Myth #1: Being a professional photographer will allow me to have lots of free time.
While working for yourself can be a wonderful, freeing experience, it can also be a time-consuming and difficult task. Many people who work for themselves find that rather than having more free time, they actually end up working around the clock. Your clients probably work on weekdays and they may ask you to shoot portraits and weddings on the weekends and evenings. Don’t forget all the time you’ll need to spend on marketing, editing photos, writing blog posts, etc.
Myth #2: A good website will attract enough clients to my photography studio.
A good looking, user-friendly website is a great start, but your images and content need to be compelling enough that they get people to pick up the phone and call you or send you an email. Good content can help your website become better optimized for search engines and guide people to learn who you are, what you do, and what value you can bring them. You will also need to consider other marketing options which can be costly and/or time-consuming.
Myth #3: I can just offer a discount when I need to attract more clients.
Your time is valuable, and you work hard to create the highest quality images for your clients. Photography is an investment. It is a good thing for you and your customers to realize you are worth every penny for the beautiful work you create for them.
Myth #4: The less expensive photographer gets more clients.
(See Myth #3) This goes to prove the old adage: “You get what you pay for.” While newer, inexperienced photographers must charge less than more seasoned ones, they should charge a fair price for their work. Photography is art, and you might have to help people realize its value.
Want more clients? Use your awesome images and services to attract them instead of discounts.
Myth #5: Your clients will always love what you shoot for them.
Unfortunately, every client isn’t going to love your work. They might be unhappy with the quality of their prints, the lighting, or even the way their hair looked. Whatever the reason, it will happen to you at some point. This can be a challenging experience, and you will have to use your customer service skills to fix any issues or complaints.
Myth #6: A verbal agreement or handshake is as good as a contract.
Business is business. Don’t feel awkward when you ask your clients to sign contracts. It is to protect both parties and to make sure everyone has the same expectations. Having clear and concise, signed contracts will help you to avoid unnecessary arguments, disputes, or lawsuits. If you’re not sure what types of contracts you will need, check out some resources from professional photography associations like WPPI, PPA, or ASMP.
Myth #7: If I have the best camera, I will take better pictures
It is true that the better camera you get, the higher the quality of your images will be BUT only if you know how to use it properly. Every year there are many kinds of good and expensive cameras put on the market but you don’t need to rush out and buy them. It might be a better investment of your time and money to get further training on the camera that you already own. Knowing your camera like the back of your hand will help separate you from the amateurs.
Myth #8: I can take pretty pictures, so I will be successful
There are plenty of talented people out there, but it takes much more than natural talent to become successful at anything. It takes hard work and the willingness to grow and change. If you want to own a successful photography business, you need to learn about marketing and brush up on finances (to name a few). Your photography skills can only take you so far.
Myth #9: Being a photographer is a glamorous job.
Maybe in the movies, but not in real life. When you are starting any kind of career, there is so much nitty gritty work to be done and sacrifices that must be made. Being a photographer is more than just shooting gorgeous photos. It involves hard work, just like any other job. Before the fun can begin, you have to build a business foundation worthy of the amazing work you’ll produce. If you’re patient and willing to do the work, the glamorous part might eventually come (and it is so worth it)!
Myth #10: There are so many buttons and functions on digital cameras; I’m too old to learn how to use one.
You are never too old to learn to use a camera as long as you are willing to work at it. The internet has endless amounts of free tutorials to help you with the basics, and the more you perfect your skills, the easier it will become. If you love photography and want to grow your skills – just do it. Shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. The more you practice, the better you will get. Just like any other art, you have to put your heart into it. It can be great to get paid to do what you love. That’s the dream, right?
Now quit overthinking it, and get shooting!
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