If I asked you what is holding you back from creating the photography business of your dreams, what would you say?
I’m willing to bet it’s related to the one myth that holds every photographer back at some point in his or her career.
I know, you might say a variety of things – I have people email me all the time with different comments and questions.
Some say they simply can’t find clients in these hard economic times.
Some say they don’t have all the pieces to put together a business.
Some say they don’t have the time to dedicate to do all the things they want to do.
But no matter what people say or how they say it, it all comes down to one thing. The one myth that will hold you back and keep you from being the success you are truly meant to be.
I need to “give” away my photography services and not charge what I’m truly worth.
Yep, I hear it all the time. They may say it in different ways, but that’s truly what they mean.
Have you ever been held back by this myth?
Have you ever said:
“Photography is easy – how can I charge for something that people do all the time. Everyone has a camera. Why is my work better than theirs?”
I agree. Photography is easy. Anyone can find a camera, see something they want to capture, and press the button to freeze the moment. The art comes in creating something different that the average person can’t create.
A photographer understands there are many ways to capture an image, but only a few that will make the viewer say “WOW”. They look for the WOW in everything they do. They leave nothing to chance. They take images that most can’t. Because they know how to look beyond what most people see, and capture a whole lot more.
That’s the art form. And that’s what people get paid for. They create an experience that they can’t recreate themselves; that very few can capture.
And they aren’t afraid to charge what that experience is worth.
Or how about:
“I used to charge more 5 (10, 15, 20) years ago. But the market has changed. I can’t get what I used to. I have to lower my sales just to keep up with the new players in the industry.”
Have times change? You bet.
Yet that doesn’t mean its business as usual. You can’t “do what you’ve always done” and expect to get paid the same for it. You have to look at things differently. You have to offer things differently. You have to give people what they demand.
And when you tie it all together, you can most certainly make what you did 5, 10, 15 or even 20 year ago … and more.
Or maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’ve thought:
“I would be thought of as greedy if I charged a whole lot more than what someone can print a picture for at “insert your favorite big box store here”.”
Does anyone think you’re greedy if you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food on the table? Nope, I don’t think so. We live in a society that is way beyond “existence” mode.
We live in communities where the basic necessities are a given. They are the norm. We expect people to be well fed, have clothes on their backs, and live in a place that is acceptable to them.
If you have a job, is it greedy expecting a salary? Is it greedy wanting to give your family everything they need and desire?
Then why is it greedy expecting a healthy living from photography?
Photography is a whole lot more than printing an 8×10 at Walmart. Yes, I’ll agree, some “photographers” attempt to do that. And that’s why they are held back.
But if you treat photography as an art form – not simply a business – you create an experience they can never get using their iPhones and Androids.
You offer professional products – not merely an 8×10 that could be printed at Walmart.
You offer albums only a professional has access to.
You offer unique sizes, styles and options your audience has never seen before.
You go the extra mile and do what very few don’t.
And once you do this – once you feel the difference – you’ll quickly realize you are worth everything you charge … and more.