Would make a catchy song. Sorry I haven't been on this blog for a while but time has been precious, which I decided is what I wanted to talk about tonight. Time is a photographers worst enemy (Ok, the worst is subject to debate). When is the best time to photograph 45 minutes before and after sunrise and 45 minutes before and after sunset. (I plan on doing a blog specifically on this to show what happens but my beagles go out about sunrise every morning. Working on that.)
Anyway, time is something that it is easy to forget and clients do not see. Why do you charge $1000 or more for 4 - 5 hours for a wedding. Well let's see - there's the initial phone call, the initial meeting, maybe a couple of more meetings, travel time to and from and at least two hours post production for every hour of shooting. THEN you have another meeting to discuss the photos and the album layout. You get the idea. I did some work for somebody on the cheap once and I now say that it would have been cheaper for me to do it for free than to charge them. (I know that makes no sense but it feels that way.)
Not a wedding photographer? Then it gets even worse. Travel time goes up. It takes time to think up creative shots. Time to get to the location (climbing down muddy embankments to get a shot that won't work out), etc etc.
Oh yeah, family time. Since Jan 31st, (1) my brother-in-law passed away (four days traveling to and back); (2) my workplace declaring bankruptcy and beginning to look for a job, (3) job interviews (hey folks, $8/hr with no health care is not going to hack it if you really mean it when you say you want dedicated, responsible, self-motivated, initiative etc.; (4) drive to Louisville Kentucky on a four day trip (+ one for recovery) to attend a conference my wife was speaking at; (5) get the lawn mower running (hasn't been cranked since las fall) and go out and cut the weeds (don't even ask about that).
I'm not looking for sympathy, rather I am merely showing that life for a photographer is demanding. It is almost impossible to be a professional photographer and hold a 40 hour week job. If you get into wedding for example, it wont take long to max your schedule out and falling asleep at the wedding while the minster quietly talks won't hack it.
Oh, don't forget the twice a month camera club meeting and running around getting frames and pictures mounted. (Harder when you have to travel 50+ miles to get to civilization and camera related stuff).
There is a reason Scott Kelby warns about the number of photographers with family problems. If time with your family is they are outside or in the living room watching a movie and you are in your study banging away on a computer or reading a book, you have a time bomb ticking and you need to go defuse it. (Hint Photoshop is NOT the answer).
And then there are those blogs. I have two currently (I think) plus a website for showing my work www.hldphotos.com) . The blogs are this one and another for posting on a Project 365 where you take a photo everyday (www.hldphotosproj365.blogspot.com) (no you can't take two one day can't sleep the next). Sounds easy but when you crawl in from work at 11:30 you have to get creative quick (if you have integrity).
Oh and reading the three inch book by Martin Evening on Photoshop CS5 that you have been working on in your spare time?
BTW I have been thinking about creating another blog for non-photo things I want to comment on - in my spare time!!
Photography is great, it is the love of my life (after my wife, two kids, and the two beagles). Don't let your love turn into a labor. I have encountered photographers whose love turned sour as it became a task instead.
Mastering your equipment and software are important. Improving you skills like composition are important. BUT the most important thing is managing your time, not just your photography time but YOUR time, your personal time. There are times when you have to step out from behind the camera and the computer screen and enjoy life while you can.
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