Why Is Becoming a Photographer So Difficult?

Learning how to use a camera, control lighting, and edit to consistently produce compelling images is hard enough, but turning that into a successful business is an entirely different challenge altogether. If that is something you have been wondering about or struggling with, this great video contains an important reminder to help keep you from becoming discouraged. 

Coming to you from Perea Photography, this awesome video discusses why it is so hard to build a successful photography business, and though it is aimed at landscape shooters, it really applies to just about any genre. I think this really serves as both motivation and as a good warning to anyone thinking of making the jump to professional. As you will see, of the 16 items on the list, only two have anything to do with photography. Running a successful photography business often has a lot less to do with taking and editing photos than you might think, and you might learn that you enjoy the freedom of taking images as a hobby more in the long run. It is definitely something worth thinking about before you take the plunge into the professional side of things. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

Log in or register to post comments
Deleted Account's picture

There are terrible photographers who run very successful photography businesses, because they are excellent businesspeople.

There are spectacularly good photographers who can't run a photography business to save themselves, because they are bad businesspeople.

I think photographers make the mistake of thinking a photography business is about photography; in reality, it's about business.

Alex Cooke's picture


Roger Cozine's picture

I feel that it's more difficult to become a photographer now than ever. Mainly because of the vast array of cameras and accessibility. Literally everyone has a camera now. Whether it be a cell phone camera or a dedicated camera. Because of this, the value of real photography has decreased significantly. Everyone with a camera considers themselves a photographer nowadays. Very few people actually take time to master the craft. Less and less people are actually needing photography services too. Someone they know will always have a camera.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Well, I'm not quite sure that's the issue. There are plenty of people looking to have images taken, most likely more than ever. But you have to reach to them, convince them.

Charles Mercier's picture

It seems like it's simply come down to the point where fellow photographers have to "join" a community and give appreciation to each other for good photos.

Jim Bolen's picture

There is very little respect for photographers now because everyone thinks they are one, but obviously not. I'm full-time, run two photography businesses, and can't tell you how many times I've heard strangers say, 'oh, that sounds like a cool hobby'. Takes everything I have not to throat-punch them!

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Another one is "where is your house" (studio) as in assuming it's my garage or basement. Actually I recently had a lady ask me to send her info on my studio, the physical place. I texted her the coordinates from google. She had a very simple head shot need and told me she cancelled with another guy when she realized she had to go to his basement.

Kent Tarbox's picture

my favorite one from people is "wow, those are great pictures, you must have a really good camera"... yea, I do, I just point it at the football field, or court or diamond, close my eyes and push the shutter button and like magic, pictures that I can just send into my editors, all done....LOL... it is also hard to "become" a profitable working photographer when there are people buying a camera, getting some kind of access to a game or an event and then giving their pictures away for free. Then when people approach me for photos and I tell them how much, they say "well so and so just gives them to me" and I tell them "well so and so is an idiot for giving away their work for free". That usually ends the conversation. I do have people that pay because once they see the quality of my work up against the quality of the shoot for free person, there is a marked difference. Thanks for the chance to vent....