your photography business sucks

Or at least that’s what you keep telling yourself, right? I have news for you – you’re not alone – not by a long shot. Many photographers – those just starting out and even veteran photogs – read themselves the riot act on a regular basis. Before you throw your business off a bridge, we’re going talk about WHY you can’t see your inner superstar and then do our best to fix the glitch. This three-part blog series will help you see that you truly aren’t alone in your mindset. Because, you know what? Your photography business really doesn’t suck, despite what you tell yourself. So, come on, rock stars, let’s sort out the fatal errors that make us believe the lie that, our works sucks.

Fatal Error #1: Comparison

With social streams constantly in front of your face, it’s easy to base the value of your photography business on LIKES, SHARES, and lack thereof. You might take a break mid-edit to check Facebook and see Susie Shootsalot’s last photography session going viral, while yours has two measly likes and one of those was from your mom. Big sigh. It’s okay, superstars. We can evade the evils of comparison and, in the next post, I’ll tell you how.

Fatal Error #2: Imposter Syndrome

Creative folks are typically inspired by what’s around them – including and especially other creatives. I’m sure you could rattle off a list of your favorite photogs, right? You have their pages favorited; you stalk them on Instagram; you tune into their Periscopes; you get all their notifications; and, you’re all up in their photography sneak peaks like it’s your job. What’s Susie Shootsalot going to do next? And, good gracious, how does one person possess SO MUCH creative genius? Save some for the rest of us, Susie!!

When we’re enthralled with someone else’s M.O. it’s super tempting to try to copy it. Maybe you’ve even tried it, but it’s just not quite the same and sure doesn’t get the LIKES and SHARES that Susie’s photography does, right? This is just another path to that loud obnoxious voice in our head telling us we suck. Don’t worry, superstar, we’ll fix this, too.

Fatal Error #3: Insecurities

Ok, straight up, does any of this sound familiar?

  • “If I only had a better camera and more expensive lenses.”
  • “If I only went to art school.”
  • “If I only had more followers on Facebook.”
  • “If I only had one photo that went viral.”
  • “If I only understood my camera better.”
  • “If I wasn’t just seen as a mom with a camera.”
  • “If only I had her personality…”
  • “If I just had more photography experience.”
  • “If I just had better branding.”

There may even be some not-so-nice photographers around who further compound all of these insecurities by making intimidating remarks to newbies like you (ssssh, don’t tell anyone, but their photography once “sucked” too!). Let me tell you something, friends, your photography is awesome because of the unique and creative way YOU see things. It doesn’t boil down to your camera, lenses, or even perfect understanding of photography.

It’s all about your vision!

It’s SO HARD to overcome insecurities, though, when you’re putting yourself out there – sometimes with no feedback or affirmation in return. You are absolutely not alone and we can fix this, too. It will be okay, you’re just being way too hard on yourself.

want to hear the good news ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS?

Now we’ve identified the issues and, in the second part of this three-part series, we’re going to learn how to make a mental shift to get away from that inner-voice telling us that we suck. We can do this and we will do it together. Have anything to share about self-doubt in your photography business? Check-in in the comments section below and let us know.


PS – There’s more to this story, but I only share my inner-most thoughts with my beloved photographers on my email list… and I’d love for you to join us!  Click here to join us and I’ll also send you a free mini-workshop with the answers to the five questions you MUST ask before starting your business!

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  1. Um, I think you have direct access to my brain. This is how the last 6 months (or more) have been:-/
    You have my attention and I’m listening! Thank you for ALWAYS encouraging us!?

    1. Keri, this makes me smile! You know I adore you and believe in your talent – you have to believe in it! Go listen to some TSwift “Shake it Off” then start putting yourself out there! xoxo

  2. All of these self doubts sound familiar. I think for me at this moment it’s that I feel I need a better camera/lens and more “class” training. I am learning as much as I can from the internet….through you, Nick Kelsh, Snap Society and many others. I try just about every day to improve my photography in some way. Love your enthusiasm and your willingness to share! Thank you!!

    1. Stephanie you are SO SWEET!!! Yes – there is always something to learn!!! After doing so much teaching this year, I’m looking forward to spending some time perfecting my art this winter!!! I totally get it! 🙂

  3. This all speaks to me! My biggest debate other then the above is what to charge? And is my photography worth a certain price!!
    Lisa B -LB Photography owner Lisa Burtch on Facebook

  4. Ugh the comparison struggle is so real. Which leads right into those pesky insecurities…I’m working on overcoming that and love hearing positive words from people like you on how to push that negativity aside! Thanks for the awesome post!

    1. Oh my gosh Mandi!!! #thestruggleisreal – as I’m launching these photography courses, I’m CONSTANTLY having to remind myself that God made me perfectly and I don’t have to continually compare myself to other people who are doing similar projects! So glad to know it spoke to you! xoxo

  5. I love posts like this. Even though I’m not a pro photographer, I do get discouraged trying to capture lovely images for my blog posts. This post was encouraging for even me!

  6. Yes yes yes!! Sometimes I have to separate myself from social media and blogs to get down to the nitty gritty of my true creativity. It’s so hard to create truly original art when you’re constantly comparing yourself or stalking someone else’s art. Thank you for writing this 🙂

  7. Thank you so much, Cyrissa, for putting yourself out there and teaching us that our uniqueness is exactly what makes us valuable! It’s one thing to hear it from family or a friend; it’s a whole other thing to hear a message like that from an experienced photog like yourself. Your upbeat trainings have truly helped me feel more prepared to put myself out there and take my photography from hobby to business without comparing myself to everyone else in my area. You rock!

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