Prerequisite #1 for a Photo Biz: A Thick Skin

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Not every style suits everyone. Not every photographer takes the stunning photo they believe they do. Regardless of the situation, expect that your feelings are going to get bruised in the process. The depth of that bruise it totally up to you.

The first thing you need to start a photography business is not a camera. It’s a thick skin.

This is true of any business, not just photography. But photography is a creative business and creative businesses have their own set of challenges. The product is something that you create and you usually create it yourself, so it’s very personal to you. Photography is an art of emotion, and that includes the photographer’s emotions.

Creative work is very subjective. This is where photographers set themselves apart. Different photographers can use the same camera, same subject, and every other identical aspect, and create totally different images. How they treat these elements to get to a finished product becomes their style. Regardless of what you may think about the importance of pricing, most photographers are hired based on their style. The right style makes money no object.

Not everyone is going to like your style. Not everyone is going to have patience with you while you find your style.

Some will criticize your work. Their words will not always be coated in sugar. Some will offer advice that, if followed, will improve your work. You will hear and read comments from people who obviously know little or nothing about the technical challenges of photography, but they know what they don’t like. They won’t be shy in telling you so, but that doesn’t mean they speak for anyone else.

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There will be those who lavish praise and tell you the work is wonderful. Be suspect. Consider the source. The harshest criticism from a master is more kind than the sweetest praise from the novice.

When you take your photography to the next level by offering it in business, that criticism has yet another effect. A rejection from a prospect isn’t just about missing money, it’s the fact that someone else was chosen over you. We rationalize this in any number of ways, from telling ourself the pricing, the chemistry, or the calendar was wrong, because we don’t want to blame it on our photography.

The truth is, the photography is a huge part of the rejection. That does not mean that your skills are truly under par, just that your prospect could not see themselves in the photographs that you take.

Simple as that.

Not every style suits everyone. Not every photographer takes the stunning photo they believe they do. Regardless of the situation, expect that your feelings are going to get bruised in the process.

The depth of that bruise it totally up to you.