5 Surprising Things Holding Your Photography Business Back

5 Surprising Things Holding Your Photography Business

Starting a business is always a double-edged sword, especially when we talk about the photography business. The reason why photography business is very complex and requires complete dedication is because you need to know a ton of other stuff to be successful. It’s not all about quality photos but on the other hand, it sometimes is.

What if you decided that you’re going with the full force on your photography journey and sometimes just doesn’t feel right?

Do you feel like your photography business is failing and you’re losing control?

Well, we do many things subconsciously and they can sometimes be the reason why you aren’t successful. In the following article, we’re going to explain why your photography business is failing and how you can fix/improve the situation.

Related: If You Get These 11 Questions Wrong, You Will Have Hard Time with Your Photography Business


5 Surprising Things Holding Your Photography Business Back


1. Photography Content Is Not Good or in Trend

Photography Content

The first and the main reason why your photography business is failing is that your content isn’t up to par. Being a photographer doesn’t mean you can just shoot whatever you want, process it in a Photoshop, publish a photo, and expect a miracle. Understand that your clients aren’t going to go for a photographer that isn’t informed about trending stuff and doesn’t know what he’s doing. Not having a decent content means that you aren’t informing yourself on various trends and that means that you aren’t utilizing Google’s SEO tools. An SEO system is a complex system that can help you in targeting your desired audience.

SEO trends are ever-changing and if a particular niche is popular one day or month, next day or month it could be something entirely different. Remember that SEO isn’t always about keywords on your website. Instead, your photos and content overall should speak to your targeted audience, which will slowly attract them. If you’ve experienced a reduction in a total number of clients, that means that your content isn’t up to par anymore and you’ll need a plan B. Just try to think like a client for a second. Then think about some problems and issues that were present with past clients.

There’s always something to change and the change should be done in the shortest amount of time. Feel free to seek your clients by newsletters, blog posts, etc. Remember that your content doesn’t always have to be completely unique. In a world with 7.53 billion people, do you really think you can always be unique? Not exactly, and that’s completely okay. Instead, focus on creating good content and do it OFTEN. Remember that creating new content on a daily basis is crucial for success.


2. You Are Not Learning About Business

Learning About Business

This one is VERY important. As mentioned before, photography isn’t all about snapping some photos and then going home. Instead, a photographer should possess various skills, including great communication, for example. There are tons of photographers whose skills aren’t exactly impressive, yet they dominate the market in this business. If you think that this is impossible, think again – it’s absolutely possible! If you struggle to build up your photography business, it may be that the client experience is really bad. Clients, when they pay a photographer, don’t want just photos. They want the complete experience. Everything from setting up the scene, taking photos, posing, etc.

Your customers should feel confident and comfortable around you as if you were friends for a long time. People often associate their photos with some experiences prior to them, which is why you should consider making your clients comfortable and they need to have a great experience working with you. This experience adds a certain “weight” and emotions to the photos and they’ll surely remember how good (or bad) the photo session was. You could have a DSLR that costs more than your car, you can have all the equipment you want, you can have unparalleled skills, but if the customer experience isn’t good, you’re screwed!

With all this in mind, you shouldn’t be boring to work with. Do you know these photographers that are all about business? Those who just want to get it over with and go home? Well, don’t be that guy or girl. It’s bad and it will definitely hurt your photography business in the long term.

Related: How Can I Learn Photography on My Own?


3. Your Name Is Not Connected with Your Photography Brand

Photography Brand

Creating your own brand in the photography business is a MUST if you want to succeed. Call it however you want, just make sure that it’s appropriate. However, that’s not all. Many photographers make a cardinal mistake of not putting themselves into their brand. Yup, you’ve read it well – put yourself in the brand. Oh, I know, it’s sometimes uncomfortable standing on the other side of the camera but at least try it. Potential clients should always know how you’re looking and they should also know a thing or two about you.

You shouldn’t play the anonymous, as this will additionally hurt your photography business. Just imagine doing business with someone that you don’t know anything about. How would you feel? Would you choose that person or a person that has his info on the website, including photos and a short biography? If you answered with a big NO, then you know what to do. If your website doesn’t contain anything about you or your brand, make sure that you fill in that info. Insert some of your photos, write some personal info, and you can even include the video where you talk about your business.

Essentially, this is how you make a portfolio AND your brand more popular. People aren’t gullible these days and they crave a safe connection with their photographers and clients overall. Building trust starts with building a connection, and both of these require some time. Actually, a LOT of time, but it’s entirely possible and up to you.

Related: Best Photography Names: How to Name Your Photography Business


4. Not Enough Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Many photographers make a mistake of avoiding email marketing. Believe it or not, this is the most powerful marketing tool at this moment, especially for photographers and freelancers of any type. If you, for some reason, dislike email marketing, you’re at a huge loss, which is apparent since you’re reading this article. However, we understand you. The email marketing sounds and looks a bit invasive since you’re sending your offers directly to someone’s email but essentially, you aren’t doing anything wrong. I bet that even you have been sent an email in which something is advertised. Am I wrong?

Now, why is email marketing so powerful? For a simple reason. Visit your email address and send someone an email. What happens? The person who received the email is now saved as a contact and you can send the email again but much easier. This will allow you to always have your clients in your email contacts, meaning that you’ll be able to share interesting content and offers with them, whenever you want. We’re not talking about invasive or spammy emails, though. Don’t go bombarding your clients every single day or a couple of times a day.

Instead, make sure that these emails have some meaning in it and that the content is tied to your targeted audience. This way, you’ll gain a huge boost and keep your clients around.


5. You Forgot Your Previous Clients

You Forgot

Last but not least, you need to stay in touch, whether your “shift” is over or not. Photographers don’t have fixed working time, meaning that they get to respond to emails and phone calls whenever they can. Having your clients begging you for a photo session is only going to drive them nuts and away from you. If you’re doing this, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice and risk losing almost all clients that have worked with you. Since most of us are busy with our day-to-day life, we don’t have so much time to wait two or three days for our email to be responded to.

This has to do with the previous section we’ve mentioned. Responding to your clients is another thing and reminding them of your services and content is completely another thing. By combining email marketing and improving your availability through the day, you’ll be able to keep your clients around and even earn new clients over time.

Related: Is Photography A Good Career for You? Top 15 Warning Signs That It’s Not


If you’ve carefully read the article and you found the reason why your photography business is failing, don’t be discouraged. There’s always another chance and you’ll get it if you manage to bring your business routine back on the track. Sit back, write everything that’s wrong with your business, and think about what we just talked about. If you aren’t available for your clients enough, then start caring more about them. Alternatively, if your content is lackluster or you don’t give your clients an experience to remember, try to work on that.

Every beginning is hard and every business has its ups and downs. It’s on you to fix the problems and hope for the best because effort always pays out in the end.

Related: 23 Photography Quotes That Will Give You Hope in Photography

5 Surprising Things Holding Your Photography Business Back

Nermin Grahovic

Nermin Grahovic is a photography enthusiast and photography blogger based in Europe. His images are fun, creative and exciting and his love for travel makes its way into most of his images. Some of his favorite photography genres are portraits, street, landscape, and industrial photography.