On the drive home from every wedding, my excitement is already building, so eager for the couple to see their photographic story!
A typical wedding day consists of me getting out of bed around 8 or 9am, not getting back home til late hours (usually 11pm-1am). After hours of driving and running around with 25+ pounds of equipment on my body for 9 hours, I am beyond exhausted. Still, I would prolong heading straight to bed, so I would have a teaser available for early the next morning. About 3-5 days later, I would have an entire wedding edited, which was a huge surprise for my couples. I promised myself that I would never take longer than a week to have an entire wedding gallery available for viewing.
I had no idea how unrealistic I was being.
On average, I had about 3-5 weddings a year. The number wasn’t high, but looking back I’m glad for that, as it gave me time to learn my workflow and business. With only 3-5 weddings per season and few engagement session, I COULD finish each wedding and session in record 3-5 day timing.
Fast forwarding to 2014, I’ve now had a wedding and/or session just about every weekend. Earlier this season, I gave myself a “more realistic” timeline of completing a wedding within 7 days. I spent hours driving, photographing, editing, then prepared for my next wedding the following weekend.
I wasn’t taking breaks. I was barely sleeping. Chris would just about beg me to stop working for a bit, so we could spend some time together. All I could do was tell him that I HAD to get these images out within a week.
In the middle of my season this year, I found myself getting sick. I couldn’t even stand without falling over…and I had another wedding approaching. It wasn’t until I was sick again a month later that it became a real wake up call.
My anticipation of releasing these photos were killing me, literally. My health was suffering. I was getting sick far too often, fighting exhaustion almost every day. Additionally, I was barely spending time with my husband – we should be enjoying some of the newlywed experience. Chris and I will likely start a family in the near future and overworking myself will cause me to miss out on some of the most important moments of my life.
I made a promise to myself not to push as hard. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about my clients, in fact it means I care about them more. By allowing myself to spend a bit more time on their photos, I am able to maintain my health and mind, which in turn will bring far greater results to both the time I’m photographing and the finished products.
I know my clients are so excited to receive their photos and would LOVE to have them right away, but they all understand that I am human…which makes them so amazing.
While I may no longer be able to always promise and deliver all photos within a matter of hours, I can still promise an experience that will make the final reveal completely worth the wait.