6 Business Mistakes Photographers Always Make

The photography business can be tricky to get a hold on, and as a group we all seem to make the same mistakes over and over, hopefully this video can help you avoid them.

Most businesses are pretty tricky to run, add into that the creative mindset, technical knowledge, and an industry run in a very old fashioned way and it can become a mine field to the newcomers. Having been in business for over a decade shooting adverts, I have made all of these mistakes, and several more. 

This video looks at 6 of the biggest mistakes that we make as professional photographers. From equipment through to time allocation and bad business purchases. I am sure you can all agree that you have made some of these, if you aren't currently making them right now. I then go on to discuss the pitfalls of internet feedback and social media when it comes to believing your hype, compared to the professional worlds view of you as a photographer. Amongst the other points I raise I talk about cash flow, buffers/panic money, and how to allocate your funds into equipment. 

As mentioned before, I have made all of these mistakes and they held me back for years. If I was to do it all over, I would focus far less on the gear and social media numbers and far more on my ideas and execution. Most of my work now days is shot with a single light, the same camera and lens. 

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10 Comments

Andrew Feller's picture

4:56 might be the most important statement made on Fstoppers this year. "some niches aren't professions"

Scott Choucino's picture

It’s not a popular one though. Also nothing wrong with doing them. Enjoy loads of things that are not financially viable

Andrew Feller's picture

100% that’s the fun of it.

Deleted Account's picture

10 out of 10 all.

Richard King's picture

One of the first business articles on Fstoppers that totally makes sense

The only thing I would add is its fine to have 2 niches. Especially if your work is seasonal. Just have a total business separation of them in terms of marketing etc.

Mike Ditz's picture

Really good points on the workshop sellers. Many don't seem to have outside clients who pay them to shoot, but they give good youtube and have a lot of followers so they also do reviews (usually shooting a model) or more accurately share their experiences.
Their clients are the people who pay for the workshops or the presets...

Alex Yakimov's picture

Thank you, Scott! Very nice vid, I like how you shoot it, color rendition, emotion and message. Excellent job. May I suggest to keep some gear - related irrationality? There is nothing wrong with desiring stuff, gear included, finding the one you would work no matter what might be not 100% practical, but our brains are not 100% rational either, at least according to Daniel Kahneman. I guess what I want to say there should be a ballance between rational approach and passion that drives us.

Mark Rowe's picture

One of the clearest videos I’ve seen on this subject. Simple and to the point 👍

C.R. "Kroy" B's picture

"photographing half-naked girls isn't a profession". Bullshit. Signed, the porn industry, Maxim photogs, fitness brands, and a million others.

Richard King's picture

There is a difference

There are skilled photographers who shoot porn as a profession

There are unskilled letches that get into photography as an excuse to get near women

And there is a spectrum in between mainly loaded towards the latter

There is also a problem...

Perception off male photographers... Thee is an assumption we all shoot half naked women, and in my work, sometimes that becomes a discussion point that I don't appreciate. I shoot a lot of families with kids

There is a second problem...

There are some awesome photographers who don't shoot half naked girls, who get totally sidelined by the photography community. Go to any photography Facebook group and see where the likes, comments and interest is... It isn't with the people wanting to grow as photographers who don't shoot naked models