simply foxhall workshop

10 Days in the Life of a Wedding Photographer

"You’re a photographer, right?  So, like, what do you do all day when you're not shooting?"

I get this question often.  It’s not that people are trying to discredit my profession or think that I just sit at home watching Netflix all day.  They are just genuinely curious.  It’s not a typical 9-5 job.  There is the flexibility that I can do laundry while I’m working or take a personal day if I need to, but many people don’t realize that running a photography business is actually less time shooting and much more time actually running a business.

To show people what I do, I decided to keep a record of everything I did for 10 days.  Each week could look different, but this may give you a good idea as to what a photographer does behind the scenes and what the day-to-day might look like.

DAY 1: Sunday, February 19th

10:30am - Church

12:30-5:00pm - Simply Foxhall Workshop - Hosted by Simply Cater.  I photographed the styled shoot element, shot some behind the scenes of the event, and spoke.

Side Note: I don’t typically work on Sundays, but an opportunity came up for me to speak and photograph at this event.  Last week I was talking on the phone with organizers, emailing, and preparing my talk - “How to draft your perfect photo timeline.”

BTS of Amberly, of Wrennwood Design, lighting the table at the Simply Foxhall Workshop

DAY 2: Monday, February 20th - President’s Day

Some of my friends with 9-5 jobs had this day as a holiday, some didn't.  I decided to go "halfsies".  Also seeing as I worked the day before, I felt no guilt about taking a half day.

AM- uploaded, culled, and began editing photos from Sunday

PM - took off to spend time with friends, rest, and read

DAY 3: Tuesday, February 21st

AM - Did some styled and BTS photos for Maybe to Yes Workshop at 433 Bishop

Then, had to leave for a little bit to go meet my clients for their engagement session in Cabbagetown.

PM - Returned for the afternoon portion of Maybe to Yes for more BTS shots.

At home “after hours” - uploaded engagement photos and day one of maybe to yes and culled images, Sent headshots to a friendor. 

BTS of Taylor, of Taylor Dawn Design, at the Maybe to Yes Workshop

DAY 4: Wednesday, February 22nd

AM + PM - At Maybe to Yes all day - headshots, styled shoot, and BTS photos

"After hours" Started drafting blog post for Brianne McMullan Events

DAY 5: Thursday, February 23rd

AM - uploaded and culled Maybe to Yes workshop and styled shoot photos from day 2, Returned emails, Booked an engagement session, Called ga doe about log in info

Went to the Atlanta Youth Academy (AYA) to hang out with my mentee, Precious.*

*Yes, this is one of the perks to making my own schedule.  I can volunteer in the middle of the day!

Returned groom’s suit from Sunday’s workshop

PM - Finished editing Simply Foxhall Workshop photos, Uploaded to online gallery, Returned more emails

Some goodies from Grice Grove that were at her pop up shop at Simply Foxhall Workshop

DAY 6: Friday, February 24th

AM - Chapel at AYA and 2nd graders were leading. (When I went the day before, Precious and her teacher asked if I was coming and who could say no to that sweet child so I went two days in row.)

Posted blog post and promoted on social media

PM - Uploading the rest of SFW photos to online gallery, Reviewed a portfolio/ website for a newer photographer, Met her for lunch, Sent Simply Foxhall Workshop photos to the organizers of the event, Edited MTY headshots

Our new Tuesdays Together Atlanta leaders and speakers at Maybe to Yes - Kristen Green and Sarah Chancey

DAY 7: Saturday, February 25th

8am - Engagement Session at O4W park - again I don't normally do portrait sessions on Saturdays that I don't have weddings, but she was flying in from Nebraska and thus, I broke my own rule again... must get better at that.

No more work this weekend! 

DAY 8: Sunday, February 26th

Church

Sabbath aka no work or emails for me today!

Taylor taught attendees about styling and they got to play with pretty paper, ribbon and jewelry

DAY 9: Monday, February 27th

AM - Emails - following up with brides, discussing engagement sessions, with my CPA to file my taxes, Submitting shoots to publications, Signed up for webinars, Editing -worked on MTY, finished editing an engagement session, Planning/ dreaming for future fun things like workshops, mentoring sessions and a summer intern. Be on the look out for all these fun things potentially happening in the future!

PM - Exported engagement sesh and uploaded to online gallery, Posting to social media, Blog post planning

DAY 10: Tuesday, February 28th

AM - Respond to emails, Finish blog post, Post blog post, Cull images for styled shoot submission

PM - Went on a run (again with the work perks - I give myself freedom to run in the middle of the day), Submit to publication, Research engagement shoot locations, Listen to Ashlyn Writes Webinar, Start editing MTY Workshop day 2

 

So there ya have it - 10 days in my life and what I did.  Like I said before, every week, every day could look different depending on what is necessary to accomplish that day.  Some days look more exciting with workshops and photo sessions while others tend to be a bit less exciting like doing taxes and talking to people on the phone at various government agencies.  Through it all, I'm happy to get to run my own company for as long as the Lord wills it.

Peace up, A-Town down,

Holly

 

How To Draft Your Perfect Photo Timeline

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing and speaking at the Simply Foxhall Workshop hosted by Simply Catering.  My short talk was about creating a wedding day photo timeline.  If you are newer to the wedding industry or if you are a bride trying to envision how your big day will unfold, this may be a good read for you.

If you are a bride, hopefully your photographer or wedding planner will help you draft your timeline, but sometimes it's nice to think ahead - especially if you're a detailed person like me.

Details to think about:

How long do you have your photographer?

The standard is about 8 hours.  Some photographers may have packages that are more or less depending on your budget - especially if you value their quality of photography, but maybe can't spend the money on a full day of coverage.  It's all about making decisions based on what aspects of your day are most important to you.

Are you doing a first look?

This will definitely affect when you take photos during the day.  There are pros and cons to both.  

Pros - You're able to get to your reception quicker, you are first priority and get your couple portraits done first right after your hair and make up is finished, and you can get most of your photos done before the ceremony.

Cons - It goes against tradition if you want to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle.  You may have to start getting ready earlier in the day.

What time is your ceremony?

There's an old wives tale that says you should get married when the minute hand is ascending aka at the half hour or later for good luck, but most millennials that I've talked to had never heard of this and most people wisely base it off of sunset time.  Keep in mind that if you are getting married at 5:30pm and the sun sets at 6:00pm all of your photos afterwards will either be in the dark or inside.

How long is your ceremony?

A typical ceremony length is about 30 minutes.  If it is a traditional religious ceremony such as Greek Orthodox, your ceremony may last much longer.

What time is sunset?

This is an easy thing to google, but to give you an idea:

In April the sun sets about 8pm.  In June it sets around 8:30pm and in October it sets around 7pm.

Do you have travel between your venues?

How many family portraits/ combinations are you taking? How many in your bridal party? 

All these factors contribute to how long photos may last.  I suggest leaving a little cushion just in case.

You should be tucked away about about an hour before your ceremony as out of town guests tend to arrive early and you should be hidden.  This also gives you a chance to eat something, drink some water, and gives your photographer time to get detail shots of your venue or any other details there may not have been time for previously.

My Example Timeline

As we've talked about, a timeline can vary based on many different factors, but below is an example timeline based on 8 hours of photography coverage in October with a first look and no travel between venues.

1:30pm - getting ready, details shots, and putting dress on

2:15pm - First Look and Couple Portraits

3:00pm - Bride; Bride with each Bridesmaid; and Bridesmaids group

3:30pm - Groom; Groom with each Groomsman; and Groomsmen group

4:00pm - Full Bridal Party

4:30pm - Tucked Away

5:30pm- Ceremony

6:00pm - Family Portraits

6:30pm - additional couple portraits during golden hour

6:45pm - announced into reception

Party!

9:30pm - Grand Exit

I hope this helps as you draft your perfect photo timeline!

Happy Planning!

Holly