The road to success is paved with many things: hope, dreams, action, perseverance, passion. But there are also a few obstacles along the way. Some might be little potholes, while others may seem like huge boulders blocking the path. But they are all closely related to one thing. FEAR. And a lot of the fear comes from within - that nagging little voice that says you should quit before you ruin everything. Ugh!

Whether you’re a budding photographer with dreams of turning your passion into full-time work or a professional growing your photography business, there are always challenges to face, and if you want to be successful and reach your goals, you’ll have to do just that.

Don’t let fear drive you off the path. Instead, face these 5 challenges you might encounter as a photographer and overcome them so you can keep moving forward and turning your dreams into reality.

a man in a white button up short sleeve shirt smiles while holding a camera. Palm trees are in the background.

1. Personality

There is no shortage of shy or introverted photographers, but the successful ones don’t let their natural selves stop them from doing what they love. You don’t have to be an extrovert, a people person, or outgoing to become a happy, well-paid, successful photographer.

And if you’re sitting there thinking something like, But how can I become a wedding photographer if I don’t like being in social situations? The fact that you are interested in becoming a wedding photographer at all should tell you that you have it in you, despite your shyness or introverted nature.

Like most things outside of our comfort zones, practice makes perfect, so practice, practice, practice. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the bigger your comfort zone will get.

Related: Essential Wedding Photography Gear

2. Perfectionism

Done is better than perfect when it comes to moving forward. If you wait for everything to be just so or never put your work out there, nothing will ever happen. Strive for progress, not perfection. You have to realize that not every photo you take will look like how you imagined, and not every project you tackle will end in success. That is just the nature of creative work. But to move forward, to become better today than you were yesterday means you must not fear failure. Just keep trying, keep photographing, keep putting yourself out there.

And don’t get caught up in comparing yourself with others. It’s okay to look up to people and admire their styles, but you’re creating your own. If you spend all day looking at other people’s photos and wondering why yours aren’t as good, you’re not creating, you’re not practicing your craft, and you’re not sharing your unique style. Remember, creation, not consumption.

a man stands outside on a rock ledge in jeans and a jean jacked while holding a camera. Tree's are in the background with fall colored leaves

3. People’s Opinions

This applies to both clients and well-meaning friends and family. You might find yourself asking…

What if the client doesn’t like my work?

People tell me a hundred different things when it comes to building a photography business. Who do I listen to?

What will people think if I’m working on street photography? Will I seem strange?

The only person that you really need to listen to is yourself. Of course you’ll want to consider your clients’ needs and wants, but you also have to remember that you can’t please everyone all of the time. This also goes for friends and families (and sometimes strangers) who share their opinions and/or give advice. Take what resonates and leave the rest.

A man sits at a white table with his hand on the trackpad of a mac book. There is a large calendar in the background

4. No Money, No Time

First, there are only so many hours in the day, and everyone has the same amount of hours to use as they please.

Second, while it’s true that more money is helpful, it’s not necessary for success.

To overcome these challenges, you have to have priorities. Make the time to work on your photography, even if it means waking up an hour earlier. And put money towards what’s really important to you. Start a savings account for photography gear if you need to.

Practice focused action, take one step at a time, and do the best with what you have at the moment. You can’t become successful by trying to do everything at once (make a website, buy all the gear, market your business, etc.) You have to create a plan that works within your schedule and budget.

5. Doubt

There will always be times when you doubt your abilities, and even when you overcome one doubt, another will pop up. New fears and insecurities will sprout up like weeds on the path to success, but you can’t let them trip you up. Squash them! The trick is to face your fears and do whatever it is that scares you. By doing so, your confidence will grow and you’ll keep transforming and building your photography skills and business. Envision the kind of photographer you want to be and work towards that.

Related: 7 Creative Wedding Photography Ideas to Boost Your Portfolio

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