Getting your work published is a positive affirmation that you did something well and solved your editor’s or client’s problem. I have worked in a lot of different kinds of imagery, from hardcore large format studio work involving 5 cameras, long hours, complex math and 50+ exposures on one piece of film, to breaking news. Each time the challenge was the same…to create something unique, no matter what the limitations on time, access or budget were. That is my job. There are no excuses in photography. You either got it or you didn’t.
I often try to equate what I do to other professions. Like a heart surgeon going into an impossibly sick patient’s inner cavity to do his best. Does he know what the outcome will be or even what he is stepping into? Only to the degree with the available information at hand. The rest is up to you. I use my skills to try to understand how I can best solve the problem and execute as cleanly as possible. I research my subjects…how tall are they, what are their personalities like? I make sketches of what I am going to do and how I am going to light it. When the light turns green, I go. Advice: Never stop looking for the best picture. Trust your intuition. Expect the unexpected.