Shoot Like A Ninja – Book Review

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PUBLISHED: 28 April 2023

Shoot Like A Ninja book flat lay on marble background

"4 Steps to Work Less, Earn More and Superpower Your Photography Business"

Best question to sum up a Shoot Like A Ninja book review: should working photographers bother to read (or listen to) it?

Short answer: yes ✅.


If you can't get faaaaar more value from this book than the tiny price you pay for're just not paying attention!

"It's laughable when you look at how much online courses are versus how much this book will cost you and all the value within its pages. The return on investment is crazy."

- Rick Liston, Wedding Photographer (SOURCE: Amazon. NOTE: Rick provides annotated comment published in 'Shoot Like A Ninja.')

Review Intro

Things you’ll notice almost immediately that’ll help get you excited about this book:

  • It’s thin – in a good way. Some books are intimidating in their bulk and length. Shoot Like A Ninja is ‘just’ 165 pages. That’s doable for even self-described slow or bad readers
  • It promises a Shoot-Like-A-Ninja framework of four straightforward steps. Just four steps. Again, that’s appealing. Four steps feels manageable.
  • If the blurb's a sign of the quality of content inside, you know Shoot Like A Ninja's going to be scannable, easy to digest and empowering. And it is.
Shoot Like a Ninja book back cover
ABOVE: If any or all of the questions in green resonate with you, 'Shoot Like A Ninja' will prove mightily helpful.

Key questions smacking you in the face when you flip to the back cover:

  • Are you making enough money?
  • Do you have enough time to do all the things you want to do?
  • Do you have a system that has your back and means you never drop the ball?

And if the answer to any or all of the above is no...get ‘ta reading!

Shoot Like A Ninja boldly claims it’s THE book for wedding and portrait photographers who want to work less, earn more and superpower their business.

Photogeek’s here to support photographers on that same mission so it’s a claim close to my heart ✅.

Let’s find out if Shoot Like A Ninja delivers…

"Photographers who shoot like a ninja do not struggle. They are respected in the industry. They attract their ideal client consistently. They’re highly paid and can afford to do the fun stuff. Now it’s your turn."

- Chris Garbacz & Yuan Wang, 'Shoot Like A Ninja' co-authors

But First: The Elephant in the Room

Shoot Like A Ninja comes from the co-founders of Client Relationship Management (CRM) software for photographers, Studio Ninja.

So yes, Chris Garbacz and Yuan Wang reference their software throughout (predominantly in the 2nd half) - both in written and visual forms - but fortunately Shoot Like A Ninja doesn't come across as a mere sales pitch for it.

At all.

There's more substance to the book; more specific business and marketing content for photographers than anything else.

(*Insert sigh of relief. I won't lie: the skeptic in me was worried it might be a book-form sales pitch...but it's really not. Phew*.)

Save the discount code: IN944Y if you're curious to try Studio Ninja at some stage (the code gives you a 20% discount for life).

Pros - Shoot Like A Ninja

Shoot Like A Ninja is easy to read.

It's conversational and chock-full of implementable advice all photographers - regardless of time in business - can glean something from.

Most of the ideas and strategies shared in the name of helping readers improve their photography business are highly actionable; doable.

You genuinely feel like you can go and implement them relatively quickly so there's little sense of overwhelm...and yet, they're likely to have immediate positive impact.

It's certainly handy to 'hear' from other photographers (and industry experts like Andrew Helmich of PhotobizX and, Mark Rossetto The Photography Business Coach) throughout Shoot Like A Ninja's chapters too.

They chime in fairly regularly with their personal experience or advice directly relating to a topic, tactic or strategy recently touched upon.

Much of the content shared in Shoot Like A Ninja is quite commonsensical and it's delivered plainly, is easily digestible and serves as a great general reminder (and inspiration igniter) of core business fundamentals to work on.

The dot-point end-of chapter summaries are helpful resources to cement and condense the topic(s) just covered too.

Inside Shoot Like A Ninja book. 4 key steps to better photography business
ABOVE: Shoot Like A Ninja's handy one-page cheat sheet detailing the 4 key steps to supercharging your photography business. Print it out and pin it up where you can regularly refer to it.

Is 'Shoot Like A Ninja' For You?

Early in your career? This book will blow your mind.

Long-time photographer in business? You'll have plenty of 'ahh-haa' moments too. Promise.

And whether or not you use Studio Ninja as your CRM is technically irrelevant.

If you DO use Studio Ninja, the screen grabs and some specific workflow information will directly relate to you and obviously look familiar.

BUT if you use another CRM, the same general principles apply and you can likely setup what's being discussed in your chosen platform too.

As mentioned, the tips given throughout apply generally, irrespective of platform.

The useful information and ideas in Shoot Like A Ninja are most certainly not all CRM based either.

It's more 'generic' business and workflow information and inspiration than anything else and it can genuinely apply to any photographer in business, regardless of experience or genre.

Cons - Shoot Like A Ninja

The only minor frustration I felt while pumping through Shoot Like A Ninja and the numerous direct-from-photographer excerpts throughout, was the lack of context accompanying said excerpts.

It's always so handy 'hearing' what others think and feel and while their names were shared, there was no description offered (either on-page or in a glossary-style summary at book's end) as to who the other photographers actually were in terms of their genre, expertise or experience.

Some names I recognised, others I'm not familiar with and I found myself wanting to know even a little bit more information: what do they photograph? How long have they been in the industry? Where can I see their work or find out more about them?

Tell me why I should 'listen' to these people!

Aside from that, there's nothing much else that bothered me in Shoot Like A Ninja. Hand on heart.

It's super scant on the 'cons' front.

On the contrary, it's a book I'd happily (and be well served) to read over annually ✅.

Shoot Like a Ninja book flat lay on marble with silver pen

What Others Say - Reviews

"This book has quite honestly been a game-changer...It's simplified my business, grown my profit margin, and allowed me to truly realise my full potential. I can't wait to see how much of a difference this will make for my business in the next year."

- Tommy Reynolds, Wedding Photographer (SOURCE: Amazon)

"This book is easy to read, has really practical ideas, and it's enabled me to work on my business, rather than just in my business. The automation hacks are life-changing - I always wanted to do this but didn't know where to start. Great read for anyone wanting to take their photography business to another level!"

- Jess H, Photographer (SOURCE: Amazon)

"Great book. Well written, with humour and informative insights - great book for any photographer or creative out there wanting to make their creative business a better, more effective one. And help make more time for living."

- Kurt Anniss, Fashion + Beauty Photographer (SOURCE: Amazon)

Buy 'Shoot Like A Ninja'

Available in paperback or audio books forms, you can purchase a tangible copy of Shoot Like A Ninja here or if you prefer to listen to your books, you'll find the audio version here.

Studio Ninja Discount Code

If you're curious to try Studio Ninja as your photography business CRM, they offer new users a free 30-day trial and the discount code: IN944Y will give you an ongoing 20% discount for the life of your subscription.

"The world's highest rated photography business app. Helping photographers work less and earn more."

Shoot Like a Ninja Photography CRM online booking process sample
Shoot Like a Ninja Photography CRM jobs detail sample
Shoot Like a Ninja Photography CRM Quotes and contracts sample
Shoot Like a Ninja Photography CRM customisable workflow sample

Other Photography CRM Options

It's both a blessing and curse - we're rather spoilt for choice - but the photography industry has numerous dedicated CRM systems to choose from.

Here's a list of others you may want to consider when researching what'll suit you best:

  • Tave: "The most customisable studio management solution for photographers. Tave helps photographers organise, optimise, and ultimately automate complete workflows. Cut out busy work and save hours previously spent on repetitive manual tasks."
  • Dubsado: "Manage your clients. Automate your work. Grow your business. Use Dubsado to sign contracts, collect payments, send custom forms, and get your time back with powerful workflows - all in one place."
  • 17 Hats: "Manage business better. The premier business management platform for solo business owners."
  • Honeybook: "Everything you need to manage clients from "hey" to pay. Honeybook is the leading clientflow platform that enables independent businesses to book clients, manage projects, and get paid all in the one place."
  • Sprout Studio: "One place to run your photography business. Make a living doing what you love by letting Sprout Studio handle the other stuff."
  • Picsello: "Your all-in-one photography business software. We're changing the way photographers do business by making it easier than ever to manage, market, and monetise your business with one simple plan."
  • Session: "Making booking painless. Session makes it easier than ever to book clients, get paid, and grow your business with features that uniquely serve your photography business without all the bells and whistles you never needed."
  • Unscripted: "Stop feeling disorganised, insecure and awkward. Unscripted offers the world's largest database of poses and prompts, an easy client management system and everything you need to feel confident as a pro photographer."
  • Studio Cloud: "Free business management software. All the features you need to successfully manage your business any time, anywhere."
  • Light Blue: "Time-saving software for photographers that makes admin simple. Focus on nurturing relationships with your clients and growing a successful business."
  • Pixifi: "Streamline YOUR business. Everything you need to run your business, so your business doesn't run you!"
  • ShootQ: "Shoot more. Work less. ShootQ is the most powerful business management tool for creatives. We help you take care of every aspect of your studio/business management - from new leads to workflows, and everything in-between."
  • Iris Works: "The simplest studio management system made for photographers, helping thousands run better businesses."

Save the discount code: IN944Y if you're curious to try Studio Ninja at some stage (the code gives you a 20% discount for life). Be sure to sign up for the free 30-day trial first. and see what you think...

Review Summary

Shoot Like A Ninja's worthy of a read and it's not merely a sales pitch for Studio Ninja software. (I thought it might be. I was wrong.)

It's brimming with commonsensical business ideas and processes for photographers in business - any working photographer's likely to benefit from the information shared, regardless of their level of experience or time in the industry.

If you're a Studio Ninja user, this book is a must.

If you're not, I'd still happily recommend it (though it may ultimately be easier to follow in tangible, rather than audio book form given the diagrams and screen grabs within).

Enjoy 🤓.

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