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Finding Time for Photography: Effective Time Management Tips
In a world where time is a precious commodity, finding a balance between a full-time job and pursuing a passion like photography can be challenging.
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With effective time management strategies, setting clear priorities, and maximizing your limited free time, you can successfully nurture your growing photography business while managing other life responsibilities. My goal for today’s post is to be informative and helpful, and to share some practical tips to help you find time for photography and make the most of every day. We all know, time is short.
Set Clear Goals and Priorities: Start by defining your long-term and short-term goals for your photography business. Identify what you want to achieve and outline the steps required to get there. By setting clear priorities, you'll be able to focus your time and energy on the most important tasks, ensuring progress and growth. For example, in 3 months I want to have completed 20 photoshoots with new subjects or this summer I’m going to go to 3 new places and create portfolio level images.
Create a Schedule: Establishing a well-structured schedule is crucial for effective time management. Evaluate your daily routine and identify pockets of free time that can be allocated to photography. Consider waking up earlier or dedicating specific evenings or weekends to your craft. Creating a schedule not only helps you allocate time for photography but also ensures you have a balance between work, personal life, and your creative pursuits. I use iCal on Mac to manage 5 calendars, including; work, podcast schedule, outward reach, cycling, and family life. Everything is scheduled. Everything goes in my calendar or it doesn’t happen.
Plan and Prepare: To optimize your photography time, plan and prepare in advance. This includes scouting locations, researching potential clients, and organizing your equipment. By having a plan in place, you can make the most of your shooting sessions and reduce time wasted on unnecessary tasks. I’m pretty intense when it comes to writing down photo ideas, location, story ideas. I use my phone to photograph potential locations, and they are geotagged and visible on a map. I put them in a potential locations folder and I can go back to that folder anytime I’m stuck for a cool place to shoot.
Make Use of Technology: In today's digital age, technology can be your greatest ally in managing your photography business efficiently. Utilize smartphone apps and desktop tools to streamline your workflow, schedule social media posts in advance, and automate certain tasks. By leveraging technology, you can save time and focus on the creative aspects of your photography.
One program I can’t live without is Notion - This program organizes my life, and I’m just skimming the surface with what it can do. I’ve created YouTube Video templates, Podcast templates, Blog Post templates. I use Notion for Ideas, habit tracking and call sheets and so much more.
Delegate and Outsource: Recognize that you can't do it all by yourself. Consider delegating certain non-essential tasks or outsourcing them to others. For instance, you can hire a virtual assistant to handle administrative work, a professional editor to enhance your post-processing, or a social media manager to handle your online presence. Delegating responsibilities will free up valuable time for you to concentrate on your core photography work. Of course all of these things cost money unless you’re teaching your friend, partner or love of your life how to help your photography business without having to know anything about making photographs. Know someone that is amazing at social? Get them on your team. Offer exchanges, photography for them in exchange for social media management. Leverage your network, find the best at what you need and exchange services.
Embrace the Power of Saying "No": Learning to say "no" to non-essential commitments is vital in managing your time effectively. While it's important to socialize and engage in activities beyond work and photography, be mindful of the impact they have on your schedule. Prioritize tasks and commitments that align with your goals and politely decline those that do not contribute to your growth as a photographer. No is a powerful word. You should have no issues saying no to a project that isn’t fair to you or fit with your goals with your camera. Saying yes to shooting products when you’re a portrait shooter with no experience shooting products is doing a disservice to the client that is asking. Say no. Explain your specialty and recommend someone you respect to take care of their product photography needs. Saying yes in this scenario is going to make you the fool, taking work from someone that could do it better and not adding anything to your portfolio or niche. Someone wanting you to shoot a lot for a little? Offer Shoot less for their lower rate or just say no.
Continuously Learn and Improve: Investing in self-improvement and skill development is crucial for any photographer. However, it's essential to manage your learning time effectively. Dedicate specific time slots for educational resources such as online courses, photography books, or workshops. Be selective and focus on areas that will directly benefit your photography business. You are already all over this by getting to the end of this post and watching my YouTube content. Everything I create on my YouTube channel and here on SubStack is to enable Photographers. I’m glad you found me.
Finding time for photography while juggling a full-time job requires determination, dedication, discipline, and effective time management. By clearly making your photography a priority, using schedules for everything, utilizing technology, and making use of delegation when necessary, you can strike a balance and nurture your growing photography business.
Success in managing your time ultimately boils down to your commitment, focus, and passion for your craft. Do you want to stay in your full-time non photography grind or make the steps to transition to a Pro Photography career? I can help a lot but I can’t make you go out and shoot or do the incredible amount of work it takes to be a working Pro. If you’d like my undivided attention on you and all my skillsets focused to help you get there, my mentorship program is open again for the next round of hungry shooters.
Embrace these time management tips, and watch your photography business flourish. If you’re smart, you’re also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This shit isn’t easy, if it was everyone would be a successful pro. But for those that are committed to changing their reality, the rewards are great. You can do this.
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My fav episodes of the week. First, a deep dive on night photography
Photography channels on YouTube worth your watchtime.