Dane Sanders’ Fast Track Photographer book claims it will help you “unlock the photographer you were meant to be!” That’s quite a claim, but I think Dane actually does a pretty good job breaking down life as a photographer so it’s easy to compare which path fits you best. Any book that has an endorsement from Seth Godin has got to be good, right?

I’m just going to say, “The Grumpies” cracked me up. It’s the name Dane gives to the group of stuck up photographers who feel the industry has been infiltrated by amateurs, and there’s no hope for the industry unless they are brought to their knees begging the “true photographers” for forgiveness because they brought such shame to the Photography name. Ok, I made up that last part, but that’s what I have pictured in my mind. Basically, the book gives a wake-up call to any Grumpies to fix their attitude, and it’s a great reminder to not let ourselves play the victim even when things aren’t going our way.

Digi-flat world
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard the discussion about the world becoming more “flat” as technology improves, but it is the first time I’ve heard the discussion related specifically to photography. In case you aren’t familiar with the flat world concept, it’s pretty simple. As we make more advances in technology, the barrier to entry for different tasks and professions is lowered, so more people are able to do the same task. That puts everyone on the same level (ie flat). I’ll let you read the book to get Dane’s take on what we should be doing with the digi-flat reality, but I’ll let you know in advance that what he’s suggesting for the photography industry lines up with what other experts are suggesting across the board.

Freelance or signature brand
The discussion on what life is like both as a freelance photographer or a signature brand photographer makes this book a great read for anyone considering becoming a photographer or starting their own studio. Even being a veteran studio owner, I found a lot of value in what Dane was saying here. It was kind of a kick in the pants. After you’ve chosen your path as a photographer, you need to keep moving toward your destination. Staying stuck where you are isn’t an option. Good thoughts.

Business genius
If you’re new to running your own studio, Dane has included a resource that could save you TONS of time. In a few pages, he gives a skeleton outline of what types of things you need to do to make your studio successful. I’d suggest using the outline as a checklist for how to get your ducks in a row. It’s chapter 9 in the book. Read it. Do it.

Move over Meyers Briggs, there’s a new personality test in town! I really wasn’t expecting such a great tool with the book. To be honest, I didn’t take this test at the time I was supposed to when I read the book. I usually read while I’m riding a bike at the Y, so I didn’t have access to the test at the right time. I put off taking the test until I finished the book. It didn’t ruin the book for me by any means, but it would have been a good idea to take the test when the book suggested I do it. The results seemed pretty well right on par. I scored need for control – low and entrepreneurial ID – high. The test has a total of 14 indicators, if I counted right. Each of them has an explanation of your photographer personality trait and practical suggestions based on the test results. You can still take the test without buying the book, but it’s not that much more to just get the book.

All in all, the Fast Track Photographer system was a great concept! It looks like there are workshops and a small community built around the system, but I haven’t had the chance to check either of these out yet. Dane put a lot of effort into making this a valuable resource – not just an ego boost for himself. While I think the book holds the most value for photographers who are just starting out, it is by no means written exclusively for that audience. Great ideas, and well done!

For more information on Fast Track Photographer, visit fasttrackphotographer.com

Have any of you guys read this book yet? I’d like to hear some feedback from aspiring photographers. Did it make sense to you? Was it helpful?

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8 Responses to “Fast Track Photographer Review”

  1. Amber says:

    Dane has really landed on business genius in his book. This is applicable to many fields, not just photography. It’s so simple, and so obvious. It’s taking business as we know it and just looking at it from a completely new, simplistic angle.

    So many light bulbs came on reading this book! From a 10 year entrepreneur, this book truly is genius and I would recommend to anyone interested in working for themselves!

    • TJ McDowell says:

      I think you’re right. I feel like I’m a better businessman after reading that book – it’s smarts for business, not just photography.

  2. Lyka Ricks says:

    Thanks for sharing the Book and i will surely get the pieces that i really wanted to learn on.

  3. James C. says:

    That’s great. Will be getting this book for a good read.

  4. Arjun Rai says:

    Hi TJ, i really enjoy reading your blog, i have interest in photography and i get tips through your blog and i’m looking forward to have some more amazing information.