Photographers, let’s just say it – as much as we love our jobs, it does come with its challenges.
August is a month in the wedding season where we are rolling deep in weddings. Since weeks, we have been covering weddings pretty much every weekend at incredible locations, but we have also been spending most of our time during the week in front of the screen editing, replying to emails, writing bills, keeping up with our social media presence etc… This cycle can have some dire consequences, if we do not put systems in place for self-care and streamlining processes.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some suggestions:
Do not ignore your needs! Yes, you need to serve your clients to the best of your ability, but you cannot do that if you are falling apart mentally, emotionally and physically. Set aside time during the week to relax, hang out with friends and family, take in the summer heat, enjoy the outdoors and exercise. And think about how your morning-routine can help you start the day off well.
Also, very important is that you eat healthy, and regularly. In the midst of working so much, we do have the tendancy to either skip meals or grab a quick bite. Take the time to nourish your body appropriately for your overall wellbeing.
2. Streamline your process
Take the time to analyse points in your workflow that can be done more efficiently. Are there templates you can prepare? Is there a way to batchwork some tasks? Write all the things that you do to complete a job from A-Z and find ways to streamline them. Also, are there tasks that you can outsource? Enlist help when necessary. You do not need to do EVERYTHING in your business.
3. Plan out your schedule
Take a holistic look at your upcoming weddings and plan out which days of the week you will block out to edit the images. Set deadlines for when you will deliver the galleries to your clients. The more you feel like that you are falling behind and more weddings keep on piling up, the more overwhelmed you will start feeling. Also, sometimes we may have a month that is rather booked out and we recieve a last-minute inquiry for a wedding or some other photo shoot (e.g. on a free Friday), if you can help it financially, resist the temptation to take on yet another booking. Exhaustion does not help either you or your clients.
Also plan out your Instagram posts ahead of time. Having pictures and captions thought-out and ready to go (aka batchworking) really helps reduce the daily stress of needing to think about what to post.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not on top of my game. I try to implement the points listed above, but do not always manage e.g. eating healthy all the time. But I am trying my best and it is getting better…
Plan in breaks for the upcoming wedding season
When you are booking weddings for the next season, plan in about 10 days off every 2-3 months (e.g. the Monday after a wedding until the Wednesday a week later). You can take a mini-trip during this time to relax and rejuvinate.
Ever since my husband, Tim, and I started doing this, we feel way more relaxed and inspired during the wedding season. Not only is it an amazing way to also enjoy the summer for us, but we can serve our clients better, because we are not feeling over-worked and are freshly recharged.
I truly hope that these tips can help you avoid/reduce the stress during the wedding season. If you have any additional suggestions that can add value to people reading this blog post, please share them below…
Also, feel free to join the Facebook group “Creative Entrepreneurs Care” to support one another through the challenges of being a small business owner.