Today I want to share five things that photographers don’t like to talk about (or even admit to themselves) that almost everyone struggles with.
As I’ve worked with more and more photographers, I’ve seen that these things are rarely talked about but that they apply to many photographers.
So today I want to encourage you and bring to light 5 things that may be holding you back and keeping you from the success you deserve. I want to help set you free from the shackles that you may not even realize are there.
Let’s dive right in.
Confession #1: You aren’t sure if you have what it takes to be a successful professional photographer.
We all have moments of doubt, but this one plagues many photographers, especially newer ones.
One year after we started our part-time photography business, we decided to get serious and try to make this our full-time job.
I was sharing this with my dear friend Camille, and I kept saying that I was “pursuing professional photography” instead of saying “I am a professional photographer”. Camille challenged me to embrace my role as a professional photographer.
It made me realize that I was afraid to call myself a professional photographer because I was afraid I would fail.
But once I embraced it, I started doing things differently and seeing the success I was after. I had to stop worrying that we wouldn’t have what it takes to do it and I had to go after it with a passion. And it paid off.
If you want to be a professional photographer, embrace it and start acting like a professional. Treat your photography as a business, not a hobby, and don’t let fear keep you from reaching your dreams.
Confession #2: You’d never personally pay the prices you have to charge to be profitable.
If you believe this, you’ll give people discounts, shoot for free, and feel like you’re ripping someone off when you charge the prices you need to be charging to make a profit.
Here’s the thing. You are not your ideal client. And that’s okay.
If someone doesn’t want to pay your prices, they won’t. If you are providing them with an experience and product that they love, you deserve to be paid well, and they will be happy to pay it.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, so stop feeling guilty and stop giving discounts that are hurting your profitability. You deserve to be paid for your time and talent.
Confession #3: You take shortcuts, even though you know better.
There’s TONS of shortcuts you may have taken that you shouldn’t have.
Maybe you pieced together a contract instead of having a lawyer create one or review one for you (or don’t have one at all!)
Maybe you’re not legal yet and but should be.
Maybe you spend money on gear and props and things instead of the things you really need to, like an accountant or the tools and education you need to do things the right way.
Sometimes it’s motivated by a lack of information, sometimes it’s a lack of time or money that keeps you from doing things, or sometimes you simply don’t WANT to do it the way you know you should.
It’s tough love time. If this continues, it’s going to sink your business. It might not be right away, but it will happen.
Thankfully, this one is easy to fix as well. DO the things you know you need to do. Spend the time and money. It’s usually not as bad as you think, and it’s worth it.
Other people won’t treat your business like a real business unless you do first!
Confession #4: Instead of having more freedom, money, and time to spend with your family, you’re spending long hours in front of the computer working on your business.
Ouch, that one stings.
If this is true for you, you’re doing things wrong. You’re wasting precious time and money that could otherwise be spent on the things you really love.
Yes, there is a time to hustle. But it should be in seasons, not the norm for your business.
I want to teach you how to find and book clients who value your photography so that you can make more money with less work, giving you more time to spend with the people you love and do the things you really enjoy.
Your family and friends deserve to have you around more. I’ll talk more about how I can help you with this at the end.
Confession #5: You don’t want people to know how few clients you actually have.
You have way fewer clients that you’d like to admit, and you don’t know how to get more. To make things worse, the clients you currently get don’t value your photography, are demanding and haggle over price, and they ask you to do things to their photos that make you cringe as an artist.
You are afraid that prospective clients will see you as unsuccessful and not book you because you don’t currently have many clients.
You don’t want other photographers to know how few clients you actually have because they’ll look at you as a failure.
Listen, we’ve all been there. I’ve been there. That’s how I know this feeling so well.
It’s especially discouraging if you are always working but don’t have very many clients to show for it.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Getting clients is not rocket science. It’s not luck.
And yes, I know your market is saturated. EVERY market is saturated with photographers. For real.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get the kinds of clients your really want to have.
The key is that you have to understand how to do effective marketing, and then you need to have a plan and actually DO the marketing.
If you don’t know HOW to get the kinds of clients you really want to work with, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll book them.
Plus, you need people to help encourage you and keep you on the right track. It’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing when you don’t have anyone to talk to who has been there and can help guide you in the right direction.
This is why I started The Modern Tog Insiders. I want to help you have a photography business filled with awesome clients that gives you the money, freedom, and success that you really want to have, and I want you to have the support and guidance you need to get that.
I want you to be able to confidently call yourself a professional photographer and be seen by others as successful.
The Insiders is only open for enrollment 2 times per year, with the next enrollment period coming up November 13-16. Click here to sign up for our waitlist now and I’ll email you a reminder when we’ve got the doors open.