work/life balance for the professional photographer

Here at ShootDotEdit, our goal is to help you streamline your business and workflow, so you can focus on the things you enjoy. We specialize in wedding photography editing services for the professional photographer. We also love to provide you with educational resources to assist in your growth. In addition to that, we partner with industry pros to give you photography business ideas.

In her next blog post with us, Vanessa Joy is sharing 3 keys to a perfect work/life balance. Keep reading to find out how you can run your business and maintain happiness in your personal life.


Balance for the Professional Photographer

Last winter, I had the incredible experience of being able to spend six weeks in Brazil. It was the first of my Tim Ferris style mini-retirements, where I worked remotely and even learned a good bit of Portuguese.

In Brazil, there’s an expression. Like most foreign language expressions, a lot gets lost in translation. But here it goes: Shall I make a coffee, or make a life?

bride and groom doorstep

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Vanessa Joy Photography

The back-story behind it is a boy falls in love with a girl and wants to know their future. Should he plan just for her to come over for coffee and crumpets? Or, should he plan for her being there every day for the rest of his life?

It’s a romantic notion, but I think it applies to more than just love. As business owners, so often I see us thinking with the kind of short-sightedness of only planning to make coffee rather than more. It’s natural. In fact, I’d dare to go so far as to say it’s human nature to only see what’s in front of us rather than having the sight to look past it to what’s infinitely better.

How can we learn the discipline of making a life?

1. Have a Plan

First, have a plan. I don’t actually mean a photography business plan because, to be honest, I think formal business plans can be a waste of time and effort. But if you get to the root of what a business plan is meant to do, guide and gauge progress, then we’re talking.


I teach workflow for business owners, and before I get into the process itself, I first make people define what success looks like to them. The point of it is to make them define for themselves where they want to be in life so they have an end-goal in mind. Without this, it’s easy for us to toil away at work and never get anywhere. So, take a second and write down what success looks like to you. It can be a paragraph painting a picture. It can be a few words. Just take the time to give yourself a vision for the future.

2. Analyze Distractions

Secondly, analyze what in your business is pulling you away from your plan. For a lot of us, this boils down to time management and identifying the things that are wasting our time. Obviously, I’m here writing for ShootDotEdit, but it is with a genuine heart that I’m going to tell you outsourcing your post production is a huge leap towards getting your life back. In addition to that, walk through your daily and weekly tasks as a business owner and find what needs outsourcing.

I recommend outsourcing the following:

  • Things you hate doing
  • Things you’re not good at
  • Things that slow you down
  • Things you could pay someone else minimum wage to do

3. Get Ready to Make Changes

Finally, get ready to make changes. It’d be easy for me to end this article with a “just do it” motivational speech. In order to make changes in your business and life, you have to be ready to do so financially and mentally.

Financially is the easy part. It’s all black and white and you can plan for having a higher cost of sales by raising your prices and perhaps making a bit of an investment as well. Don’t over-think it. If you’re going to start having someone design your wedding albums and it costs you $150 per album to do so, then raise all of your packages by $150. Raise them more later, but start here to just establish, support, and fall in love with the new routine.

Mentally is where it gets tricky. You have to start thinking like a CEO by hiring, training, and trusting vendors or employees. This will take time. Good communication and patience is key to any new hire. There is a learning curve on both sides, but stick to it and you’ll watch your business start flowing like a well-oiled machine.

So go. Skip the coffee. Make a life.

For more tips on workflow and business management, go to


Whether you are starting a photography business or have been in business for years, Vanessa always has great advice you can take and apply!

What are additional areas of your business to focus on as a professional photographer? Click on the banner below to download our How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business Guide to discover 50+ pages of actionable items you can start on now!

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