the blog

Bad Days in Your Photography Business

April 23, 2021

Owning a photography business comes with it’s fair share of bad days. Not just bad days, but rough seasons. Times where it feels like no matter what, things cannot and will not go right. Perhaps you got ghosted for the 15th time in a row or you raised your prices and now nobody is booking. Maybe you crashed and burned during an important session or consultation or you’re feeling discouraged because it’s “dead season” and you think you’re the only one. Or it could be something as small as seeing one of your competitors KILLING it on Instagram.

Any photographer who has made it past the three year mark will tell you that owning a photography business is full of highs and lows. In fact, this is true for most small business owners. Studies show that 98% of people can’t handle the ups and downs so instead, they opt out (source). But I ask you, photographer, is that really helping anything?

You got into photography because you see things in a special way that others don’t. You were full of passion, zeal, and excitement. But at some point, adversity happened and now you are questioning whether you should even do this at all. You are telling yourself that the market is too saturated. That you live in an area where you would never be able to charge high-end prices. Your mind is constantly wrestling with the words you tell yourself about the successes of others and your own perceived failures. But… you need to see those for exactly what they are… lies!

the truth

Did you know that what you offer the world is so much more than photography? Or have you forgotten that because you’ve scrolled Instagram one to many times? What you offer the world is hope. Right now, all around the world, people feel lost. New moms feel like they don’t know who they are in anymore. Parents are wondering if they truly have what it takes to parent their kids the way they deserve. Couples are forgetting why they chose each other, and why they are, in fact, better together. Brands aren’t sure how to communicate to the world why they are unique and different. A realtor is wondering if they chose the wrong house because they can’t sell one no matter how hard they try. Right now, a patient is sitting in a hospital room looking at a blank wall instead of a sunset, even if it is just a photograph. Why? Because photographers think they aren’t good enough to show the world what’s actually true.

Our world is divided, families are falling apart, and marriages are breaking. Hate is more prevalent than love, isolation is normal, and busy-ness is prioritized over intentional living. Materialism has taken root and anxiety, loneliness, and depression are sky high. But you have a the opportunity to show the world that beauty remains. When you show the world what you see, you help them to re-frame their mind. You give people hope, you remind them what’s important and why we are here in the first place.

Can’t you see? We all have a personality, a story, a camera, and photoshop. But you are the only one your own unique combination of personality, passion, strengths, weaknesses, and story. Your vision, your perspective… YOU are exactly what the world needs.

Get up…

Are you really going to let photography business struggles get in the way?

If nobody engages with your posts, don’t stop posting! Instead, learn more about your ideal client. Consider their struggles and pains and how they overlap with your own experiences, tap into vulnerability.

If you feel inauthentic, obligated, or a sense of overwhelming dread when it comes to marketing… get help from someone who knows marketing! Take my course, take someone else’s course, I don’t care. Just don’t quit!

If you struggle believing that you are unique, then stop trying to go at it alone. Join a group coaching program and let other photographers in… let me tend to your soul the way you deserve.

If you aren’t sure which good idea to focus on first, don’t get so overwhelmed that you don’t do any of them. Sit down, and focus. And ask yourself, what does the world need first?

Entrepreneurship is strange. You will win and you will lose. In your photography business you will have really good days where you feel like you are on top of the world and nothing could ever get you down. But you will also have really bad days where quitting looks like a dream come true, but it’s not. Things might need to change, your business model might need to evolve, you might need to do a little market research, or participate in some self-discovery activities… but quitting because bad days exist… that will help no one.

So instead, go cry. Read these 5o quotes for photographers that will get you motivated again. Write down what you are learning from all of this and perhaps, share it with your audience. If you’re not ready to share it with them, share it with me on FB or IG. Let me help you walk when it feels to hard to do it on your own.

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Ariel Dilworth © 2019