My husband always says “Time is Money”. I was like “Yeah Yeah Yeah!” Then I started to realize how much time I spend doing things such as traveling, editing and even shooting. Every minute in your business is worth something. Just like everyone moment with your children are priceless. This was a huge learning curve for me as a business woman. I was having a hard time putting a value on my time. If I am not with my family; I am working. If I am working; I should be getting paid. I was forced to sit down and decide how much my time was worth in every aspect of my business. One place I was taking advantage of time and really not being efficient was on my shoots! Shooting for 2-2 1/2 hrs on a session was wearing me and my clients out! After a Fall Mini Session season I was inspired to take another look at my shoots and make them more efficient.
Ask yourself, “Do you value your time“?
Overextending Sessions– EEK! I have done this, sadly. I go into a photo shoot with a plan. I pretty much map out where we will walk, where the light will be and the posing ideas I want to execute. If you have ever shot with me you can see my mind ticking and my brain is in overload! It’s just my personality to chat the day away and shoot like there is no tomorrow! So, what should be a nice engagement session of an hour or so turns into 2 hours! I start to see my clients enthusiasm shrink and I start to realize that all I am doing is trying to give then every shot imaginable! Time is valuable for both me and my clients. It would be way smarter to shoot efficiently and keep a high energy than to keep shooting for hours and eventually stressing out my clients. My engagement sessions are about getting to know the couple and building the foundation to our ongoing relationship. My family sessions are mini sessions only (30min) because I know how long children can stand to smile :) Don’t over shoot because you want every idea in your head to come to life for this ONE client. Respect their time.
*Side Note- It typically takes about 20-30 minutes for my clients to warm up to the process. There is something magical that happens in the second half hour of the shoot!
Mini Sessions– I’m sure when you hear “mini” you think two things- 1. Short 2.Cheap! Well, the short part is correct. I once thought that mini sessions were ridiculous! How can you get an ‘experience’ in 30 minutes. This is my new conclusion.. Not everyone wants an experience and not everyone can afford an experience. My mini sessions are short on time and full of energy. Maybe it’s not the lengthy conversations and bonding time of a full session, but the photos are just as impactful! There is something exciting that happens inside of me when I know my game plan has to play out in a half hour! Game on! My family clients and sometimes even my couples really enjoy the shorter route. Typically these sessions are great for folks I have already shot before. The foundation to our friendship is already in place and shooting together each time gets easier and more fun! I have shot a few engagements in 30 minutes and I have to say–they were pretty amazing!
How do you avoid overshooting?
Well, I’m sure there are tons of answers to this question. Here is how I avoid the “are we done yet” glares. :)
- Know who you are shooting– Is it a family, engagement, senior? How many looks are you doing? Knowing your client and learning their expectations always prepares you better.
- Set your end time first– Always work backwards from your ending time. I typically shoot until sunset. Make your start time at a time where sunset is right in the sweet spot of your session.
- Make a Plan– Walk your route before the shoot. I should TM that :) Know where and what you will be doing and stick to the plan!
- It’s all about the Client– Although you want to give them a plethora of amazing photos; realize that its about getting THE shot…not every shot.
- When you’re out of light; you’re out of time– Plan your shoots to run out of light! Then you’re forced to pack up and go home :)
Here are two sessions that I did in less than 30 minutes! Everyone walked away happy and I was quite delighted by the photo outcome!
FAMILY- 15 minutes!
ENGAGEMENT- 20 minutes!