5 Signs Your Photography Business is Doomed to Fail

Running a successful photography business isn’t as simple as having a steady stream of client inquiries.

  • What if you’re serving clients so often that you’re sacrificing time with your family, your friends, or yourself?
  • What if the clients you’re serving aren’t aligned with your goals for growing your business?
  • What if the work you’re producing isn’t consistent, so that some days, you feel incredibly confident, yet on others, you feel like a fraud?

The key to building a successful photography business is building a sustainable photography business, my friend.

Today, I’m sharing five signs your photography business is doomed to fail. Make sure you stick around to learn how you can put in the work to fix these issues!

photography business coach and mastermind retreat host sabrina gebhardt
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  1. You’re working all the time, yet your bank account has little to show for it.

While there are certain seasons in your business where you may be shooting more often (hello, fall family sessions!), you shouldn’t be overbooking yourself on a consistent basis. Before you get to the point where the idea of picking up your camera and leaving your home to photograph yet another session feels draining to you, it’s time to take a look at your boundaries and your pricing.

These aren’t quick fixes, especially if you’re trying to navigate making these changes on your own. But whether you need to set boundaries with your calendar or your clients or you need to set prices that are in alignment with your dreams and that support your goals, building a sustainable and successful photography business starts with getting clarity on these fundamentals.

  1. Sometimes, your images are incredible, and other times, they’re lackluster, but you don’t know why.

It’s normal for your portfolio to mature as your comfort with your camera and your clients changes and as your editing style evolves. But if you’re struggling to maintain consistency in your posing, your lighting setup, or your editing style, this can be a sign that your work could be improved by investing in education.

Whether you choose to invest in a course on posing or lighting tips, or you work 1:1 with a mentor to help you develop a consistent editing style, it’s important to spend the time (and the money) to ensure that you’re producing a high-quality body of work that your clients love and that fulfills your cup as an artist.

5 signs your business may be doomed to fail by photography coach sabrina gebhardt
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  1. You’re wearing all the hats in your business and are running everything by yourself.

When we initially launch our photography businesses, we wear all the hats in business, from marketer and photographer to accountant and office manager. But as your business scales, it’s important to ask yourself what tasks you need to keep on your plate and what to-dos you may be able to trust someone else to take care of.

What’s at stake if you don’t outsource? If you know my story, you know that I’m speaking from experience here: you may be headed for burnout. No woman is an island, my friend, including you! If you’re feeling overworked in your business, it might be time to get the support you need, and deserve, so that you can focus on what you do best. 

  1. You feel like a hamster on the content creation wheel, and you’re not fielding any new inquiries on social media.

Creating content for social media or a blog can feel overwhelming, even as a photographer who’s been in business for a while. When you add in the pressure to create video content, it can truly feel impossible to hop off of the content creation wheel.

But, here’s the good news: it is possible to create content that builds connection and creates a sense of community. My favorite way to communicate with my audience and to share content is through my email list. I love greeting my community in their inbox and sharing valuable content with people who’ve raised their hand and asked to hear from me, so if you haven’t considered building an email list community, I encourage you to make that a priority.

signs your photography business is doomed to fail
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  1. You have a dream of being a successful photographer, but you never actually feel “successful.”

When you think about what it takes to build a successful photography business, what comes to mind? In working with my own students, I’ve learned that the word “success” takes on many different meanings for all of us.

I always recommend my students take the time to define what “success” means for them and to revisit this definition often as their business grows. Some of my favorite questions to ask are simple: “What do I want? What are my big dreams?”

It’s also important to set intentional goals that align with your definition of success. After you’ve taken the time to define what success looks like, setting appropriate goals to propel your business forward and help your business fit your life (not the other way around) is crucial to building a business that you love and one that has the staying power to stick around long-term.

Want more support as you build a successful and sustainable photography business? I would love to invite you inside The Aligned Photographer, my course for business success that gives you your life back. Learn more here!

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