Pacific Northwest Photographer |


Encouraging others and exploring oneself

Cut the Instafamous crap

The new year is coming upon us, and we all have been thinking of some new years resolutions.  When you make goals remember to make personal and professional goals. They both coincide together. When we are happy with ourselves; our careers benefit from it. We work harder and flaunt our confidence around work. When we set goals at work; we benefit with encouragement, bonuses and a healthy attitude. 


Setting realistic goals is the first thing we should think about.

It is the best advice to avoid discouraging or letting yourself down. Not tough enough? Why am I avoiding hurt feelings? Just because we set small goals doesn't mean that we aren't moving as fast as you; aggressive one. The aggressive attitude needs to be humbled occassionaly.

Realistic goals:

  • Book 8 clients each month
  • Save up for XYZ
  • Reach out to more clients
  • Advertise more throughout IG
  • Contact Companies for potential bookings

Unrealistic goals:

  • MOVE TO attractive filming area
  • Buy XYZ and XYZ and drain the bank account
  • Quit full-time job just starting out with no clients 
  • 'Go big or go home" mentality

Realistic goal overview:

As a starting photographer, you will have ZERO clients. ZERO.

Booking 8 clients a month will be extremely hard, but social media has made it easy for us to reach our audiences and show them our work. Before social media, we had to make flyers and business cards and wait for a phone call or email. Social media makes it a piece of cake, and I love cake; chocolate cake.

Saving up for XYZ will keep you debt free. We should always be debt free. " If you can't afford it, then don't buy it." Staying out of the gutter financially will lead you to paths of freedom. When your clients hand you money for your services, you should feel happy to put that money in the bank, and not have to apply it to your debt. You can always rent equipment when you need it. Here is a great website: WWW.LENSRENTALS.COM

Selling/marketing yourself is an option that will either make you feel uncomfortable or easy like second nature. Publishing photos online with popular hashtags and cute little emojis is easy. Going to companies and convincing them to hire you for commercial work sucks, but if you want to grow and get your work out and do commercial work it is a given. 

Setting realistic goals provides entrepreneur ego boosters. YOU have to forget the "getting famous overnight" mentality. The instant-gratification scene will set you up to fail. Everything we see that is successful takes baby steps. A baby didn't go from crawling to sprinting in a day or a year. These large successful companies didn't become millionaires overnight. Keep reminding yourself to be patient. It isn't your fault you have developed these wants/feelings because you are pushed and forced into thinking this way with America's consuming narcissism & commercialism. The most successful businesses have a person behind them that sacrificed a huge chunk of their lives to create their dreams with many late nights, early mornings and more than 40 hour work weeks.

I am sure that you are excited and want to get your business growing quickly. The idea of packing up everything and moving to a major city isn't ideal either. Draining your bank account on new gear and quitting your full-time job is reckless. Baby steps... Sure I have had these thoughts to leave everything thing and just go all out, but this is a terrible idea and my realistic self shuts these ideas down real fast. I can do everything while working two other jobs. I just sacrifice a lot: friends, family and personal time. 

The past couple of months I have decreased my gym time and "me" time. When I do go to the gym, I edit on the treadmill and watch Photoshop videos. I have been in the medical field for five years now, on clinic days, I wake up at 0300 and work until about 1300. On my lunches, I edit photos and post my social media content. After work, I come home and write blog posts and email companies & photographers for work opportunities.  My off days I nanny, and during his nap time, I can get some more work done. Working full time is tough, but for now, it is guaranteed income.  I work 24/7 and every chance I get I squeeze in something that will benefit my future. I may be making small goals, but I am creating more small goals daily as I cross off the ones I have already achieved. 

Somebody always has something to say:

Be mindful of people's opinions. There will always be somebody who will disagree with you. You can count on it. Be gracious and thankful they feel comfortable enough to share their views with you. There is no right way to your emotions. If you feel you want to take baby steps, then take them- If you feel you want to go big or go home then go for it! I am just here to help you be mindful of your steps you decide to take. I am not right or wrong. The great thing about this world is you can adapt and consume any information you want and take it as you please. The world is full of great views.

Grab em by the p*$%y

There will be a time where you will have to make a call. Business will be going good and separating yourself from other incomes will be scary. I was speaking about this topic with a patient the other day. I was saying that one day I will have to quit my money dependant jobs and solely rely on my buisness. Scary. What if I have a bad month? I will have to pay for my insurance. When the time comes just jump in head first and embrace the new chapter. The time isn't now for me, but I feel in 2017 I will make some big progress on achieving those goals.  


  • 1. Direction is stronger than speed

  • 2. Baby Steps

  • 3. Celebrate daily success

  • 4. Being frequent with work and don't procrastinate

  • 5. Be patient

  • 6. Be rational

  • 7. Cut the Instafamous reality


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Sami CostelowSamianna