It has been well over 5 years ago now, that my dream of MMGPhotography became a reality. Wow…I was really doing it! I left my boring office job and became a full-time photographer! I was so full of excitement for my new career. I’ve never looked back and never regretted a thing. This year, I was even able to acquire a studio space – it was like it was meant to be. One week, I found this amazing vintage couch at Salvation Army that I was going to “one-day” put in a studio and a week later I stopped at the plaza near my home and low and behold – my studio and I were a match.
Lately, though, I have found my self overwhelmed. Look at my blog, it is so sadly neglected – I don’t even have any photography posts that are from this year! For months, I have been working about 60 hours a week plus. This carries into home. The house was starting to become a disorderly wreck and anytime my little girl asked me to play, I’d have to tell her after I was done working (sometimes at 8 o’clock at night). And date night? What’s that? My husband and I might get to have a conversation at 10 o’clock at night, if we’re still awake. I even took my laptop with me for our out of town trip last month to continue working!
So I began looking at what was happening. I have become a big stressed out mess. I’m making promises that I can’t keep. My turnaround time has changed. What the heck is going on? Oh yeah, the studio space. My portrait sessions have literally quadrupled this year! Again, wow! “They like me, they really like me.” <Sally Field> Lol. But seriously – add into that my regular wedding volume and I’ve had to make some adjustments to my policies or people aren’t going to like me. Please don’t ever think that I have put your wedding/session aside and forgotten it or that you mean any less to me than anyone else. I do have a queue (ie. a notebook with every single wedding/session and task written down) and that is the order that I work on my projects. Editing a wedding can take between a week to two weeks, by the time I cull, edit and upload, prepare products, videos, etc. – but along with editing, there is shoot time, consultations, ordering, prepping orders/shipments, accounting and numerous other things that come with the upkeep of a business that only I am running. The only thing I’ve begun outsourcing recently is my housework (which is a bonus! – I don’t want to spend my precious home time cleaning or worrying about cleaning).
I have also always prided myself in response time, too, but notice (while reading my new book “Time Management for Dummies”) that this is a huge time stealer. Responding every time I hear that “ping” is really not a very smart multitasking thing to do. So I will be answering emails twice a day from this point forward. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. If it’s urgent, I can always be reached by phone.
I found this article recently and these are definitely words to live by. I am aiming to speed up my turnaround time on images, so you may get your images much much faster than what.s below (notice it says “up to”), but what I’m promising is the following:
*Portrait/Engagement Sessions – up to 4 weeks
*Weddings – up to 10 weeks and thank you cards/wedding announcements should be planned for that time accordingly
*Album Building – up to 4 weeks
So the day after Thanksgiving – I want to say, again, how thankful I am for my family/friends and the love of my career and all of you. Thank you so much for understanding and for being a part of this! I appreciate every single one of you. I have made so many friends doing what I love and that is the best part of it all!!