#AskScottWyden Guiding My Younger Self

#AskScottWyden Guiding My Younger SelfToday’s question came from John, who asked me for the five things I would tell my younger self.

This is a fairly common question when interviewed for podcasts or blogs.

But this is the first time I was asked the question for the #AskScottWyden series. So here we go!


My question what five tips would you give your younger self to maximize your skills and income growth with hindsight or experience.

Thanks John

That’s a fantastic question!  Your question is an interesting one because it touches on both skills and income. Oddly enough, even if your question just touched on skills, I would have still answered with business related statements.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

  1. Slow the heck down and think about what you love doing.  I was originally going to college for music and realized I hated music theory. But with help from friends and family, I realized I loved photography theory. So I switched majors and never looked back.
  2. Learn everything about what you love. Learn the history, learn the equipment, learn the techniques, learn the business.  The list can go on forever.
  3. Slow down and enjoy the craft. I used to be like so many other photographers and capture as many frames as I can. That isn’t how you grow.  Check out this video where I talk about slowing down. That is something I wish I did from early on.
  4. You don’t need all that gear. My first digital camera was the Kodak DCS 14N, and it was a monster of a camera. It was the size of the Nikon D5, yet it was slow as masses. It was, however, 14 megapixels at a time when most DSLR cameras were around 7 megapixels. I spent most of my savings on the camera body. Then I picked up a bunch of professional Nikon lenses. Years later, I use a smaller Nikon Df and D810 and mostly prime lenses. Over time, I learned I did not need the most expensive gear or so many extra lenses. Now, if you add up my multiple camera bodies, it’s less cost than a Nikon D5. If you add up all my prime lenses, it’s less expensive than the 24-70 or 70-200 f/2.8 lenses.
  5. Find what software works best for you. I originally learned Photoshop, but the amount of time I spend in Photoshop these days is a fraction of my time in Lightroom and ON1 Photo. I wish I spent more time learning those instead of Photoshop.  But then again, they didn’t exist when I was in college learning Photoshop.

So there you go. Those are just five of the things I would tell my younger self. Now I just need a time machine.

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