Cool, you're a wedding photographer!...But what do you DO?
It's a common misconception that wedding photographers don't do much - we just show up, take photos, and that's it, right?
Well, not exactly. Today, I'm going to break down exactly what responsibilities wedding photographers have aside from shooting weddings & engagement sessions!
Keep in mind this isn't an exhaustive list, but just an overview to give you a better understanding on what we do behind the scenes!
When I receive an inquiry, I do my very best to respond as soon as possible. This isn't always realistic though, as I set aside my evenings & weekends to be with my family & friends (everyone deserves a social life!), so what I can do is make my email process easier and more efficient.
I spend about an hour each day (more or less), prioritizing my emails to figure out which ones require my immediate attention and which ones I can save to respond to later that day. Client related emails get first priority, and I spend the majority of my email time following up with inquiries, sending contracts, and keeping clients in the loop on what to expect next (so they're not left wondering!). Next up is industry related emails so I can be connected to other creatives & professionals in the industry so I can better serve my clients and strengthen my business. Last on the list is anything personal, and deleting spam.
There's no point in owning a business if people don't know who you are, right? I spend a good chunk of my week learning how to market, what to market, and who to market to. It sounds easy enough but I only want to book a certain number of weddings per year (there's only so many Saturdays in a year!), and in order to do that, I don't need to market to thousands of potential brides! All I need are just enough couples that like my work to book me! (And I realize I'm not everyone's cup of tea and that's totally OK!).
Welcome packages, client gifts, branding, website updates - all fall under marketing.
There's also Facebook, Instagram, blogging, SEO (basically how much Google likes you so you can rank higher on search results), networking - all these require different rules and steps which constantly change over time, so I need to keep up to stay ahead (or get ahead, to be honest haha).
Social Media & Blogging.
I spend about 2-3 hours a week planning my upcoming posts on FB and IG, complete with images, captions, and hashtags. I strive for authentic content and real stories, so I want to make sure all the content I produce is relevant to my ideal clients.
As for blogging, I set aside roughly an hour aside per post and I'm currently working up to 3 posts per week, planning 3 weeks out at a time. I also have an editorial calendar which helps me plan the upcoming months so all my ideas are in one place for easy reference.
Workshops & Brand Shoots.
It can be overwhelming when there's lots of voices out there telling you how to run your business. I have a very small amount of mentors and resources to learn from, which enables me to live out my dream while making the best business decisions for myself and for my clients.
I also want new content for my IG & blog posts that's not just weddings, so I plan shoots that reflect my brand. I plan & schedule these of my home decor, food, Chester, Andrew & I, and anything else I feel represent what I like and what I think my ideal clients want to see in addition to my wedding photographs.
This is the "fun" part of the office side of my job. While I edit images, I hit play on Apple Music or burn through entire seasons of shows on Netflix (what should I watch next?!).
I spend anywhere, on average, from 1-2 hours of editing per hour of shooting, which works out to be anywhere from 5-15 hours a week depending on my current workload. This includes correcting exposure, white balance, cropping, retouching skin for blemishes, and the occasional Photoshop to "clean up" a photo (like taking people out in the background).
Wedding photographers wear many hats. Photographer, bookkeeper, admin, customer service, marketing, just to name a few. Once I become busier or start a family (whichever comes sooner!), I plan on outsourcing more, which I will talk about in another post! I am so grateful to be doing what I love though, and despite the many tasks & events on my calendar, I really wouldn't trade it for anything else!
Are you a wedding photographer too? Are there any points I've missed? Let me know in the comments!