Photography Mistakes I Made as a Beginner

You'll make countless mistakes as a professional photographer. This is how we grow as artists and entrepreneurs, and I encourage experimenting with your marketing and photography. I'm certain someone will object, but show the person without mistakes, and I'll show you a person who has accomplished very little. 

Why Mistakes Are Vital for the Professional Photographer

A mistake can be one of a couple things for the photography or video business. Either you utilize it for growth opportunity, or you allow it to destroy you. My hopes are that you use it to strengthen the voyage forward, to avoid making the same time or monetarily bad decisions in the future. I created a video of some of my biggest missteps, things that I teach others now. While I did just mention mistakes being an integral part of business development, the key is to avoid them where you can and to look for opportunities to learn from others. 

Remember the Pause

Pause after each win and loss, avoid missing this step. What does it feel like? Pause to process your feelings, to look around you, and assess what your team feels. These are the traits of a leader, and these moments will help guide your next decision in a smarter way. At the start of my career, I thought it was about running full speed ahead, never looking back. In hindsight, a few extra moments of stillness really wouldn't take away from my day. It would, though, add a tremendous amount of understanding. Embracing this pause will allow yourself time to analyze the data. 

Photo: Walid Azami

Collecting Data 

Mistakes will make or break you, and there are times it can be catastrophic, but it's mostly embarrassing or an ego blow. They are an opportunity to collect data, to ask yourself questions, to have a better understanding of your instincts. What worked? What did you do correctly? Note that! What can you capitalize on in the future? Note that also! 

Pausing to collect data will do the same for your losses or mistakes. What did you do incorrectly? Where did you avoid listening to your instincts or better advice from someone? Where did you lose control? My biggest business growth came when I allowed myself a moment to reflect. 

Yes, making mistakes does create room for knowledge, but the goal is to avoid paying a devastating price for knowledge. I want to learn from others and to always improve myself with incremental gains. That's what the video is about: five important lessons I've learned since the beginning of my career or five opportunities for you to grow as an entrepreneur yourself. 

Forgive Yourself

The final part is to allow yourself grace to make these mistakes. Allow yourself forgiveness. Because how else would you develop into a successful entrepreneur? We all make mistakes, even the ones not yet confident enough to admit it. My hope is that you allow yourself time to pause and feel.

Then, you allow yourself the time to collect data, and finally, you forgive yourself and move forward. The video that I created are some of the things I've learned since the start of my career, and I'm hoping it provides some form of direction for your own success. My biggest hope is that you turn each mistake moving forward into a vital learning opportunity to grow your photography business.

Walid Azami's picture

Walid Azami is a Photographer/Director and creative consultant from Los Angeles. He got his start working with Madonna + Co by contributing to her many projects. It was then he realized his place in the creative world & began teaching himself photography. He has since shot Kanye, Mariah Carey, Usher, Bernie Sanders, JLO, amongst others

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