A Month In the Life of a Wedding Photographer

What does the average day look like for you?

It's a question I get fairly often. There's a lot more to running a photography business than just taking pictures of beautiful people and then editing them. Last year I had two blog posts about a day in the life of a wedding photographer (office day and wedding day). I spent the past month carefully tracking my work hours, and I thought this might be a fun follow up to that.

In November, I clocked 106 hours over 19 work days. I photographed 2 weddings, 1 engagement session, and 2 portrait sessions. I attended 3 networking events and booked 2 new couples for 2016.

I spent 23 hours of November shooting. That might sound like a lot, but that's only 21% of my working hours for the month. How am I filling the rest of my time?

According to my spreadsheet, I spent 9 hours answering emails, 5 hours redesigning portions of my website, 5 hours designing a wedding guide PDF, 4 hours taking care of miscellaneous business tasks (the boring stuff like tracking mileage), 5 hours on photography and business education, and 22 hours culling and editing images. 

9 hours emailing! That's intense, ya'll! I also spent 15 hours writing blog posts. I published 13 blog posts in November, but I was also writing text for an upcoming series. So to break that down a bit, every week, I'm spending over 2 hours answering emails, 3.5 hours writing blog posts, and 2-3 hours taking care of other things necessarily just to run my business. That's before accounting for client meetings, social media posts, editing, and actual sessions. And I try to spend a few hours every week on networking, marketing, and education.

And because pie charts are fun, here's a pie chart of my most common office tasks and the percentage of my November that I spent on them.

Not every month is going to be the same, and November was actually one of my slower months during wedding season. But as you can see, I wear a lot of hats around here. I'm every department from graphic design to marketing to customer service. (Except for accounting, thank goodness!) And as annoying as it was to enter starting and ending times for every business task I did for an entire month, I am glad to see how things totaled up.

We made a lot of big changes to my website this month and I love the new look, so that was 5 hours very well spent. I had two client consultations this month and booked both of them! I turned around each of my November weddings in less than 3 weeks while delivering the highest number of images yet! And even though I spend at least an hour crafting each blog post, it's so worth it, because I love being able to tell stories with my posts.

I'm not planning to track my time like this consistently (in fact, I promised my friend Maria that I wouldn't!), but for those of you who've been wondering what I do all day, the short answer is, a whole bunch of stuff!