Doubt To Confidence: What Was Your Magical Moment?

When we first started out in photography, we worked full time jobs, and part time in our photography business on nights and weekends. We knew we wanted to run our own business together, but at that point we still depended on our full time income sources to survive.

Then Andrew lost three jobs in three years to “corporate downsizing”, and we decided to take the plunge. He worked in the studio full time, while I continued in corporate during the week.

That was our turning point when we knew we could do this. With focus, we could build this up to where we could sustain our lifestyle by working completely for ourselves. It took me a couple of years to take the plunge too, but that set us on the path towards entrepreneur success.

Our first goal was to specialize our business, and really focus in on “getting known” in one niche. I found our first wedding brochure this past month, (shown over on the right – its from the early 90’s so the images really made me smile) and it reminded me of how much dedication we put towards building a successful business. Our prices were great for our beginning wedding business – even though I look at them now and laugh.

What made the difference, and turned us from doubt to confidence is immediately after we created this brochure, we booked our top package. That was our “pie in the sky” package; something we created that really excited us, yet we had doubts whether anyone would purchase it.

Then we booked another. And another.

It taught us to have confidence in our skills, and to price our photography accordingly. The more confidence we had, the better we could sell. And the higher we could raise our prices.

That first “top package” sale put us on the track to success. We knew we could do it. We knew we could achieve more. And that’s exactly what we did, building a six figure business in under two years.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What was your “doubt to confidence” moment? When did you know you were on the right path, and photography was in your future? When did you know you would turn professional? When did you know you would find success?

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clientexperience@todaysgrowthconsultant.com' About Virtual Photography

We're the co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com and have been writing on this blog since 2004. We started Virtual as a way to help photographers stretch beyond a part time income, and develop strategies to become a Five Figure Photographer or a Six Figure Photographer. Ultimately its all about lifestyle, and if your goal is to live as a photographer 24/7, we think you should have the knowledge and the tools to do so. Welcome!

  • Still dreaming of the day when I can drop my day job and be a full-time photographer, but alas there are a few pretty big “obstacles” in my way. One is a 6-figure IT income that I’d have to replace.. But bigger than that is the issue is volatility. Going from a “guaranteed” paycheck to something infinitely more speculative is a tough jump to make when you’re the sole breadwinner for a family of 4. Another big issue is that I’m a very niched photographer, specializing in promotional imagery for bands & musicians, so going full-time might mean having to return to the days of shooting pretty much anyone who’ll hire me– families, seniors, pregnant moms, etc. Problem is, my heart is 100% in commercial band photography, so I hate the idea of shooting something I don’t enjoy, just to pay the bills.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that I’ll probably never go full-time unless I sign a big contract with a major record label (or possibly a magazine like Rolling Stone), and I somehow bring myself to a comfort level where I can accept all the risks (especially to my family). The most likely scenario sees me continuing part-time indefinitely. But you know what? I’m totally cool with that– I get to work with amazing musicians and entertainers, and I get paid for doing it. However, the absolute BEST part is that I get to do everything on my own terms….and you can’t really put a price on that.

    Thanks for the article,
    Russ

  • What a great for a post! My husband and I had a similar start-he’d left another company and started a photography business while I worked in non-profit full time, helping him in the evenings and weekends until we made the plunge for me to go full time with our business as well. On the one year mark of when I left my job, we were sitting on a beach in Turks and Caicos (a small Caribbean island) after a big wedding. I remember sitting there watching the sunset, sipping a cocktail, and feeling extremely pleased to be where I was.

  • Veronica

    My husband and and I make a combined salary of 6 figures working in manufacturing. Photography is my passion, but it is not my husband’s, although he said he would be my second shooter, I know he would not be completely happy by being a photographer. He is not a people’s person, he prefers to take architectural or landscapes photography, but definitely not portrait or wedding photography . That’s what is holding me back at this moment. I don’t know if it is crazy to leave my full time job and start this business on my own.

  • Veronica

    I would say its not crazy IF its something you really want to do. It won’t be easy and it will be a lot of work – which I’m sure you already know. But at the same time it can be completely rewarding and fulfilling if you build it into a successful business. Its not something your husband has to do too – providing he supports you as you’re building it.

    I know its a tough decision. Follow your heart!
    Lori