Being happy as a wedding photographer
Let's talk about the mental side of being happy as a wedding photographer. First being a wedding photographer as we talked about, comes with the business aspect side of it. Now, running your own business can really take a toll and it actually takes a lot of effort because you can be doing things all the time. You could be working into the nights. You can be working as soon as you get up, then you're working on weekends shooting weddings and you need to find a balance mentally. The thing that I've done that has really helped uh through photography and any real freelance gig is to sort of treat the hours like a real job. If you only work from 9 to 4 or 9 to 5 through Monday through Friday on your admin and on your business side, you should stop at five o'clock and relax and recharge mentally. Now, that's not possible all the time. Sometimes you'll be getting emails late into the night that need to be responded too quickly. Sometimes you need to be editing your photos and it's gonna take ...
you longer than you think. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes you have another job And so you're just trying to combine the two, but you need to get to a place where you're not killing yourself. You want to be able to enjoy this job and also enjoy life and relax and not overwork yourself. Because being a wedding photographer on that Saturday on that Sunday, it is a lot of work, especially if you start booking 6, 1012 hour jobs on the weekends, need time to rest And often wedding photographers are resting on Monday and Tuesday and then they do the work throughout the rest of the week because your weekends end up getting taken. It also depends on where your location is in the world. There are a lot of warmer places in the world, let's say like a city in the desert where a lot of their weddings happen during the winter from October to say springtime. And there are a lot of other places like Southern California where weddings are happening year round or the opposite where weddings may only be happening in just the summer and not the winter months. So it depends on when your season may be. Maybe that's when you work the hardest on the weekends and you take the rest of the year off to build out your website and update everything. The important thing here is that you think about finding a balance mentally because it can get away from you and your quality of work will not be there unless you rest. You take care of yourself mentally and you step away from it every once in a while to be with family, to be with friends, to be with yourself. You have to recharge yourself because this job is not just a business, it is not just accounting and numbers and contracts and talking to people, but it is creativity, it is inspiration, it is technical work, it's science, it's everything and you need to be at your tip top shape when you're there at a wedding because moments happen and you can't miss them. The last note on the mental side of it is balancing your relationships with your clients. Clients sometimes and couples don't understand quite what a wedding photographer would be doing or what a photographer in general is doing. On the admin side. They kind of just think mm they just show up with a camera and they take pictures. They may not be thinking that you do have other clients. You do have another job. You are taking photos of other things like portraits or headshots or family sessions or maternity or sports or any of that stuff. And so you are working during the week on things. You don't need to kill yourself to respond to your clients right away. If you get an email at 10 at night, don't feel like you need to respond to them by midnight. Rest. Let yourself sit on it, wait till the next morning when you're sitting down at your computer and you're ready to respond in a nice cohesive, coherent manner. If you start to respond to clients on the weekends while you're shooting other clients or late into the night or early in the mornings, you will drive yourself crazy. And I know this is kind of silly to say, but as you start to get along and you become more successful, you're gonna want to have to do that, You're gonna feel the urge to wanna do that set parameters for yourself and set boundaries for yourself with your clients. I really try not to respond to clients if it's after five o'clock and I try not to respond to clients on the weekend, especially if I'm already on another wedding or something. They can wait hours. I can guarantee you nothing will be that much of an emergency. Unless it's the wedding that you're shooting tomorrow, they can wait 24 hours and please practice doing that as you're starting out because it will become very important as you get more busy and as time goes on better to start good habits now, so that when you're successful, you won't have to worry about it. Now, let's talk about the physical aspect of being happy as a wedding photographer. It is a physical job. I'm not gonna lie to you. I have had times where I've thought, I don't know if I can continue to do this into my older age. It's been nice because I've been shooting weddings since I was about 22. So, you know, better part of a decade. Mm, two decades of shooting weddings. And it definitely has taken a toll on me in my older age than it used to when I was younger. And that means when we talked about clothing, having comfortable shoes that look nice. That's a huge part of it. Having lighter weight cameras. It's part of the reason that I used to shoot me, I started shooting mirrorless cameras and moved from DS LRS because they were just lighter on me for 1012 hours of the day and they still produce great images. So thinking about the physicalness of your body, thinking about stretching, thinking about drinking tons of water, thinking about being healthy, leading up to your wedding season and also resting again, physically resting, not just mentally resting, but like, you know, resting because your body is one of the main tools that you will be using as a photographer. You'll be running back and forth, it will be warm, it will be cold, you'll be lifting cameras, you'll be lifting lights, you'll be lifting all sorts of things and over time that can be physically demanding, especially as humans. We get older and we start to lose some of that strength. So keep that in mind, work out, be healthy, eat well, drink, well, all these things will lead to you being a better photographer. They will also lead to you being more creative and efficient on a wedding day versus you worrying about a back pain or a pinch in your back. It's all very important if you want to continue to do this week after week, after week, after week, something to think about is hiring an assistant. I've seen a lot of older photographers where they start to get to a point where they've been successful enough, they can afford to hire an assistant to carry everything around with them. And that's great because that can also be a younger budding photographer that you're helping train. And that's what I did. Actually, when I was in high school and college, I ran around with my photography teacher at the time loading film for him and carrying all the lenses and handing and watching what he was doing and all these things. And that was hugely helpful. So if you can find someone where you can be an apprentice and do that, that's great. But also in the future, think about hiring an assistant, think about what your physical body needs. Do you need a rolling backpack versus a big backpack with all your equipment? Can you set that down? Can you take a seat for just a minute during the day? Think about physically keeping your body happy, healthy and uh