Photography Mistakes: My Pain, Your Gain

What photography mistakes should you avoid? You’ll make countless mistakes as a professional photographer or filmmaker. This is how we grow as artists & entrepreneurs, and I encourage experimenting with your marketing and photography. I’m also encouraging experimentation with photography rules, not just business rules. Break them!

Why Mistakes Are Vital For The Professional Photographer

Mistakes can be one of a couple of things for the photography or video business. Either you utilize it for growth opportunity or you allow it to destroy you. Which do you choose?

My hopes are that you would use it to strengthen the voyage forward, to avoid making the same time or monetarily bad decisions in the future. Learn from my mistakes and do better for yourself, or listen to others in the field before you and I.


I created a video of some of my biggest missteps, things that I teach others now in my classes. While I did just mention mistakes being an integral part of business development, the key is to avoid them where you can and to look for opportunities to learn from others. This is why the Masterclass linked earlier was created, to provide a solid road map based on my wins/losses for the new photographer.

Remember The Pause

Pause after each win and loss, avoid missing this step. What does it feel like? Pause to process your feelings, to look around you and assess what your team feels. These are the traits of a leader and these moments will help guide your next decision in a smarter way.


At the start of my career, I thought it was about running full speed ahead, and never looking back. In hindsight, a few extra moments of stillness really wouldn’t take away from my day. It would though add a tremendous amount of understanding. Embracing this pause will allow you time to analyze the data.

Photo 1: self-photo on set for Ricky Martin tour rehearsals (Walid Azami)

Collect Data For Future Photography Success

Mistakes will make or break you, and there are times it can be catastrophic but it’s mostly embarrassing or an ego blow. Imagine if everyone listed every mistake. Imagine having that type of access to find out you’re not a weirdo, not a failure, not someone who is incapable of success.


They are an opportunity to collect data, to ask yourself questions, to have a better understanding of your instincts. What worked? What did you do correctly? Note that! What can you capitalize on in the future? Note that also!


Pausing to collect data will do the same for your losses or mistakes. What did you do incorrectly? Where did you avoid listening to your instincts or better advice from someone? Where did you lose control? My biggest business growth came when I allowed myself a moment to reflect.


Yes, making mistakes does create room for knowledge but the goal is to avoid paying a devastating price for knowledge. I want to learn from others and to always improve myself with incremental gains. That’s what the video is about, 5 important lessons I’ve learned since the beginning of my career or 5 opportunities for you to grow as an entrepreneur yourself.

Forgive Yourself

The final part is to allow yourself grace to make these mistakes. Allow yourself forgiveness because how else would you develop into a successful entrepreneur? We all make mistakes, even the ones not yet confident enough to admit it. I hope that you allow yourself time to pause and feel.


Then you allow yourself the time to collect data and finally, you forgive yourself and move forward. The videos that I created are some of the things I’ve learned since the start of my career, and I’m hoping they provide some form of direction for your own success. My biggest hope is that you turn each mistake moving forward into a vital learning opportunity to grow your photography business.


What should you do next? Read this blog (and see the video) because you must avoid this ONE HUGE MISTAKE.

If you want to learn more about photography and how to make money, sign up here. It’s my photography survival kit and you get a lot of cheat sheets. You get worksheets and first offers. You’re welcome!

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Thank you for reading,