Self-Doubt + How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome in Your Photography Business

how to overcome imposter syndrome

Do you know the number one thing that can kill your business from the inside-out? I’ll give you a hint… it’s not the quality of your photos, it’s not how much money you make. Instead, it’s an internal factor that has to do with mindset. Any guesses? It’s self doubt.

Self doubt, or often known as “imposter syndrome,” can destroy your photography business from the inside out!

This ugly mindset can creep into your business in many ways. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned pro or just getting started, self-doubt can haunt you at any phase in your business.

Imposter syndrome is real but the thoughts that provoke it are not. Let’s take a look at how to overcome imposter syndrome in your photography business.

Here are 4 ways self doubt can sneak it’s way into your business.

When self-doubt hits, it can leave you feeling like an imposter, like you aren’t qualified to be doing. Learn how to recognize it and avoid it. Do any of these sound familiar?

1 | “I’m just not good as the other photographers.”

Self-doubt can creep into your business in so many ways but it most commonly happens when you begin comparing yourself to other photographers.  

Social Media unfortunately makes it easy for this to happen. Instagram for instance curates a feed of one’s best images. From one session, you will usually only see a handful of the top images out of hundreds taken. However, as a photographer, you are behind the scenes in your business culling through hundreds of images that won’t even make the first cut. You’re seeing the images where you missed focus, overexposed and all the stuff that no one else will ever see.

Don’t compare someone’s best work to your behind-the-scenes.

Playing the comparison game like this can leave you feeling like an imposter, like you are not qualified to do what you do. Don’t allow this to happen. If you are just getting started, remember that every great photographer starts somewhere!

2 | “I don’t have the best camera.”

Beautiful photos are captured by the artist, not the camera. Composition, use of light, ability to capture emotion and record a moment are all elements of a strong image. None of these elements depend on the quality of the camera. Spend your time mastering the basics of photography and your work will stand out even if you don’t have the best gear. As your business grows, you can invest in better equipment.

3 | “I don’t have the best quality photos”

Want to know a little secret? You do not need to have the best photos to be the best photographer. (* jaw drop *)

Many clients can’t recognize a good photo (technically) but anyone can recognize what great service and a great experience look like. Your business will succeed if you master your client workflow. Treat your clients to an experience with you and they will be your biggest fans and best source for referrals.

4 | “My market is too saturated.”

Yuck – I strongly dislike this one. This is a relevant thought that can hold many photographers back. The photography market is stronger than ever and yes, you might be right – the area that you serve may be saturated with many great photographers. If you allow this into your mindset though, I’m afraid you are using it as an excuse to not push your business forward.

Markets are saturated but the need for photographers is greater than ever as well. I assure you there are many families, couples, individuals, pet owners, whatever niche you serve that feel you are the perfect photographer for them.

Do not allow yourself to be consumed by this one and instead focus your energy on setting yourself apart in your marketing, messaging and service.

Self-doubt, or imposter syndrome is a destructive mindset that can hold you back from succeeding in your photography business.

If you notice, many of the ways self-doubt surfaces in your business are conveyed as excuses. It’s almost as if they are giving you permission to hold back in your business. Do not base the outlook or success of your business on these false statements.

When you doubt yourself, it can hold you back from serving your customers to the highest degree. It can consume your attention that could be better used to improve your business. Not to mention, your self-doubt will often be conveyed to your clients in one way or another.

Instead, focus on ways to overcome imposter syndrome in your photography business and set yourself up for long-term success.

Let’s move past the mindless scrolling. This only promotes more comparison. Instead, invest this time in improving your business, impressing your clients and creating a photography business you love.

Invest your time in perfecting these areas of your business for long-term success in your business:

  • Invest time in refining your photography skills.
  • Spend time on client workflows and perfecting the client experience
  • Work on building your portfolio with clients that help you promote your business, fill your website with stunning images and help you attract more dream clients.
  • Invest in continuing education to improve your business.

You have to be your own biggest fan. Start by acknowledging that self-doubt exists and find a way to limit things that trigger it. Instead, keep your thoughts positive and forward thinking. Envision your business years from now and the success you aspire to achieve. Investing in a healthy mindset will undoubtedly give you the best platform for long-term and sustainable success in your photography business.

Check out some other great articles to help you overcome imposter syndrome by investing your time in creating a healthy mindset and building a business you love:

Why You Need Courage, Not Confidence in 2021

Getting a Good Review for Your Photography Business

Attracting Your Ideal Photography Client

The Importance of a Hand Written Thank You

How to Grow Your Photography Business with Mini Sessions

If you are looking to grow your business or invest in improving your photography skills, check out some of my favorite resources for doing so:

Improve your photography skills with Shultz Photo School.

Looking to launch or grow your photography business? Check out my 12 Week Photography Business Bootcamp!


about Danielle Blewitt

Hi, I’m Danielle. I’m a Pittsburgh, based family photographer and marketing expert. I help family photographers build and grow successful businesses using simple, organic marketing strategies. This space is designed to give you some of my best practical tips to implement in your business.

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