Beginning a photography business is like Freshman year in college. You picked a major because you had to but you don’t really know what you want to do yet. You have all these 101 classes to get through so you sign up for a wide variety of classes.
One day, you’re sitting in one of those random classes you had to sign up for and you realize you are actually ENJOYING YOURSELF.
So you rethink your major. You switch or refine it.
And you wouldn’t have found your passion if you hadn’t tried a few things you weren’t familiar with!
In a photography business, your Freshman year looks incredibly similar. Lots of variety, tons of beginner work. You decide you hate shooting headshots as much as you hate math but you love photographing pets as much as you loved your English classes.
So you refine. You determine what you love by doing a lot of what you don’t love.
And by taking on a variety of jobs, you will learn so much about your camera, how you want to use it, and what you want your work to look like.
Unfortunately, just like in college, you won’t stop doing the things that aren’t as exciting to you. There will always be the sessions you take just because you need to cover rent. And instead of a few more math classes, there will be taxes, emails, and general office management to get done.
But the more you shoot and the harder you work, the more refined you’ll get. You’ll only take on the sessions you want because you’ll have enough business to turn down the ones you don’t. You’ll have time to experiment because you’ll be charging enough for your paid sessions that you’ll have just enough free time to take on personal work.
And hey, maybe one day you’ll hire people to do all the things you don’t love.
Owning a business is not a static thing. Where you are year 1 is not where you’ll be even in year 2, let alone year 42.
So embrace it.
If you’re just starting out, take on a wide variety of shoots. If people want you to work for them, do it. You’ll boost your technical skills while figuring out what the heck you want to do.