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August 6, 2016

The Photographers Dilemma How many hours do you actually work?

Absolutely every photographer has had a conversation that has gone similar to this:

“What do you do for a living?”
“Oh, I’m a wedding photographer!”
“Wow, so you only have to work on weekends? Your job sounds so easy!!”

Usually we smile and say something along the lines of “it’s a really great job – I love it!”, but never delve too far into the “I’M RUNNING ON THREE HOURS OF SLEEP” part of photography ;)

Most wedding photographers absolutely love their job. This is their dream, they’ve worked hard to get here, and they wouldn’t want to be doing anything else! I am definitely one of those people. But the common misconception is that when a person is able to have a job that they love, it must mean that they don’t do that much work.

Literally part of our job as wedding photographers is to make our job look as easy as heck. We’re supposed to fade into the background on a wedding day, and not be seen as a distraction. And you almost never hear about the ‘background stuff’ that a photographer has to deal with! So what do we actually do?? Today I want to give you just a small taste of a Day in the Life of a Wedding Photographer! :)

Sometimes even I wonder how much I can actually be working, just because my days seem to fly by! I absolutely love what I do! So last week I decided to record all the time that I spent working. Every phone call from a bride, every late night blog post, all of it. And do you know what it totaled up to? 57.5 hours. That is almost 20 hours over a typical full-time employee!

But you know what’s even funnier about those 57.5 hours? Only 11 of those hours were spent actually taking pictures. The other 46.5 were spent keeping up with clients, making sure my business was running smoothly, and a multitude of other things. My work doesn’t end when I leave a wedding day… In fact, it has only just begun.

Let me make you a quick list of just some of the things wedding photographers deal with on a daily basis:

  • Heading into the office and answering the client emails you received overnight (surprisingly, lots of brides are awake at 2-3am!! haha!)
  • Making a very long to-do list to try and stay on track!
  • Sending out ‘thank you’ notes to brides that weekend + referrals
  • Checking on invoices due and doing the bookkeeping
  • Creating customized timelines for a bride
  • Answering wedding inquiries
  • Culling sessions (picking the photos you want to edit)
  • Editing sessions (hours of work here)
  • Designing albums
  • Consultations with potential clients
  • Keeping your advertising up (via Facebook and Instagram)
  • Scheduling new posts for throughout the month, to keep traffic coming to the blog)
  • Packaging up new Bridal Guides and taking them to the post office
  • Staying on top of general marketing for your area
  • Meeting with brides to discuss their wedding day
  • Uploading and sending off online galleries
  • … seriously, so much more.

This does not include the many hours spent working on keeping your website/blog designed and up-to-date, or the time you actually spend at a session!

Let me just say this though – I am in no way complaining about working all those hours. I loved every minute of it! I am so blessed to be making a living from doing what I love. But just because I am doing something I love, doesn’t mean I don’t work very hard every day. Us creative individuals don’t ‘have it easy’, just because we’re our own boss ;) Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but it is absolutely worth it <3 I am a firm believer that you can do something that you absolutely love, and still be thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day. 

So next time you see a person running their own business, maybe grab them a cup of coffee, because they are almost surely sleep deprived ;)

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