It’s October, which means beautiful Fall scenery, pumpkin-flavored everything, and (maybe) an upcoming lull in your shooting schedule. You’ve made it through the majority of your crazy schedule of wedding shoots, it’s the end-of-season and you have a lot of those wedding photos that still need to be edited. With holiday deadlines looming, not only do you need to finish up the rest of your shoots, but you’ve also got to find a way to get those images turned around even faster! Before you go into total end-of-season panic mode, remind yourself that it is possible to get through this season. All you need to fend off end-of-season panic is follow this three-step plan to keep things under control and keep your sanity intact.
1. Assess Your Workload And Deadline Status
Start by taking a look at your business goals and make a plan for how you're going to achieve them. Break down your goals into small, manageable steps and create a timeline for completing each one. And stay organized and efficient in your day-to-day work. This will help you make the most of your time and avoid feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done.
How Behind Are You?
If you’re starting to panic, remember Robert Frost’s simple advice, “the best way out is always through.” Assessing your current status will help you get a handle on deadlines and devise a plan to get back on track. To understand exactly how behind you are, make a list of the jobs where deadlines have been missed (and are still outstanding) and deadlines that are approaching and are not humanly possible to meet.
What Deadlines Are Coming Up?
Part of catching up is making sure you don’t fall behind on any upcoming deadlines that will set you back even further. Create a list of jobs that have deadlines coming up that require immediate action in order to stay on track.
What Tasks Do You Need To Complete?
Now that you understand the situation you’re in, you can devise your plan to get out. Using the list of jobs you created, identify the specific tasks that need to be completed to check that job off the list. Prioritize your crucial deadlines and put those deadlines that can wait on the back burner while you resume control over your workload.
Suggested Read: The Best Photography Workflow Tips For Wedding Photographers
2. Keep Communicating With Clients
End-of-season is a busy time in the wedding photography business. As the deadlines are creeping up, and you’re feeling the pressure, make sure you don’t miss out communicating with your clients. Let them know what to expect and when to expect it. Stay calm and organized to be able to act on your work plan successfully.
Let Clients Know What To Expect
If you’ve fallen behind, the worst thing you can do is NOT keep your clients up to date. Letting clients know what to expect, even if it’s a revised turnaround time, goes a long way toward keeping your positive relationship intact. Your clients are excited to see their images, so letting them know what to expect will help ensure that their frustration doesn’t overshadow their excitement. Be realistic. Make sure that any revised timetable you give your clients is accurate so that you can deliver.
Communicate Ordering Deadlines
When talking to clients about their photographs, make sure they fully understand the deadlines for placing orders they want to receive in time for the holidays. Printouts, blog posts, and emails outlining ordering deadline details for clients are all great communication tools.
Related Read: 5 Effective Communication Tips For Wedding Photographers
If your turnaround times are later than your clients expected, find ways to give them an extra “thank you” for being patient. Try a gift credit for prints, extra album pages for free, or a favorite print that you frame and send them. Help keep the experience positive, even if the process takes a little longer than usual.
Related Read: 10 Ways To Give Back This Holiday Season
3. Get Help Where You Need It Most
As wedding photographers, you might find yourselves in the throes of end-of-season panic. As you are scrambling to find new clients, secure bookings for next season, and tie up loose ends from the past few months, everything might just seem to be all over the place. It can be an overwhelming time, but by following these simple tips, you can successfully navigate the end-of-season rush and set yourself up for a successful year ahead.
Find A Partner To Help
Post-production and album design are common areas that create bottlenecks in your business. But they can easily be addressed – spot your business bottlenecks and fix for faster turnaround times with the help of a specialist. Teaming up with an editing partner to help get you caught up on your shoots quickly is paramount. Then, you can get images to clients in time for the holidays, rather than continuing to fall behind.
Whether it’s hiring someone to help you with album design or teaming up with a post-production partner, don’t put off getting help when you find yourself behind. It’s tempting to think that you can dig yourself out when you’re buried in deadlines and put off finding a partner to help once you’re less busy. But the sooner that you can start working with partners to get back on track, the better. Don’t wait to ask for help until “things slow down.” That time may never come.
Learn From This Season’s Rush
After the rush ends and you’re closer to getting caught up, it’s important to reflect on what systems you can permanently set up going forward that will help ensure you don’t fall behind in the future. Learn lessons from this season’s rush to avoid falling behind again. Getting a plan in place for post-production and other areas of your business now will keep your business running smoothly as you breathe a sigh of relief at the end of this busy season.
Don't let end-of-season panic ruin your enjoyment of the festive season. As a wedding photographer, using the above tips you can keep your end-of-season panic at bay. And as you’re powering through, use this excellent time to book appointments and build up your portfolio. By offering special wedding photography packages with discounts and promotions, you can attract new clients while still providing top-notch service to your existing customers. With a little planning on your wedding photography details, end-of-season can be a profitable and exciting time for your business to shine through.At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.