Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles” (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary), or “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values” (Merriam Webster.) How can these principles apply to our work as photographers? How can we act with integrity as photography business owners?
Acting with integrity is simple: follow your intuition.
As an independent creator, it’s important that you make decisions that align with your values and not with what others think is right. Putting your values into action in your photography business can show up in many forms. It can be posting something that highlights a cause you care about, or charging prices you think are fair. It can be shooting weddings because you love celebrating love, or adhering to your own professional boundaries during client interactions.
Living with a “scarcity mindset” is one thing that can keep you from acting with integrity.
A scarcity mindset means that you see the world as having a limited amount of successes available. It means thinking “well, there are already hundreds of people with photography blogs, so I don’t need one too.” An abundance mindset is just the opposite. Instead of thinking that there are a limited number of slices of pie, you see the world as having enough for everyone to share.
Having the confidence that there is room for your work in the world will allow you to explore your creativity.
If you trust yourself, you’ll feel open to trying what you enjoy. Eventually, you’ll be brave enough to follow your personal values rather than simply sticking to the status quo. For example, I recently published a social post about a new project I’m working on. It was something I’m genuinely excited about, and it felt like the words just flowed right out of me. When I’m creating something that I’m not excited about, or that I don’t believe in, it can feel like a chore. For this recent project though, it felt like I was letting the canoe flow downstream instead of constantly trying to paddle against the flow.
Acting with integrity isn’t just about doing what you think is right. It’s about doing what you enjoy, too.
It can be so freeing to be honest with yourself as a creative person and to follow your integrity. Because you know what? Creating and publishing content that aligns with who you truly are feels amazing.
One place that I’ve been having conversations on topics like these is on Clubhouse. It’s a new-ish invite only, audio conversation app. It’s a great resource to connect with other creative people and I’d love to see you on our Photo Business Help weekly chat! As always, feel free to comment on this post or contact me with stories of your own experience acting with integrity in your work.