When Business is Crazy: Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity - PPA Today
When Business is Crazy: Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity
Written by guest blogger Danielle Brooks
If you have ever been to a circus you have run across a professional juggler. The fact that these people can concentrate on three things at the same time amazes me. Typically they have someone add more items to the mix until they are juggling six or seven things simultaneously.
I am not the most graceful person. I trip going up the stairs, I run into things, and my high heels get stuck in the sidewalk cracks. So the thought of juggling seven things at the same time is intimidating. But this past week I had to juggle more things than I've ever had to...
Here is what my week looked like:
Sunday, April 5th: Wedding in the morning. Sports photos for local gymnastics team in the afternoon.
Monday, April 6th to Thursday, April 10th: I was hired to travel with the Admissions Department of my Alma Mater, Flagler College and take photos of their East Coast Tour to welcome newly admitted students. We flew to Baltimore, Virginia Beach and Long Island.
Friday, April 11th: Sunrise family session on the beach in St. Augustine.
Saturday, April 12th: Sunset wedding in Tampa.
Did I forget to mention that I got food poisoning on my flight home? Also, Sunday the 12th was my 26th birthday. Needless to say, I had to wear several hats that week. I needed to be a wedding photographer, event photographer, family photographer and a sports photographer.
But through this experience, I was able to pick up a couple tips and tricks that might come in handy for you.
For starters, I would not have made it through this week of craziness without creating multiple checklists. The equipment I needed for the sports photos was drastically different than what I used for the family shoot on the beach. In order to keep track of everything, I created a list of things I needed to bring. I proactively packed for my events. While I was getting my equipment together, I thought about potential issues I could encounter and packed things that could come in handy. In case my battery died, I had a back up and the charger. In case my backdrop got ripped or needed a quick fix, I had a mini sewing kit handy.
Secondly, I would suggest investing in multiple CF/SD cards. This is kind of a no-brainer. However, I didn't really see the importance of it until recently. Normally all I need is one card while on a job, but while touring with the admissions department, I didn't have the time to upload all of my photos. So they ended up staying on the cards until I got home to edit them. It's also good practice to bring extra memory in the event something goes wrong with the one you are using.
Another tip is to always maintain composure. Things will go wrong, but your clients don't need to know about any potential problems. Hear me out. If the issue is going to affect the final product, then yes, you should talk with your client about it. But if you let them know about every small glitch it makes you seem less experienced, and invites them to insert their opinions. You are the professional. Maintain your professionalism.
When I was shooting the sports photos, I had to get 40+ people in front of a backdrop. Not everyone fit in the small space I had to work with. I knew I could Photoshop the backdrop in behind some of the girls that were just on the edge of the backdrop. It wasn't the best situation to be in, but I made the best of it.
Lastly, it's important to remember your audience. My game plan was different for each type of session I did. For the weddings, I was in go mode. I had a lot of photos to take of the bride, groom and family, and a short amount of time to take them in. For the family session, I could take my time composing the shot, but I had to make a fool of myself to get the one year old to smile. For the sports and event photos, I had to balance between go mode and taking time to make sure I stayed organized with paperwork.
For you more experienced photographers out there, these tips might seem kind of basic. But for those of you who are still fairly new, I hope some of these will help you out in the future. What have you all learned in your years of photographing multiple events? How did you deal with the stress and stay organized?