Why Photographers Fail – The 3 Main Reasons!

Are you failing as a photographer? Are your pictures not coming out as good as you want them to? Do you feel like you're running out of ideas or that you can't be creative? Or you’re not getting the work that you think that you deserve, and now feel like you're failing as a photographer.

I've been teaching photography since 2002 and I've literally had tens of thousands of failing photographers come to me and I can tell you now that the reasons that they fail are very common. In this tutorial, we’re going to look at the 3 main reason why photographers fail.



Excuses can be a significant factor contributing to the failure of photographers. Often, aspiring photographers find themselves caught in a web of self-imposed barriers, blaming external factors for their lack of progress.

Whether it's a belief that they don't possess the right equipment, a shortage of time, or a multitude of other reasons, these excuses prevent individuals from fully committing to their craft.

The truth is success in photography requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to push beyond comfort zones. By relinquishing excuses and taking ownership of the journey, photographers can break free from limitations, embrace challenges, and unleash their true potential.

Excuses may offer temporary solace, but only by facing them head-on can photographers overcome obstacles and pave their path towards growth and achievement.

Image of a tiger's eye taken by Andy Rouse from our Wildlife Photography Course

© Andy Rouse - Taken from our Wildlife Photography Course


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Lack of Effort

Insufficient effort stands as another reason many photographers fail to reach their desired level of success.

Many individuals fail to grasp the magnitude of effort required to excel in the art of photography. It goes beyond mastering technical skills and understanding post-processing techniques. The journey demands a significant investment of time, energy, and unwavering dedication.

Unfortunately, some photographers are unwilling to put in the necessary effort, expecting quick results or relying solely on natural talent.

However, without a genuine commitment to continuous learning, practice, and pushing beyond comfort zones, growth will remain stagnant. It is the photographers who wholeheartedly embrace the process, willing to invest the required effort, who ultimately rise above the rest and achieve their creative aspirations.

Quiraing Isle of Skye taken by Tom Archer from our Landscape Photography Course

© Tom Archer - Taken from our Landscape Photography Course


You are Still a Beginner

One significant factor contributing to the failure of photographers is their failure to recognize that they are still beginners. It can be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you've spent years immersed in the photography world, watching tutorials, and engaging in photography-related activities. However, the truth is that the path of learning in photography is endless, and there is always room for growth and improvement.

Common feedback we receive from our members highlights a significant revelation—they didn't realize how much they didn't know.

Here is a collection of reviews from our members that highlight this:

  • "Just finished the Beginners Photography Course, and I admit, like many, I thought I could skip it. NO! Following Marc's advice and taking the course made me realize I knew nothing!" – Lesley Warrington, UK

  •  "I have learned more in the last few months than in over 20 years." - Nathan Doyle, UK

  •  "I feel like I've learned more from this class than from anything or anyone else since I picked up a DSLR about two years ago!" – Lisa Mitchell, USA

  •  "After just three lessons, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing before taking this course!" – Kady Evich, USA

  •  "I only wish I had started with TSOP earlier instead of relying on YouTube videos for the past four years." – Ivan Stevens, UK

Now, you might assume that this is merely an advertisement for TSOP, showcasing positive comments. However, the intention is to shed light on a common theme expressed by our members regarding their experience as beginners. It serves as a reminder that even those who have been involved in photography for years can still benefit immensely from structured education.

Failing to acknowledge this can lead to complacency and a lack of motivation to further develop skills and knowledge. By embracing the mindset of a perpetual learner, photographers can unlock their true potential and embark on a journey of continuous improvement. Remember, true mastery comes from understanding that there is always more to learn and remaining open to new insights and experiences along the way.



In conclusion, we have explored the three common reasons that often lead photographers to fail. It's crucial to be honest with yourself and reflect on whether any of these reasons resonate with your own journey. Our intention is not to discourage or demotivate, but rather to inspire self-reflection and ignite a renewed sense of purpose. Recognising your shortcomings is the first step towards growth.

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Marc Newton and I’m a photographer, educational speaker, author, teacher of photography and the founder of The School of Photography. Follow my personal work on Facebook, Instagram.