6 Common Mistakes for New Wedding Photography Businesses

common-mistakes-for-new-wedding-photography-studiosSeasoned photographers, who have been in the niche of shooting weddings for several years now, will come to you at various points in your career, with advice that’s more or less welcome, valid, or solicited. Now, most of them mean well and should be taken at face value, as well as with a pinch of salt. But, occasionally, you will also come across the revelation of committing common mistakes for new wedding photography businesses. There are those errors which are part of the learning process, and which you probably need to go through, in order to evolve. And while the list below does not, by any means, aim to be exhaustive, it is meant to save you at least some of the trouble these mistakes come with. So read on and try to take some of them to heart.

Common Mistake #1: You don’t use the manual mode

Don’t get us wrong – it’s not like using the Aperture and Shutter Priority modes is wrong. They do serve their purpose, when there simply isn’t enough time, or the situation is too complex to set your camera right on Manual Mode. However, if you’re serious about becoming a professional wedding photographer, this is one of the foremost common mistakes of new photography businesses you’re going to want to avoid. If you don’t use Manual Mode, there’s no way you’re ever going to learn anything about lighting, as well as about your camera in general.

Common Mistake #2: You’re only a photographer

That’s also one of the more serious common mistakes of new photography businesses. You see, when you go into this business, you should walk in assuming that you’re going to be doing so much more than just taking pictures. You’re going to become, in turn, a social media expert, a marketing expert, a treasurer and accountant, a PR person, a secretary – and just about any other business running role you can think of.

Common Mistake #3: You believe success will come quickly

Get that out of your head pronto. It’s going to take years before you start making a comfortable amount of money. That’s because, no matter how much your heart is in it, there’s still a lot you need to learn – and not just about wedding photography, but also about all those other skills and lines of work we mentioned before.

Common Mistake #4: You have no people skills

Photography in general, but wedding photography in particular, is all about knowing how to work with and relate to people. People are your clients, prime material, and everything in between. Without them, you have no business to speak of, so if you really want to turn your pipe dream into a success, then you’d better get cracking at honing those people skills – it will pay off tenfold, time and time again.

Common Mistake #5: You spend a lot of money on gear

Yes, we know – it’s hard to hold back from buying that one lens/tripod/case you’ve always dreamt of. However, if you don’t control your purchases, especially in the beginning, you risk running yourself into debt and a very sad case of business failure. And that is just about the opposite of what you want to do, especially since it’s never just that one purchase. It’s a vicious circle and you know it, so practice some restraint.

Common Mistake #6: You don’t have referrals to rely on

In entrepreneurship, getting business to come your way is all about word of mouth, references, and referrals. Yes, paid advertising can help to, but there is no publicity like the one a satisfied client can provide. So always make sure to encourage referrals, or even ask for them upfront.

6 Common Mistakes for New Wedding Photography Businesses

The 3 Secrets To Staying Motivated In Your Job While You Build Your Photography Business

I know many of my readers are working at photography as a second job – an income source – while they pursue their passion in photography.

That’s how we started too.

When we first decided to become professional photographers, we were working in corporate America, handling the 9 to 5 during the week, and working at our photography nights and weekends.

We did that for several years as we learned more about photography, more about being an entrepreneur, and discovering that we wanted to move beyond part time into the full time status.

When we first started out, photography was our “fun”; it was something we did together on the side. We didn’t think it would become a business. We just enjoyed doing it and wanted to be the best we could be.

Then Andrew lost 3 jobs in three years.

I watched my Dad die – constantly living with the stress of worrying about whether his 30 year career would be there the next day.

And I started listening to the people around me. I remember working with people my age saying things like “3 years down, 30 to go”. And even then I knew deep inside that was wrong.

So I started thinking about me. Actually, Andrew and I started thinking about we.

And we decided we didn’t want life in the normal way.

When you look at it, you have around 80 years on this planet. That’s 960 months. Or 4,160 weeks. If you take away your childhood years, school years, and retirement years, its more like 2,080 weeks. That’s it.

It  doesn’t sound like much when you say “I have to work 2,080 weeks in my lifetime.”

And watching other people hate what they did, or actually counting down their lives as quickly as possible wasn’t doing it for me. So I looked at it differently. Even while I had to work at the corporate job while we built up our photography business, I decided to do things a bit differently.

Motivation Secret #1: Stop Caring So Much

Many people today work 50, 60 hours a week because they are worried they might not have a job tomorrow. They commit to overtime, weekend work, and even forgo vacations, all because they are worried “the boss” may lay them off due to budget cuts and financial problems. They want to “look good” in the company’s eyes.

Guess what? I know many, many people that had that attitude and ended up with a pink slip anyway. [Read more…]

Top 5 Mistakes We Made When We Transitioned From Corporate To Self Employed and How You Can Avoid Them

In the early years, as we were building our business from the ground up, we couldn’t wait for the day until we could both quit corporate, and work for ourselves full time. It took several years for us both to jump over full time, but the minute we accomplished it we knew it was definitely the right choice.

Now as we look back, we can see we made a ton of great choices – and a few things we definitely would have handled a bit differently. So I share these with you in case you are on your own journey to full time entrepreneurship in hopes you’ll have a few more things to consider before you make your big move.

Not having clearly defined roles

When you get a job, they present you with a job description. They interview you to determine if you can handle the functions of the job. They hire you. They train you. And then you have set goals and expectations to help you get through day after day, week after week, month after month. [Read more…]

The Fear of Ruining Your Dreams Of A Photography Studio

I had a question sent to me that made me really think.

“I really want to start a photography business, but I have no idea of where to start or what to do next.”

I know she has had the opportunity to read a ton of articles here on this blog, and with over 1,000+ articles, that is a lot of information.

And I know she’s has access to some of my best training. Just one of my Kindle books – my 30 Ways in 30 Days Kindle book is probably one of the best (and affordable) ways to have a blueprint in place, ready to take you by the hand over 30 days and walk you through the process.

And yet the question remains.

So it got me thinking about what is holding her back when she has access to so much.

And while it could be many things (I’m simply guessing from a quick question) I really feel that overall, the one thing that holds people back is the fear of the unknown.

Easy Questions versus Hard Questions

When we ask easy questions, our minds can quickly come up with an answer.

What shall I have for dinner tonight? It’s a quick easy question that we ask day after day. So we search for a quick easy answer, and it usually jumps out at us in seconds.

But when we stretch beyond the norm and ask something we’ve never asked before, it becomes a little harder. And the bigger, more detailed that question is, the more we freeze up and we simply shut down rather than search for the answer.

But what if you asked a question that literally held your future in its hands? What if the question you asked would completely change your life not only for the good, but also because there were no other options?

That today is what many people are asking. They’ve been unemployed or underemployed for so long, they simply don’t have any idea what the future holds for them. And even if you have a great job today, will it really be there tomorrow?

Yep, there is no denying it. The world is changing. And the more you look back yearning for what we once had, the more you’re missing out on the greatest opportunity of our time. [Read more…]

How Can You Turn Your Passion Into A Photography Business?

What if you grew up loving something and being very passionate about it, and always wondered if you could turn it into a business and a career. Can you really turn “anything” into a lucrative business model?

I think that’s one of the exciting things about small business, and what the Internet has done for us as a society.

Small businesses can be started from scratch, immediately, and you’ll know within weeks if it has potential. Add in the Internet where you can reach millions of people with just a few clicks of the mouse, and you’ll be able to define your target market, and whether or not you’re truly onto a unique idea.

This week I found a great video from a photographer who makes her living photographing “secret” places. She’s invited into some amazing sites, and has created photographs that will haunt you and inspire you. In her presentation, she makes one key point that to me relates directly back to turning your passion into a business. She says she spends more time contacting and connecting with people to allow her to photograph in the places she loves then she does actually photographing. That’s the key.

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make your business ideas a reality. If you want to sell something big, it may take weeks or even months getting the idea into place. You can’t get discouraged. And you have to knock on as many doors as it takes to make it a reality.