Say Yes to Jobs That Make You Happy and No to the Ones That Don't

Say Yes to Jobs That Make You Happy and No to the Ones That Don't

Who would have thought that one of the hardest yet most important things for me to do would be to say no. I’m still learning how to do it, but I’m here to remind you all that being a “yes man” all the time can catch up to you and bite you where the sun doesn't shine.

I’m just recovering from some sort of virus that landed me in the hospital. It was almost like my body simply told me, "Hey, take it easy on me!” Between the stress of selling a home, purchasing another one, and running a busy photography business while managing to keep all of my clients, friends, and family happy, I was starting to feel the effects of spreading myself too thin, both mentally and physically.

This whole virus thing I was fighting forced me to take time to really think about the work I’ve been doing and examine whether or not I really enjoy all of it. You see, as a businessman, it’s hard to turn down a financially rewarding opportunity. As a creative, some of those financial opportunities don’t always jive with what it is that my creative demons need to feed on. On top of it all, if you’re good at what you do and you aren’t careful, you could create all sorts of demand for something you’re not completely willing to supply by taking on jobs you're not interested in. Don’t want to be stuck shooting birthday parties for the rest of your career? Consider referring those opportunities to someone else.

The takeaway here is say yes to the things you enjoy and at least consider saying no to the jobs you don’t love. Chances are, there’s another photographer out there willing to pick up the jobs that don’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Are there any genres of photography you consciously avoid? Why? Share in the comments below.

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7 Comments

Mark James's picture

But what if your biggest, highest paying client wants you do do stuff you don't enjoy because they need it? I hate shooting events, but if I wanted to remain as their primary photographer, I had to say yes. I did raise their rates though, to make it a little easier to leave the house.

Say Yes to Jobs That Make You Happy and Charge 3 Times More for the Ones That Don't

amanda daniels's picture

I did 2 newborn sessions and immediately knew it wasn't for me. Thankfully I have only had 1 newborn inquiry since then and I referred them. I didn't use the newborn sessions in my portfolio because I would prefer to never do them ever again. Shout out to all the newborn photographers out there, not easy at all.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Definitely not an easy genre. I'm occasionally talked into a newborn session and I always stress about them

I was asked to do one for my great grand nephew and stressed about it until I got to their house. Old, run down, terrible lighting, messy... No stress anymore. ;-)

amanda daniels's picture

Right?! I see all these newborn photographers who are simply amazing, they must be like baby whisperers or something. lol. I would much rather shoot couples all day long :)

Bryan Meulmeester's picture

Is it weird I rather wouldn't shoot humans at all? I always have this vicarious shame when I see pictures of people I "know".