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How to Sabotage Your Photography Career in 10 Easy Steps!

by Dan Bailey on October 5, 2010 · 32 comments

Are you ready to sabotage your freelance photography career and ruin your business? You know, the one that you’ve worked so hard to build up all these years?

Well, you’re in luck, because it’s very easy to do. Just follow these simple steps and before you know it, you’ll be selling off all your gear, moving out of your studio space and struggling to pay off all the debt that you’ve accumulated.

1. Answer “No” to as many requests as possible: Make sure that everyone who asks you for a specific type of image knows that it can’t be done the way they want it. What do your clients know anyway? They’re not photographers, they have no ideas how hard it is to create dynamic, original imagery! If you say it can’t be done, then it can’t be done. Work hard to convince them of this fact.

2. Don’t worry about “Relationships”: You work alone and don’t need to tangle yourself with lots of business relationships. Be a recluse. Keep to yourself as much as possible. No one ever sunk a career by being personable or by actually being friendly with the people that hired them.

3. Be REALLY hard to work with: This is the easy one. Everyone hates working with someone who’s a pain in the butt and if you can claim that title then you’ll be on your way out in no time! Believe me, word gets around fast!

4. Provide no contact information on your website: If you want to keep people away, (and who doesn’t?!) simply remove all phone numbers, addresses and email addresses. Only keep those “fill in the blanks and submit” forms that everyone loves so much. You know what? Forget it. Take those off too. Leave the world totally mystified as to how they can reach you.

5. Remove all SEO rich content from your website: You don’t want anyone to actually find you online, do you? By exercising bad or non-existent SOE skills on your site, you can ensure that you’ll be furthering that mysterious, reclusive impression that people are starting to have about you.

6. Spend all your money on advertising: Don’t just spend a reasonable budget, spend it all! Buy page space in ALL the print directories and take out expensive ads in all the places where people probably won’t see you anyway. Oh, and spend lots of money on useless marketing campaigns that do not actually target your intended audience. For example, if you shoot motor sports, advertise in Greenpeace. Never mind, on second thought, don’t waste ANY money on advertising. EVER.

7. Display a haphazard collection of work on your website: You don’t want to pigeonhole yourself, right? You don’t want anyone to think that you specialize in anything. Style is for sissies. Vary it up. Put up galleries of completely mismatched subjects on your website, like skateboarding, weddings, flowers, bikini wrestling, clowns and dolphin bondage (whatever that is…) all on the same page. Let people know that you can do it all!

8. Charge TOP Dollar for your work: Charge the highest price possible. I mean, really crank your prices up there and be completely inflexible to lowering them for ANY reason. Hey, it’s your work, right? You can charge what you want. NEVER negotiate under any circumstances.

9. Bad mouth everyone else in the industry: Everyone knows that in order to get ahead you have to be nice. Well forget that, be ruthless. Talk trash about other photographers, especially to your clients and tell them why everyone else’s work sucks. don’t mince words, let them know what you REALLY think!

10. NEVER help another photographer: This goes hand in hand with the last one. Never under any circumstances should you offer any other professional or amateur photographer advice. Let them slug it out like everyone else. Teach them that it’s not cool to help other shooters- you’re all in this for yourselves. It’s not like the advice that other photographers gave you is working out, your career is going great!

Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to a horrible photography career in no time.

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