The Reason 99% of Photographers Can’t Make Money (and how to fix it)

Are you a photographer struggling to make money from your passion? You’re not alone. In fact, 99% of photographers struggle to turn their hobby into a profitable business. But why is this the case, and is there a solution? In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons why so many photographers are unable to make a living from their craft and offer practical solutions to help you turn things around. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, understanding the common pitfalls and learning how to overcome them is essential for achieving success in the competitive world of photography.

The Reason 99% of Photographers Can’t Make Money (and how to fix it)

The Reason 99% of Photographers Can’t Make Money (and how to fix it)

Most photographers and creative people in general start with passion true artists creating from a pure place because they find fulfillment peace or happiness and whatever it is they’re making then one day the thought of maybe I can make some money with this pops up it’s a Dream from most artists creating A life and livelihood out of something they love doing something that doesn’t even feel like work but sadly in the end 99% of photographers who have this thought will fail to make any significant money to today I’m going to teach you why that is and how to fix it This year big thank you to Squarespace for sponsoring today’s video what’s up y’all so 10 years ago in 2013 I was a college student at Georgia State University studying exercise science and I was working a corporate internship but I loved photography that was what I was passionate about I was Watching digital rev videos in my free time Jared Poland videos I bought an Olympus OMD em5 on Amazon financing on Black Friday so I could get better at street photography and City photography I was doing portraits for free of anyone who was willing to help me try to Elevate my skills and one day the thought came to my head you know maybe I can make this work when I graduate college maybe I won’t have to work in cardiac rehab maybe I won’t have to go the corporate route maybe I can be an artist and a creative for a living that Was the dream that is what I wanted and I dove head first into making that goal a reality I was editing photos during in class I actually had to retake one of my final classes cardiopulmonary physiology because I wasn’t focused on the class I was just focused on making these dreams A reality and when I graduated I was able to get by I was able to do photography as my livelihood but for years I struggled it was not a good living I wasn’t making enough money to really do what I wanted I was simply surviving and to make matters worse I Would look around on social media on the internet and see my peers who seem to be living their dream life everything was clicking they were working with the brands I wanted to work with they were making all this money they were traveling and I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong until around 2018 I finally put all the puzzle pieces together and in 2019 I had my first sixf figure year and my business has continued to grow since and I’ve pivoted more into this content creation photography side of things but all the lessons in today’s video is what helped Me understand how to make this business model I have now work it all started with photography so Step One is identifying the reason why 99% of photographers myself included early in my career struggle so much to make money the reason why is because photographers early in their career especially fail to Understand what money-making photography actually is you see photos that make money create some type of value exchange someone sees enough value in the things you’re making to pay you money for that now the mistake that most people make early on is they think to give value to Other people they should do a bunch of different things they should be the photographer who does a little bit of graphic design a little bit of video a little bit of Event Photography a little bit of portrait photography and a little bit of real estate photography and this Is a true story way back in the day someone approached me with this amazing $1.5 million house and asked me if I could do real estate photos and I agreed to do it having zero experience and the photos were absolutely atrocious I’m so embarrassed I even submitted these Photos but the guy was cool about it he just didn’t use them he worked with someone else but it was a real eye openening experience for me because it illuminated what this entire video is about to make real money with photography you need to contribute something real to society and you can’t Just do a little bit of everything you have to have a defined reason for your business to exist now now the following steps we’re going to get into how to define those reasons and give your business some Direction but first we have to understand what moneymaking photography actually is on a market Level how do you contribute to the world now an easy rule of thumb to follow when it comes to any money-making opportunity is the four Eternal markets in business now this is a concept that is pretty straightforward for entrepreneurs as well as business or marketing types but it’s something that’s overlooked a lot By creative because we’re focused more on the creativity and on the making side of things now in general any business including a photography or creative business is going to make money if they contribute to one of these four Eternal markets which are happiness social elevation or social standing money and Health those are human needs if you think about yourself as a person most of the purchases that you make do something to improve one of those areas you’re buying something because you think it will make you happy you’re buying something because you think it will elevate your social status you’re buying Something because you think it could make you more money or you’re buying something because you think it could improve your health this same concept applies to photography and it applies like this maybe you want to sell prints you want to sell prints that improve the happiness of the person who owns it they Feel something when they look at the print hanging on their wall every day so your business Market is selling happiness you’re not just looking to make money you’re contributing to your customer or if you’re someone who does wedding photography you are selling your wedding photography so people can share These images with their family share them on social media have them hanging in their home to elevate their social standing they look cool amongst their peers if their wedding photos look good if you’re someone who is looking to help others make money your photography could be used by businesses to promote their Business and make them more money that’s the value exchange you’re creating and when it comes to health this could be something new on want like maybe you work with a fitness influencer because their mission is to give Health to the world you provide photography that helps facilitate their message of Health by Looking at photography the same way that every other business operates you now set the stage for a business that gives something to the world and by giving something to the world you contribute value and the more value you contribute the more money you get in exchange we’ll Talk about that a little bit later when it comes to how to elevate your value and make more money so now we can move on to step two which is giving our business Clarity and this Clarity will help us and also help potential customers see the value we have now we Get this Clarity by defining our brand now the way you define your brand is by creating this blend of your creative why and your business why so first let’s start with understanding what your creative why is as an artist everyone has an objective a purpose and a passion A reason for making pictures outside of just making money now this is a critical thinking exercise you have to think about the reason why you want to make pictures in the first place is it because you want to tell stories is it because you want…


What is the reason 99% of photographers can’t make money?

The reason is that many photographers focus solely on their artistic skills and neglect the business side of things. They often lack the necessary marketing, sales, and business skills to run a successful photography business.

How can photographers fix this problem?

Photographers can fix this problem by investing time and effort into learning and developing their business skills. This includes learning about marketing, sales, customer service, and financial management. They can also seek mentorship or join business coaching programs tailored for photographers to improve their business acumen.

Are there any other factors that contribute to photographers’ inability to make money?

Yes, another common factor is underpricing their services. Many photographers undervalue their work and charge too low, which can result in financial struggles. It’s essential for photographers to understand their worth and price their services accordingly.

I hope you find useful my article The Reason 99% of Photographers Can’t Make Money (and how to fix it), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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