Set Your Own Path ⎪Advice For Photographers


Like a small boat, on the ocean. Sending big waves, into motion. Like how a single word, can make a heart open. I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion.

~Fight Song {Rachel Platton}

I’m a huge coffee lover, and I’m constantly collecting coffee mugs. Most of them I collect because they’re cute, or have some meaning. At any time you’ll open up my coffee mug cabinet and have a lot of wisdom staring back at you. Today’s mug was the inspiration for today’s post.

Set Your Own Path.

It’s always been a personal motto for me in life, and one I’ve found that has become most important as a business owner. The best part of your journey is finding exactly who you want to be. I encourage you to just stop. Stop focusing on what everyone else is doing, and focus on what YOU do. It’s such an important message to teach our younger generation – that they can go against the grain.

In all aspects of life there seems to be a pull to follow the herd. To worry about what everyone else is doing. At work, at home, at school, everywhere. I’ve said numerous times that I’m SO GLAD Facebook was not around when I was in high school and college. The immense pressure on everyone, but especially young girls and women, is out of control. We’re always looking to others for validation, and it’s not a very becoming trait.

I’ve always been the girl who was never afraid to do my own thing. In fact, I remember the moment my awesome stepmom said that to me for the first time. I can’t remember how we got on the topic, but at the time I had never even recognized that quality in myself. It was just who I was. For the most part I’ve always made decisions based on what I wanted, not what others would think about it. This past weekend I took my sister and her friend, both high school juniors, prom dress shopping. They tried on endless dresses and humored me as I made them try on things they totally didn’t like! Both girls chose the most gorgeous dresses, and the whole time we shopped I kept encouraging to be different – don’t worry about what style every other girl is choosing. Pick something YOU love. Set your own path.

So your probably thinking, what does this have to do with photography?

The photography industry can be a rather fickle place. There’s always pressure to follow trends, be the best, have the most followers. At some point every photographer finds themselves obsessing over every detail, and constantly following trends. Always worrying about what everyone else is doing. What does their website look like? What are they charging? How can I get those kinds of clients? Recently I did a blog post sharing a side-by-side comparison of my very first practice sessions next to my most recent. It was a scary post to write – the “before” photos are so awful it’s downright funny. Social media is a constant state of “Show Your Best, Hide The Rest” so you can imagine putting your *worst* work out there is terrifying.

The best business decision you can make is not compare yourself to others. Be the photographer YOU want to be, and the right clients will come to you.




Based on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Courtney Hathaway offers Destination Wedding Photography for the Joyful, Romantic, & Adventurous Couple. For more information on having Courtney tell your love story, please visit

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