Failed PhotographerCredit: Self

There are plenty of articles written on the successful methods of good photographers, but you do not see many articles that highlight negative activities which you should avoid as a photographer.  In our photography business we have seen many other photographers do things that were unquestionably wrong.  Therefore, we found it necessary to highlight these points so you can avoid them in your photography endeavors.  Below are three things that could cause you to fail as a photographer.

1. The Customer is Not Always Right

The mantra of big business that the "customer is always right" is both correct and also common sense.  You should do whatever you can to please your customer.  In our business we have seen this done the wrong way too often.  We once knew a photographer who would indirectly insult her displeased customers on Facebook.  This is not good because negative reputations can spread like wildfire in business, especially photography.  If you fail to take care of your clients you will build a following of critics instead of loyal customers.  Of course you cannot please everyone, and these occurrences will be anomalies if you treat your customers like royalty.  If you do not take to heart the idea that the customer is always right, in time your photography business will fail.

2. You Do Not Monitor Expenses

In photography there are a plethora of items that you can always buy.  There are software, cameras, lenses, lights, and props which you could easily spend your entire profit on if you are not careful.  Marketers who sell to photographers know this, and they are good at their jobs of getting you to buy.  Do not fall into the trap of over spending.  Have a budget that you follow so that you are not making unnecessary purchases.  Every photographer also seems to want a studio.  Make sure before you open a studio that you can afford it so you are not closing the doors before they even open.

3. You Underprice Your Work

One the hardest task as a photographer is to properly create a price list.  It takes outside research of what your competition charges, as well as an understanding of the value that your work brings to the market.  If you fail to charge enough for your work then you will be overworked and underpaid.  My advice is that you target your business to either the middle or upper price ranges because you cannot compete at the lower end.  The lower scale of photography is owned by retailers who have the money and resources to charge virtually nothing.  If you offer extremely low prices for your photography you will have too much business.  The time you spend on each customer will be shorter, and it will show in the quality of your final product.  For the aforementioned reasons, underpricing your work is a recipe for failure.

These are a few of the major mistakes that I have seen other photographers make.  Much of doing business as a photographer is common sense.   The above recommendations can be summarized into the following principles: take care of your customers, spend less than what you make, and charge enough for your work.  Following these rules will help your photography business to flourish and not fail.