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3 REALLY DUMB THINGS I DID WHEN STARTING MY PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

Guys you know I’m all about being an entrepreneur, so I want to share some things that I did in the past that completely wasted my time and energy.

By sharing these, I hope I can help you avoid the same mistakes I made if you are thinking about being your own boss!

1) COPYING MY STYLE FROM OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS!

I thought the more I looked externally for ideas, inspiration, style . . . the more I would figure out what I wanted to shoot. This was 17 years ago when we didn’t have instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, we had photography forums! I wasted so many hours trying to copy other styles of photography, newborn photographers, family photographers, “natural light” photographers, etc. you get the idea.

In reality, looking at others only creates a sense of inauthenticity and ACTUALLY inhibited my own creativity. When I stopped trying to live up to others “style” and just concentrated on fundamentals like lighting, editing, camera technique, my own unique style developed. And it’s always developing. Now, my inspiration comes from art, fashion, films and other creative industries, and yes, other photographers all give each other inspiration, but isn’t the sole source of ideas.

2) ASKING TOO MANY FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS THEIR OPINION ABOUT IF I COULD MAKE A CAREER OUT OF PHOTOGRAPHY!

Back then I believed I should run around and take a poll about when and if I could make this photography passion into my career and quit my day job as a Registered NURSE! This was a HUGE waste of time because basically no one knows that answer but YOU. My friends and family, although supportive, gave me conflicting information. They all wanted what was best for me, but some were afraid for me to fail. I listened to my GUTTTTTTT, thank God. The answer was inside me all along. No one had it for me. It’s like when Glenda the Good Witch tells Dorothy, “You’ve always had the power” . . . So for me, the decision came down to numbers game, when I was making more money at photography than nursing, I figured I could let nursing go for at least a while, and give it a go. I have NEVER looked back, and I mean not for a second.

3) PHOTOGRAPHING ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ANYTIME SOMEONE NEEDED ME!

I did this because . . . when starting out I had to pay my bills!

Well, it turns out that it wasted my time because . . . I couldn’t be all things to all people and take all jobs. You can never make everyone happy. You can’t be a jack of all trades and master of none. So, take the advice Tim Walden once gave me, “Shoot what you love and it will never seem like work.” Shoot when you want to shoot it, not on weekends and holidays unless you want to. This is why we become our own bosses! And you always have the right to PIVOT (think of Ross from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) you can change your mind when you want to! I quickly realized I am not an “events” photographer. I don’t photograph dances, parties, family reunions, and rarely a wedding. I love people, of all ages, in groups of 1-5, but do my best work one on one! Shoot what you love, when you want, or you will burnout.

Now, its your turn! What dumb things have you done to try to please other people when your guttttttt told you otherwise?

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