Is It Time To Quit The Photography Business?

Just a few days ago I found out that a well-known photographer (in his niche) who is on the board of a major organization doesn’t like me. There was an incident over 20 years ago that I don’t even remember but apologized for, but he seems determined to hold onto it for whatever reasons he may have.  Not just doesn’t he like me he made it his mission to get me in trouble, seed doubt, and runs a nasty campaign behind my back.

There are the people who I just recently offended when I said that Jehovah’s witnesses engage in Mindless Marketing. They got pretty mad at me because they thought I had an issue with their religion although I was clear I had a problem with their marketing methods.

One of my dear clients in France is fighting for her right to be a woman in her mid-forties with a dream of her own photography business against the snide remarks and low blows of her husband. He wanted her to contribute to the bottom line but not on her terms but his own. Which are not even clearly defined but his idea wasn’t about her having a career she enjoys it was that he wanted to force her to do something he would approve of – whatever that might be.

Another photographer in Philadelphia left his corporate career and picked very tough economic times to build his dream business. Surprisingly enough there seem to be a lot of photographers in Philadelphia and not enough infrastructure to support them all.

I’ve met photographers who have told me that their business is the worst it has ever been. Buyers are getting younger and younger with no idea about the real value of photography, everywhere we go it says, problems, no money, cheap, why don’t you do it for FREE?

I hear you. You are not alone.

Unfortunately this is not new. There always will be people who will have a problem with you following your dreams. Why? Because they are miserable within themselves and if they are not happy than you shouldn’t be either. There will always be people who don’t like you for whatever reason they may have. They may hold a grudge, have unresolved personal issues, , you remind them of someone who did something to them, or a multitude of reasons that may not even make sense. When someone doesn’t like you – they just don’t like you. Now you are at a crossroad. Is it time to quit? Or is it time to adjust your attitude?

First piece of advice. Stop trying to fix it.

SW – SW – SW

Some will, some won’t, so what.

Would I give you a list of people who have told me throughout my career who said that I can’t do this or that, or cite how many obstacles were in my way, how many times I wanted to give up – we’d be still here tomorrow. At the end of the day only one thing counts. And that is your attitude.

Do you still have that fire burning? Is the passion still ignited? Do you proclaim that this is yours and can and will you make it work? The steps we have to take to be successful are much more numerous than they used to be. It takes longer. The obstacles are harder and the path is steeper. But I will tell you this, there is STILL a way to get through and there is a way to get to your success.

It is the unwavering believe in yourself. You can do this. I see who you are, and if nothing else or nobody else – I believe in you. I’ve been in this industry my entire life and I have seen them come and go. There are a million formulas to make it find the one that works for you. Be the person you want to be and follow your heart with integrity and a strong set of ethics. If your close circle can’t or won’t support you,  find a circle that can. Don’t ask for permission to do what you want to do, just do it. Success is the best revenge there is. Proof that you were right all along. And as hard as it may seem sometimes you need to fire your friends, partners, or throw a temper tantrum to claim what is rightfully yours.

Now on the flip side – if you are the photography professional who has been complaining to no end and you wished you could retire but you can’t because money is tight you need to do some serious thinking. If you really don’t want to do this anymore – maybe it is time to quit. You don’t have to be the captain who is going down with a sinking ship that you yourself have run into the ground because you refused to change your business model. Get out, find something that you can enjoy, life is too short.

To get out of the rut you have to start somewhere. When you stick to your guns and to your own beliefs (I am not saying refuse to change to market conditions)  and most importantly when you DO something about it you set a different energy into motion. You attract more and better connections, support, and success.

Your task is now to rise above. One of the most powerful statements you can make is to do something about where you are at. That is why we run the 7 Step Video Bootcamp three times a year. Over 2500 photography professionals have already signed up for it. It is designed to be that first step.  I’ve created it and am offering it for free as my contribution to my industry. It is right for each and everyone of you who is tired of complaining and feeling help-and hopeless who needs a serious reminder (or swift kick in the behind.)

Unless you are ready to quit maybe it’s time to do something? Start with the Free Bootcamp, why wouldn’t you, it is free after all. Sign up now, we start May 15, 2013.



  1. nikki says:

    Wow, I LOVE this. love the way you teach, preach and most it. Thank you, Beate!!

  2. Thank you Nikki. You and I have talked about it - whatever it is we chose to do it has to come from our heart or we won't be believed

  3. Christine says:

    Thanks Beate, you are an angel ;-)

  4. Alexandra says:

    Thank you! Awesome article!

  5. Philippe says:

    Burn magazine recently published an interview with Joe McNally. This is what he has to say about the future:

    "For example, I’ve got a couple of young assistants in my studio, and I say look, your future is very vibrant…a lot of people are saying doomsday stuff right now, but I think the future is vibrant, it’s just going to be very different from mine. Talk about multitasking! They have to be good on the web, they are going to have to know video, audio, all that stuff. They’ll have to be kind of their own multifaceted entertainment-information package. They are going to have to bring lots of skills to the party. "

    You can find the whole conversation at

  6. I often experienced (early in my career) folks getting mad at me and my self-employed success and they tried to bring me down because they were unhappy in their jobs. They of course had zero idea how difficult it was then and still is to work for yourself, but rather than allowing themselves to be lifted up by my positive energy and attitude, they chose to try and bring me down to their miserable and jealously filled level.

    I never succumbed and I had to walk away from those types. Mostly people in the entertainment industry where I build my business and reputation.

    Good article Beate.

  7. bernie says:

    Yes the new bunch of GenY photographers coming through are going to blow the industry apart!

  8. Vlasta Pilot says:

    "Success is the best revenge there is"

    Thank you so much for the article! I've been dealing with this issue for past several years. Having this "good girl" complex I was always troubled by the fact of people not liking me, I just couldn't grasp why they wouldn't. Now, living in New York, where you get a lot of "though love" more often, I just learned not to care about anyone else's opinion.

    Finding your blog was the best thing I did this morning)

  9. Viasta -- so glad you wrote. When you are true to yourself you will attract people who like YOU for who you are and what you are. Sometimes other people's opinions are great if only for one reason to figure out how not to do it.

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