Oh boy, do I have a story for you! Imagine this: you’re on the phone with a potential client who’s interested in getting some updated photos. They’re excited and ready to chat about the details, but before you even get started, they pause and ask, Are you going to be too expensive for me? Sound familiar?

Well, it’s a common problem in the photography industry. Many photographers have been undervaluing themselves and charging less than they should be. This doesn’t just apply to horse photographers. It’s across the entire industry.

As a result, some clients come to expect low rates, even from highly skilled photographers. But here’s the thing – undervaluing yourself is a recipe for burnout and ultimately, going out of business.


Lesson 1: Clients Won’t Always Have Your Back


As much as we wish it weren’t true, clients won’t always have your back.

They might recognize that you’re undervaluing yourself, but they’re not going to magically start throwing more money your way. They’ll just take advantage of your low rates and move on to the next photographer who’s willing to do the same thing.

That’s why it’s essential to recognize your own value. You are a highly skilled photographer with a unique set of talents and experiences. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Charge what you’re worth and don’t apologize for it.

It’s also important to communicate your value to potential clients.

You can do this by highlighting your experience and skills, sharing your portfolio, and providing testimonials from happy clients. By doing so, you’ll attract the right clients who appreciate your work and are willing to pay for it.


Lesson 2: Take Care of Yourself


The horse photography business – for that matter, the photography business in general – can be tough on your mental health.

You’ll face some tough clients, learning curves, and setbacks along the way.

That’s why it’s crucial to take care of yourself. Don’t burn yourself out by overworking or taking on too many jobs.

Set reasonable expectations for yourself and your clients. Remember, you’re only human.

Taking care of yourself also means investing in your personal and professional growth.

Attend photography workshops and seminars, read industry blogs and magazines, and network and collaborate with other photographers.

By doing so, you’ll continue to improve your skills, stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, and discover that you are not alone in the stressors and concerns you have in running a business in today’s world.


Lesson 3: Plan for the Long Haul


If you want to succeed in the equine photography industry, you have to start planning for the long haul.

Charging dirt-cheap rates and overworking yourself is not the way to build a sustainable photography career.

And while it might be tempting to take any job offer that comes your way, doing so will only lead to exhaustion and resentment.

Instead, take the time to set reasonable rates for your work.

Factor in your expenses, time, and experience when calculating your prices.

It’s okay to charge what you’re worth – in fact, it’s necessary for building a successful and sustainable photography business.

Also, you need to always be thinking long-term in your business. That means you need to consider factors such as your retirement plan, investing in your education and gear, and developing a marketing plan for your business.

As a photographer, you have a unique set of skills and talents that you can use to create a sustainable career for yourself. But only if you think strategically about your business and goals.


In conclusion, recognizing your value as a horse photographer is essential for building a successful and sustainable business.

If you take nothing else away from this post remember these three things:

  • Charge what you’re worth
  • Plan for the long haul
  • Take care of yourself

By following these three lessons, you’ll set yourself up for success in the photography industry.

Betsy Bird of Ride the Sky Equine Photography spends her days doing insane things to make horses look at her. Clearly, she’s desperate for attention. Outside of acting like a total weirdo, she invests time and energy into growing her business, hanging with her favorite dog, Nitro, dealing with her teenagers’ angst, mentoring photographers, public speaking, and planning her next big wheels-up adventure. Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Betsy specializes in creating storytelling magic for horse girls of all ages. In other words, she enjoys working with fun-spirited clients who need horse portrait photography, equestrian senior photography, and equestrian brand photography. She even throws in some dogs for variety because what true horse girl doesn’t love a great pup too. Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.

These photos are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.