What Are You Working For?


It’s January and in Maine, this is the slower time of year in my studio portrait photography business – well, at least it CAN be.   I do a number of things to bring in new clients this time of year, but I also take time for planning, and review of last year – what worked and what didn’t!  I strongly recommend you do the same, if this is a slightly slower time for you.  This reflection is important for continued growth in your life and photography business.

It’s a good time to ask yourself – “why am I in business?”

Are you in business to take great photographs? Is it because you have a passion for photography? Is it because you love learning about the latest cameras and using them for that perfect image? Is it because you LOVE LightRoom or Photoshop? Maybe the latest plug-ins and effects? Well, you’re not alone – most photographers that I know (including ME) love those things too!

However… might there be anything else?  Any OTHER reason?

This may seem a bit strange at first, but my REAL reason for being a self employed professional portrait photographer is that it’s what I do to make a GREAT living, to support my family, and to have the freedom that offers. It may sound mercenary to some, but I am self employed and a pro photographer to make money. Yes, luckily, my “vehicle” for making that great living is portrait photography.   Portrait photography is, truly, one of the most potentially lucrative photography careers out there, if you know how to do it right!

Why does this matter? Well, once you can wrap your head around this concept, it really can change the way you run your business. You may have heard us say “I am not a photographer, I am a “Marketer and Seller of Photographic Services”. This is because we realize that no matter how good your photography is, without a steady stream of prospects calling to inquire about your services, you will not be making enough money to be in business very long.

We love what we do, we enjoy the photography, we love seeing a happy client’s face when they pick up their finished portraits – it’s very fulfilling! However we soon discover, as bills pile up and our family complains that they never see us anymore – we need more than fun and good vibes from clients to support ourselves and our family.

That’s where the “system” comes in – relying on consistent, repeatable and proven marketing, telephone skills, design consultations, photography sessions, and projection sessions all work together to ensure that enough qualified clients call each week, and provide a sales average that ensures success over the long term. Some photographers resist what seems like too much work – but once you “flip the switch” and treat your business as what it is – your sole income – it makes great sense to learn and use the system to ensure a great living in portrait photography!

You’re really good with a camera – so it’s your choice – make it a hobby (which is fine) as you work another job to support your family OR work for yourself, and begin to regard your photography as a serious business and enjoy the rewards and freedom from a fantastic income! After all, it is THE reason you’re in business!

To conclude:  take some time over the next few days to really ask yourself WHAT you are doing all this work for.   Make sure that is clear to you, and then make a conscious and committed decision to do the things most other photographers don’t KNOW they need to do in order to be the best success you can be.   The better living you make creating photography, the happier you will become, the more secure you will feel, and the more creative you will continue to be.

All the best,

Tom Morelli

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Creativity International / Charles Lewis Photography PO Box 848, Ada, MI 49301 | 616-868-0373