wedding and those remarks about “Only working on the weekends” were really hard to hear. Maybe I was just being a girl and overly sensitive… but if I’m being honest, I think anyone that has a job that is often misunderstood feels this way. My dad is a pastor of a church and has been there for almost 25years! I remember hearing people say things to him about “It must be nice just working on Sunday” and it just made me mad! We saw him leave at 2am to meet families at the hospital and then work hours in the office and have meetings every night of the week…. but to the outside world, they thought he preached on Sunday and then he was done…. far from the truth.
I’ve run into similar conversations about our business. I can’t tell you how many people have commented on our lifestyle and how awesome it must be to work hard on Saturday and then just hangout until the next wedding! Well, for those that think that is our reality, I have news for you about our schedule :)
- We wake up at 7 or 7:30 in order to get everything accomplished on the weekdays and work until at least 6pm. We don’t sleep in everyday just because we can :) And because it’s hard to shut down a business that is being run out of your house, a lot of times our work creeps into the night during the busy season. Not healthy, we’re working on it. :)
- Every hour of shooting breaks down to about 3-4 hours of work at home… so apply that to a 9-10 hour wedding day and then think about what our weeks look like after a DOUBLE HEADER weekend! Yikes!
- Yesterday I spent 3 hours trying to get my inbox under control from neglecting it for two days because we hosted a workshop on Monday and Tuesday.
- Blogging is a daily 1-3 hour commitment depending on the post for that day.
- Yesterday I also spent 3-4 hours ordering albums, sending invoices for album upgrades and paying estimated taxes…. which was depressing. The amount of tax a small business owner pays is just ridiculous.
- On a good week, we get one day off… normally Sundays if we’re not shooting a wedding. We have to work our butts off and prep for the next wedding if we want to take a day off during the week…. which we should because that’s what normal jobs do!
- A lot of times we act as a coordinator/planner for our couples and while I love this, it’s time consuming. Every week I’m writing up timelines for our brides and communicating with them about how we need to structure their wedding day and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
- Editing! Whew! Not only do we have to load the thousands of images from each wedding, we have to “cull” them too… which means reviewing them and picking the images that will make it to the client’s full gallery. After that, the editing process begins. We outsource some editing which helps us have a life AND we use PASS which saves us about 2 hours per wedding workflow!
- Now I realize that not all photographers have an education side to their business but we do and we love it so much! …. But it’s like running a second business!! Thankfully Michael handles most of that! I couldn’t do both without him!
So after listening to me ramble, those that aren’t photographers are probably thinking “Oh, so maybe there is more to it than just 8 hours on a Saturday!”…. and those that ARE photographers are silently screaming “AMEN!” at their computer screens! :) ANY small business owner wears a million different hats and as hard as it is, it’s also very rewarding. Michael and I are so thankful that we work for ourselves that our business is growing! We’re also thankful that even though our weeks are packed full of work to do, we could decide to take time off whenever our schedule allowed for it and that freedom is amazing!!
So happy Friday to all of my fellow photogs out there! I hope you can get your work done early and enjoy an afternoon off before the busyness of Saturday arrives!! Happy shooting everyone!!!