Wednesday, June 1, 2011

{Not enough hours in the day}

I am thankful to have a job in which I genuinely love what I do.  Now don't get me wrong, there is a lot of work that goes into it.  It definitely wasn't easy taking the jump and deciding to do this full time.  I mean, the security of a paycheck was not there, neither was health insurance in the beginning.  It was a very daunting thing.  But, because of a series of events, I finally decided to take the plunge, and jump in.  Now, I am thankful that I did.

Many people assume that the life of a photographer is glamorous and fun.  Fun, it definitely is.  Glamorous, it could be. But many people don't realize how much work goes into it.  When talking with many of my friends who work regular 9-5's, they tell me that since I am home all of the time, I am not really working.  If I had a dollar for each time that was said to me, then hey! Perhaps I could be that glamorous photographer.

Admittedly, most of my weddings and sessions are on weekends.  Weddings usually last between 6-8 hours.  But that doesn't include the traveling time to and from the wedding. Essentially, my work day for a wedding could last 10-12 hours.  Then you throw in the engagement session for that wedding, which is a 1 hour shoot, but once again, travel time. Oh wait, let's not forget backing up my images when I come home from a wedding!  For a typical wedding I shoot about 1400 images, and these do not include the images from my second shooter.  I back them up online and on an external hard drive.  Then comes the editing.  Ah, the editing.  I have three phases of editing that I do. The first is culling the images.  I go through each and every single individual image, well over 2000 for a complete wedding.  I delete the blurry, out of focus, not technically great shots.  That could take upwards to 8-10 hours alone. Then comes the first round of editing! Once again, I go through each picture, and edit each one individually. I don't do a batch process which applies the same settings to a group of images. Each one gets my tender loving care!

Then, the final stage, culling the images again.  To put together a final product that tells the story of the wedding day.  In total, I put anywhere between 30-45 hours for each wedding.  Now considering I have one wedding each weekend, plus the engagement session, yeah...that is a lot of hours.

Let's not forget my portrait sessions! Albeit, portrait sessions are shorter in time, and usually yield about 200-300 images. But I have the same editing process as weddings.

Besides the actual photographing and editing, I hold a list of other jobs that I do with my business. I am the marketing director.  I am the one that pushes my business out to the public.  Creating the Facebook page, all of the ads and promotions and giveaways and such.  I am also the creative director!  All of my logos and such, I designed and made.  I am the accountant also (good thing I majored in Business Management and Marketing in college-dual majors!), even though I hate numbers.  And with each client, I am the only person they talk to directly to set up their session and give them ideas.

In the end, I am a one woman super house.  Every day, even on my days "off" I spend at least 4 hours doing something business related, and then on top of that is the actual shooting time, plus editing, plus travelling, and all that other fun stuff!

But in the end, I love doing what I do.  I could not imagine myself working a regular 40 hour work week at a job that I can just barely tolerate. So even though there are times when it feels like I don't have enough hours in the day, and that I have 3 weddings plus 2 sessions to deliver to clients, I take a breath, and am thankful that I am able to do this as my career.
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