wp_head() What’s Your Photography Goal: Affordable, Original, or Best? « portraits without borders
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What’s Your Photography Goal: Affordable, Original, or Best?

In my opinion all photographers can be identified into these three categories. We all start at the affordable and then find our way to Original, and for a small few become the best in our industry. There are advantages and disadvantages to all so let’s break it down:

One of my favorite living photographers Joe McNally



  • Your gaining lots of experience by booking many clients because you have the cheapest offer or you’re willing to deliver your service for free
  • People shouldn’t be complaining so much on the quality of work that you produce because they didn’t really pay much for it.
  • You have little overhead because you’re not spending money on everything it takes to run a business
  • You still have a day job besides photography. It means that your avoiding the pressure of merely relying on your skills as a photographer to put food on the table.


  • There’s less fulfillment doing a craft that you love, knowing that people hires you not because you are good or the best, but because your service is affordable.
  • It is highly probable that your clients don’t truly value the efforts of a seasoned photographer. If they did they would be paying for it.
  • The clients that you’re getting now will NOT be the clients that will be hiring you when you get better.
  • The longer you choose to stay in this category, the HARDER it will be to rise above it.



  • Because you have established your reputation, therefore, making more income from your photography, there are LESS arguments with your spouse/girlfriend/life partner about money.
  • You’re getting that feeling that you might have a CHANCE of making a living as a photographer
  • You don’t have to give your time, and talent way (at least you shouldn’t be)


  • You now have to compete with ALL kinds of the photographers in your area, including the cheapest and the working types.
  • Anticipate spending more on investments like, SEO, advertising and social media and other strategies that will push you to the next level.
  • You’re getting that feeling that you might have a CHANCE of making a living as a photographer (You think I’m kidding)



  • Your getting national or global recognition for your talent
  • You have something the rest of us wants
  • You should be making top dollar for your skills, because they’re paying for your name as well.


  • If the world changes it’s feelings on your style then your back down to a working photographer or God forbid back to being a cheap photographer.
  • You have to work harder than everybody else to stay in the spot light.
  • You have something the rest of us want so you have to constantly protect your place in this industry which will cost you more time, effort, and money.

Having to mull over the pros and cons of these stages and categories, you will have a better picture of the steps that photographers take in order to reach the goal that they have set for themselves. Therefore, allowing you to make smarter choices along the way. You should take pride in all of the images that you have created from start to present, even those that are amateur-ish that currently make you cringe and you have to remind yourself, they are all part of the photographic journey that may have served as a catalyst in creating sets of exceptional photographs and help keep your feet on the ground. Whatever phase you’re in right now, there’s one very important thing that you have to keep in mind – you have to savor every bit of your journey. This will keep you sane in the middle of all the photographic chaos, exhaustion and occasional let-downs. So continue to soar and live the photographer’s dream.

Written by Ashton Boni