CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes – WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

Yesterday Joyce Smith shared on the MCP Blog about the important role of confidence in having a successful photography business. Now it is your turn.

WordSmith is giving away 5 HUGE Prizes – each Prize is valued at $380.  This is a total of $1,900 worth of prizes.

Each of the 5 winners will get all 5 guides:

{what to wear}: seniors guide (Brand New)

senior pricing menu (Brand New)

{what to wear}: children and families

{what to write}: the perfect words for client communications

{how to sell}: the complete online sales workflow

To those who just have to have some of these right away, use the code “mcp” now through November 1st for 15% off any of the WordSmith Products.

To enter the contest:

1. Think about your level of confidence in both your personal and professional lives.  How does confidence relate to your ability to interact with others, your ability to capture the pictures you love, and your ability to sell yourself and your work to clients?  (If you are not in business you can skip this last one.)  Rate your confidence on a scale of 1-10 and explain your score.  If your confidence is not good, please share what you plan to work on to get it there.  Conversely, if you have a lot of confidence, please share a tip on something you do to help yourself feel more confident. Enter your thorough comment on this post (commenting on Facebook does not count – you must be on the blog at

2. Blog about this contest, post to twitter or post to your facebook wall or page, letting people know to come here and enter. Once you do this come back and get a BONUS comment – just tell us which you did.

Sample Twitter Post:  Win 5 WordSmith What to Wear, How to Sell, What to Write Guides & Pricing Guides @mcpactions –

Sample Facebook Wall Post: Are you confident? Do you lack confidence? Come share your thoughts on confidence at MCP Actions Blog @ and have a chance to win $380 in WordSmith What to Wear, How to Sell, What to Write and How to Price Guides.

Here is a sneak peek at all the WordSmith products:

what to wear seniors promo 1 900x898 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business
pin it4 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business
what to wear seniors promo 2 900x847 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business
pin it4 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

pricing menu screen shot with sample 900x720 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business
pin it4 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

what to wear web preview CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business
pin it4 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business
pin it4 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business
pin it4 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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389 Comments and 0 Replies

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  1. 301

    8 you can’t go wrong with an 8 no matter what you are comparing yourself to!!! Confidence has and will always be something most people struggle with. I think it has more to do with comfort and fear of the unknown. I started a new job recently and I would say that my cofidence was again, an 8 but I was nervous and unsure about how everything was going to unfold. I knew I could do it. I felt sure about that but all those unknowns kept getting in the way.

    I am new to the pro photo world. Trying, just like alot of people, to start out in this business. I keep my day job and eat, sleep and drink photography the rest of the time. I know with all my heart that I have the eye and the talent to make great pictures but I am lacking in skill, knowledge and experience. But the only way to get better is to learn, share, experience and most of all LOVE what you do!

    Bottom line…..if you LOVE IT then they will LOVE IT and if they LOVE IT, it will be that much easier to sell!

  2. 302
    Shannon says:

    I would say my confidence is about a five — I am very shy and hang back == I know I need to translate my confidence in what I do to business, but that is so much easier said then done. I would love to win these guides — I have heard they are FANTASTIC!!!

  3. 303

    My ability to interact with others I would say is 9 or so, because I’ve always been a people person and that is one of the reasons I love photography besides my passion for it; the ability to interact with all kinds of different people. My ability as a business owner and conducting a business however is something low like a 4 or 5. I’d love for it to be a 9 also but I need to learn so many things before it can ever come close. I’m not confident enough yet in my business sense, I change prices to suit other people’s needs, my prices aren’t even that high but I’m still not confident in the price. I need to learn more about how to run a business and with that hopefully learn the confidence I need to successfully run a business. I may be young starting a business but I don’t want that to set the standards for my business.

  4. 304

    We’re a team, even if I don’t pick up the camera, so both our personalities come into play – especially when it comes to confidence. Daniel suffers from what I consider the “traditional artists’ complex”. It might not be fair, it might not be right – but it is what I have experienced over the 10 years we’ve been together. Daniel sees himself either as god amongst men, or, most often, the lowliest worm that ever dared crawl the earth. Middle ground escapes him.

    My childhood was filled with huge amounts of positive optimism – so much so I’m almost convinced I could take over the world. We balance each other out nicely, him pulling me back into a version closer to reality, and me forever boosting him out of the depths. So while I tell you we’re a combined “6″ on the confidence scale, Daniel will follow through with his ever trusty “3″.

    Daniel will also tell you that his lower level of confidence makes him work harder, dig deeper. That it pushes him. That it makes his art crisper, cleaner. I’d tell you that his confidence level keeps him approachable; he listens to his clients, he pays attention to what they don’t say, he takes his time, and he over performs to ensure he gets it right. He doesn’t take anyone or any one shot for granted.

    I take most of the initial customer calls, peppy and happy. Daniel follows up in person – relaxed, and easygoing. Daniel doesn’t talk money with our clients. We’d end up owing them. I wish he could comfortably talk to clients, just like I’d love to be able to pick up the camera, but I’m a big-picture girl, a hit-the-high-spots girl, and would never last in the painstaking art of photography. Thank goodness we have each other.

  5. 305
    Johanna says:

    I twittered about it!

    and I follow you on twitter.

  6. 306

    I’m all over the board. Seriously! I will be a nice high 7, almost an 8 and go a Woot! Woot! I nailed the shoot – and then I’ll get an email from a random person with so much venom that will tell me to get out while I have the chance and I slide down to a 4, but that week alone I’ll book 4 sessions and I’m back up again! Looking at other amazing photographers and ‘wishing I could do that pose’ brings me to a level 5, but I’m working on it and every day I keep booking a new client, so I can’t be too off the track! I’m very interested in all of Joyce’s – How to Sell is right is what I need!

  7. 307
  8. 308
    Karen says:

    I’d say my confidence is about a 4 or 5. I think I have some until I see what others are doing and start comparing myself! Thankfully I can see progress from when I started and I know that time will produce better resutls as I am patient in my learning process.

  9. 309
    Valerie says:

    Hi Jodi, I guess I would have to rate my confidence level at a 6. I have been shooting for 10 years and absolutely cannot live without photography in my life. I am an artist at heart and soul and therefore a control freak/perfectionist. My husband tells me that I have a cycle after every shoot. I am at first ecstatic to get them in the computer and look at my work, then over the next couple of days I rehearse the “I’m a hack” speech, next I start to make the images mine in the editing process and by the end of it all I have found my love again and all is right in my (and my husband’s) world.
    I am building confidence by “cyberstalking” all of my favorite photographers via websites and blogs and studying what it is I love so much about their work (lighting technique, framing, photoshop manipulations, etc). Then I practice until I have found their secret and make it my own with my personal style. I have absolutely come to believe that in selling my product I am selling myself and without confidence in myself (ie my product) no one is buying. I am extroverted and interact well with others, but am trying to find the line between too friendly and professionalism. I am a horrible liar but right now I am working on the “fake it till you make it” mentality :) I do believe with the right level of confidence my business will soar.

  10. 310
    Heidi Trejo says:

    My confidence is probably a 6 or 7. I am getting better though. I try to get out on a photo shoot and just focus on the family or client and put my own insecurities behind me. I notice when I am not confident my pictures don’t turn out as well.

  11. 311
    Sarah Permeh says:


    Confidence has been a long, curvy road that I am constantly traveling down. Right now, I am confident that I can be successful at photography. It’s the day-to-day confidence that gets to me. Being in a small market, having strong local competition, and self-doubt can often cloud my confidence. It’s only human. :) I’m only human. I can’t be the best. What is the best, anyways? Art is subjective, right?

    When I find myself stuck in a negative thought pattern that is shaking my confidence, I ask myself a few things.

    1) Am I being true to myself as a photographer? Am I shooting what I am passionate about?
    2) What are my goals as a photographer? How am I going to get there?
    3) What do *I* define as success? Am I on track to get there?

    After evaluating these things, I take a few days to digest what my answers and thoughts are. Sometimes, I can’t define what these answers are unless my confidence has been shaken a bit. When that happens, I totally have to remind myself that it’s okay… it’s all a part of the process. Without fail, clarity (along with it’s twin, confidence)show up in no time.

    I think it is important to stay true to who I am. Having confidence is easier when you are yourself… flaws and all. When you embrace who you are (and who you aren’t, as a photographer AND a person) you seem confident even when you don’t feel it.

    And with that, I am off to answer some questions… lol. Cause I am sitting at about a 6 on the confidence scale, and I want to be at a 10.

    :) ♥ Sarah

  12. 312
    Lauren Aves says:

    I started off with about a 2 in confidence. At 21, I would not expect anyone to spend much on my photography or to take me seriously as an artist or as a businessperson. I would turn red and my hands and voice would even shake when showing my work to a prospective client for the first time. It was terrifying; like a new slew of job interviews every week. I didn’t know how to NOT be nervous, and I didn’t know if my uncontrollable fear would ever be cured.

    But over the last six years, our business has changed. Mostly, I believe, due to our confidence in ourselves and our work. The confidence that we (my husband and I) ARE very good photographers, and that we ARE worth it. The moment things turned around was when we moved in to our new studio loft. The first time we watched our wedding slideshow with a new client, I thought “I didn’t turn red!” The next time, I didn’t feel as self-conscious as the last. Little by little, my nervousness turned into willingness to open up and share my true talent with people. Now when I watch a wedding slideshow through my client’s eyes, instead of feeling like I’m naked on a stage, I feel proud. Like, “I did that. I photographed that wedding and it looks amazing. No one else could ever photograph it the same way that I did.”

    My tip: build up your skill set. Learn to be better. Focus on being the best photographer or whatever you do, and your confidence will follow because you won’t be faking it anymore. I don’t have a number for the confidence that I feel now, but I do know that it is no longer the awful “2″ that it used to be. :)

  13. 313
  14. 314
    Yvonne says:

    I am not a timid person by nature and would rate my confidence at around a 6 for my photography skills. I’m never afraid of an approaching photography shoot but sometimes “kick” myself for the little things that I did not notice until I’ve uploaded the pictures on my computer. I think that communication with the client is key to building my confidence about what they are looking for in their photos. The “wordsmith” product is a perfect bridge to a strong communication with the people that are being photographed! Thanks for bringing this package of booklets to my attention. I’ll definitely be checking out their website!

  15. 315
    Maureen says:

    I would rate my confidence low a 3 – and I know it is one of my biggest issues. I find that I think way too often, I don’t want to bother people – gotta get over that.

  16. 316
    Maureen says:

    psted a link on Face book

  17. 317
    Maureen says:

    another post to twitter.

  18. 318
    Courtney says:

    I’d rate my confidence as about an 8 personally and 5 professionally. I feel very confident interacting with clients, making them feel comfortable but I always feel like i could be MUCH better at the ‘business’ side of things. however i have the confidence that in 2010 i will do it, i am confidentially planning for the BEST year yet – the confidence in all things will start to gel and hopefully i will be an 8 in both personal and professional come December :) ohhhh how i hope to win. crossing my fingers :)

  19. 319
    abbey says:

    I think confidence is so important!!! If you don’t have confidence in yourself why would a client have confidence in you!! I think I am about a 6-7 on the confidence scale of 1-10! I hope to improve on that by continuing to shoot, study, and learn!!

  20. 320
    Lindsay Horn says:

    I also think my confidence varies from client to client … I think I still lack confidence in my ability to CONSISTENTLY produce good results. I get nervous about new situations and I’m very hard on myself. I now wait a couple of days before even looking at a session because I find that a couple of days away from it gives me a more objective eye. I would love to win this prize!!!

  21. 321
    Shay says:

    As a photographer who is just getting my feet wet into the process I often feel intimated by my customers who I know have used high end photographers. It seems like if I know that haven’t used what who I consider to be a quality photographer it isn’t a big deal, as contradictory as that sounds. When i’m in the middle of a shoot and doing my best to get all the adjustments on the camera correct and making sure the subjects are in the frame without broccoli in their teeth I am enjoying it. The problem happens about 5 minutes after I leave the session and start worrying if everything is IN focus…did I blow everything out at a bright outdoor session..the list goes on. I do hope the more I refine my ability and learn and learn and learn more about the process that this will greatly improve my confidence even after I turn to the off switch on the camera.

  22. 322

    I think it is so important to be confident in your work. If you are not people are not going to see the value in your art. If you dont value your art, why should they? No wonder what level you are on you should always value your work. Im finally to a level where i feel pretty confident. I would rate myself around an 8. There are things i still want to work on but i feel confident at where I stand and I feel confident in my work. I think the biggest tip i could give people is to believe in themselves. There are so many great photographers out there we need to realize that everyone is at a different level and not get discouraged but inspired! These guides are amazing though!!!! Perfect for what I need!

  23. 323

    My confidence level of my own work isn’t where it should be. I’m actually a natural-born seller. I’ve worked retail management for most my adult life, and am quite good at it. So why is it when it comes to my own business, I can’t sell myself, like I can sell other people? I’m at about a 7, wish it were an 11. It’s always a bit scary letting people know about my wonderful talent. I think I need to make it not so personal (although most my heart and soul goes into my images). What I need to do is get excited about my work, and let it show in my face and actions. Not be afraid to let my true self shine thru. One thing that I’m going to do to build my business and confidence, is value my work more, so that in turn, my work will seem more valuable to the customer. No more free sittings- how valuable is something that you got for free? Put a price tag on it, and the perceived thought is wow! I’ve got to have this! Another thing I plan on doing at the time of the sitting, is presume that the customer will totally love their images, so why not talk about the higher priced items that I offer? If I let them know what’s available, and create a certain excitement of owning that item, I think that they would be more open to make those purchases. My plan is to create a “get it now” atmosphere, instead of dragging out the sale, letting weeks go by before having the client make up their minds on ordering. Let the first impulse of the first viewing to influence their buying urges. The “I want it all” at first sight vs. the “I only need this” a few weeks later.
    What it all boils down to is the corny, “Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it!” I’ve got the dream part down, now I just need to do some more believing in myself. Ranking myself at 7, going to achieve an 11!

  24. 324
  25. 325

    Hmmmm… I rate myself with a 5. I believe I come across with confidence to clients, but inside it is wavering…more than wavering.
    I have been known to throw up before a session i get so worked up over it and i sit there questioning why i do this to myself. But then it is over and I loved every minute of it.
    I have to school myself not to cut myself down in front of clients and belittle myself – bad rapport, but so easy to do. But I have definitely improved – maybe I am a 6 and a half…
    I do find the more confident I come across the more at ease the clients are and it goes smoother. I just have to remind myself that THEY hired ME, so they like what I do. I get so hung up on the ‘what if they don’t like this’mentality I will hold back. But now i try to go with my gut and just do what I feel will look best and it always pays off.
    enough rambling…
    I hope I win!!!!

  26. 326
    Alicia says:

    My confidence varies between shoots. Sometimes I am really excited and confident other times I am scared to death I think it just depends on how I feel about the particular client and situation. If I feel comfortable with them and their personality it usually goes really smooth. I think confidence is the most important factor in having a photography business (besides your talent) If you dont believe in yourself why should others!

  27. 327
    MegganB says:

    This is a very tough question for me. I guess I would rate my confidence at an average 4. Personally it’s a little higher and professionally it’s a little lower. I feel I am able to capture pictures that I like (I’m not confident that I LOVE them every time). I certainly don’t feel confident in selling myself to my clients. I occasionally feel like a doormat for clients that ask too much of me. Not all the time but pushy people tend to push me around and I shouldn’t budge but I do. I need to have a more effective business plan and ability to communicate that to clients – I think this package would certainly get me on my way there. Thanks for this inspiring contest!

  28. 328
    Alicia says:

    facebook linked!!

  29. 329
  30. 330

    I’d probably give myself a 7. I have come far since I first started my business but I definately still have more growing to do. :)

  31. 331
  32. 332
    Charlene Hardy says:

    My confidence level really depends on the day. It is ever changing in response to my environment and actions. It is something that I am working on.

  33. 333
    Kinsey Holt says:

    Like a lot of other commenters, my confidence varies. Right before a shoot I get wicked butterflies and have a slight panic attack, worrying about how I’ll interact with clients or how the photos will turn out. My confidence in these situations is about a 4. Sometimes when I look at other photographer’s blogs, I think “What am I doing?? I’m not good enough to take anybody’s picture!” Or, I upload all the photos after a shoot and there’s a would-have-been amazing shot but the focus is just slightly off or the lighting could have been better. That’s a 3 or 4.

    Other times I feel more like a 7, where I realize I’m not ‘there’ yet, but I have confidence that if I keep at it, I will someday get ‘there.’ After a few photos, I get into the shoot and the butterflies and panic goes away and I’m confident again. I do love interacting with clients and making them feel like they’re the most attractive people alive. Making my clients feel confident gives me confidence.

    Once in awhile, I’ll get images that just ‘click’ and make me feel like a 9. I still realize I’m not the best photographer in the world, but I know I am working my way to be better.

    So, that’s me – here’s hoping! :)

  34. 334

    Confidence in my photography is something I have struggled with, and even just a few months ago, I would have rated my confidence at a 5. But finally, I have been realizing that my photography is something valuable and unique – not something to be given away for free. I realize that when I project confidence and value in my work, then my clients do the same. Right now, I feel about a 7, but I try to project a level 9 in my confidence and professionalism. Joyce’s guides would surely help me along this path.

  35. 335

    [...] CONTEST: $1900 worth of Prizes – WordSmith Guides to Help Your … [...]

  36. 336
    nicoleb says:

    Others have told me for some time that I have a ‘talent’ and I should go into business; but that very ‘talent’ is something I always struggle with. To date I have yet to let a client down; but that doesn’t mean I am not terrified that it will not happen. So, I guess in a round about way…confidence for me is something I always struggle with; and most likely always will. All that said, I would rate myself at a four. My reasoning being I am confident I will get great shots; but I go into every session with fear and worry that this will be the one I fail at.

  37. 337
    Jen White says:

    I would rate my confidence about a 3/4. It’s pretty bad!! I’m always worried people will not like my work, and therefore never charge a sitting fee. Only for prints! That way if they don’t like anything, then they aren’t out any money. I’ve always gotten orders though so that boosts my confidence a tad! I guess I really should stop worrying what people think so much.

  38. 338
  39. 339
    Claire says:

    Before I realized I really wanted to get into photography my confidence level was atleast an 8. This was just taking family pictures with a p&s. My family would tell me how good I was. Then I found the true meaning of being a photographer and the hard work that is put into it. I found ILP and posted my first picture and thought that I knew what I was doing until I received CC. WOW!! My level immediatly dropped to a 1. I did not realize how much was involved. Not only do you take the pictures but you spend hours editing them. I found a group of people that have really built my confidence back up again. I am definatly not an 8 but I feel that I am much higher than a 1. I know that I still have alot of work to do to become a 10 but I know it will be well worth it. I have met alot of new friends and exellant photographers along my journey and am looking forward to learning what it takes to be just like them. I am going to say that my level is about a 4 now but definatly working its way up. Advice- practice, practice, practice.

  40. 340
    Melinda says:

    Confidence level – 4 or 5 although some of that may be chalked up to perfectionism. I have no problems interacting with my clients and getting those shots that they love; but when it comes to selling myself or my products…well, that is just not something I do. I have a hard time just saying “thank you” when compliments are payed and then I absolutely hate pushing myself and my business on people. I haven’t quite figured out a way to overcome this yet.

  41. 341
    Tj Aneca says:

    I would probably rate myself a solid 7.5 on the confidence scale. I feel that I am a pretty confident person. I was an extremely painful shy girl until I was married. Having kids and starting my business has forced me to come out of my shell. Photography is something that I LOVE and I had to get out there. Photography has helped me overcome some of my “shyness”. Just opening up my mouth and talking to people. Striking up a convo while waiting for my munchkins to get out of school. At least we have something in common……our kidlets. I also get my confindence from my hubby, who I call Awesome! He is well……AWESOME! All in all, I still have a ways to go but the more I talk the more confident I become.

  42. 342
    Amy Durham says:

    Wow. What a perfect time to ask myself these questions! I feel like I’m an overall confident person (say a 6-7), but lack the ability to really make it show when it comes to business. I’ve never been one to market myself, thinking that somehow there was something contrived about that — that I shouldn’t have to solicit praise. But I realize I need to stop thinking of it that way, and realize that there’s nothing fake about being confident in what you do and the person you are. I love the interaction with clients and the actual session itself goes extremely well…it’s the “sale” that I get anxious about and I know it shows. It’s frustrating because I want the complete package. The quality of my work can only take me so far and then my words and actions (i.e. confidence) need to match it. Thanks, Joyce, for a great excerpt that reminded me of how important it is to always keep this in mind!

  43. 343
    Brittany says:

    I would say I have a confidence level of about a 7. I’m past being fearful or doubtful of my abilities, because I KNOW I’m talented and I know that I couldn’t live my life doing anything else… well, I could, but I would be miserable. I find myself talking about my art more, which is a definite sign that I am more comfortable. I was always raised to believe that if you weren’t a doctor, lawyer or astrophysicist, then you weren’t much of anything. Oh the years I wasted fighting that mentality! Now, I can move forward with confidence and this is definitely reflected with how I interact with others, because I don’t really walk away wishing I would’ve done this and that, because I was bold enough to do it the first time. That being said, I gave myself a 7 because I know I still have things to learn and room to grow, which is great, because it keeps my mind renewed and my heart passionate. Win-win.

  44. 344

    wow, what a great post, great product, and great contest! you know, confidence is both my enemy and my friend as a businesswoman and photographer, i think! on the one hand, i nit-pick myself to death, often to my detriment, and i think it can impede my ability to really follow through with becoming better at technical things as well as inhibit my creative flow. sometimes i’ll see something awesomely great and it makes me feel like “man, i’ve got so far to go” and it almost makes me feel too depleted to really let loose and get creative! on the other hand, i have a desperate need for affirmation that i think drives me to give more and more satisfaction to a client. if i can funnel that into pursuing happy, satisfied sales and customers, it has done me good! i think more than anything i plan to use that desire to give me energy to pursue more technical and artistic skill and freedom and to pursue bigger sales!

  45. 345
    Cyndi says:

    Hmm, I think in confidence on my work and dealing with people business wise I’m probably about a 5? I really have to fake that I’m more confident than I really am. I get tongue tied when clients call and try not to say something stupid, lol.

    What an awesome give away :)

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    Nataly H. says:

    This is a hard topic for me…but something I’m working on. I think I’m barely at a 5 or so with confidence. Sadly, I think I have let a lot of things get to me since graduating from university 5 years ago (with honors) and thinking that was the end of my many accomplishments. I have since been happily married and have (almost) 4 children of my own, and I find that I have to rebuild that confidence in myself and in the work that I do. I am slowly starting to build up the confidence I believe I once had…in myself and in my abilities. I’m a true advocate of “fake it until you make it.”

  48. 348
    Leah says:

    Oh I really, really, really want this!! I feel that I have a healthy level of confidence on the front end but seem to loose that confidence when it comes to selling at the end. Despite the fact that I’ve always had high sales jobs before this. Somehow, I can’t seem to transfer it over? I don’t want to come across push and somehow that translates into weakness. Before I sold someone else’s product, now I’m trying to sell myself and it turns out thats a lot harder! I’d rate myself a 5… I really want to be a 10!

  49. 349
    Heather says:

    My confidence level is about a 5. I am in the VERY beginning stages of my business – I’m building my portfolio and getting experience. I want to be a 10, but I think I will slowly gain confidence as I go. Assertiveness with strangers is my weakness. Obviously that will need to change!

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    Jenna says:

    Wow. This would be a GREAT gift! I would say that I am working towards a 10 but am hanging out around a 4 or 5 in confidence. I feel less confident because I am not trained in photography but a self starter. I always cringe when people ask if this is what I went to school for. For some reason I feel like I am less of a photographer because I didn’t. And when it comes to selling on product, well I’m probably a 0. I don’t like “pushing” people to buy anything and just feel as though they will buy what they want to. I need a LOT of help in that area! But I love what I do and I really want to make my business profitable. I am determined to not give up and to grow grow grow grow!! :)

  52. 352
    Courtney DeLaura says:

    Facebooked – Peachtree Studio

  53. 353
    Jenna says:

    facebooked a link!

  54. 354

    I would rate my confidence as a 4. I know that I can take great pictures (why else would clients keep coming back?) but I am shy about “advertising” my business. I am afraid of not meeting peoples expectations. I plan on improving this by stepping out of my comfort box and mentioning my business to others, especially if the topic of photography comes up. Because I’m still new to this it will take time to build up my business.

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    Christie says:

    Confidence is my biggest problem. I would probably rate my confidence a 4 on the ten point scale. I don’t value my own work. I know that and am working on it. But it is hard for me. I look at what everybody else is doing and see how far I need to go rather than how far I have come. Posts like this really help though. I am going to print it out and tape it to my wall as a constant reminder! Thanks for the amazing post!

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    Sarah Michels says:

    I would rate my confidence at a 3. I am still new to photography and am working on learning the ropes. I can take some good pictures of my daughter but don’t feel that I am anywhere near ready to take pictures of other people. I am also trying to learn the post processing thing and am really struggling with it. There is so much more to learn than what you think. But slowly everyday I feel like my practice is paying off and eventually I will get there…just not as fast as I would like. But nothing great comes easy!

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    Emily Dobson says:

    Confidence: 7
    When I first started shooting professionally earlier this year, I was confident in my ability to become a good photographer. My determinative personality was an asset as I studied and applied what I learned. My confidence grew little by little within the first couple of months as my photos turned out better than expected (for a beginner), and people started pursuing my services. A couple of months into the world a photography, I took a huge blow to my level of confidence when a fellow photographer told me I was a harsh person. While I was completely astonished by this level of honesty, I thought to myself, ” ‘Harsh’ will never succeed in the world of photography.” At that point, I made a committment to myself and my futuer business that “harsh” would never get in the way of my success. I began praying. I asked God to help me love others as Jesus did, to enjoy meeting new people, to be extremely friendly and kind… I asked that everyone would be drawn to me, or rather, drawn to Christ through me. Even now, I continue to pray and ask God to provide me with these qualities and to give me oppportunities, through photography, to impact the world for Him. Because of God’s grace and faithfulness, my confidence has grown. My photographic skills are improving. I am able to attend sessions and weddings with the confidence I need to execute good photo techniques and create good images. My confidence is still lacking in sales, and at times I second guess my images; however, I know that I don’t have to photograph alone. God, in all his grace and mercy, is willing to help me succeed and build confidence if I serve Him and keep my priorities in check. Maybe one day, He’ll make me a 10…

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    Emily Dobson says:

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway! I shared this contest on facebook!

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    Confidence (or the appearance of confidence) is so important, in photography and in life. I’m a firm believer in “fake it till you make it though’ and sometimes at the start of a session or wedding, I truly am quaking inside, but as long as I’m cool, calm, collected and confident (are those the four C’s?) my clients are good. If I don’t act like I know what I’m doing, no matter what, they get uncomfortable, and it shows in the pictures. In front of clients I work to project confidence whether I feel it or not. On my own though – I’m much more likely to fall prey to confidence zappers, and to listen to the voices in my head that try to leach me of that feeling. Overall, I would rate my confidence in my technical skills pretty high, but my business confidence quite low – leaving me at no more than a 6 overall, and I do think that this has a negative impact on my ability to be successful. It’s gotta change, and 2010 is going to be my year. I’m starting to read business books and soak in knowledge. I’m going to invest in branding and pulling my client presence together to attract my target market. I’m purchasing studio management software to help me get organized. I need to pull all the outside stuff together so that I feel confident on the inside.

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    Marci says:

    I think my confidence level varies depending on how the session went and the results. I also agree with a lot of what Emily wrote (about God being involved in my work.) When I am blown away by some of the images created by people’s interaction~ a look, a hug, a smile in which you can hear them laugh… when it reveals their spirit and how God sees them, then my confidence ranks up there around an 8. When I realize I missed the mark or didn’t quite ‘get’ the right images I was envisioning, it’s more like a 5 or 6. Thanks for offering the contest~ looks like a huge time saver and confidence booster to be able to share with clients how to be best prepared for their session! Off to twitter!

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    Shellie says:

    My confidence level in my personal life seems to be in line with the same for my professional life. I tend to be quite confident in personal relationships and about my technical ability with regard to photography, but the part where I feel like I lack confidence is related to dealing with clients. I sometimes do not have the confidence to stick to my policies or be firm when I need to be. I have at times allowed a client to make/bend the rules and I’ve gone along with that. I know I need improvement there–I need to make sure that I am the captain of this ship. I need to stop being afraid of alienating clients over policies or pricing–really, if they won’t follow my business policies and pricing (that I’ve put in place for good reason after much thought and research) then maybe they’re not my client. I’d rate my overall confidence at a 7-8 due to this shortcoming but I know that being firm and sticking to my policies without feeling the need to justify my decisions is the key to improving in this area.

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    Adalia says:

    I rate my confidence as a 4. This definitely makes it difficult for me to sell myself to others and limits me in how much business I feel I can take. I think that others have alot more confidence in me as a photographer than I do. I would love to improve my confidence, and I plan on more practicing & getting better with more experience.

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    I’d have to rate my confidence level while taking pics about an 8.5, and confidence in the quality of the product I offer is a solid 9, but when it comes to selling it’d only be about a 5. When it’s time to sell, I know my stuff is good, I know my prices are actually still too low, but knowing that I’m not one of the “big two” photogs, I feel like I’m being lumped in with the small-sitting-fee-gets-you-a-full-CD type amateur photogs in the area. And while I don’t think I’m in that category at all, it’s hard to compete when people hear about those other photogs. I just need to believe more in myself and convince everyone else that my work is worth what I know it’s worth

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    check the tweet! @xanderswanson

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    Pam says:

    Since I’ve been doing this for a while, I would have to rate my confidence at an 8 because there is always room for improvement. I do need to improve my writing skills. I think that is where my confidence is about a 5. I don’t have a plan for that, well, I didn’t until you introduced this segment!
    I am always comfortable with people while I’m shooting. For children, I always do my homework ahead of time by asking questions to the parent who books. What are the child’s favorite toys or characters is one. Then I talk to the child about that while shooting. When I do weddings I always go to the rehersal and get everyone’s names straight. If you show you care enough to remember them all by name, you get much better response and cooperation from them (the wedding party).
    I don’t do face-to-face sales, but am thinking of changing that. I will probably need some confidence boosting in that department, but I’m working on a plan of selecting what are MY favorites and showing those first.
    Hope this might be of some help to others.

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    Courtney says:

    i tweeted a link as well.
    love this contest. love the question you’ve asked. it really makes me reflect. lack of confidence just means I need to practice/get better – so i am more confident :)

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    Tiffany says:

    I’d rate my confidence at 5-6. I act more confident than I really am. I’m subscribing to the fake it until you make it method. But, I think just faking the confidence makes it appear that I am more confident that I actually am.

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    Brooke says:

    Oh boy, moment of truth! I would say both personally and professionally my confidence level rates about a 2 or 3. I’ve never mastered the art of acting more confident than I feel. And I’ve been told that my lack of confidence is written all over my face. I’ve always had an over-achiever attitude. I was a straight A student in school, graduated with honors from college, and always received stellar reviews when I worked in corporate America. Yet I still never truly believed in what I was producing. I’ve read many a self-help books ont he subject. If I could take a magic pill to boost my confidence to a 10, I would in a heart beat. I know that the next logical step I need to take is to seek out a professional to coach me through this. I know that in order to be happy with myself and my work, I need to be confident in myself.

    Thank you for featuring Joyce here!

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    My confidence level varies depending on what I am shooting. for portraits its about a 7. I feel my eye for composition is there and my interaction is there esp with getting the kids to loosen up. I need more work on my posing though. For dance, my confidence is a strong 9 pushing 10. I have alot of experience in this area and understand lines and timing so I always get the shot.

    I definitely feel that you have to exude a certain level of confidence with your clients. you have to project of surity in your ability and what you have to offer. If you don’t believe in yourself, your work and your offerings, then the customers wont either. Although, you have to be careful not to cross the line into conceit.

    Additionally, if you are not confident, you will not do as well in the shoot. You will be shy tentative and very dull. Being confident allows for more creative flow and being able to think outside the box and push your limits and the envelope to ensure you are giving the client the very best you can! They will also sense this fear in your dealings and can make it uncomfortable or difficult direct the shoot.

    You want to give them a sense of comfort in choosing you as the one to capture these moments in time, these possible family heirlooms.

    Lastly, if you are doing an inperson sales consult, you have to whole heartedly believe in the images you are selling. Otherwise that sale will be crap.

    So confidence, or lack of it, can impact you at every step in the process with a client, from the first consult til the end sale.

    I am going to keep playing with people to work on my posing more. Finding guinea pigs to use. Give them a free print for their time.

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    Brian Mengini
    Photographers… how confident are you? Do you lack confidence? How do you deal with either and how do they impact your business? Come share your thoughts on confidence at MCP Actions
    Blog @ and have a chance to win $3…80 in
    WordSmith What to Wear, How to Sell, What to Write and How to Price
    Guides.Read More
    CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes – WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business | MCP Actions B
    Yesterday Joyce Smith shared on the MCP Blog about the important role of confidence in having a successful photography business. Now it is your
    2 seconds ago · Comment · Like / Unlike · Share

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    Tara Brooks says:

    I would probably rate my confidence at about a 4. My husband and family would say that I’d rate myself lower. I don’t know how many times I walk away from a job and tell them I did horrible or wasn’t happy with it, then it’s so hard for me to move on to the next thing. My ability to communicate with people probably appears to that I am more confident in myself then I really am. I’ve struggled with this in everything I’ve done. I have to research constantly before I go on a “photo shoot” and then once I’m there I always feel like I need to hurry when I have that dad that doesn’t appear to be interested. Or a senior guy who really is only having his pictures done because mom wants him too. I feel like if I had more confidence, I would direct the show more and not worry about what they are thinking.

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    Stefanie says:

    My confidence level is low – probably around a 3 or 4. Even though I have a degree in photography, it’s been a while since I’ve practiced the craft and even when my clients are thrilled with their photos, I am often unsatisfied and wonder if my work really measures up. Also, because I am just getting started in my business, I am very unsure of myself when it comes to the business aspects, ie workflow, product offerings, and client relations. I hope that with continued practice, my confidence will increase. I am also attending workshops and trainings on the various aspects of the photography business. I think that winning the Wordsmith prize would be a huge boost to me when it comes to knowing what to say to my clients. Thanks, Jodi for all of your fabulous offerings and for your desire to help all of us improve our craft!

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    I would rate my confidence level at an overall 7. I would say in dealing with people I am a 9 but in having confidence with my work I am a 5…and simply because I KNOW I can get better. While my work is o.k, and good some of the time…it could be GREAT most of the time.

    I believe having confidence in working with people is a huge part of being a professional. I read somewhere that when people hire you its because they like what you do and they believe in you and what your doing (even if you don’t). I think its very important to be relaxed with people, talk to them, be personable. Ask about them and their lives (simple surface questions so it doesn’t seem like your nosy. If they want to get more personal they will…you’ll be able to tell). Talk to the kids (if your doing families) ask about them, what they like to do..get them to open up to you. I often find that if A little kid enjoys doing something I do and I tell them in an excited way “Oh my gosh, I love playing basketball…who is your favorite team”…you have created a bond with them. Find this bond in all your clients…it helps them relax…and it helps you relax.

    The downfall to being so personable is I find a lot of my clients become friends…and its hard for me not to what to give stuff away to my friends. Like lower priced CD’s and prints. Whats a photographer to do???

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    Melanie says:

    What an awesome competition!! I would say my confidence in about a 5, but this does change depending on the situation. I am trying very hard to “fake it till you make it” because I am sure that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my confidence levels. I sometimes doubt my own abilities and selling is not a strong point of mine. I am working on improving both of these, I set myself mini goals in regards to the selling, I try to meet a $ amount for clients orders or see if I can get them to order a particular product. In regards to doubting my own abilities, I use positive affirmations and having good feedback from clients also helps. I know that the more confident I appear the more comfortable the client feels and this also helps to get relaxed natural portraits from my clients.

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    Wow, this is a look at yourself in the mirror moment.
    okay if I think about this too much for grammatical errors or sentence structure I won’t get to the meat of this question.
    Level of confidence in personal life.
    This is hard. I would say that in my marriage I have a solid 10 not because our marriage is perfect because its far from it. But because I have confidence in my marriage. I am a mil spouse and without that confidence I would not be able to push thru all the times I find myself being only half of a whole. My DH is gone on avg 200+ days per year so it takes a lot of confidence to know your marriage is going to make it thru all the sacrifices we make as a couple.
    As a mother I’m all over the place on your scale there are days I’m a solid 9 because your child comes up to you and says “Mami you are my Lovie” and then there are those days where I have 3 children sick, have been thrown up on more then twice in one hour and I am exhausted from being up all night those days I can give myself a 2. Then of course I have to step into my DH shoes when he’s gone. He does the Daddy job a lot better then me and I don’t measure up to that.
    ME, myself and I I would give us a 7 because after so many years of not following my dream I am grabbing the bull by the horns and I’m not letting go. I have always wanted to be an Artist. I have chosen photography to be my medium. I’m a creative person but tech savy I’m as dumb as a box of rocks. So I guess this starts the answer to part 2
    Professional confidence
    I would have to say my confidence level is a 4. I’m new and I have so much to learn. I spend endless hours researching at night and when the babies are napping so that I can become the photographer I see in my mind’s eye. I am taking online workshops, going to photography group meetings and endless internet surfing. I’ve been blessed along the way on this journey to have fellow photographers share their knowledge and provide advice. At the moment I am also working on finding who I am as a photographer what type of branding, how will I present myself to my clients, what is the best customer service I can provide for them, how can I capture the true essence of the moment and how to have a productive business.
    With the Wordsmith package I will be able to cover those areas that I need to grow at because in the end no matter how much I love photography I am also a business woman and that too has to have the same attention to detail as the photography part.

    Thank you for your time and for this opportunity to have a mirror moment with myself.
    Take care ~ DB

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    Bonus! I commented on FB about this awesome program! Sharing the blog love! Take care~ DB

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    Charlie says:

    Oh my goodness hasn’t this question about confidence brought some memories and feeling to the surface! I can still see my old school reports. “Charlie has the ability..just lacks the confidence in herself” and “Charlie needs more confidence” Has my confidence level increased over the years? I would say yes. Is my confidence level stable?I would say NO. It doesn’t take much for it to plummet.Do I work on building my confidence levels?Daily!How do I do this?1.Try not to be so harsh on regards to photography I have a goal to be professional one day and its great to be critical of ones work, but its also wonderful to look for the positives and see how far I have grown.2. Trying to come to terms with the fact that its a competitive market and sometimes people say things that are in their best interests not mine and not let this impede my confidence levels.I have a goal and there is no limit to what one can achieve if you put your mind and soul into it. Working daily on my confidence levels will help me achieve this goal. If I portray to to future customers that I am confident in my abilities then they will be confident in my products too.
    Thankyou Charlie.
    I have twittered:

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    Wendy says:

    Confidence building! I have ups and downs, like when I lost a catalog in Lightroom because I accidentally unplugged the power strip thinking it was the lamp, or up when I get compliments on my work. I think most of the time I’m at 7. I’m new in my photography business and reading and talking to everyone I can to get up and going. I know I can do it! Posting to my Facebook:

  84. 384
    mahina says:

    confidence is my biggest hinderance. i am not yet in business, but will be once my life settles. i tend to be on the shy side and not always sure what to say, but i am improving quite a bit. i have a great eye for photography, but am still learning the best settings for all the different types of lighting and shots, etc. as i gain more confidence in my ability to interact with others i know i will be able to succeed. it is a process. i would say that my confidence level is at about a 5 right now.

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    tara says:

    i’d say the your confidence level goes hand in hand with your comfort level. i think when you are confident in your skills at finding the “sweet light” with your camera/settings – well, when you get that, it all just falls into place. you’re more comfortable with your style, your camera, directing your sessions, standing your ground, etc. the more confident you are, the better your photography.

    the “confidence factor” for me is around 6 or so. i would be a much higher number for interaction if it was just with the kiddos that i photograph b/c i love silliness and playing around with them – that part comes naturally for me. however, when it comes to the parents, i am working on speaking up at the photo sessions about things like “mom, just wander over there and let me have a bit of time with them”. it seems that when the moms hover, the kids get nervous and i see it but don’t speak strongly enough to get them to scoot. then i regret it when i am proofing the images. the best sessions images for me happen when the mom is busy with another sibling while i am one-on-one with the other.

    so as my skills have gotten better, my style is coming out because i am not scrambling just to get the sweet camera settings. now i am more apt to “direct the session” more than before and it appears the clients appreciate the direction after all. huh, go figure.

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    amy little says:

    Confidence. Yea, that is a HUGE part of this job. I absolutely feel that you have to believe in yourself or this field could very easily take a very stressful turn in your life. I have spent the last 6 months fluttering in and out of feeling confident. It’s one of those things that can be as hard to hold as a moonbeam. It’s something that I am constantly working on.

    One of the things i have found that can either help or seriously hurt is when I spend my time comparing myself to others. If I consider what i’m looking at as inspiration, then I am motivated to push myself to be better. The downside, however, is when i spend my time comparing myself to others. This is not a good plan. When I start to do this, and tell myself that I’m not as good as_____ then my self confidence drops off the radar. My husband and I jokingly (or not so jokingly) refer to this as the “10:15 Meltdown”. The nights I spend looking at other people’s work and judging mine in a negative light, usually end in a breakdown at 10:15 and he spends the next hour+ pepping me back up.

    Which leads me to my next tip. GO TO BED! There is nothing worse for creativity levels than being overtired. It’s totally a confidence sucker. And when that happens, it absolutely affects my skill. I’m not as peppy with my clients, I start to dread my sessions instead of being giddy about them, my stress levels shoot through the roof, and I second guess all of my instincts which is what my clients hire me for. Bad combo.

    The last big tip i have is to pray. I truly believe that we are given certain gifts to help and change the world. And my best way to tap into this, especially when i’m insecure, is to pray for help. It’s such a good reminder for me to know that I am capable, and talented, and worth it in the eyes of someone who loves me unconditionally and believes in me no matter what.

    So, trust yourself, give your self a “you-can-do-it” pep talk before working, stop blog hopping for awhile, pray if your a praying type (and maybe even if you’re not), and get some sleep.

    On that note, I would say my current level of confidence is about a 8.5. But ask me tonight at 10:15 :)

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    amy little says:

    i also twatted (love that word!) @amylittlephotog

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    I feel like I am very much lacking the confidence that I need to become a “real” photographer. I do find, however, that the more I educate myself, the better I feel about my talent and I think it shows. But, ugh, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like I have it all together!

    These guides look utterly fabulous. Just sayin’. :)

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    Hmmm. I think this business is mostly about confidence. Your photography can be so-so, but if in your mind you ROCK, then it will show in your confidence. Once I decided i was in a happy place with my photography, others did too. It also helped me be more creative without worrying about what others thought.
    So, I give my confidence level an 8, and give you this advice…..convince yourself that your the B-O-M-B…act like it (not a jerk, just bomb-diggity) and others will follow suite!

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