‘So, what do you do on weekdays?’ – A Photographer’s Week
I was asked this question recently in regards to my working week and I was struck a little off guard. I am a wedding photographer, and most weddings tend to be held on Saturdays. This means I only work on Saturdays, surely?
I wanted to illustrate my week, and show that us photographers don’t just work on weekends, and that actually, the photographing is only a fraction of the work. I love every aspect of my job, and it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and patience to make a living out of. Truth is, my photography business is my life. I hardly ever switch off from it as it’s constantly whizzing around my head and that’s why it’s impossible for me to switch my computer off at 5pm and forget about my working day.
Yes, you may see me sipping on a latte in Ty Coffi at 11am, and you may see me going for a run at 2pm, but that’s the freedom that comes with being self-employed and it honestly doesn’t mean that I’m never working. In fact, when I took a morning off to go for a hike, I was probably later working until 8pm to finish some editing or album designs. Most photographers have no set hours for work and I’m sure many will resonate with my typical weekly diary below! I hope this gives you a insight into a photographer’s week.
- Saturday is usually WEDDING DAY! Woohoo, I get to do the job I absolutely love on Saturdays. I’ll usually be up from 6:30, will prepare all my gear, pack up then head over to the wedding. My photography coverage usually covers over 10 hours all in all and needless to say, I’m usually knackered by the time I get home!
- Sunday mornings are made for rest, but I make sure I back up all the photos from my wedding the day before in multiple locations and also check over my gear and clean my lenses. I will often slot in engagement shoots or family shoots on Sunday afternoon as it’s a convenient time for working families. A couple of weeks ago I was booked for a wedding day after shoot which is such a lovely idea and I’m hoping to shoot more soon.
- Monday, I TRY to take off, especially at peak wedding season. A day completely away from the computer at least. For the last few months, myself and two other female entrepreneurs in North Wales have been meeting to discuss our businesses, solve any problems and generate ideas. This is a great start to the week as I become more focused and look forwards to working on old and new projects. I make sure that my accounts are in line for the week and prepare myself for outgoings and incomings to the business. Doing this saves me time over the week and I also save myself from any nasty surprises! As it’s Monday today as I write this, I am now going to regularly blog on Mondays too.
- Tuesday is editing day! I can easily spend over 8 hours working on weddings and shoots in a day and that’s a lot of time in front of a computer. On average I deliver approx 300-400 edited images for weddings and sometimes, a single image can take 15 minutes to get just right. It takes quite a few days of editing to complete a wedding. I will also spend time on album design, which can also take a few days to complete and perfect.
- Wednesday, I will continue with my editing. If possible, I will fit in a mid-week commercial shoot, be it head-shots or product shots. It gets me out of the office and back behind the camera!
- Thursdays I will fit in potential and current clients’ meetings. This can range from wedding enquiries, wedding gallery/ frame/photo-book/print deliveries to family and commercial shoot enquiries. I will leave some time aside on Thursdays to visit upcoming weekend weddings’ venues with the couples as I like to know how things are to be laid out on the day and I won’t be surprised if there are any last minute changes. Sometimes I also attend wedding rehearsals if the ceremony is held in a church or chapel, again, no surprises on the day!
- Friday – sometimes I have a wedding, sometimes not. If I have a wedding – yay! If not, I will prepare for the next day’s wedding, clear all my cards, check all my lenses and bodies and prepare my rolls of film. The rest of the day is typically spent editing.
There are things that have to be done almost every day in my working week, mainly editing, checking and responding to e-mails and posting on social media. These can take a lot of time, especially the e-mails!
Some weeks I have extra duties such as public speaking (I go around many Merched y Wawr groups in North Wales), course delivery (currently hosting a Facebook course for business), attending Bala Business meetings, judging at local shows and coordinating styled shoots. Sometimes shoots take me away from North Wales and I have to spend a couple of days away (I do LOVE travel with work!) I also find it important to invest in my own development too, by attending courses, reading photography books and talking to others in the industry.
As you see, my working week is VERY varied and it changes every week. Some weeks, I don’t even have time to take a day off. Being a photographer doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m always with a camera around my neck, much more goes on behind the scenes (and I’m sure I’ve forgotten many details above) between plenty of cups of coffee! And certainly, I don’t just work on Saturdays.