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Tips for Wedding Photographers to Stay Productive During Slow Season

Tips for Wedding Photographers to Stay Productive During Slow Season

So, how can you stay productive during the off-season? And the one thing that usually comes up pretty often is what do photographers do when we're not shooting weddings? Now, depending on where you live, like me, you may have a slow season. Generally, for me, that's between December up until about March or April.

And during this time I've already finished editing all my photos, delivering everything to my clients. And honestly, there's just not too much to do. But when I'm going to tell you all about today are 5 different things you can do during the slow season to keep you productive.


1. Starting out with the most important but updating your workflows inside of your CRM.

So as you all know, I use HoneyBook as my CRM to communicate with my clients, send them contracts so that they can sign them digitally, and just handle all of my money quick and easily. If you're not familiar with HoneyBook definitely make sure to check it out. It's hands down one of the best CRMs right now on the market. Why You Should Need a CRM for your Small Business.

Now during the slow season, generally you're only dealing with the clients who you've already onboarded and you're waiting for the wedding to come up in about a year. So when you're not getting too many inquiries the best thing to do is make sure your workflows are working well.

Now, workflows are going to be any type of automation you have within your CRM to help you communicate with your clients without having to write every single email yourself. And you may think, oh but that's not going to make things very personable.

But again, there's a way for you to work your workflows so that you can still type the emails you want to and be personable and then automate everything else you need to. And if you want articles on workflows and how to book more clients, definitely let me know in the comments below.

But the biggest reason you want to get your workflows together during the off-season is that this is when everybody's getting engaged. Generally, engagement season is happening around the holidays. You have new year's, Christmas, Valentine's day. All of that stuff is coming up around the same time.

And a lot of people get engaged around those times. So if you don't have your workflows up to date and you know how you're going to be onboarding your clients you're going to have a hard time booking your clients. So definitely take the time when you have the time during the off-season to work on your client communication and workflows.


2. Making any changes to your website

So again, during the off-season, you have a lot of spare time and what better than to go through your portfolio and cull out anything you need to and really tighten up your portfolio with weddings from the last year that you just did?

Generally, what I'll do is go through all my weddings and figure out which ones I want to show on my website, and see if there are any better weddings that can replace some of the stuff in my portfolio. Keep in mind the best way to show your brand and book more clients is going to be by culling down your portfolio.

Do not just have all of your weddings in there. Really pick out the best that you want to show. On top of culling down your portfolio, you want to go through all your copy, make sure the wording makes sense, and make sure things are up to date with the current times.

Obviously with 2020 being the way that it was you might want to focus on smaller weddings and intimate weddings and the fact that you're able to do those rather than just large full-blown weddings. Change the verbiage on your site to let people know you're reliable even with a 200 person wedding or a 10 person wedding.

So just different things like that, culling through your portfolio, making sure the wording's right, making sure your contact forms are up-to-date and work right. Just go through your site, clean it up and make it look good.


3. Service your gear

After you've taken the time to update your website and make sure your portfolio looks good, then you'll want to service your gear. So honestly, this is something I have a bad habit of just not doing so take my advice, but don't do what I do. But again, since it's slow season this is a great time to get your gear serviced because you're not shooting as much.

Send off any of your lenses to get cleaned or updated or fixed. Send in your camera to get the sensor cleaned. All of that type of stuff is extremely important. You can also use this time to buy extra batteries or newer batteries or chargers. Just get your gear ready and set and ready to go, clean it all up, get it nice to go.

But again, slow season is the best time to do this because sometimes these service centers take a long time to get your cameras back. So you want to do it when you know you have some time and you don't need your camera.


4. Something else to do during the off-season is check in with your current couples

Generally, with wedding photography, your couples are booking a whole year in advance. So you talk to them before they book, you talk to them when they book, and then you have like eight months of just barely talking to them.

During off-season is a great time to check in with them to see how they're doing, see how their planning is going, and just reassure them that you're there and you care about their wedding and you actually are thinking about it as well.

One thing that helps out with this is sending questionnaires to your couple, to find out more information about how they're planning their wedding. And this will help you in two different ways.

> First off, it shows that you care about the wedding and you actually want to be a part of the planning.

> And then second off, it gives you more information on things like their timeline or their plans for cocktail hour. When they want to take their photos, who they want to take their photos with.

And when you get all that stuff down in a questionnaire you're able to make timelines for your couple and send that to them when it's closer to their wedding date. Also, if they booked you for an engagement session, this is a great time to start planning that engagement session because it will probably be happening in the spring or sometime in that area.

So check in with your couples, let them know you're still there and see what they're going to be doing on their wedding day and start helping them plan from your photo end as well.


5. Take some time to rest

I'm guilty of not doing this myself but something I did start in 2020 was not taking any weddings on Sunday. So I never book Sunday weddings at all. This gives me a guaranteed day of rest, as well as a guaranteed day to hang out with my family, and trust me, you can grind as hard as you want to and just do everything but at the end of the day, if you don't take the time to rest and enjoy the fruits of your labor, there's really no point to it, honestly.

So really during the off-season, take a couple of days off and just don't do much of anything. Hang out with your friends, hang out with your family, do something that you enjoy doing but make sure you take that time to rest and recuperate and get ready for the next wedding season.

Because when you have a fully booked wedding season, it is a lot. It is extra stressful. It's a lot of editing. It's physically stressful. It's just a lot to deal with. So trust me if you can rest if you can take only Friday and Saturday weddings, do it. I know it seems scary, but it's worked out for me and I have not lost any money because of it. Rest is just as important as the amount of work you're doing.


Closure

So those would be 5 places to focus on during the off-season to keep you productive. Generally, this is what I'm doing, but since a lot of y'all are wedding photographers, let me know in the comments below what you all do in your off-season. How to Deal with Photography Depression.

Is there anything special you do that's different from what I focus on? Or is there anything that you think is extremely important? Please let me know in the comments and share it with other photographers as well so we can all learn together and grow together.

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