2. Keep an open mind
"Ideas for projects need to develop. What you start off with, in terms of an idea, really ought to be changed to something considerably different by the time you've finished, because you should be feeding back and re-examining the idea. Doing that often leaves you in a completely different place from where you started.
"So one important point is, don't be too rigid in pursuing an idea and thinking it has to go in a particular direction. I find students in particular have kind of got an idea, and an idea of how they're going to do it, which is fine, but they don't want to let go of it. Very often letting go of the original idea can give them a way forward in a project, while sticking to their guns just gets them going around in circles. You have to allow projects to grow and change as they go along."
3. Make sure you've got the kit you need
"You have to ensure you have the right kit for the environment in which you're shooting. For example, in my New Londoners project, shot in the families' homes, I knew from experience that I was going to be using wide-angle lenses in dark-ish spaces. Obviously I took some lighting as well.
"In terms of focal lengths, I probably didn't shoot more than 50mm. So for that project I used the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, which gave me more than enough latitude in terms of space and volume that I needed. For most of my work, my main lens is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM. It's sharp across the zoom range, sturdy, and has good Image Stabilization. It covers pretty much everything I want."