How changing my mindset helped me create a successful photography business

2018 started off pretty low. I was barely making ends meet, and the little bit I was bringing combined with my husband’s salary was just enough to get us through the month, which is a little bit scary when you have a 18 month old to feed.

We had decided a few months before that I needed to bring about $2,000 per month with my business for it to make sense for us. It took me a while to get there and at some point we had to pull some money out of the savings account, but we really wanted to try. I was taking on a lot of work and was often working nights and weekends. 


Finding a coach that will help through your road blocks

In March, as I was scrolling on Facebook and looking for new online classes to watch, when I stumbled upon a video from a food photographer, Dani Meyer, who was looking for beta testers for her new course and mentoring program. She was offering a course about the business side of food photography, which is what I was really struggling with and was unable to find much about on the internet. I was also really excited about talking to a professional photographer and being able to ask questions about my struggles.

The class was $1,000, which, believe me, is a ridiculously low amount to pay for what you get from Dani. But for me back then, it was a lot of money. We discussed it with my husband and we decided it was a good investment. Paypal was offering a 6 month no interest plan, which helped us to make it work. 

This program changed my business. I believe I would have been able to take my business where it is now without it, but it would have taken me years. The first thing that Dani tackled was the mindset. She had us work through our fears and doubts. She made me pitch her my work in front of the other students (my nightmare), she helped me find the right words to talk about my work without feeling sales-y or slime-y. My self confidence did not come overnight, but these exercises started me on a journey towards feeling good about my work.

Setting up goals to work towards

Then we looked at setting up some goals for the year. One of my goal was to get published in a magazine. I didn’t realize it back then, but the reason why it was so important to me then is because I thought being accepted by a magazine meant that I was a “good photographer”, whatever this means. I felt like if I was published, people couldn’t say that I was a fraud. I felt that it would give me the confidence to do anything I wanted.

I didn’t get published. But I did the work this year and I feel (mostly) confident in my work and in my worth, so for 2019 I have set new goals that are more in line with what I want and need in life and where I want my business to go. The funny thing is, I know exactly why I failed to meet my goal: I never reached out to the magazines because I was too afraid they would reject me…

My 2018 successes

This change in my mindset has allowed me to achieve amazing things this year: I was chosen by Rachel Korinek for her mentoring program along with Martin Willmann amongst 500 other candidates, because I had started working on the mindset and the goals and that allowed me to show Rachel that I had what it takes.

I was able to finally say no to the wrong projects in order to make room for the interesting projects and amazing clients I am working with today. And finally I raised my prices up to 5 times. There is such a thing as prices too low, and you will deter the clients you really want to work with by having really low prices because it often equates to poor quality in the client’s mind – another post on this topic coming soon!

I have a long way to go and still a lot to learn, but I am so grateful for everything I learned in 2018, and I am very excited by the new goals and projects for 2019!

Leave a comment below if you would like to share your goals and projects for 2019!