The things I wish I would have known when starting my photography business

The things I wish I would have known when starting my photography business

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If you could get the advice of those that have already paved the way you would listen right?  

Of course you would because this is highly valuable information.  We asked photographers to tell us what they wish they would have know when starting their photography business.  

If you are a photographer and would like to share your thoughts about this topic please find the comment section below.  There isn't such a thing as too much advice.  It's pretty rockin' to share your experience.  



That I don't have to take every client that comes my way. I can pick and choose, and take clients who appreciate my talent and hard work. says Zahra Christina Thobani  



It's hard, no one's perfect, some people just will NOT like what you do...Art is subjective - and Photography is art. Not ALL clients will be YOUR clients, and you have to be ok with that. Take your time, and HAVE FUN - if you stop having FUN you'll give up. DON'T give up...The Beginning is ALWAYS the hardest. (And sometime's the middle is hard too), but it's ok! Believe in yourself, DON'T try to be your idol you'll become defeated when you can't do it exactly as they do...but be yourself, YOU have the trust that! says Jenn Canfield



To not lose my passion for photography or let it become "a paycheck", sucking the fun out of the process, and don't let the doubts and fears of others sabotage my dream / success path. says Marla Haney  



95% is marketing and not just taking beautiful pictures, and it's okay to charge your worth and not feel guilty about it!  says Michelle Bixenmann-Taylor  



Wish I had shadowed/assisted an experienced photographer more in the beginning.  says Arlene Repar  



That I'm worth being paid my time. Its a lot of time spent away from family and I should be compensated for that.  says Julie Ray Smith  



Not to give away free session to everyone. I ended up with only clients who wanted everything for free.I thought this was the best way of marketing and getting my name out.  says Katie Boser  



That I was worth every penny, and to curb spending when you're still trying to find your niche (For example, I have a ton of newborn props now but rarely shoot newborns).  says Felicia R. Sinclair 



That people want something for nothing all the time, and that this business is also about constantly learning new things. That said, to be picky and enjoy your sessions or you won't want to do it for long!  says Andrea King   



To budget for a massage therapist to counter the 100s of hours on the computer. And to invest in a business mentor so I can spend more time doing what I love. Photography!  says Casey Schill Grimpe   



That it was expensive. The power of a PRIME (my life changed when I was introduced to the nifty fifty). That it is ok if not everyone loves what I produce, as long as my clients love it! Something I wish I hadn't known until I found my own groove was how many of us their were! Haha! I love our industry, but having so many people to "follow" and compare myself to made it harder to find my own style and love my work without being so hard on myself through the biggest growing pains.  says Christina Barnum   



To pick a specialty and practice practice practice on it. And not to take every client who came my way, as a business owner I am allowed to be picky and not always take the client who in your gut you know will give you a hard time. Over the years I have learned to develop a specialty type of photography and keep practicing on it. There is so much to learn. I learn new things everyday. And never be too proud to ask for help. I love having such a big network of photog friends to learn from and ask questions to and also be there for them when they need something.  says Samantha Jones Washburn 



It's okay to say no. Set boundaries and business hours.  says Ashley Marie Anger  



Contract - contract - contract! Can't ever go without one even if it's for your best friend!!! says Ana Buranich  



Competition...know its out there but never does NO good! says Holly Ely  



Don't worry about facebook likes. I did a contest and I only attracted people who liked my page wanting to win a free session, who are not my ideal clients. says Stephanie Lazaro Albernaz  



Don't be afraid to raise your prices. Your time, talent and hard work is valuable. I'd rather have only 3 clients who value my work than 12 clients who want something cheap. says Stephanie Lazaro Albernaz

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  • Great Advice, priceless information. Thank you all and please don’t stop.

    Russell Hinton on
  • I started my photography business in 1974. And back then, nobody was helping nobody. If you wanted to learn something you had to pay tuition and go to school. The one thing that you need to do when starting a business is, see if a successful photographer will mentor you. It’s worth it, even if you have to pay them. Go to school (PPA or state photography group sponsored courses). Don’t be scared to ask a 25-30 business year veteran what made them successful. When you start becoming successful, don’t grow too fast. I have seen too many studios try to grow too fast, and end up failing. I retired after 34 years in this wonderful profession.

    Dean James on
  • Dean these are such great tips! You are exactly write.

    Stacie Jensen on
  • LOVE all this awesome advice…and love that I am part of it! :) It’s tough to begin, I wish I knew how tough, but it’s fun too…IF you don’t expect to turn a profit tooo quickly!

    Jenn Canfield Photography on

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