Being a wedding and portrait photographer means my schedule is a little different from the rest of the world. Many of my sessions take place in the evenings, and almost every single one of my weddings takes place on the weekend.
One of the first questions most people ask when they find out I’m a wedding photographer is: what do you do during the week?!
Totally a valid question, and I definitely understand why people ask!! If I’m photographing people on the evenings and weekends, it might seem as though I have a tonnnnn of free time during the week, but surprising to most, this isn’t quite the case (though it does come with lots of flexibility!). Ever wonder what a wedding photographer does to keep busy during the week? Here are a few things that keep me busy, even when I’m not shooting:
Yes, those photos will always need to be slightly tweaked, and editing is probably what takes up the majority of my time – especially the week after a wedding!
2. Bookkeeping & Taxes
While I’m blessed to have someone who does my taxes every year, my job is to pay local taxes (sales and income) and to keep up with my bookkeeping. I try to make sure I’m categorizing my expenses at least once a month, but I try to aim to do this every other week so I don’t get too behind!
3. Client Management
There are a lot of moving pieces behind sessions and weddings – answering emails, contracts, questionnaires, invoices, session prep, phone calls – the list goes on and on! Thankfully, I recently implemented a new client management software called Pixifi that allows me to do basically all of those things (aside from phone calls and personal emails) right from the software! It’s pretty stinking amazing and has already saved me a ton of time!
Blogging has been huge for me in my business. I try to blog at the very least once a week and blog the majority of senior, engagement, family, and weddings I photograph. Prepping blog posts with images and a cohesive story can take a significant amount of time, believe it or not!
5. Planning out Social Media
One of my absolute favorite things to work on in my business is social media! Believe it or not, I receive quite a few leads through Instagram and Facebook, which have led to booked senior, family, engagement sessions, and weddings! Having the ability to share my work, showcase my client’s stories, provide tips and tricks to current or future clients, and share a little bit about myself has really helped me connect with my clients (and hopefully soon-to-be clients!) in a personal way!
Two of my favorite apps for social media planning are Grum and Hootsuite. To read more about both, check out this article!
6. Meeting with Perspective Clients
One of the best ways for a wedding couple to get to know their potential wedding photographer is by meeting with them (or Skyping/calling them!). I LOVE having the opportunity to meet with potential clients so I can hear their story and see if we mesh and would be a good fit for their wedding day!
7. Location Scouting
If I’m photographing someone in a new location, you best believe I’m going to check that place out beforehand! Sometimes I’ll arrive early to a location before a session begins, and sometimes I’ll make a day of visiting different upcoming locations. Even though location scouting can take quite a bit of time, I love being able to make sure I have a game plan for every location I photograph before the session begins!
8. Submitting Weddings for Publication
One of the fun perks of being in the wedding industry is having the opportunity to have work featured in various online and print magazines! Believe it or not, preparing weddings for submission can take quite a bit of time – narrowing down the perfect photos, gathering other wedding vendor information, and getting specific information from couples is all a part of the process! Check out a few of my features as the bottom of my home page - click here!
9. Prepping, Cleaning, & Testing Gear
Before every single wedding and session, I make sure to organize, test, and clean my gear to make sure everything is in tiptop shape and working order. I never EVER want to arrive to a shoot with faulty gear (which is why, just in case, I always bring a backup, too!).
10. Practice & Education
I don’t think I will ever feel like I’ve fully arrived with photography. I’m always practicing poses, looking for inspiration, and working to improve my craft – whether it’s through posing, shooting, or actually practicing certain techniques. Before every single session and wedding, I run through my list of prompts and poses (or, for couples, movements) just to make sure I won’t miss anything during the session!
I also have a couple of classes that I love to rewatch every once in a while: Justin and Mary Marantz's "The Art of Authentic Posing" and Katelyn James' "KJ Posing Course."
11. Photograph Other Types of Sessions
Aside from being a weekend wedding warrior, many wedding photographers take other sessions during the week - even if they don't promote work from those sessions. Personally, I love to fill my weeks with senior, family, and engagement sessions!
Hard to believe there’s so much to be done, right?! And while there are lots of things to keep track of and take care of even when I’m not shooting, I am SO thankful for all of the flexibility my job has given me.
To stay up to date on behind the scenes of JHP, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram!