One of the many questions that you’re frequently asked as a wedding photographer is “So, how many weddings do you shoot each year then?”
When we explain that it varies as we actually we cap the number of bookings we take on each year according to how they are spaced out, we often get confused looks. To anyone who’s not a wedding photographer it’s probably quite a foreign concept, to turn away work, when you in some cases you could accommodate the booking.
It’s a tough call turning away work when you’re self employed because there’s never any guarantee that more work will come in. But for us, there’s a good reason why we cap how much work we take on. Not just annually, but weekly and monthly too.
During the summer our ideals can go out of the window somewhat as it’ll largely depend how the bookings come in. Sometimes enquiries come in that are nicely spaced, allowing for one wedding per week throughout a month. At other times we’ll have 4 enquiries for the same week with nothing for the week after.
What we try to do therefore, is to not bite off more than we can chew in terms of the post wedding workflow. It’s all well and good shooting a wedding initially, but you then have to take into consideration the week or so of editing that each wedding requires. There’s also the day lost from editing or other administrative tasks whilst you’re actually shooting a wedding and the additional time lost for prep time. In the midst of a busy summer, this all adds up and you can very quickly find yourself with an editing backlog.
As a result, we will never take on more than two weddings back to back. So if we’re shooting on the Friday and Saturday for example, we would never also take on a wedding for the Thursday or Sunday.
For us, capping is not necessarily about the number of bookings, but how they fall. Some years we have shot 35 seamlessly, nicely spaced throughout the year. Other times we’ve shot 27 tightly condensed over a few months.
Why do we cap then?
The reason we take this approach to capping our work is so that we can deliver what we feel is a good all round service. Being so backed up with editing that we’re unable to respond to emails or schedule meetings efficiently isn’t necessarily great service to us. We want to have enough time and flexibility on our schedule to allow us to offer our couples good service. We all know how frustrating it is to have a simple question only to have to wait 2-3 days for a response.
Good service creates a long and lasting impression, which alongside great photos should, we hope, leave our couples with happy memories of an excellent experience as well as fantastic photos. There’s a great quote from Maya Angelou which we live by when it comes to business.
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” and we always aim to make our couples feel valued and important- because to us they are. We hope that memories of the service we provide will last long beyond the day itself and in turn lead to recommendations and referrals for other work.