When setting your photography goals it is important to ask yourself these 3 questions:
What is your motivation? What is your vision for your portrait photography business? What is your vision for your life?
I define motivation as what gets you up in the morning, why you do what you do! There are two types of motivation internal and external. Internal-your passion, what you feel like you are meant to be doing, what your talents are. External-we all have, the need to feed our family and sustain life. Both are essential to have complete drive in running a successful portrait photography business.
Finding your internal motivation- this is specific to photography. Why do you want to have a portrait photography business? Why do you want to service your specific clients? What kind of shoots get you excited like seniors, families, weddings, newborns, etc?
One photographer I follow does newborns and she does it because after having her baby, she suffered from post partum depression. Her sister bought her a newborn session through another photographer and those pictures helped her see how beautiful being a mother is. They helped her bond with her newborn. The photographs served as a daily reminder to her the beauty of being a mom. From that session, she wants to help other mothers feel that same way when dealing with all the stress and life change that comes with a newborn. Especially to help mothers overcome post par tum depression. How powerful!
Another photographer I follow, she does self-esteem sessions for teens. Teen depression is so common now and it breaks her heart, she wants all her clients to feel like they are beautiful and build up their confidence in her sessions.
I do it because I love preservation. I have a very documentary style because I want to capture real moments in time. Life is so fleeting, kids change daily, friends and family can be gone at anytime. Sometimes photographs are all we have. I believe that families are forever so I love to capture that bond.
Your external motivation-This is motivation that is forced upon you to survive. Everyone has a story that will break your heart. You will read lots of stories about entrepreneurs and their low point that kicked their butt into gear. JK Rowling was homeless when she wrote Harry Potter. Paul Mitchell was homeless when he started his hair care product.
When I first launched my photography business with an actual paying client, it was because I was working full time, my husband was in school full time, we were living with his mom, and our credit card was maxed out I couldn’t afford to get something for my first child’s first birthday. I wasn’t going to let it be that way!
External motivation is like the match to light your fuel tank of gas that is your internal motivation, you need that internal motivation and vision to keep it going though. External motivation and the vision for your lifestyle can help you perform well in any job. So when thinking about your “why” and your goals be specific to photography.
Your goals need to be definable and attainable. Create 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals. (Yes 10 years, go big!)
How much money do you want to make?
How many clients do you want to have?
Do you want to be published, by who?
What training will you do to better your own skills?
What other revenue streams will you have? Sell photo products, art, or teach?
How will you give back to your community?
Along with your photography goals you need to create a clear vision of your life when you reach those goals. This will keep you going on the hard days. Create a vision board for yourself with actual pictures. I use picmonkey.com for this kind of thing, super easy to use and free.
Where will you live?
What will your house look like?
What will you be driving?
What will you wear?
What will your family look like?
How will other photographers see you?
Where will you vacation?
My vision, is a house with a yard not far from the beach. With a big wrap around porch and dog. I want to scuba dive and be able to travel a few times a year. I want financial freedom to help others anytime. Please share your motivation, goals and vision in the comments below!