Are You Facing Photographer Burn Out?

Your dream has always been photographing. Your true desire is to become a full time photographer, and have the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

But somewhere along the way you’ve been caught up in chaos.

  • Photographing seven days of the week.
  • Having client after client purchase just the bare minimum.
  • Wondering where your next client will come from.
  • Lowering your prices because everyone else is doing it too.

When will it all end?frustration

Have you ever had someone tell you to double your prices and you’ll actually gain more clients?

It’s true.

Instead of following in the footsteps of non-successful photographers, make a change and follow in the footsteps of successful ones.

Successful photographers know:

  • People that love photography don’t care about price.
  • Price conscious photographers don’t take the best photos possible; they’re too worried about survival.
  • The more you concentrate on your photography and your final products, the better your clients will perceive you to be.
  • The value comes from your expertise and your creative eye; not from the prices of your 8x10s.

source of photo ralaenin

4 thoughts on “Are You Facing Photographer Burn Out?”

  1. I’d love to double my prices. I’m not sure it will go over in my area though. The question is…can I chance it? Has anyone tried it in an area where most clients are price shoppers? If so, would you feel comfortable sharing the results? Thank you!

  2. I dread going to work. I dread dealing with my clients. I dread the post production. I have lost my dream that lead me like a star for years. That dream was to be a great photographer. Now I am a great photographer and am miserable. I worked hard at it. Got a Master’s degree. Shot and shot and shot. Now I feel like chucking it all and going on to something new. Am I lost or onto some new calling?
    I started with film, beautiful black and white prints. Then digital came and cheapened the art of the whole endeavor. With Pictage I don’t even see the prints that go to clients anymore. It has become a factory instead of an atelier. Who knows how long the prints will last? I don’t believe in what I am selling anymore. There are 20 decent photographers who are happy with this new paradigm. They sell, have a great website, get an assistant, and make mediocre work that the public loves. I feel ill in the face of it all. Burnt out.

    • Hi Tom
      I know exactly what you are saying, and even faced a bit of this myself several years ago. When I hit “the dread”, I did stop everything and refocus. I took something else I loved – writing – and made a whole new career out of it by writing a couple of books and writing for magazines. Everntually it all came around, and I now write a ton of things for photographers as well. I’m once again passionate about photography, only from a completely different aspect.

      So let me ask you, what does make you happy? If you could reinvent yourself tomorrow, what would you see yourself doing? Make a goal to start putting that into place while you keep working at your photography. Take a year or two to phase one out, and the other in (unless you are financially free and can quit photography now without worrying about money). When I did this, I started loving everything I was doing again. And I found a way to incorporate my first love of photography back into what I do.

      Good luck!

  3. Hi,

    Im an aspiring pro photographer, studying the art (by my own for 3-4 years), and adding lots of knowledge aswell as “expensive but high quality” equipment as time goes by.

    My dream: starting a portrait studio sometimes in 2012. (dream, goal and reality!) 😉

    now… my town (and all neighbor-towns.. all small) has at least 1-2 photo studios already established, with great photographers (winning “photographer of the year” in my country (somewhere in north europe), or having shot great artists from Hollywood (Kat Von D, Aerosmith, etc..) or one that takes portraits of all celebrities in my country, and those who do travel the world, and show amazing portfolios of exotic places, people, etc…, not only are they amazingly good, but their studios are “cheap” in prices aswell, so I couldnt start taking higher prices, or even in 10-20 years time, cause I could be as good as them or hopefully a tad better, but then again, “normal” people wouldnt pay me more, when the others do a fantastic job, for less. (1 even do it for free once a year! in a random day so no one knows it, but some told me they just got their portrait + frame for free!)

    So competition is a very big issue.. isnt? YES!. Should I give up before its too late, and maybe pursue my other dreams? Have worked as a musician, studied graphic design and 3D designer (modeling and animation). and also have this dream of write and film a full-length movie one day.. so, shouild I quit now my photography dreams and go other way? I DONT THINK SO!.. dont take me wrong, I will try to pursue all my dreams more like a hobby while my full time job would be Photography, and on of those others “hobbies” could someday be my main stream of revenue.. you never know.

    Still, I see lots of obstacles on my way, one as I said those photographers in my area and surroundings. Not only that, but they arent friendly as they know I will take them down (kidding), but they know I will be a hard competition, and I will be getting customers that if I wasnt around, probably would go to them.

    So, as you see, I dont have a chance to get a trainee, or any kind of assistent job around!, and that has made the way even more bulkier.

    Then it is the weather factor!, the snow and rain takes almost the entire year, there is maybe 1 month of summer (warmish temps), but rain can come in any moment. I could say that of 10 locations fotoshoots this summer, 7 ended with rain, and 1 with equipment flying because of the wind.

    So a studio is neccesary, but the renting prices!.. are a joke where I live… a small place. Then if I travel or move to the biggest city around 50 km from here, then the prices are better but still high. To your comparisson, a 60m2 (about 16×22 feet/foot?) cost around 1300 USD a month! plus insurance, light, etc..

    (and normal rates are for couple/families $135 USD for a 1 hour photo-shoot, a dvd with 10 processed photos in small size (web res and watermarked), and 1 hour consultancy to find wich photo they’d like to print)… so at least 10 of this to pay the rent only. 3 more to pay expenses of the studio, and then some more to feel like it is worthy… should have at least 1hour-shoot a day from monday to saturday the entire month to just “exist” and hope to have 2-3 shoots a day to make some living out of it. But optimum would be 5-6 shoots a day to have enough money to pay an assistent, to travel expenses, materials needed, etc…

    Still… Im not quitting, in fact… Im just starting, even aware of the difficulties.

    Tom: My recommendation to you, is to take control of your final product! To Hell with Pictage 😛 I mean, if you hate not having the control in the process of the final product, take control! meaning, find yourself a way to produce those photo albums on your own, or by a company that relies on your feedback, and send the product to you, so you know what the client will get!, cause… to be frankly… never heard of pictage before, seems their products are of good quality, but if they dont give you the control and satisfaction of your work, then… its not YOUR but their work! 🙁 (or a 50-50% collaboration)

    Myself are struggling finding some sort of “Pictage” like company that I like… firstly there are just 1 in my country, and its more like a print-shop that even my customers could buy from.. (and see cheapo prices) 🙁 so i need to find myself something better, even if its in another country and I loose a bit of money on shipping expenses, etc.. They would have to send to me a test album before, so I see hows going to be the final work, and if needed to some changes before the final product gets printed.

    So.. you see, even knowing this, Im also going to be offering a “classical album” for a chunk more money, there I will print each photo and glue it (or using those corner pockets), aswell as engraving names on it.

    I also will be making my own printings at A3+ (13×19) size, with my newly aquired Canon Pixma Pro9500 mark II, with ink and paper that will last forever! well more like… <>

    Add to this a good wide gamut lcd monitor + a calibration hardware and experience by trial and error.

    If then I requiere other products like canvas, aluminium or acryl/metacrylate plate, I would print at a “pictage” like company that sends to me, so I can frame or prepare the finishing details, and send or deliver to my clients.

    Other income streams for a photographer today that I come of right now… are: writing books (or/and ebooks), online or/and dvd courses, holding workshops, exhibitions, etc… (stock photography aswell if you like, making some extra bucks here and there).

    Now… that was lots of thoughts and words, I hope I didnt sound cocky? or plain dumb.. 😛 my english doesnt allow me to express myself 100% as I would, as Im not english, or havent study it.

    to VPS: nice web/blog you got… I still need to see more of it, but I think I like it..

    ps.. clicking on my name, you’ll we redirected to my blog project (in spanish, but translation available), that also will be starting for full sometime in 2012, but if you like how its looking, please “like” in the facebook fan box to keep track of the progress, and visit the top right link in the menu “Tienda” that means Shop, and get a cool T-Shirt! (or make your own t-shirt, jersey, jacket, mousepad, etc..) 🙂


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