Favorite 1-liner bits of advice from photographers everywhere

I ran a fun contest on my Facebook page asking for photographers to share their favorite one sentence bit of advice - either something they've heard, or something they concocted. It was really great to read through them all! The winning one-liner earned it's creator a FREE FULL YEAR membership to SmugMug PRO! Sa-weet deal for sure. You can see the 100+ one-liners on my FB page if you're looking for some laughs and inspiration. I had to ask my staff to pick the winning entry as I just had too hard a time. The top 10 are here...and the winner was....

Erin Wray Cady
I heard this one early on and it stuck with me:

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

The other top 10 were...


Heather Brizendine Gill
Never stop learning - everyone has something to teach you!

Jennifer Lebron
Connect to a community & create conversations about what you love.

Sally Benn Clark
Above all else, be yourself.

Diane Nanos Parsons
Have great customer service! You can be the best photog in the world but no one will book you without your customer service (Smug Mug is a GREAT example of perfect CS!)

Riz Crescini
You need new equipment like you need a hole in the head. Invest in yourself instead!

Courtney Paine Bodily
Believe in what your doing, believe in who you are!

Colin Vincent
As a photographer, one of your goals should be to make pictures *with* things, rather than to take pictures *of* things.

Conrad Flemming
The best photography investment I've ever made was buying comfortable shoes.

Russell Haddock
Do or do not....there is no try - Yoda :-)


I actually like Russell's recitation of Yoda myself!

Customer Service Notebook: AceMagnetics gets all aces.

I don't listen to the news or read newspapers. I know, I know, people always ask "how do you know what's going on in the world?" My answer: if anything important happens, someone is bound to tell me about it. Actually, the real reason I don't read/watch the news is the preponderance of bad news. I don't want to start or end my day with that messaging. I believe that you create your own happiness by the people and thoughts you keep with you most. So, I want good news in my mind most. It's worked for me and I'm a happy person.

I recently blogged about my customer service notebook, where I keep a written record of great acts of customer service, marketing tidbits, and ideas for improving my customer relations. I then refer to these notes whenever I am working to improve my own business to make sure I live up to the very best experiences I've personally had.

CSN entry 2010-02-15.

Short story. A few years ago I met a woman on an airplane who was pushing 90 years. She was talking to everyone non-stop, starting in the airport lobby, and I could tell everyone secretly hoped she would not end up sitting next to them on the plane. She sat next to me on the plane. She was deep in to conversation with me before she even had her purse stowed, and I knew it would be a long flight. It was actually the shortest flight of my life. She was amazing. Full of energy, life, adventure (she was on her way for an African safari with her girlfriend), and love. I enjoyed every minute of our flight and talk together. At the end of the flight, I could not help but give her a giant hug and thank her for the conversation and inspiration. She began to tear up and took the bracelet off her wrist and put it on mine. She said it was a magnetic bracelet and she wore it 'cause it helped her circulation, arthritis, etc. She said, "Don't worry, I can get another one, you take this one." I didn't think much of the healing qualities at the time, but I thought it was a very special gift and reminder of her spirit. I gladly accepted and wore it 24/7.

Two months later, the eczema on my hands that I had endured since childhood was gone. I noticed one day that I hadn't had a flare up in a while and couldn't quite attribute it to anything new in my diet or lifestyle...then I remembered the bracelet and what she told me about circulation. That was the only thing I could connect the mysterious healing to. I didn't really care if it was the solution or not, but I wasn't going to stop wearing the bracelet anyway and my eczema never came back. That's been about 6 or 7 years now.

There is a CSN story in here! Hang on...So, since the original bracelet, I've unfortunately lost the one she gave me, but immediately replaced it with a new style that I purchased, after much searching online, from AceMagnetics.com. This was a few years ago. Since I wear this thing 24/7, it occasionally gets hooked on something and falls off, but I find it. Recently I lost it but never found it, so I rushed online to order a new one. AceMagnetics had a new style that was similar so I ordered. It came very quickly and, alas, it was a wee bit too small. I emailed Ace on a Friday night (of course not expecting a reply until Mon or Tues at best) to see if I could just order a link and have my local jeweler add it on. I thought the next size up would be too big. By Saturday morning, Jay From Ace emailed back and said they didn't have links but he would put the next size up in the mail right away so I could compare - no charge. Wow. A few days later I got the next size and it was fine. I emailed Jay to get a return address for the smaller size. Almost immediately he replied back, "Keep it and share it with a friend." That's what I call servicemy bracelet