice from us, we’ve decided to offer up some of the wisdom of our clients, friends and associates. There is not a single “newbie” among them and they have the scars to prove it.

If you have you own words of wisdom via the school of Hard Knocks, feel free to post them in the comments section.

We posed the following question:

“What is it that you know now that you wish you knew when you first went into the business”?

We received great responses. Among them and in no particular order:


Joe Hunter –  super model agent, former President of Ford Models, Karin Models and now ModelWire:

 “Never let your ego get in the way of making a deal”


Craig Cutler  – still life photographer and director:

“I wish I knew that there is no such thing as a steady client. Clients, agencies, and art directors move around faster than there can be any kind of loyalty established. You are only alive with the job you are currently on, after that its a brand new day. “


Armen Djerrahian – music photographer and director:

When I first went into the business, my priority was to concentrate on my career, develop my art and my name.  I didn’t think about, or even know how to protect my property.  The key then and now is to be vigilant by registering my work. You get a good education from being a victim”.


Top beauty and fashion photographer  (name withheld upon request):

“Everybody thinks being a creative thinker gets you to the top, but without covering your ass you will never get there”.”


Michael Cartelleone –  artist (and drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd):

“When reproducing your art, you will get better prices from printers if you shop around”.”


Anita Kunz – Illustrator,  Past President Society of Illustrators, recent work – covers of both Rolling Stone’s SNL edition and The New Yorker simultaneously. Ed and Jack were duly impressed.

“I knew nothing when I started. I never took a single business course in school. It wasn’t taught. I was woefully unprepared to enter the illustration field. I learned everything the hard way. When I got my first job they wanted me to quote a fee for a baby food ad. They asked what I would charge and…I’m not kidding…I said “I don’t know…a hundred bucks”?””


MacDuff Everton – Santa Barbara based travel and fine art photographer:

“I wish I had made business decisions based more on business rather than personalities.  Loyalty and optimism are good, but it should be combined with good business practices too”.


G.N. Miller- photojournalist, known for his images on permanent exhibition at the 9/11 Memorial and of Tupac Shakur:

“Had I known that digital camera technology would hasten the death of true photojournalism and eliminate the use of film in print media and photo-art, I would have shortened my tenure in the field of photojournalism at the dawn of that technology.”


David Monaco – New York photo rep, Monaco Reps:

“Our photographers have been known for having a slightly more artistic vision that helped set us and them apart. The more “mainstream” you become the more likely you will find yourself competing for the same crumbs as everyone else”.”


Jonathan Saunders – LA photographer who specializes in images of people, places and the stories in between.

“From the 1st call, to the very last contact, no matter who the client –  show me the paperwork.  Mostly, be nice, at all times, at all costs – no matter what”.