I love when people ask me if photography is all I do or if I have another job. Sometimes I want to say, ‘When would I have time for anything else?’ For the record, it is my only job but it keeps me super busy! I’m one of those people who can’t stand to not be busy, so I think I picked the right career! Here’s what a typical day looks like for us (don’t worry, I’ll leave out the boring things like changing diapers and washing dishes haha!):
7-8:30: Wake up somewhere in this time frame. I know, I’m spoiled! (My poor husband has to get up at 6:30 and be to work by 7, which yes, only a guy could do!) If I have a meeting that day, I set my computer by my bed the night before so I can get started editing right away while the kids are hopefully still asleep. I can usually get about an hour’s worth of editing done while they are sleeping next to me. It takes anywhere from 2-4 hours of editing for each meeting. If I don’t have a meeting that day, I usually sleep in until the kids wake me up because I was most likely up late the night before. If it’s a weekend, I’m up getting my gear around and cleaning the studio for a 9 am session.
9-11: On days I’m meeting a client at the studio to look at their pictures, I’m frantically getting my kids up, getting them dressed, getting myself halfway presentable, and getting out the door. Luckily the drive to the studio isn’t very far! If I have a meeting, it usually last about an hour or so. During this time, I have to keep my kids entertained which might mean holding them both while I write down a client’s order! Good thing multitasking comes easy for me!
If I don’t have a meeting, I let the kids wake up whenever and try to get as much work done on my computer as I can. This includes answering emails, ordering prints, uploading pictures from the session the night before, editing pictures, retouching/photoshopping pictures, designing collages, talking to clients on the phone (while feeding the baby and chasing after a toddler!), working on new blog posts, posting sneak peeks, packaging orders, etc.
11: Around 11, FedEx drops off pictures that I sent to the lab to be printed. During my busy season, I might get as many as ten boxes a week and around Christmastime, I get anywhere from 2-5 boxes per day leading up to the 25th! Ryan loves when the ‘box truck’ comes because he gets to pop the packaging bubbles while I sort the pictures into each client’s box. I inspect the pictures to make sure everything has printed correctly and if something needs to be fixed, I sit down and reorder it right away. I check each client’s order and make sure everything has arrived. If everything is ready, I will call or email them and we schedule time to meet at the studio. Most packages include some digital files so I work on making their CDs. While I’m doing this, I’m always running back and forth between what I’m working on and helping the kids. Sometimes I’ll get Ryan set up doing something fun like play dough and I’ll set out some toys for Kristin or let her play with our puppy, Rocky.
1-3: By this time, Kristin is usually really tired so if we have to run errands, it is a good time to let her fall asleep in the car. If we don’t have to go anywhere, I feed her until she falls asleep in my arms and then somehow manage to hold her and work on my computer because she very rarely will stay asleep if I set her down. And in the rare occasion she stays asleep when I set her down, Ryan will go over and wake her up because he wants to play. Thanks buddy!
3-4: I try to get everything ready for my evening session. This includes getting batteries charged, memory cards cleared, and making sure I have all of my equipment. If the session I have will be in the studio, I load the kids in the car and we sweep the floors (1300 square feet takes awhile!), clean the bathroom, make sure all the props are put away (I usually don’t have time to clean up after sessions because I need to rush home and feed Kristin), and get things set up for the client coming in later. When we are finished, we go back home, play outside,and decide what to make for dinner.
5: Get dressed for the evening’s session, look for a few new posing ideas on Pinterest, and think about which locations will be best based on the day’s lighting. Sometimes we drive around to different places to check on lighting and look for new locations.
One of my new favorite locations!
5:30: Load the kids back in the car and go to the studio. Sean works 7 am- 5:30 pm now that he has so much overtime so we meet at the studio at 5:45. We hang out until the clients arrive and then he takes the kids home or to over to play with their cousins. During this time, I let him know what I’ve hopefully set out for dinner. Sometimes I’ve put something in the crock pot earlier. Most of the time, I’ve had every intention to put together a casserole and have it all ready for him to put in the oven, but that doesn’t always happen.
6-8: This is when I have a session. If it’s nice outside, we usually only spend a few minutes at the studio and then we go to four or five (sometimes more) different locations. I get a lot of exercise during this time because I’m carrying a lot of gear and hiking to all sorts of places. I tend to be very energetic (sometimes it takes A LOT to get some people to smile and nothing is off limits!!) and use a lot of creative energy so I’m usually pretty tired by the end.
8-8:30: I get home and hopefully dinner is ready or at least partially ready. If Sean put chicken in the oven, it’s usually done when I walk in the door and then I put together whatever else we are eating.
I love coming home and seeing Sean and the kids waiting for me!
8:45-9: Water the flowers, let Rocky run around outside, and try to tire the kids out! Sean and I try to run either outside or on the treadmill, too. (That is if we aren’t too exhausted haha!)
9-11: I work on more editing while Sean watches the kids or holds them if they fall asleep. They go to bed later than they should, but at least they sleep in pretty late.
11-12: This unfortunately is when we finally fall asleep. If it’s my really busy season, I’ll turn on Netflix and stay up until 3 am because I can get more work done when the house is quiet. On those late nights, that’s when I’m so glad my kids sleep in!!
* * *
So that’s what our days look like. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone but somehow we make it work! Sean and I are both working weekends now too, so that makes it even crazier! Although our schedules are completely opposite, it is nice for our kids to never have to go to day care! It’s also really nice that there is enough flexibility in my schedule that I can take breaks throughout the day and do laundry, go for a walk with the kids, or meet Sean for lunch! In the summer, there have been times I’ve had one or more photoshoots a day for up to 12 days in a row! Everyday is completely different for us and our schedules are never the same (which I actually prefer!). Some days I have so many pictures to order, I’m at my computer most of the day. Other days, I don’t open my computer until Sean gets home and Ryan, Kristin, and I go to my mom’s house to hang out. Things tend to come up really last minute for us and what might look like a simple relaxing day turns into a session with an hours notice because the lighting was ideal or I might end up meeting with two or three different clients at different times if their pictures arrive in the mail! Other days, I might get up early and work all day long to prepare for meetings and sessions and they get rescheduled due to rain! When that happens, we throw the kids in the car and find something fun to do (like this picture below of Sean and Ryan fishing!) or go out for ice cream. We never really know what the day has in store but it definitely keeps life interesting!