How could this happen to me? Why have I almost reached the point of actually hating photography? The one thing I truly loved has turned into a monster and killed my creativity and passion because of the stress it’s brought into my life!
Wow, those were tough words to hear!
I was talking with a distraught professional photographer about how to make money with photography and earn a decent living from her camera.
Our chat certainly hadn’t gone the way I expected!
I asked her how she felt about trying to rekindle her passion for photography.
How determined was she to overcome the challenges to break through to a place where she felt more creative?
The pause on the other end was so long I thought we’d lost the connection…
And then she started crying…
Between sobs, she simply said she’d had enough. The pressure from her spouse to quit was becoming too much ignore. Worse, she felt like the only way to salvage anything from the business was to sell her cameras and lenses and go to work for someone else.
Right in front of my eyes, someone’s dream just died.
What a shame!
Sadly, this is not an isolated case.
For every photographer I speak to who thinks about giving up, I know there are many others silently facing the same agonizing decision.
You might be feeling this way yourself right now, although I sincerely hope not!
Be honest, have you ever felt even the slightest lack of enthusiasm for being a photographer? Have you ever had a bit less passion for it compared to when you started out?
Are you feeling burned out by the overwhelming stress of simply trying to make your business work?
Seriously, this is far more common than you might think!
But it’s also unnecessary.
More than that, it’s damaging our industry as a whole.
How To Make Money With Photography: Where Did It All Go Wrong?
How can a photographer go from excited entrepreneur with passion and enthusiasm to a burned-out wreck who can’t stand the thought of taking another photograph?
Like many things in life, it revolves around money.
More accurately, the lack of it.
Your photography business needs money to survive. Cutting off the money supply is like dropping you in the desert without water.
When cash flow slows down, and money gets tight, necessities like marketing, advertising and investment in education are usually the first casualties.
But, if advertising and marketing stop, it’s like turning off the lights! As a result, you become invisible to your ideal clients who naturally turn instead to your more active competitors.
No Marketing ⇒ No Clients ⇒ No Money ⇒ A Business On Life-Support
Without effective marketing, the intervals between clients grow longer and stress and worry become unbearable as the bank account runs dry.
Even the average sale per client suffers. This is usually because of emergency marketing and poorly thought-out sales and promotions that actually do more harm than good.
Eventually, the business falls beyond help, past the event horizon of failure, to disappear into a black hole, never to recover.
All through the lack of money.
Hence the topic of this series of articles:
How to make money with photography, and still love what you do—without having to sell off your cameras and lenses…
The complete answer could fill volumes of books, and there’s no magical “system” for creating a money-making photography business.
For example, a system that works for one photographer may fail for another, and vice versa.
That’s one reason why the many so-called “success systems” being sold by unscrupulous marketers eager to make a quick buck don’t produce the results they claim to.
But, after talking with photographers from all corners of the world, I’ve identified 6 areas where professional photographers can make the biggest impact in their business:
- Attract, connect with, and convert people into leads…
- Cultivate a business-first attitude and approach…
- Use smart and effective marketing strategies…
- Manage all client and prospect communication…
- Take back control of your photography pricing…
- Learn to make friends with sales…
I go into more detail on each of these topics in the following chapters.