arielle elise » arielle elise photography

busyness does not equal success.

When I first started out with my photography business, I thought that doing 20-30 weddings per year was the ultimate goal. I thought if I did 20 weddings, I would be making it “big time” or something. Now looking back, I can see that I was so very wrong. To some people, 20-30 weddings or booking session after session is their goal, and that’s great!! But for me, my goals have changed and shifted a bit.

There was a time (not too long ago) when I set my pricing lower than I should have, and kept very busy with sessions. I have now learned that what I do and how I invest my time in my business is worth much more than what I was selling it for. Now that I have realized this, I can do less- but for more worth. If that makes sense :) I’ve realized as much as I love photographing weddings and sessions, my time with my family and being present in the moment, is so valuable to me. I’m learning that I do not need to “show” others that I am busy with my photography business. This year I booked 13 weddings, turned many down and next year I will most likely book less. Not because I don’t like shooting weddings, but because I want to do my very best and have my attention where it needs to be in my life. My photography and small business is not who I am. Sure, I love it and it is a part of who I am but it is not all I am. Just a part.

When I am not photographing weddings or sessions, I am still taking photographs. In the quiet seasons, I can create photos and personal work that I otherwise couldn’t do if I was crazy busy. If I didn’t take the time for personal work, I feel like I would burn out so very easily. I would become uninspired, unmotivated. Photography is more to me than  having an income, or making extra for our family. It was first a hobby and something that I really enjoyed, and I don’t ever want to lose that. If you are just getting started in a photography business, please let me just say- it is ok to not have session after session or wedding after wedding lined up. It’s just the beginning. Soon enough, people will see your personal work or other work that you are doing, and love it enough to hire you for what you are worth. Busyness, to me…does not necessarily equal success. Sometimes less is more. Enjoy the moment, and enjoy the journey :)

Much love!


Giiiirrrrl, I know EXACTLY how you feel on this. I took this same approach last year and gained so much more fulfillment out of my business…even with “doing” less.


I need to remind myself of this more often. Thanks!


awesome post arielle. i think a lot of photographers need to hear that. and brides :)

great reminder..thank you!

I love this so much! I definitely thought the same things when I was new…heck, I’m still new! Ha! I can tell that I’m too busy when I don’t even want to pick up my camera. It’s time to step back from a few things then! This was very encouraging Arielle! Have a great day!

This is such an insightful post, Arielle! “If I didn’t take the time for personal work, I feel like I would burn out so very easily. I would become uninspired, unmotivated.” This is helpful and even liberating advice for creatives.

i love what you say here! such a great perspective.

You have a lot of wisdom friend. I agree that being busy doesn’t equal success, but being present does!

i really needed this post, today. really truly. thank you :)

i’m just starting out my photog business and upgrading all of my equipment and i’m at the point of transitioning from my day job to just photography which is somewhat stressful! but this post helped me put everything back into perspective.

so, thank you!

I so needed to see this. It’s so hard to feel like you are succeeding when you don’t have many clients and you keep getting clients that only want to book when you are having a special deal, or not even then because you aren’t $100 or less anymore. I know I’m worth more and it’s hard when I don’t have many clients anymore. But the stress and workload and time was just not worth being so cheap.

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