Owning a business is hard no matter where you live! We are Kentucky Wedding Photographers and with that comes seasonal work. During the months of December-March we are fairly slow with weddings (aside from the occasional few), which means we do a lot of behind the scenes work. During the months of April-November we are in full swing and doing what is priority such as editing photos and video, delivering galleries, blogging, and designing albums. It took us a while to figure out this trend and we would feel overwhelmed during busy season and discouraged during our slow season. This was the first step in finding our work/life balance as business owners.
The first thing you need to do when searching for balance in your life is to figure out what your needs are. What does your family need? What do you need? What does your business need? For me, my personal non-negotiables are quality time with my family, good sleep, and some time to myself each week. Whether it’s kid free time with friends, an hour to read a book, or some time to go browse at Target! My business non-negotiables feel obvious. They are great client communication, quality work, and exceptional service. My clients have to feel important and loved. So during my busy season I am making sure I am reminding myself of my non-negotiables and holding on to them. During my slow season I can take more time to work on things that are not priority to me. Planning social media content, website updates, or revising my client guides. Now all you need to do is share this with someone else.
Once you have your non-negotiables set you need to let everyone around you know what you need. Maybe not the cashier at the grocery store, but the people you trust. For me, it’s Josh. He knows what I need during busy season. He knows that during busy season I can’t typically make extravagant dinners, I will need more time to work, and we may be gone a lot more. But I always still make time to have quality time with my family by setting aside days for just that. The good news is that during slow season we have more time to make great meals, spend all day together, and do more things as a family.
I don’t know everything. Your life may be different from mine and your business may be “in full swing” 24/7. The best thing you can do is give yourself some grace and realize that you are doing everything you can. Even though it might not feel like you are. If you can, outsource some tasks, ask for help, and hold your business with a loose hand. Your business is not your whole world and even if you lost it all tomorrow, you would be okay. If you don’t feel this way maybe you should try to step away more and find yourself and some personal non-negotiables. But most importantly, give yourself some grace!
I’ve been to so many consultations with well meaning brides-to-be that have a list of “questions to ask your wedding photographer” that they’ve either gotten from The Knot or that they’ve complied themselves from multiple websites. I totally respect these brides and the way they are trying to prepare for the day. There are several issues with this method though, keep scrolling to read about them!
I’ve seen the lists. From The Knot or from Brides.com about what to ask your wedding photographer. While some of the questions are very important, some of the questions are simply not information that needs to be on your “important questions” list. For example, if you like a photographer and you’ve browsed their site, you have a good idea of how they shoot and edit. If it is unclear what their shooting style is, that is a problem with their consistency, not a question that you should have to worry about. A photographers website should make it clear what their shooting style is and how their images are edited. If you feel that this is a question you need to ask you photographer, maybe you should keep searching. Any question related to style or the photographers experience should be clearly stated on their website.
We know that you mean well and we know that you wouldn’t want to offend us. When potential clients question our ability or our gear, it can come across as distrust. No photographer wants to feel that their clients don’t trust them. The “what gear do you use” and “how long have you been shooting weddings” questions can take a back seat on your list. The only exception to this (in my opinion) is if you are taking a chance on a newer photographer who is just starting out. In that case, ask away on how they would handle certain situations or their experience.
This has only happened to me a couple times, but picture this. You sit down with your potential clients and before greetings are through, the questions start. Again, I respect these prepared and direct brides. They’re organized, they know what they want, and they know how to communicate that. During my consultations I start with getting to know my potential couple and their story. Once I feel that I know enough about them and it is now time to talk business, I will take control of the conversation and walk my couples through the complete wedding process, from consultation to gallery delivery. Typically after these *ideal* consultations, the couple has no questions for me because they have been answered. If you’re patient and let your photographer run the consultation, they should answer all of your questions before you need to ask them!
These are questions that I believe are necessary and can be helpful to any couple! You should definitely ask these – unless your photographer answers them before you can 🙂
-Do you recommend a first look? Why?
-What is your favorite part of the wedding day?
-How do you handle over bearing guests?
-Can I see a full wedding gallery to see how you completely tell a couple’s story?
-Do you have a list of recommended vendors?
-Do you help with timeline planning?
-Do you plan to have our wedding published?
-Do you work well/coordinate with other vendors?
Allie and Mac are another one of our amazing couples gracing the blog! They had a stunning wedding at The Wilds Venue in Bloomington, Indiana. We had the pleasure of capturing photo & video for them! After shooting their engagement session in Denver, CO we couldn’t wait to spend more time with these two! We love being Kentucky wedding photographers, but going back to Indiana always fills our tank. Our last wedding at The Wilds can be seen here!
Josh and I say at every wedding that the bride and groom are the sweetest and most thoughtful couple, but we’re just now connecting the dots!! While all of our couples are amazing, thoughtful, generous, and down-right models, there’s NO WAY that it’s coincidence ALL of them are?! We’ve concluded that these are the couples we attract. Is it the way our current couples look on social media? Future couples can see themselves in our images? Is it the way we present ourselves online? It’s clear that we value connection and serving our couples. Either way, we do not think it is a coincidence that all of our couples share similar values and even lifestyles.
We’ve noticed that our couples love adventure. They love travel. They appreciate being thought of, even though it’s usually them thinking of others. Our couples enjoy good food and great cocktails. They’re close with their families and they have a knack for making everyone feel welcome. We are so thankful these are the couples we get to work with almost every weekend and we can only hope that this is a trend that continues!
A huge mansion with classical architecture and so much history. We toured the venue of where their March reception will be prior to their engagement session. This helped us all imagine what the day will be like. I highly encourage tours with your photographer before the big day! As we walked, Jessica explained all of the images she was picturing herself in. Wearing her elegant gown with beautiful detail. Jess and I dreamed up all of the beauty we could capture on their day. Sean followed along saying “Yes, Honey” to all of her requests. He even threw in his own ideas (bonus points!). Sean grew up swimming at the club. His picture hangs on the wall of the room he will be getting ready in. Upon talking about the reception and seating situations, Jessica and Sean were brainstorming on how they could intertwine their families and make them feel connected. Which shows the true desires of their hearts. Their day in March will be a celebration of them finding each other and all of the things they love. Including bourbon and drinks from the Chocolate Holler. They may or may not also include Narnia memorabilia 😉
They both love God and strive to have a relationship with Him. They both have waited to find the one whom their soul loves. Even though Jessica will be the one who (most of the time) in a restaurant says “what do you have that is healthy” and Sean will be the one asking for Foie Gras, they are choosing to chose each other. Forever. And that is why I love this job. I get to be a part of a couple’s forever. A family’s forever.
I am so happy for you two. I know that you will be perfectly imperfect together, and complement each other so well in your marriage. I am so glad that I have clients who care about photography. Who value creating memories as well. I could sit and chat with you guys at the Chocolate Holler all day, especially if I had unlimited White Blossoms! Love you guys and I can’t wait until March!
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under Heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Owning a business is hard no matter where you live! We are Kentucky Wedding Photographers and with that comes seasonal work. During the months of December-March we are fairly slow with weddings (aside from the occasional few), which means we do a lot of behind the scenes work. During the months of April-November we are […]
I’ve been to so many consultations with well meaning brides-to-be that have a list of “questions to ask your wedding photographer” that they’ve either gotten from The Knot or that they’ve complied themselves from multiple websites. I totally respect these brides and the way they are trying to prepare for the day. There are several […]
Allie and Mac are another one of our amazing couples gracing the blog! They had a stunning wedding at The Wilds Venue in Bloomington, Indiana. We had the pleasure of capturing photo & video for them! After shooting their engagement session in Denver, CO we couldn’t wait to spend more time with these two! We […]
A huge mansion with classical architecture and so much history. We toured the venue of where their March reception will be prior to their engagement session. This helped us all imagine what the day will be like. I highly encourage tours with your photographer before the big day! As we walked, Jessica explained all of […]