These Mistakes Held My Career Back for Years

We all make mistakes in our journey to be professional photographers. In this video, I have put together the biggest mistakes that I made that have slowed down my career in the hope that you can avoid them

Photography is a tough profession. University degrees don't really give you all of the tools to be successful professionals, and because of the nature of our work, it is a lonely place where we often find ourselves going down the wrong path, but with no one around to point it out to us. This can then lead to great frustrations when we find ourselves ten years down the line and still struggling to make ends meet. 

In this video, I go over the mistakes that have held my professional career back the most, starting out with overworking. With hustle culture being very much in vogue, computers being sat on our laps in the evenings when winding down, and having a phone with internet access 24/7, it can be so easy to overdo things. And this is the first mistake I talk about in this video. I went so far down the rabbit hole of hustle culture that I became so unproductive that I was barely treading water. 

I then look at the other aspects from how I priced my work through to what work I showed people, going over what I did wrong and how I then rectified it to build (in my eyes at least) a successful commercial photography business. 

Let me know what the biggest mistakes you made were. 

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4 Comments

Chris Lawrence's picture

Scott Choucino I totally agree about the Pro Asst. Many years ago I made the same mistake of using FREE Asst. and I wound up doing everthing myself.

Jan Holler's picture

I can confirm that. As I have been self-employed for more than 20 years, I have experienced the same thing, even if in a different profession. I have learned that it is much easier to charge reasonable prices when you have professional clients from larger companies. Some of my clients have a small business themselves, friends who have just opened a restaurant, or others are musicians. As we know, most of them only have a small income. I don't charge them a lower rate, I just don't take into account all the hours I spent on them. That way, nobody gets the idea that there must be a problem because it's too cheap.

You are right not to take too much work and exhaust themselves with time. And it's right that you have to check your own work and your actions.

Well said and done, Scott. As always, it is a pleasure to watch. Thank you.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I think working like a maniac when you start is sort of a necessity as long as you plan and find your way out of that cycle within too long. But you have to be very reliable and use very reliable and diverse equipment. My view is that people put way too much money in cameras and have too much invested in lenses as well while way underinvested in lighting equipment.

Jenny Rich's picture

Overworking is a huge problem, I agree. It's so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of fixing this and that and trying to get as perfect as you can be- but the truth is, the good results don't come out of hours spent in front of photoworks window or days spent in attemots to catch the perfect moment. Good results come from a balance and aiming at perfection and comparing yourself to "perfect" others is certainly not a balance.