I actually get asked this question a lot. I am not really sure why. It probably varies from photographer to photographer, but here are a few things I am doing when I am not chasing somebody in a white dress around:
I’m editing photos. After a session, I’m looking at the .raw images and working with them to make sure that the photo looks exactly the way it should. It is incredibly time-consuming and important work.I want the clients to be happy with every single shot the first time around. If the client has asked for anything special to be done to the pictures, I do that also.
I’m also ordering prints and photo books. My clients often order copies of their pictures through me, because I get them done at a professional place which gives them high-quality images. I used to do it in-house, but the printers got to be too expensive. Now I use a service. It is cheaper for me, and my clients really love the quality.
I also frame the pictures once they come in if that’s what the client is looking for. That means I am cutting mats, mounting boards, and installing frames. I work with the clients to figure out exactly how they want the end result to look and then I make that happen for them. If it is a really odd sized print or very large, I’ll have that done at my printer.For the most part, though, I prefer to do it myself.
I’m also doing boring stuff. I’m uploading photos to my client website so they can see them. I’m doing invoicing or paying bills. I return phone calls and confirm appointments. I call venues to verify information. I am cleaning lenses and other equipment. I am packing up for jobs that I will have later on in the day or week.
Then there are meetings: meeting with potential clients. Signing contracts. Going over details with clients and collecting payments. I love meeting people and talking with them. It helps me to learn exactly what they are hoping to get from me and from their photo sessions.
I also do catalog and brochure sessions when I don’t have weddings to shoot. There is a lot of strategies and artistic vision required to achieve the perfect look for each photograph. Lots of manipulating props and creating interesting displays. It is extremely time-consuming but I love composing shots and getting them perfect. I always enjoy seeing the finished product.
I’m also doing things that have absolutely nothing to do with photography, believe it or not! Since I often work nights and weekends, I try to carve some time into my schedule every week where I can have a day to step out from behind the lens. I usually take my dogs for a walk or go for a long drive. It helps me to keep that balance between work and my own life!