Episode 74: How to Succeed in Photography

succeed in photography

Photo Cred: Amy & Jordan Photography

As photographers, we have a lot of competition. Thanks to digital photography & improving technology, more photographers are coming out of the woodwork than ever before. The truth is, up to 85% of these new photography businesses will fail. Why is that? Well, this week we are trying to figure it out! Our guest Cole is a fantastic resource… he started a photography business almost 10 years ago & is now the creator of Cole’s Classroom, an online resource for photographers. Cole joins us in the studio this week to talk about how to succeed in photography!

Key Takeaways

  1. Ask for advice… but take it or leave it. Cole & Kate started their businesses in the same year, and it was right around the time digital photography was beginning to take over. There was a huge battle going on between up & coming digital photographers & portrait photographers who were struggling to keep their film businesses afloat. This led to a lot of harsh criticism of new photographers. One could argue, that harsh criticism is still there today. It’s always a good idea to ask established photographers for critiques, because they most likely can help improve your photography. However,  know that everything is subjective. Take their advice into consideration, and then decide whether or not you want to take it. Photography is art, and at the end of the day, art is personal. The more time you spend perfecting YOUR art and YOUR style, the better you will succeed in photography!
  2. Be honest with yourself about what it takes. Being a successful photographer is HARD. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and unfortunately it isn’t just taking photos. Many people who fail as photographers do so because they don’t have the work ethic to run a successful business. They could have amazing photography skills, but at the end of the day if they aren’t prepared to put tons of time and effort into their business, it will fail. Ask yourself if you have what it takes to get to where you want to go. Remember, success is different for every person. What does success mean to you?
  3. Check your pricing. We can ramble on about style and consistency and marketing and work ethic for hours, but at the end of the day, if your pricing isn’t correct, you will not succeed in photography. If your prices are too low, you are undervaluing yourself, messing up the market for other photographers (which makes networking awkward), and you’re likely to burn out because eventually the awe of doing photography for a living will wear off, and you’ll be left feeling like you aren’t getting paid what you’re worth. On the flip side, if you’re overcharging, you won’t get booked. Many people talk about finding your ideal client (hello lady who drives a BMW and lives in a mansion overlooking the beach, right?!) but they fail to mention that only works if your work is good enough for that type of client. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your pricing as needed depending on how many shoots you’re booking.

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