What it Takes… I Need Help

My parents are great!!  They live within walking distance and are over ALL THE TIME.  This past week they have been building desks and decorating the kids art/music room for me.  Something I would NEVER find time for with my schedule.  My Mom is over daily helping me get the day started with whatever I need.  She keeps my world in control.

I never realized when I started the business how much time actually goes into a single shoot. My schedule and editing time isn’t the same as everyone else’s, but this is what is typical for me.  So bad weather can really play havoc with workflow.

Steps for a single client (but I’m usually juggling 3 to 4 clients at a time as these steps overlap each other):

-The welcome email (followup emails and/or phone calls)… the 1st hour of my day is usually spent on these tasks.
-Selecting a shooting date and confirming with makeup artist if necessary
-Creating and sending the session planning invoice
-Creating client profile on calendar and setting up the session
-Mailing out a welcome packet
-Finding a date for the session planning (phone, Skype or in studio) and getting it on the calendar
-The session planning (15 minutes to 1 hour)
-Preparing for the shoot (loading/selecting props, preparing camera and gear, preparing the studio)
-The photoshoot 2.5 to 4 hours depending on location and professional hair/makeup
-Editing the images (I average 20 to 30 minutes per image with breaks to grab food, answer phone call, and other misc. interruptions).  I feel like this is excessive, but I haven’t figured out how to speed it up.   “Yes, ironically mastering doing less takes more time than doing more to a photo” ~ Master Retoucher and Author Julia Kuzmenko McKim
-Preparing sneak peeks for social media
-Contacting client for showing/ordering session and get it on the calendar
-Preparing for the showing (creating Animoto slideshow and preparing ProSelect)
-Showing/Ordering session (1 to 2 hours)
-Create custom products…. book/album etc. and put in a gallery for approval (notify client).
-Place order with the lab
-Burn DVD and USB
-Package it up all pretty for pickup or shipping…
-Go to post office to mail packages

On top of that there is the bookkeeping, taxes, inventory, ordering of supplies, archiving images, blogging (which seems to never happen).  I try to put my work out there a couple times a year through competition, but that is very time consuming and also falls off the plate too often.

My plate is full, but my life is also full.  We have a large family filled with noise, fighting, loving, homework, chaos, friendship, picky eaters, busy bodies, crafters, singers, amazing grandparents and everything else under the sun.