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Photo Contest Insider Blog

What To Do When You’re Ready to Give Up on Your Photography Dreams

July 6, 2017

Here’s the scenario: you’ve been slogging it out at the photography game for what seems like the longest time, only to not have made your ‘big break’ yet.

You’re frustrated, disheartened, and ready to give up completely on your photography dreams.

Trust us when we say this: we’ve all been there. Now think of your favorite successful photographers. They’ve been there too.

So whether it’s a temporary photography slump or an all-out crisis, today we’re going to give you the actionable advice you need to move forward.

Let’s get started!

Take a Step Back

The first thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed and ready to give up like this, is to take a step back and truly evaluate your situation.

Ask yourself: why do you want to give up on your photography dreams? What’s currently frustrating you and what are the roadblocks that you’re struggling to overcome?

A helpful thing to do is grab a pen and a blank page or a notepad. Start writing down the answers to the questions above. Don’t try to answer them in perfect sentences either – just use the pen to put your thoughts and feelings down on paper.

Now that you’ve gained some clarity as to why you want to give up, it’s time to move on to the next point.

What To Do When You're Ready to Give Up on Your Photography Dreams

Remember Why

Let us ask you this: why did you want to pursue photography in the first place? Were you stuck in a job you hated and wanted to follow something creative instead? Did you grow up being fascinated with all things photography-related? Or were you constantly being told you had a natural talent for the medium?

Getting back in touch with the reason why you dreamed of becoming a professional photographer may just reignite your passion, or at least, remind you of why you ventured down this pathway to begin with.

Think Critically

Remember the first step when we asked you to write down the roadblocks that were making you want to give up your photography dreams? Now it’s time to delve into these further and think critically about them.

Take a look at what you wrote down and brainstorm if there are any actions you can take to overcome these problems. We bet there are plenty!

For example, if a lack of income is an issue, could you potentially increase the types of services you provide clients with? Could you add extra genres to your photography expertise? Or could you even pursue photography-related side hustles to bring in extra money?

Another example is this: if you said you find it too difficult to manage all of the daily tasks involved with running your own photography business, are there any ways you can become more organized? Can you increase your time management or even outsource tasks you dislike doing (like marketing)? Can you become better at certain skills?

This leads us to our next point…

What To Do When You're Ready to Give Up on Your Photography Dreams

Improve Your Skills

If a certain struggle is making you doubt your ability as a photographer or making you want to give up, then there are thankfully plenty of solutions for this.

From identifying your weaknesses in the earlier steps, you may have found what’s actually holding you back from being able to achieve your photography dreams.

These days, there seems to be an online course or workshop for everything – whether it’s paid or for free. It’d seem like a waste not to take advantage of those awesome resources, wouldn’t it?

Whether it’s marketing, lighting, retouching, or anything else like that which you want to improve, then check out our helpful list of the best free online courses and tutorials for photographers.

Alternatively, if you find that self-doubt and a lack of confidence in your work is proving to be your biggest struggle, then there’s also a free 7-day eCourse available for that.

Stop the Comparison Game

Want to know one of the worst things you can do when pursuing your photography dreams? Comparing yourself to other, more successful photographers, particularly those who seem as though they’re an overnight success.

Firstly, no one is an overnight success. There’s always loads of hard work behind the scenes that you don’t know about. Secondly, we’ve all heard the popular expression from Tim Hiller below:

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, or your middle to someone else’s end.”

And just to drive home the point even more:

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt.

Remember these when you begin to feel that comparison bug creep up on you.

What To Do When You're Ready to Give Up on Your Photography Dreams

Perhaps It’s Just Not For You

What if you’ve tried all of the methods above, read other self-help articles or books related to the topic, and still feel like giving up on your photography dreams?

Then your yearning for a career change might just be a sign of better things to come. At the end of the day, we can’t ignore that overwhelming feeling that something isn’t quite right for us.

And if that’s the case for you, then believe us, we really hope you find it.

Are you ready to give up on your photography dreams? We hope the advice in this article will help you to overcome your self-doubt so you can get back on track to fulfilling your passion. Best of luck!

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