Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Excuses, Excuses


There are, by any reasonable estimation, about seven zillion reasons why I can't start a photography business. I was planning on using one of them today, but I decided that to save everybody time, I'll just get them all out of the way in one post. After this, with any luck, you won't have to hear any of them again. And if you do, at least I warned you in advance.
I'll continue to grow this list with any suggestions you may have. I plan to refer back to this post any time I feel like quitting, and then I can rise above the aggregate total of all the excuses you're about to see...

Nick's Reasons Not to Succeed in Photography:

  1. I can't
  2. I won't
  3. My boss won't let me
  4. My wife won't let me
  5. M kids won't let me
  6. My schedule won't let me
  7. There's too many great pros out there already
  8. I don't have time
  9. With digital, now everybody's a pro
  10. There's no money in it
  11. Photography isn't art anymore with digital
  12. I'll fix it in photoshop
  13. Microstock is the way of the future
  14. Nobody buys prints anymore
  15. The amateurs are taking over
  16. Every MWAC is advertising $350 weddings on Craigslist
  17. My dog ate my homework
  18. My dog ate my guinea pig *sniff* :-(
  19. I don't know how to light
  20. All that gear is too expensive
  21. The market is saturated
  22. My taxes will be too complicated
  23. I lost the keys to my car and now I have to ride everywhere on my motorcycle (No, really!)
  24. My kids won't let me take their picture anymore
  25. Everybody else takes better pictures than me
  26. Nobody likes my website
  27. I have no place for a studio
  28. I'm not as good as _________ (Your name here)
  29. My landlord won't sign the stupid paper letting me run a business out of my home
  30. My first wedding is next week and despite the fact that it's a civil ceremony with a justice of the peace and a 7-month pregnant bride, I'm still nervous...
  31. I have to get the kids ready for school
  32. No, really. See #31. Gotta go.
  33. I have to move some furniture
  34. My battery died
And that's all I've got for now. Suggestions welcome.

4 comments:

Sean said...

Hey Nick, thanks for letting us start a business with you vicariously. I have noticed a sharp drop-off in your posting (and enthusiasm) but I think that is natural. It's easy to get excited at first, and hard to stay excited when you realize how much sh*t you actually have to do to start a business. You're already doing better than me; I quit! (or my official statement, "I put it on hold because I realized I couldn't make enough money in it.")

Here are some comments:

4. My wife won't let me
If your wife is against you starting a business, you really shouldn't do it. I don't think that's what you mean though... I think you mean, "My wife wants me to fix ______, I can't do ______ today." Yeah, that's an excuse.

23. I lost the keys to my car and now I have to ride everywhere on my motorcycle (No, really!)
Uh... wow. This as I'm listening to the rain beating down outside this morning. That sucks.

24. My kids won't let me take their picture anymore
So true. My kids hide whenever I get out the camera now. Although your kids probably don't pay you either...

29. My landlord won't sign the stupid paper letting me run a business out of my home
Seriously? Is he/she just hedging or are they against it now? You could always get studio space somewhere or find another way around it.

30. My first wedding is next week and despite the fact that it's a civil ceremony with a justice of the peace and a 7-month pregnant bride, I'm still nervous...
I think you'll always be nervous before big events. Course with weddings there's always more stress since you only have one shot at the thing. If you wanted, you could probably get a second shooter to help you for free off the BA Strobist site (possibly even me, depending on day and location). I'm sure you know that you'll need backup equipment (camera, memory cards, etc.) in case something goes wrong.


One of the things I learned doing my free shoots for friends was that everyone will generally like my images more than I do. I see the slight softness, the bad shadows, the color balance a little off. Others just see the people in the image. Very rarely will a customer be able to tell if an image isn't perfect, let alone expect perfect images from you as a photographer.

Once you realize that you don't need to be perfect, you just need to do your best, it takes a lot of the pressure off.

This isn't to say you can be a lazy photographer and expect to do well. But each individual image doesn't have to be perfect to succeed. Many technically 'bad' photographers still make a living.

The really hard part, as you are probably finding out, is the business stuff: finding customers, managing finances and equipment, balancing your schedule, making enough money to support yourself, interacting with customers, etc.

StockPhotoJourney said...

Dude you stole all my excuses!!! :-)

Hang in there man, I have not been able to shoot for a few days now, the excuses are overwhelming. What has been stopping me lately is my inability to move a piece of furniture. Yeas I am that lame.

I would be happy to be a 2nd shooter if Sean can't

allan said...

Nick,
I didn't realize you were trying to start a company, as compared to just talking about things here and there. We should talk more in depth.

Nick Davis said...

Yep, I'm absolutely serious about it. And good news, my daughter found the keys to my car. They were under the couch. Riding in the rain all week sucked...