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Setting Personal Boundaries in Your Business | Macomb, Illinois Wedding Photographer Erica Clark

Okay, I’m going out a limb here, but how many of you photographers out there get texts like this?
















In 2 different photography forums this morning alone, I see people having this issue.

I’m admittedly shocked as this is not a problem for me. When I was reading the comments in the threads, I was sad to see how often this is happening.

It was suggested that this must just go along with the territory of having a photography business.

I’m here to tell you:

This has nothing to do with photography and EVERYTHING to do with setting boundaries in your personal life.

If you were say, an accountant, your friends would be asking you to¬† prepare their taxes for free. A cake decorator? They’d be asking for cakes for free. And so on.

If the people in your lives KNOW you set boundaries on a personal level, they will assume it on a professional level.

People asking for favors that are out of line, are doing so because it has been communicated (in one way or another) BY YOU that this is okay.

If this happens to you (and you want it to stop), you are going to have to take the right steps in your personal lives.

Avoid using responses like, “Oh I wish I could, but I have an appointment then.” Or “I can’t because I’m busy.”

Answers like this only serve to prolong the problem.

Instead, simply say, “No, thank you.” Or “I can’t.”

Remember, it’s okay to offer your services when the mood strikes you. Just be careful how often you’re volunteering.

Your friends and family should KNOW that when you offer to do something without charge or restitution, that it’s because you WANT to do it.

Avoid feeling guilty for saying “No.” and I promise you, your life will be so much better and so will your relationships.

“When you set boundaries, you are allowing your true self to emerge.”

…and that’s a very good thing!


Want to read more about learning to say “No.”

My friend Joe Fontana over at Porcelain Monkey Studios shared this AWESOME article on how to say “No.” Not only is it a great (and easy) read, it’s funny too!:)

Also, check out Jenika over at Psychology for Photographers. There, you will find a WEALTH of information about the business side of photography.


erica xoxo




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Trina - VioletRay Photography - November 25, 2012 - 1:27 pm

Love this!!! Its a great post about the TRUTH! It does happen and it happens all to frequently. I had it happen to me with a wedding last year for my bro-in-law and I didn’t even get acknowledgment for the images they posted on fb. =( It’s hurtful and it’s easier to keep being family/friends seperate from business. =) Be honest and be strong! Thank you again for this post!!!! <3's

admin - November 25, 2012 - 3:29 pm

That bites, Trina! Sorry that happened to you. Chalk it up to lesson learned, right?
I agree with you. Be honest and be strong. <3
Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It means a lot. :)

Toni | Austin Portrait Photographer - November 26, 2012 - 1:33 pm

Very well-written! And very true. Thanks for sharing. :)

Adrien - August 23, 2013 - 2:47 am

Excellent advice! I think creative types are often also very giving and generous people, and frequently at our own expense. My favorite answer to this question has become: “I’d love to take some photos of ______! I’ll send over my current pricelist and you can let me know what options will work best for you. Looking forward to setting something up soon!”

admin - August 23, 2013 - 10:31 am

Adrien, I LOOOOVE your response!! I hope readers scroll down to read the comments because yours is superb! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing! xoxo

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