The #1 Myth That’s Holding You Back

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?

The 1 Myth Thats Holding You Back As A Photographer

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.

But that doesn’t mean photography has changed. In fact I would argue that there is more demand for photography today than there has been at any other period of time.

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.

3 thoughts on “The #1 Myth That’s Holding You Back”

  1. Thank you very much for such an inspiring article! I really needed to read something like this to cheer my spirit up. Keep up the good work!

  2. The problem is that you are assuming that if a photographer automatically charges what he’s worth he’s going to instantly get results. The argument is valid, however it fails to approach the constant variables as quality, price from the competition (either lower or higher with the same or better art), how offers are built, the marketing, branding, location, etc.

    Running a photography business (or any business) it’s not as simple as art/charging for what it’s worth. That sounds more like a speech done by other photographers in order to stop their competition from lowering prices and taking away the clients.

    • Arcangel

      I agree with you. This is just one post that approaches the concept of charging what you’re worth; there is a whole host of things that go into making a business successful. The problem with price and charging what you’re worth is so many people have mental blocks when it comes to pricing. They price for all the wrong reasons, and never move ahead. This quick article is simply guidance to help you look at your pricing in a different way.



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