Becoming a wedding photographer – a day in the life of Jade Norwood Photography
So the other day on an engagement shoot, I was asked ‘so what do you do during the day to fill in the time….if this is all you do?’. Ouch! Do people really think that running a photography business is purely about shooting; point, click, and download? I think in my blog posts ‘we all start somewhere’ + ‘the business end’; I touched a little on the business and skill development side of photography for someone looking to take up photography as a career, but now it’s time to look at what it is a photographer does all day!
Please note: This is purely just showing what we do, I’m not saying it is the right way, or what every photographer does! Im not saying I have all my ducks in a row, and I’m always working at learning new techniques and processes to fasten things up for a better client experience and quicker turn around time. My goal for 2015, enhance the client experience + work less hours so I can spend more time with my gorgeous nieces!!
9-11am – Respond to emails. You would be amazed at how many emails come my way on a daily basis. There are initial enquiries, emails responses to bookings, and the planning emails with booked clients. And that’s just my brides! 2 hours doesn’t seem to be enough to clear my inbox of discussions of ideas with staff, marketing and advertising, fielding corporate photography enquiries, responding to photography feature requests……
11-1pm – Edit images. As mentioned in my ‘becoming a photographer, mastering the camera and developing style’ blog post, 10% of a photography image is completed in the editing stage. Photos are put onto the computer and through lightroom for minor adjustments. Doesn’t sound like much….but when we’re talking a minimum of 800 photos per wedding (that’s a very low estimate) and over 25 weddings a year + 50 engagement shoots + my awesome return clients for family and newborn sessions….there’s a few images to work on!
1-2:30pm – Website updates, social media presence, blog. Unfortunately websites, blogs and social media don’t update themselves! A great deal of time is spent web optimising images (because all programs treat your media differently and have a tendency to distort images and colour), drafting blog posts, responding to website and social media chatter, and posting sneak peek images of my beautiful brides!
2:30-4pm – Album design. Oh how I love wedding photography albums! These are designed around a couples favourite images and I love to tell the story of their big day in a gorgeous album.
4-5pm – Edit images I have requests for further editing of images, and I also further edit images for albums, for example black and white images, smoothing or removing imperfections (like flies…ugh!! Or random hanging twigs that just make an image untidy but can’t be avoided). Some editing is more time consuming than the rest…note – test your fake tan, bad fake tan is my editing nightmare!!
5-7:30pm – Engagement Session My wedding photography packages include engagement sessions, so weekday evenings (shoot time is different for different times of year) are spent catching up with the couples for their shoot, plus travelling to and from.
7:30-8pm – End and prep! When I get home, it’s time to download images, back up the files, and get my gear ready for the next shoot.
8-11pm – Edit images. For 10% of the image, it sure takes up a lot of time, huh!, when your dealing with over 5000 images a week.
11-11:30 – Receipts and invoices Back to the business end of things – bookwork!
(Ummmmm yes I may be a workaholic and a perfectionist!! Im still learning to have the whole work – life balance thing sorted!)
This looks like a neat and tidy day, but doesn’t always work like this cookie cutter example. There will be an urgent job that needs doing, I might be on the phone half the day chasing an order, or out making sure I know where all the venues are for an upcoming wedding. I also can spend 8 hours in a car just getting from one wedding to another….one way. Wedding day photography can start from 8am and not finish until 11pm and some weekends I might have a Saturday AND Sunday wedding. I’m always busy, never quite ‘caught up’ and have to do list post it notes flapping everywhere in my offices, and my to do lists in my daily diary never seem to be achievable….but I LOVE IT because I love the joy that my hard work brings to other people, moments that can never be recreated, captured forever!
Belinda-Jane – Marketing and Communications
I was lucky enough to start working with Jade last year, and we came up with the ‘job title’ because we needed something for the business cards, but it seems to be a lot more diverse than that!
9-11 Emails…..sooo many emails! I correspond with brides about their weddings, sending them questionnaires to be filled in so we can get information for their blog post and to create their wedding photography timeline. I’m in constant contact with Jade discussing new ideas, or the jobs on the go, and with publications and vendors about images and wedding submissions.
11-1 Writing Whether it’s a blog post, a summary of a beautiful wedding and lovely couple, advertising material or just business notes, my fingers run madly over the keyboard of my Macbook trying to keep up with the musings in my mind!
1-3 Submissions, phone calls and odd jobs There is always something being developed for Jade Norwood Photography business material. We also try and submit each wedding (with permission) to wedding publications online or in print – our favourite publications are inundated with ‘Real Wedding Submissions’ so I’m often doing and re-doing submissions for the same wedding in multiple publications and their required formats. I’m on the phone discussing advertising proposals and promotion ideas and doing what I can to keep up with Jade’s ‘random ideas’ (Soooo many come through after a day of her driving on the road, I don’t think her brain ever stops! I have an email folder dedicated to them hehehe ) .
I’d like to say my day goes as smoothly as this but with a baby at home, I work when I can, on what is deemed most urgent, and while my to do list seems to grow more than it shrinks, I really enjoy all of the work that I do. A mix of creative writing, problem solving, business writing, promotion and the real kicker – reading and rewriting the always awesome stories of the brides and grooms….and getting a sneak at their galleries! I love my job!
Note from Jade: I love love love having Beej work with me, Im so LUCKY, she helps out so much and is the best word sleuth…
A screenshot of my desktop this morning, featuring the gorgeous little Abby, from a few years ago… Couple of applications open, do you know how much I love APPLE products!! Working on retouching images for albums today…