The Practicing Photographer: Table of Contents

The following is a complete list of the sections and essays in Ben Long’s The Practicing Photographer, Essays on Developing Your Photographic Practice, published by CDP Press.

  • Forward, by Keith Carter
  • Introduction, by Rick LePage


  • Why practice?
  • Practice by any other name
  • Practice takes practice
  • Remove the obstacles to shooting
  • To Instagram or not to Instagram
  • Search out group critiques
  • Practicing photography is hard

Before Shooting

  • Artistry is learned
  • Study the past
  • How to look at photos
  • Train your eye through photo books
  • Photographers for your consideration
  • Exposure isn’t everything
  • Understanding your medium
  • Learn what seeing feels like


  • Look for interesting things
  • It takes work to find a photograph
  • The difference between “of” and “about”
  • What does “comfort zone” really mean?
  • Shoot first, ask questions later
  • Fill your media card
  • Get into a rut
  • Making choices
  • Work with your eyes, not your brain
  • Always be a photographer
  • “Pretty” photos matter
  • Shoot sketches

Mind Games

  • Am I good?
  • Why do other people’s photos look better than mine?
  • Fear
  • Clichés
  • Maybe it’s not a cliché
  • Don’t control the shoot before you start
  • “What if I’m stupid?”
  • Things going wrong can be good news
  • Take the “why not” shot
  • Passion and boredom


  • Less is more
  • Editing vs. editing
  • Good Photoshop is not good photography
  • The most powerful tool in your image editor
  • In praise of the small print
  • Another use for printing


  • Build your portfolio
  • Tips for building a portfolio
  • A strong body of work takes time
  • Maybe you don’t know enough yet
  • Wrestling with the artist’s statement
  • Titles
  • What does a sale mean?
  • Getting your project out into the world


  • Developing a practice strategy 
  • Is my practice successful?
  • Other Resources

Reprinted from The Practicing Photographer, Essays on Developing Your Photographic Practice, by Ben Long. ©2021 Ben Long and CDP Press. All rights reserved.

The Practicing Photographer is available in the CDP Press store. ISBN 978-1-7326369-4-1 (print); 978-1-7326369-5-8 (ebook).