Personally, I started my photography business because I loved making people happy with photography. I loved how they got all emotional when they saw the photos I was taking of their children and thanked me profusely for capturing that time in their lives.
It feels SO GOOD when people are praising you, and when you know you did something they could not have done themselves, especially when that something is as meaningful as preserving memories of their most cherished people and moments for a lifetime.
Then to make money on top of that? Sounds like a dream business.
Dreaming of a better life
I didn’t start my photography business for the money at first (I had a great job that I had no intentions of leaving) but there’s nothing wrong with that if you did.
In fact, I wish more people in this world really pursued making a living doing something they loved and not just taking a job to pay the bills because we’d all be a lot happier.
No matter what the reason was for starting your business, it was rooted in hope and optimism.
I mean, no one starts their business because they think it is going to make life difficult, right?
Maybe people were raving about your photos and you began to realize you had a talent for it and dreamed that you could make it professionally.
Maybe you or your spouse lost your job and couldn’t find anything else, and you were hoping to make some extra money to help pay the bills.
Maybe you wanted the freedom to be your own boss and choose how to spend your time.
Whatever the reason, you started it filled with hope and excitement of having a better life.
Running a photography business can certainly give you this better life, but let’s get real for a moment.
Running a business is stinking hard.
My secret confession
I went to an amazing workshop by Fer Juaristi earlier this week and I heard someone calling me a “heavy hitter” in the industry and I sort of laughed to myself.
I’m just a normal person. I’m just a “Mom with a camera” who struggles with balance and time management and with worries and everything just like you do.
Yes, I know business. I have a lot of tools at my disposal, but that doesn’t make me immune to the struggle.
I burned out working a full time job as well as doing photography in the evenings and weekends.
I worry about booking enough clients. I worry about cash flow and savings. I work far too many hours into the day and night, and struggle with finding balance.
I worry that I’m spending too much time growing this site and that I should be doing more marketing with my actual photography business.
I worry that people will hate me and think I’ve “sold-out”for trying to make money on this site by selling e-books and other helpful resources for photographers, even though I’m taking hours away from my photography business to provide tons of great free advice at the cost of not having as many actual clients.
I work in my pajamas most days, and my house is a mess. In fact, I’m in need of a shower right now too.
But you know what?
It’s worth it.
The path to success
Every stressful client issue I’ve dealt with, every late night I’ve spent working like crazy, and all the risk that came with leaving my lucrative office job to be my own boss and pursue the dream, it’s worth it completely.
I’ve had months of crazy hours and tons of things to do. It’s worth it.
I continue to struggle with finding balance, but it’s worth it.
Even though I stress about money and cash flow and wondering if things are going to be okay, it’s worth it.
I get to see my kids every single day, and not just for a bit at the end of the day before they go to bed.
I have the freedom to do what I really love, which is to empower people to achieve their goals, and that makes me truly come alive!
We’re not limited by a set salary. Our income, while not guaranteed, has the opportunity to grow in leaps and bounds.
We’ve achieved the “success” many people dream of by fully supporting our family as full-time photographers. And it’s stinking amazing.
You can do it, too.
I’m not some rockstar photographer that shot to the top overnight. I’m awkward and quirky (as my videos can prove!) and I’m okay with that. I’m not a photography prodigy and had to work to learn how to create the art that I do. I’m not connected to all the right people who made it easy for me to get where I am.
Chances are, you aren’t either. But you know what? That’s okay.
I’ve worked like crazy to get where I am. I’ve refused to make excuses about my market, my clients, my work, or anything else to keep me from achieving the success I am after.
You can do the same. But don’t expect it to be easy or you’ll get discouraged and give up along the way.
Get help with difficult client situations
One of the most discouraging and stressful parts of starting a photography business was learning how to deal with dissatisfied clients.
In fact, it made me reconsider if I really wanted to do photography as a business or if I just wanted to stick to doing it for myself and my family.
But be encouraged: not only can you learn how to deal with each and every one of the sticky situations you may find yourself in, you can also learn how to prevent them almost entirely through solid business practices.
In a few days, I’ll be launching a new e-book that is going to teach you how to do exactly that (plus learn how to deal with any current situations you may find yourself in). It’s called “The Go-To Guide for Client E-mails: 100+ E-mail Templates for Photographers.” (Note: It’s now live! Go get a copy!)
It’s not going to be cheap, nor do I promise that it won’t require any work from you.
But it’s going to be worth every penny.
From giving you the words you need to respond in tricky situations, to teaching you what you can do to help avoid these situations almost completely, it’s going to rock your business world.
Business is stressful enough the way it is. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.
Check it out now. At the very least, download the free sample.
What do you struggle with?
Leave a comment below and let me know what you are struggling with but also what you love about being in business.