Book Review: So You Want To Be A Rockstar Photographer – Gary Fong

Debunking the myth of the Rock Star Photographer and sharing tips based on extremely successful career in the wedding photography business

Gary Fong sets out to open the eyes of new and experienced photographers to what is real and what is illusion within the industry of wedding photography. He exposes the realities behind “rock star” photographers. He gives examples of what can go wrong when a photographer jumps into the deep end before they are ready to take off the water wings. And takes the “industry “to task for being so fickle.  He then sets out, in exacting detail to share a business model that helped him create a profitable business, and provide an outstanding product to his clients. Finally he explains why he is compelled after being retired from the wedding industry for 10 years, to be a champion for the underdog, and to call Bullshit when he smells it.

Who Is This Book For?

The book is written not only for people starting out in the photography business, but established shooters. Gary was a wedding photographer, so the book leans toward that segment of the industry. But the backroom advice and the business model could certainly apply to general portraitists and product photographers as well.

The Review

I found his insight on how “Rock Stars ” are created, and eventually found out particularly entertaining and insightful.  Gary takes the role of teacher very seriously and is clearly deeply offended by these posers. His suggestion on how to vet these workshop leaders is solid advice, from someone that loves this business, and appreciates the opportunities it afforded him. I also found his chapter on setting up a client meeting area very interesting. He is very generous about sharing his hard won information. (Don’t forget the M & M’s.) The money management chapter was well written as well, it is common sense, but reinforcement is always appreciated.  Through out the book Gary gives his real world examples of how shit can go south; even with the best of preparation, and what to do to protect yourself, your business and your reputation.


I think everyone who thinks of getting into the business of making images for others for money, should read this book. It is not only a caution, and advice from someone who has been there done that, and has a reputation of excellence. It is inspiring. It is encouraging shooters to do the right thing. Be prudent, not “Just Jump in” and drown.  It is well written in spite of the spelling and typo errors (which were distracting but not terribly) I have read many many business books. This one is where the rubber meets the road. He gives the details. READ THIS DAMN BOOK > DO IT NOW!


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1 Response

  1. August 25, 2012

    […] Book Review: So You Want To Be A Rockstar Photographer – Gary Fong (Camera Dojo) […]

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