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There is a lot of content out there for the new photographer. Blog posts, workshops, coaching, tutorials, etc. There is so much focus on the new photographer that sometimes I wonder what’s out there for ME?! What’s out there for the photographer that has been in business for 3,4, even 7 years?! How do WE grow? Honestly, I have a lot of ideas and thoughts on this subject. If I had all of the time in the world, I would make some of these ideas come to life… one day… one day:) Overall, I think there is a hole in the industry for the experienced photographer. We can always learn from the education that is out there for the newer photographers but honestly, there is a whole other world out there that is completely untapped.

Michael and I try hard to educate ourselves these days. Our business ideas and new adventures don’t stem from workshops that we attend, they come from our own personal education. Podcasts, ebooks, business blogs, etc.  In the future, I’m excited to share more about this side of our business with the experienced photographers out there!!!

For now, I just wanted to simply address the THREE LIES that the experienced photographer believes on a regular basis. You may not resonate with ALL of these, but if one of these rings true in your life, I want to know about it! Leave a comment and let me know that I’m not alone here!! :)

For those that have been in business 3-4+ years, you know how to shoot a wedding. You have more than likely found your style and you have had enough experience to form your own systems and workflows. Your pricing is probably down pat and your brand represents who you are…. but yet for some reason…. you still have insecurities. I still have insecurities. I’ve realized lately that there are 3 LIES that I’m constantly pushing out of my mind and here they are!

1. We don’t have any new ideas.

2. This has worked for 7 years, it will always work! 

3. One day, inquiries will stop.

1. We don’t have any new ideas:

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been doing this for so long that I’ve maxed out my creativity. However, after each wedding, I prove to myself that this isn’t true. So why do I worry about this sometimes? I worry about this because I look at others work and I think “I’ve been doing this for 7 years…. people are going to get BORED with my work if I don’t think of absolutely incredible poses, new compositions and fresh perspectives.  The problem with this lie is that I stop appreciating my current comments and encouragement and I’m just focusing on the fear of losing that one day. Ultimately, that’s just me being ungrateful and letting fear drive me. Not good!

2. This worked for 7 years, it will always work.

This is the easiest to believe. When you become established, you get in a rhythm and it works perfectly. Then, slowly you may realize that there are some areas of your business that need a revamp. For us, this is currently the fact that Facebook will probably never be what it used to be for our business. Instead of just doing the same ol’ thing with Facebook, we’re trying new things. We’re realizing that what has worked for 7 years isn’t going to last forever. We have to change with the online culture and our industry and this is one of the KEYS to having a business with endurance!

3. One day, Inquiries will stop.

Once you have several successful years in business, it’s easy to start thinking “Well, one day this isn’t going to be the case”.  I CONSTANTLY tell Michael, one year we aren’t going to get any inquiries… I can feel it.  He just rolls his eyes and doesn’t even try to reassure me because he knows I’m being ridiculous. But I have a fear about this!!! What happens when we’re not young and fun and relatable? What happens when we have kids and we aren’t the same age as our brides?? Well, the good news is that I know several photographers in their late 30’s with several kids and they are running amazing wedding photography businesses! It’s all in how you handle it and change with your brand and your life. Also, I have to remember that God has never failed us…. ever. Even in seasons when I’m freaking out, He’s always there.  It’s not fair to doubt Him because I have nothing to base that fear off of. He has ALWAYS provided and I know He will continue to do so. If there is a time in our business when we only book 3 weddings, He’ll have something else for us! Right now, He has called me to be a wedding photographer and I’m going to live into that calling until He’s ready to use me in another way!

Friends who have been in business for a while… I hope this was helpful and encouraging. You’re not alone in the lies you believe. There are so many other things I struggle with when it comes to running this business but these are the most reoccurring lies! We have to remember that they are just that… LIES. These are ideas and thoughts that fill us with fear and simply shouldn’t even take up space in our brain!!!! Admitting that you struggle with these lies is the first step to overcoming them!!! :) Have a great week ya’ll!! 

xoxo, Katelyn
65 Comments Ask Anything, Education
  1. Britney reply

    I so needed this today! Thank you so much for your sweet heart and encouraged spirit! Have a great day!

  2. Candi reply

    Oh Katelyn!! I needed this. I have been in business about 8 years and even though the first 3 were mostly me practicing, and I’ve only been full time 2 years I feel like I have had long enough to figure things out. Don’t get me wrong, my business is thriving but I always feel I should be “farther”. What a crazy concept!! Thank you for this! I think I am seeking magic answers to a problem that really isn’t even there!!

  3. Katie reply

    Thank you for this post! I worry about these things all the time! I am always saying “Is this the last year of my business?? What if I don’t get enough inquiries/bookings??” I’m glad to know I’m not alone in worrying about these things!!

  4. Karen Shoufler reply

    Girl! #3! I’m, well, 37 and fearful that building my business at this point is just too late. But nobody got anywhere by letting fear paralyze them!

    • Cinnamon reply

      I feel exactly the same way. I’m 39 and just getting started and constantly am worried, “am I too late to the party?” “who will relate to me?” But you are right….all LIES!

  5. Karidan reply

    I say every year I am TERRIFIED that inquires will just stop :( They also start coming in but still.. I have been thinking the same thing as I hit 30 this year ;( what happens when I am not cool anymore :(

  6. Jana Long reply

    thank you! I so needed to read this right now! I’m 39, single mom, have been doing this 4 years (2 full time) and the struggle is really real! Just this last week I’ve been thinking of these things! Thanks for the encouragement!!!!

  7. Emily Crall reply

    The last one is so true for me! I just had my first child and am suddenly afraid that my brides won’t be able to relate to me anymore because now I’m “just a mom”! I have to keep reminding myself daily that they didn’t hire me because I didn’t have a child at the time and now that I do, they’re no longer interested. But it IS a good look at making sure I am still relatable in other areas and not just talking about my child nonstop. :)

  8. Robyn reply

    Katelyn – Your testimony to God’s faithfulness speaks truth! A great reminder not only for photographers but anyone that deals with fear and doubt in any business or season of their life.
    Thanks for the uplifting message!

  9. Brittany reply

    I especially agree with your thoughts about not being young or having kids – when I first started my business, I was a newlywed with no children and I felt like I really connected with my brides. Now I have a toddler and a new baby and I feel like brides look at me like I am old and tired. I’m not even 30! I tried to remember that I can still connect with brides even if we are not in the exact same stage of life, but it does make me feel like I am “on the way out” compared to younger photographers who have more energy and are much more well rested.

  10. Susan Fowler reply

    Yes! #1 and #3 for us! On the second one we have the opposite– always hoping we can keep up with the new trends and be ahead of the curve. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow and chat more about this stuff!

  11. Stephanie Messick reply

    This is encouraging, Katelyn! <3 Thank you for the reassurance because He will provide!!! xoxo!

  12. Matt reply

    Thanks so much for this post! I needed it and have been facing some of these lies lately. It’s reassuring to remember that this is what I’m called to right now, and God provides. And if that calling changes or adjusts it will only be because He has something better and more life giving in store for me and my family. :)

  13. Sara reply

    This is super helpful. Thanks so much! I love all of your stuff.

  14. Ashley Martens reply

    YES! 8 years later I still feel the pressure of not enough, I’m going to get too old, and one day this business will no longer be…. I know that God will take care of us, He is so good.

  15. Bethany reply

    Number three! Yes!! I say that to my husband all the time and it’s a legit fear in my life! Thank you for addressing that one :)

  16. Sarah Bradshaw reply

    Girl, I deal with ALL THREE. And I agree with you about there being an education gap! I think about it all the time! Mom keeps telling me I need to find a long-term business mentor, but the problem is, I don’t know where to look for one! Who has something they can offer me? So hard!

  17. Ruxy reply

    I’ve noticed that your Sponsoring a lot of posts lately. Are you including Boosts into your budget for each post now? Or do you pick and choose which ones to boost?

  18. Kate Robinson reply

    Love this. Thank you Katelyn xx

  19. Tamara reply

    “If there is a time in our business when we only book 3 weddings, He’ll have something else for us! Right now…” I’m so thrilled with how you approach your business. God has our “right now” locked into our focal point. Right now yield to Him, right now praise Him, right now thank Him. All we have is “right now” but God, He has our futures. You’re honoring Him w/your life through your business “right now.” And, as you stay close and grow in Him you’ll always have that “right now” to be all He asks of you, (no matter how business/life may change) and He’ll always have your future. Thank you for your heart for the Lord in all you do.

  20. Marianne wiest reply

    agree with everyone on #3!!! Hate not being able to live in the moment and enjoy success and instead worrying about my business slowing down! I was just comparing this year to last year and seeing that I did more sessions last February than this year and worrying about it when I should be happy I had any sessions in February at all since its the winter! HAVE you ever seen a decline in your business?? Are some years just slower than others? Any tips for not worrying?

  21. Natasha Cadman reply

    I definitely feel the no fresh ideas – I think that more to comparing ourselves constantly as well. But a great blog post for a simple reminder ;-) x

  22. Seth Williams reply

    Very insightful and reassuring. My wife and I have been in business for 3+ years and have stressed over all three of these lies. Also, thanks for touching on the gap in education for the experienced photographer.

  23. Julie Shuford reply

    Thank you so much for this post. Working for yourself can be so terrifying and especially in this ever changing industry. It’s good to know I’m not alone and thank you for reminder that He always has a plan. I have to remind myself I wouldn’t be here without faith in myself and Him. Xo

  24. Jim reply

    Just smiling :) Think you’re going to have difficulty feeling relevant & relatable when you’re in your thirties? Wait til you hit 50! Photography as it is right now may be all you really know, but imagine if you had started when I did, and EVERYTHING changed. Because it will again, before you’re my age.

  25. Kelly reply

    Hi, Katelyn! (I have a daughter with your name, hers is Caitlin.)

    I may not have been in business 3-4+ years, yet, but at 40 yrs of age I have asked myself question #3 many times. “Will I be able to shoot weddings if I’m not cute and spunky and hip?” hahaha! Also, with my families. “What happens when I’m no longer a mom with little ones at home? Will I still relate and will they still hire me?” :) This was an encouraging post, so thank you.

    I am so glad I found you when I did! I am primarily a family portrait and event photographer in Kansas City, and in just my 2nd year of business, however I found you JUST when I needed you. I am shooting my 2nd wedding in July — in a BARN. :) That post came in the nick of time! I’m really looking forward to shooting it, but you had some great tips to share and I appreciate it. I want to get more involved in weddings, so I’m 2nd shooting when I can for other photographers and learning all I can.

    Again, thanks for the encouraging post and for being there for photographers – new & not-so-new!

    Kelly

  26. Nikki Santerre reply

    THIS! Girl, you know I needed to read this! xoxo!

  27. Sheldon Isaac reply

    Wow,
    This is talking to me right now. I won’t lie, I’m in a rut and not sure what to do BUT the reminder the God will never leave me or forsake me has reinvigorated me! I just need to do my part Katelyn! Thanks for this “sermon” lol and the business teachings.
    Wishing you and Michael continued success and God’s blessings.
    Sheldon

  28. Alex reply

    If you do the same for 7 years – Inquiries will stop ;)

  29. Connie Grant reply

    I am so glad that people are in business in their late 30’s . That gives hope to those of us that are in our Late 50’s. :)

  30. Emily reply

    Thanks so much Katelyn! You are SO inspiring and this post was something I needed to read on this rainy Monday morning here in NC! Thanks so much for your continued expertise and your ever-so present faith that is also so inspiring! I appreciate it so much!

  31. Danielle Griffith reply

    Robert and I are way older (49 and 47) than most of our brides, in fact, we could be their parents, but we still book weddings and have a blast with our brides and grooms:) and their parents. I think that since we’re older that helps build trust with the parents and the brides:) just my two cents:) so there is hope for you and Michael:) lol xoxo

  32. Amber reply

    You are not alone. Number 3 probably hits me the most, I feel that way every winter!

  33. Stefan reply

    Really beautiful post Kately, you really understand us and it`s look like we feel the same even in diferent countrys and cultures.

    God bless you, and your beautiful photography!

  34. My Experiences With The 3 Lies Photographers Believe Zoe Zen Photography Blog | Raleigh NC Wedding Photographer reply

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  35. Melissa reply

    Thanks for this post for more experienced photographers! I worry about creativity all the time, especially in posing and lighting, but just yesterday told my husband how much I’m still learning and growing in those aspects. As artists, I think this part may come so naturally that we may not even realize it! Also, don’t worry about booking…brides will always want the KJ Experience and beautiful images you provide! :)

  36. Marlana reply

    I can think of one more big fat lie…my work is good, so clients will always find me, I don’t need to go after them. While we do get referrals, does the marketing ever really stop? Can it?

  37. Sara reply

    ” Also, I have to remember that God has never failed us…. ever. Even in seasons when I’m freaking out, He’s always there”.
    Katelyyyynnnn! Did God tell you I needed to hear this today? I have been STRUGGLING this year. Last year, we experience exponential growth! We raised our prices (not much, but still an increase) and this year, we only have a small handful of weddings booked… We dont have inquiries coming in and I am freaking out.. But, you know what I have to remind myself of DAILY? God loves us! He gave us this business, so we could LOVE, GIFT and SERVE others. Thats what we LOVE to do. In my heart I know He will provide for us. The enemy is coming hard at us right now with doubt and worry. I needed a reminder today, from someone who has gone through it! THANK YOU! (and say a prayer for us, k? HA!)

  38. Kate reply

    What about the “I am a fraud and everything I put out is mediocre and my clients have no idea that they’re hiring such a crappy photographer” moments? Is that normal for experienced photographers?

  39. My Experiences With The 3 Lies Photographers Believe reply

    […] and bloggers, and found a recent blog post from her quite interesting. In her article “3 lies that the experienced photographer believes“, she shared 3 myths that experienced photographer are struggling with. I believe a lot of […]

  40. Paula Whysall reply

    Well said! But, don’t worry. You can age gracefully and still make a living as a wedding photographer. Steve’s been in business over 20 years!

  41. madalin stunt cars 2 reply

    thank you! I so needed to read this right now! I’m 39, single mom, have been doing this 4 years (2 full time) and the struggle is really real! Just this last week I’ve been thinking of these things! Thanks for the encouragement!!!!

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