Every year, I swear this will not happen. Every year, it happens. I am a tremendously terrible blogger. Do you want to know why? Below is a glimpse into the life of a photographer. My work year generally starts in May–the beginning of good weather in Michigan.
April – “Oh crap, I have so much to do before the season starts. I will do it as soon as I finish these client graduation cards.”
May –“Graduation cards done. Sweet. I need a few days to get over that. OH MY GOD, how did I get two weeks behind on my business marketing? I will NOT do this next year”
Mid-May –I am feeling so overwhelmed. Why did we decide to revamp our website, sign on a new studio, and try this new marketing deal?”
June – “My season has started! I am photographing every day, and this business thing needs to be completed, and we have two weeks to get our new studio done, and I will not be able to breathe again until January. Maybe I can see my husband…oh yes, we have a quick moment together around…10pm. Oh—and husband, I CANNOT figure out which photos to show in this girl’s gallery. Will you help me, oh lovely husband? I know you hate me right now but I PROMISE I will not do it again…uh, until tomorrow.”
July – “I’m loving photographing all the time.”
August –“I love my job. I miss my husband. I think I need a vacation.”
September – “Look at that golden rod in the fields. And THAT SUN! It’s so beautiful. I have the best job in the world.”
October – “Yes, those colors are gorgeous. Yes, Michigan fall is beautiful. But oh-my-god. It’s freezing. I’m glad I’m wearing a down-parka while you wear that oh-so-beautiful-dress, you lovely 17-year-old.”
November – “I have mammoth amount of orders to fill, and I need to meet with so many people who want their photos for Christmas. This is crazy. I am at my computer from when I wake up to when I go to sleep. My back hurts.”
December – “I think I have been pulling 100-hour workweeks for at least a month. Christmas is coming.”
January—”I am sick and tired. No, I am exhausted, and I just want to crawl in bed to catch up on all the sleep I missed for the past seven months.”
February/ March – “Do I have friends? Do they know I exist since I haven’t seen them since June?” I should re-acquaint myself with them. Oh, and I have all this personal stuff to catch up on. I could go for a walk. I could become a runner, or an astronaut, or an elephant trainer…”
April….oh god. It’s starting again. And I forgot to post on my blog.
So, that’s the nature of a seasonal job. 99% of my clients are high school seniors. Because of the Michigan weather window, I photograph from June through late October. If I photograph every day (I did last year), this gives me an average of 7,000 photographs to “light edit,” which means I go through images to pick the best ones, color correct and apply some editing to give a professional look before my client even sees them. When I start fulfilling orders, I can expect to fine edit (remove acne and smooth skin) on about 1,800 photographs. With a very conservative guess on the average 17-year-old’s face, I can guess that I zap about 9,000 zits, and remove an equal amount of stray hairs that glamorously blew in the wind during a shoot. And this editing is on top of phone calls, emails, and at least 100 hours of actual meeting with clients for their ordering appointments.
And somehow, when all the numbers are crunched and I feel like a beastly work-horse, I pick up that camera once again and fall in-love with capturing the beauty of life. And when I feel guilty about not posting on my blog, I remind myself that I once was a flaky art school student and considering that history, I’m doing quite well.
For those who may wonder how my health is doing…it’s doing okay. My body seems to be fighting the good fight and keeping off some infection. I’m thinking it’s finally healing. Hurray for that.