I commonly get asked what a usual day is like for me owning my own photography business. The average day differs greatly depending on what types of clients I have and the time of year. There are generally two times of year for me business wise: my busy season and my off season. My off season is most of November till around May (depending on the weather) when I have less work. My busy season is May till October when the weather is nicer and I have more work (primarily seniors, families, couples, and weddings). Many people are surprised at how little of my job consists of taking photos. In addition to just shooting pictures I have to spend a great deal of time retouching, meeting with clients for pre-session consultations, sending clients photos via online galleries, networking, social media and email marketing, website upkeep, blogging, sending invoices, managing the books, continued learning about photography and business related topics, and lastly developing systems for how I approach all of the aforementioned aspects of my business. For the last year or so I’ve tried to focus on single tasking and creating consistent systems for how I get tasks done. Single tasking is the opposite of multitasking. Instead of working on a variety of tasks at once I try to do similar tasks at the same time. For example if I have several sessions to retouch I’ll spend the entire day retouching instead of switching between unrelated tasks like writing my monthly newsletter and shooting images for my blog. I’ve found this makes me more productive and efficient.
During my off season (when I have less clients I’m working with) I spend a great deal of time reading business and photography related books to help hone my craft. This is also a great time to make changes to my business as well. For example last year I spent a great deal of time adjusting my pricelists and the workflow for how I approach sessions and delivering photos to clients. I also use this time to write my weekly blog posts for the year which takes a great deal of time. I also spend this time creating relationships with other local business owners and networking with other professionals. I usually find enough things to work on in my off season that I’m working the same (sometimes more) hours per day in my off season than I am during my busy season. This time is primarily spend working on my business (as Michael Gerber put it in the famous business book The E-Myth Revisited) learning, making changes, and prepping for the busy season. A lot of the changes which are made come from seeing what things clients liked and what areas need improvement in my business from looking at experiences in the past year.
During my busy season I primarily spend my time working with clients. This involves answering questions via emails, Facebook messages, and phone calls before meeting with them for the pre-session consultation. Significantly less time is spent working on my business (making changes etc) and far more time is spend planning, shooting, retouching, and delivering client images at this time of the year.