So, if you follow my work you would've seen that at the end of May I had five weddings in one week, one of which was in Majorca / Mallorca - I change how I wish to spell it daily. I don't think I actually realised until a couple of weeks before, I looked in my diary & saw the day on, day off line up & thought 'Ah! So they're all in one week'. Maybe it was a good thing I didn't realise as I didn't have much time to process, so just jumped straight in! Luckily I did have Rob with me for four of them, filming & second shooting, & this did help keep me going, not just as a physical back up, but also a mental one.
Now I guess unless you are a self employed wedding photographer you may just think, five weddings in one week is just a standard working week for anyone who goes to work Monday - Friday. What's the big deal?
Hmmmm, where to begin. Pressure. Just having one or two weddings a week causes pressure. Not bad pressure, but it is pressure. You have been chosen to photograph someones most important day of their whole lives. You have to be SO ON THE BALL in every possible way - physically, mentally, making sure all your gear is ready, timings, reassuring people, having eyes in the back of your head - that kind of thing, I could go on. Then get home after 11 hours work, or longer if I have travelled far, back up & usually cull the photos there & then, so I go to bed around 1 - 2AM. Then I do a preview the following morning, which I don't have to do, I do this out of choice because I know my clients are excited, & actually - so am I! Then whenever I have the next available time, I will start the edit - which does take me 24 hours. I can't obviously sit for 24 hours a day, so this does need to be spilt for my own sanity & busy workload with other shoots, admin etc. This is just one wedding. I had five. Friday, Sunday, flew to Majorca Monday, Tuesday, flew back Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday. The following weeks since then I have had weddings once a week. I have just finished editing the third wedding in that week so you can see how the backlog does build, but I am keeping on top of it. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Will I do it again? No. Do I want a medal? Nope. Am I proud? Yes. In my first year of starting weddings I think I did just over five for the whole year, so this just proves how fast my business has grown. I have gone from 0-100 & I am feeling a little overwhelmed, & shocked.
"What a bloody life you have. Been flown around to shoot weddings. I wish I had your life."
This comment which has been said to me numerous times over the past few weeks is meant with good intention, I hope, but doesn't help me when all my free time is sat behind a screen & I have worked so SO hard. But I just bite my tongue because as I have said before, unless you do it, I don't think you can fully understand. However, they are right in the sense that I have an amazing job, & when we were in Majorca I did feel like the luckiest photographer in the world. But it doesn't mean you don't have to work your BOTTOM off & put your all into the business everyday. This however should be a positive message to all aspiring photographers. If you put the work in, it does pay off.
The job is tough & you have to make so many sacrifices as I'm getting booked up two years in advance, BUT it's the most rewarding job in the world. All of my clients were just shinning stars & made the week in itself feel quite easy actually, even though I was exhausted. People can make or break this job I think. I imagine if you are unfortunate to have constant difficult clients it can make you think "what is the point", but mine give me purpose. I feel so proud for them choosing me & they motivate me to work hard. Maybe a little too hard this year, but I'm learning.... ;-)
I shall be starting the next edit today before my friend is whisking me away to Soho Farmhouse tomorrow to relax for the day / night. Something I never ever would do in the middle of wedding season but she has told me off & wants to force me to have a chill out. So I will be back with my batteries re-charged for this weekend! I do find in this busy time, you do need someone else to reassure you that you are doing enough & it's okay to take time for you. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful supportive friends & of course, wonderful clients.