Whether you notice or not, we all take decisions so often. You breathing is a decision of your brain when to exhale and when to inhale. Lets take this concept of decision into photography and its business!

When considering photography as a business, as mentioned previously, you might need another job to survive until you, according to your expenses are making enough money to survive. And for this, like every other business, you need to make decisions that are wise for your business and for your Art.

Before you start reading anything I have to say here, take a moment and think. When you go out shopping, do you buy a bag which you don’t like? Do you spend on food that you don’t like? Do you pay for services of a place which you don’t like? No right? well, if you are reading this, I hope you aren’t foolish enough to do all the above. Then why would you make decisions in your photography career that you don’t like?

There are a few things to consider why learning how to say no is greatly going to help you in your photography career.

Why to say No

1. What makes you click a photo

Ask yourself, whatever genre of photography you like, why do you make a photograph of something in the first place. It probably is the beautiful landscape before you that you fell in love with. Or the person, or their sense of fashion, or maybe the food in front of you (Food is something everyone seems to fall in love with. Instagram!) or probably you are so obsessed with your own face, making selfies! nothing wrong with that either…… Except some study says its a mental disorder. Anyway 😛

This is the sole reason for your drive and motivation to make a photo. And if this is not something you are liking then you will not have enough creative push to make a beautiful photograph. Ultimately, making your work seem mediocre before your clients and ultimately making you seem poor at your photography. Even though you might be the best portrait photographer, if you didn’t like the face of your client, you shouldn’t have shot it!

2. Are you leaning towards a yes because of the income involved? or maybe you suddenly have a crush on the model?

Money is overrated. I agree everyone wants to make more money. I do too! Money is not necessity, its just a requirement to have the freedom you want to achieve (according to the goals you have). There’s a difference. And this difference is exactly what will come up as a realisation sooner or later when you lean towards a yes for the income.

Once you realise you aren’t happy with what you are shooting and only in for money, or the model that you are crushing on, thats the point you loose all interest in that project. Again, ultimately failing to make the best photos. And if you are going to behave anything but professional with your model, you are ultimately going to lose your career. 😛

If its something you don’t enjoy shooting, you will never make a great photo.

3. Is saying no tough or awkward because you know the person? Maybe a friend, relative etc.

Well let me put it this way. You went out shopping with the same person, would you buy your bag if they said so? even if you don’t like it? would you order food for yourself because they said so? even if you don’t like it? And I am not talking about the mindless “YES” as the person is your crush and your brain is clogged with Hearts!

You wouldn’t right? why? cuz its your money that is going to be spent, and you would want it to be spent in the best way possible, according to your taste, your likes and your decisions.

Coming back, then how is it justice to your client, if its their money that is being spent for your services because they think you are the best photographer for this job, while you yourself don’t think you are the best and only in because its tough to say no! This is wrong in many different levels. First, morally, you are breaking their trust in your photographic expertise. Second, you are charging for a service you yourself are not familiar with. And last but not the least, you are cheating your own self.

Sooner or later they will know this because it will reflect in your work and service. And then this client is never coming back, even if for a project that resonates with you.

4. There’s nothing wrong in saying no

If you respect your art, and your client, there is nothing wrong in saying no. It is rather the best way to gain trust and genuinely being true to yourself and your work. Your clients will respect you for the transparency.

How to say no

This is simple. Just say NO! and give a reason for your saying no. Please don’t say I don’t like your face!


You could say its not your genre and you are not confident enough to shoot that. Or you simply don’t shoot the photographs being asked for as your genre and expertise is different.


If its the idea that doesn’t match with your style, be vocal about it. you could say that the idea or the concept does not resonate with your work and your personality hence you wouldn’t be doing justice to it. Sometimes, they might bend to make everything according to you. Thats trust and respect for your work.

If its the face you don’t like

You could say you are beautiful/handsome in a way that is different to the kind of faces I shoot.

But if you are going to tell them “I don’t like your face” be sure to come back and let me know! 😛

hope this helps! have a great week!