Every industry has a busy season. Accountants have March/April, florists have Valentine’s Day, farmers have growing season. A photographer’s busy season is the fall. I typically start to book for fall in June (and, in all honesty, I start to book for May in September so maybe we have more than one…and don’t get me started on wedding photographers). A photographer’s busy season means booking more sessions, sometimes, than you have days of the week. It means sacrificing your own family time to document the family time of others. It means setting boundaries – and then breaking them because of the sob stories in your email inbox. I am right in the middle of photographers’ busy season.
Photographer’s Busy Season – When?
In my niche of maternity, newborn, and first year milestones, I stay pretty busy. People are always having babies so there is never a shortage of moments to capture. Because I stay busy all year round, the months of September, October, and November are especially crammed because I’m doing all my regular photography work PLUS adding in all of the family work that comes with this time of year. People want to capitalize on the gorgeous fall weather and colors, and they want that one perfect photo for the holiday card.
Photographer’s Busy Season – How You Can Help
If you would like to do photos during this crazed time of year, you can help by BOOKING EARLY. Early means, as I said above, June. Reaching out at the end of September probably won’t get you very far because what little time I might have left after scheduling newborn, sitter, and cake smash sessions for my First Year Milestone clients has been taken up by the early birds who…wait for it…booked early.
Another thing you can do to help is have weekday availability. I seldom shoot on weekends because those two days are reserved for family time. Having flexibility on when we can schedule the session will open up my calendar to you in a big way.
Photographer’s Busy Season – What You Can Expect
When a photographer has 4, 5, 6 sessions per week, turn-around times are going to be longer. It’s not what we want, trust me – when I have multiple sessions to edit and no time to get to my computer because I’m so busy shooting, it’s constantly in the back of my head that I’m letting someone down – but it’s reality. I still strive to return your images in the two week time period that we spoke about on our consult call but there’s a reason I have 2-3 weeks listed in my contract…it’s to cover me during those times when I have too many sessions and not enough hours. Your gallery will be worth it, I promise.
During photographer’s busy season, we all question our sanity. We wonder why we do this to ourselves. We sacrifice time with our families, run our shutter finger ragged, and log way too many hours staring at a computer screen. We question our eyes and agonize over which shots mom will love the most. We deal with death stares from partners who don’t want to be there and threenado antics from toddlers. But I assure you, we do it because we love it and, with a little teamwork from our amazing clients, we get through it every year. (Though I’m still in the thick of it…so pray for me, would ya?)
Disclaimer: no death stares or threenado antics were suffered through during this family’s amazing session – they were an absolute dream.
Liz Viernes Photography is based near Cloverly, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.