We recently came across an article over at PetaPixel.com and thought it would be a great article to share. Article author Kristen Soileau shared her top 5 lessons learned in her first year as a full-time wedding photographer paving the way for couples to receive their very own wedding album, and we thought everyone could relate.
#1 I can’t make everyone happy, and I have to be OK with that.
As we all know, this is probably one of the hardest lessons as a photographer. When we shoot for wedding albums and send those images onto the happy couple, we naturally want that “OMG these are amazing!” type reaction. But when that doesn’t happen it can be heartbreaking and even more, it feels so personal. Kristen reminds us that (as a photographer) “my job is interacting with emotional people during an often high-stressed emotional time. Mistakes that don’t seem like such a big deal are amplified and made into much larger issues..
#2 My success looks different
Lesson number 2 is about successfully creating a schedule that works for you each day. Photographers hours can be pretty crazy, multiple shoots and creating concepts for a wedding album design takes time, the typical 9-5 doesn’t always work. Kristen says after finally understanding what worked for her she still had to remind herself that “my success is not determined by numbers but by my product.”
#3 The One-(woman/man) wolf pack
Maybe you are coming from being a part-time photographer who where you also worked a typical 9-5 for a company before choosing the full-time photog life and wedding album manufacturer. The one thing that can be bothersome according to Kristen is the loneliness. It’s just you now. Nobody in the cubicle next to you. No background chatter from co-workers. While it might sound great at first, this can be a real struggle. Photographers are typically more social people and suddenly shooting and preparing layouts for a professional photo album alone, all day, can be challenging. Kristen says she had to make sure she took time each week to meet with friends, visit coffee shops and just get out of the house.
#5 Everyone says it: Boundaries are good!
When a bride asks you to shoot her wedding, she is asking you to be a part of the biggest day of her life and the wedding album that will showcase it. Before you know it, she sees you as her new BFF! She will start texting you with her ideas and changes….at all times of the day, as if she was your only client. This is where we need to establish boundaries. Let your brides know upfront, when you are available to chat/text or how long they should usually expect before getting back to them. Most brides are great about these things and totally understand.