As a photographer, it's my privilege to know a lot of artists, and there is a type, especially among younger women artists that I call "tender flower." They hate the business world and, honestly, let people walk all over them in any negotiation. At first glance, you want to tell the "wake up, grow some thicker skin and stand up for your art," but then there is another type of manly man who has a big problem being vulnerable in front of the model (or even with themselves).

See, if you are a business person, "it's not personal" can be your mantra, but if you are creative, your work is personal. You build your art on your own happiness, pain, anxiety, and heartbreak, and it's hard to distance yourself from the result. That's why I use this circles metaphor.

The first circle is personal. In the middle of it is my well of creativity - feelings, emotions, dreams, and fears that I will later sublimate into art. As an artist, I need to be aware of what I have, and I can share parts of the info (the "what" and never the "why") with long-term models and collaborators. I need to know that for people in this circle (as long as the project goes), I am quite defenseless, and their critique will hurt, but this is the risk to take when making art.

The second circle is creative. Here you can meet all collaborators and right clients, projects that are more fashion than art and projects brought to me by others. It this circle, a lot of fun happens: we meet, shoot, try, and experiment lightly, keep the creative dialog going and give honest but gentle critique. In this circle, I like to hang out, polish my craft, and try to inject a bit of first circle content in there - it's my secret ingredient.

The third circle is the business circle, here you can find more corporate clients, publishers, critics, photography clubs, and online community. In this circle, it's all about professionalism, transparency, and negotiations. This is also the place where things are not personal. People will play tricks, try to bend things to their favor, and expect them to do so. Some people will give you dishonest critique, either to get closer to you or put you down and feel better than you. Here is where you need your thick skin because this is your defense line. Be honest, professional, smart, and take everything with a grain of salt; promote your art and hold your ground because this circle defines who you are for the outside world and who you will be able to introduce to inner circles where real work happens.