6 Things I WISH I knew when starting my Photography Business


Nicole Hill


When I compare my photography business today to what it looked like 15 years ago, I’m shocked. When I was first starting out, I was this fresh new photographer, straight out of photography school, doing everything I could to book enough shoots that month so I could pay rent, I was just getting by. I remember editing late into the night, putting every second I had into evolving as a photographer, improving, learning, growing, trying, failing then doing it all over again. 

It was exhilarating, it was exhausting, and it was, without a doubt, the most transformative period in my entire life. In this weeks episode I’m sharing everything I WISH I knew when I was starting my photography business, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.


I want to start out this list of lessons with one really big one — I wish I hadn’t spent so much time caring about what people think. Don’t give this one your time, okay? Throughout my journey I met many people who didn’t think I’d be able to become a photographer let alone a successful one. I had so many other photographers tell me it was impossible… they’d tell me that everyone thinks they’ll just get a camera, graduate school and travel the world, and that my dream was an impossible fairytale that I’d never achieve. For so many people, those big bold dreams are a never-gonna-happen kind of thing in their mind, and instead of supporting my crazy ideas, they wanted to tear them down. But good thing I didn’t listen… because I conquered those crazy dreams. 

But I know when you’re in the beginning phase it’s hard to not feel stupid or embarassed or riddled with insecurtiy when someone whos opinion you value, tells you it’s not gonna work. But the reality is, we spend too much time worrying about what other people think. Who cares what they think of our choices? Heck who cares what they think of our edits, our work, our gear, the photos we post, if we look stupid dancing to a reel or the big bold dreams we have? 

What if we just focused on what we think? What if we just showed up for ourselves, every single time, camera in hand? What if we stopped worrying about what that girl from highschool thought or the peer who seems to always be in competition with you thought or our ridiculous ex-boyfriend thought? We’d probably feel a lot more free, lemme tell ya. When I let all that go… I know I did.


When you’re building your photography business — no matter whether you’re trying to make it in LA or whether you’re trying to build a business in your hometown — your word is everything. Without it, your business can’t stand. I can’t tell you how important it is to me, and how much I’ve been able to grow my business, by sticking to my word — because people know that when I say something, I’m going to do it. Now, don’t get me wrong… I’ve made mistakes too!

There were SO many times in the beginning of my career that I said yes to THE MOST unrealistic deadlines, that I had to stay up so many nights doing everything in my power to meet them, and absolutely burning myself out, making sure I didn’t miss it… 


Press play for more actionable steps and advice on all the things I’ve learned over the past 15 years as a professional photographer. Because when you’re just getting started it’s hard to know what to focus on and where to put your attention. My hope is that this episode will guide you in the right direction.


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meet the photographer


I've spent the last decade of my life traveling the world as a fashion photographer and I created Horizon Found to give you everything I wish I had when I was starting my career. Here you'll find community, inspiration, and education - to help guide you down the path towards building the photography business of your dreams. My dream is to use this platform to help build a supportive environment in the photography industry.


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