Should you take every job as a photographer?

When starting out or growing your photography business, you can find yourself taking on any and all work available.

You might be interested fashion photography, but end up taking on that wedding because a friend of a friend needed someone last minute…

…and then end up being a wedding photographer.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing when finding your niche, and need every paying job to pay your bills.

❗ It is a bad habit to continue though, once established.

You cannot be all things to all people.

It’s a persistent myth across all businesses, that you should never turn down work.

The truth is, not all events or clients will align with your business model, style, or values.

I don’t mean never shoot a football game when you’re a food photographer – it means that you don’t need to say yes to every school even if you’ll lose money on it, or yes to every wedding even if it’s a 4 hour drive.

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? You’ve probably turned down loads of photography work over the years.

When we had sales reps for our school photography business, the approach was very much ‘any and all schools are good.’

This became a problem because:

  1. Burnout: You need to know your numbers – how many jobs can you realistically service each week? Each month? How many do you need to sustain you for the year?

  2. Value Conflicts and Misalignment: Accepting clients who don’t share your values can lead to dissatisfaction on both sides, causing unnecessary stress.

    Tiny village schools would often like a personal relationship with a specific photographer, while some large city high schools want very little to do with photography beyond knowing that records are up to date.

    Which end of that scale does your business best align with, or is it somewhere in the middle?

Not all events or clients will align with your business model, style, or values.

Understanding that it’s okay to be selective is crucial for business sustainability and growth.

Here’s how:

  1. Targeted Marketing: Focus your efforts on events and clients that align with your strengths and interests. This targeted approach will help you stand out and attract the right clientele.

    This comes down to knowing your ideal customer. How do they think, what motivates them, and how does your offering service them specifically.

  2. Quality Over Quantity: Prioritise quality over quantity. Delivering exceptional work to a select few will build a reputation faster than spreading yourself too thin.

  3. Healthy Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries and guidelines for the events and/or clients you take on. This ensures you maintain the integrity of your skill and professional satisfaction.

Remember that not every opportunity is a golden one.

For more help with keeping your photography business on a path to sustainable growth, happier clients, and a more fulfilling career; consider CloudPicsLite or CloudPicsPro.

picture of a small child holding a camera as a photographer