It is FRIDAY, friends and… WEDDING SEASON IS COMING, Y’ALL! I’m giggling a little bit as I write this post partly because I feel a little bit like this meme but also because I am just SO excited! I have the opportunity to work with so many sweet couples this year, and goodness… that is the biggest honor! The countdown to wedding season is officially ON, and I’m literally counting down the days ’til I get to celebrate with my 2019 couples! I’ve missed having a camera in hand every weekend, but even more than that, I’ve missed having the chance to love on and serve each #CKPCouple.
Now… I know this post may seem to be coming rather late in “off-season,” but my wedding season doesn’t officially pick up for about another month. Here on the East Coast, wedding season doesn’t really kick off until April, and mine doesn’t really kick off until May! If your year is like mine, you still have a bit of time to prep! If your wedding season has already begun, friend, I am here cheering you on! (YOU GOT THIS!)
I’m someone that loves to plan and that loves to plan well in advance. With all of the excitement about wedding season though, I found that I had a little bit of anxiety about diving right back into the grind. Jumping back into busy season can be a little bit jarring, especially if you haven’t planned and prepped in advance. I learned this the hard way last year, jumping into a busy season that didn’t end until December, just days after I left my full-time job at the end of March!
This year, I took a look at what I wished that I had done before last year’s busy season kicked off, and I made a list. I’m sharing it with you today in hopes that it helps you prep for your own busy wedding season! Do I plan on doing everything on this list? Nope! (I’m going to try to do as many as possible though!) Do I expect you to do everything on this list? Absolutely not! That would be a lot to ask… What I do hope you gain from this post is a bit of inspiration and maybe a little spark in motivation as we gear up to serve our sweet clients this year! If you are sharing the same anxieties that I have about taking on the busier season, I hope this list helps to give you some (fun) concrete ways to prepare!
Let’s dive in!
- Sort and organize your camera gear
- Check and organize your memory cards and batteries… buy new ones if necessary!
- Clean out your bags & make sure all of your non-camera/lens accessories are in working order:
- Think: camera straps, bags, cleaning accessories, card readers, chargers, laptop cords, cases, favorite morning coffee travel mug, restock your “emergency kit,” etc.
- Vacuum the inside of your roller bag (or the bottom of your camera bag!)
- Service your gear/get your sensors cleaned
- Test your flashes, triggers, and receivers… make sure everything is still in working order!
- While we’re at it, if you use rechargeables for your flashes and triggers, check those batteries too!
- Check in on your hard drives and backup system… make sure everything is in working order and has plenty of storage. Adjust accordingly, if needed!
- Evaluate your workflows… make changes as necessary
- Make edits and updates to your canned email responses
- Mark upcoming quarterly and sales tax payments on your calendar
- Sync up on your yearly budget… evaluate where you are and what changes may need to be made in the coming months
- Create a content calendar
- Blog, social media, email newsletters, and wherever you get in touch with your people
- Brainstorm and prep a few posts to pull from on a day when you just can’t get it all done
- Make a mini bank of IG captions, blog posts or newsletter templates to pull from when client work needs to take priority over content creation
- Organize your monthly, weekly and daily tasks… start creating your busy season routine
- Restock your biz cards and other printed promotional materials
- Resume the educational course you purchased at the end of last year’s busy season but haven’t finished just yet
- Comb through your website & update images and text as needed
- Plan your mandatory off days through at least the end of the year
- Take an afternoon or two off for self-care
- Maybe treat yourself to a mani/pedi, massage, or bubble bath?!
- Edit and back up your personal photos from the first quarter
- Start incorporating some light workouts, healthy snacks & additional water into your daily routine… we all know how you can feel a bit like you got hit by a bus the morning after your first wedding back. This will help!
- Bonus points? Begin to establish a personal routine that gets you OUT of the house! Take a walk… meet up with a friend to take a fitness class… something to get you out, moving and breathing fresh air at least a few times a week! Make it a mandatory task on the days where editing is your biz priority.
- Review your calendar with your family, friends, roommates, etc. Remind the people you love which days you are and are not going to be free during the next couple of months
- Bonus tip here: Make your wedding season “roster” to share with the people you love! Include a list of each date, couples name, venue, and second photographer/assistant contact information. You never know when this information could be valuable while planning life or, in the worst case scenario, in the case of an emergency.
- Check your wedding day shoes… buy new ones if you need them
- I’m trying Rothy’s this season for the very first time! Updates to come on if I love them! Click here to receive $20 off your order.
- Evaluate your wedding day wardrobe options… buy new pieces as needed & donate or throw away the pieces that have seen better days
- Network with other wedding vendors or potential second photographers
- Look ahead at your calendar… book travel and hotels as needed (for both work AND personal life events!)
- Make a wedding season “screentime plan”
- What time will you start work? What time will you end work? When will you turn your screens off at the end of the day?
- This one sounds a little crazy, but it doesn’t hurt: If you have the time & the resources, schedule a headshot session or set up a headshot swap with a friend. Having a little extra personal content for social media and your website when you seem to be living life behind the computer in sweats is always a blessing!
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