My Off Season Round Up
There isn’t actually a strict wedding season anymore, people just get married when they please themselves. Saying this, there are times and certain years where the colder months are quieter in regards to actual weddings. During this time I have a great freedom which doesn’t come with most jobs. I’m not just on a sunny beach in Australia for the whole time, I still actually have work despite not photographing weddings or photographing very few.
As this quiet season draws to a close and we ramp up the excitement for the year ahead I thought I’d share with you how I’ve been moving the business forward and firming up my already great organisation. As well as business related aspects I’d be outright lying if I said I hadn’t been having a lot more me time than normal so I’ll throw in a good few escapade stories for good measure. Also there’s a little surprise buried in the text and photographs so carry on reading.
I took the strong decision at the start of the new year to change a few things around and personally emailed all of my couples to let them know of the changes. After every year things change externally and I need to change internally to accommodate these. None of these aspects were ever wrong before I’m just keen to push on and improve where possible.
I usually deliver up to 10 sneak peeks to my couples within 48 hours. I’ve given myself an extra 24 hours here and then also promised to deliver at least 10 instead of up to 10. This change in timeline allows me to have a weekend when I’ve worked on a Friday. I’m sure you cherish your weekend no? The extra time also gives me space to really orchestrate some fantastic sneak peeks for you and what’s even better is there will always be at least 10 photographs straight away. Saying all of this though I’ll probably continue to deliver the sneak peeks within my usual timely fashion of around 12 hours.
I increased my turn final gallery turn around time from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. “WHAT!? We have to wait two weeks longer for our photographs now?” Not quite… I’ve always delivered my full galleries before six weeks so why am I changing? I’ve never been up to midnight then waking up at the crack of dawn to get work done so it’s not that I’m super pressured it’s just an extra buffer to give myself thinking space. I often find I work at my best when there is loads of time to spare. I can take breaks in my work when home then work when I feel at my most thus producing more fantastic work. Working to work is no fun so increasing my final gallery timeline to 8 weeks gives space to love every bit of work I do.
I decreased my engagement shoot price for booked wedding couples. You’ve booked with me so why not take advantage of this little incentive. You’ve made a huge commitment to have me photograph your day so here’s a little thank you in the form of a discount.
I saved the best till last. My final galleries which is the reason so many people book me are now online for 1 year from the moment I deliver your photographs. I thought it would be absolutely delightful if I got married and then could still enjoy my gallery online after my 1 year anniversary. This change enables my couples to enjoy such an idea in the flesh.
Since the start of the year when I made the above changes I’ve also made many more which I’m super excited to see flourish.
A Little Bit of Me Time
As my year is so back to back when the season gets going I always tend to take a little more me time than normal during the off season. As you may already be aware I spent Christmas with all of my family in Staffordshire then headed down to Mid Wales to my sisters for New Year then on to our friends in West Wales for a shotgun visit. If you want to read the blog dedicated to just this trip then head here.
In and around loads of consultations for new couples and working on the none photo side of the business I also enjoyed time away all over the UK. In mid January myself and Cera completed a long time bucket list theatre trip to see Les Miserables on the West End whilst staying with some awesome friends. Due to Cera’s past health we’d had to put this trip off until she was better so it was a trip filled with delight as we finally got around to it. Then soon after we went to back to back gigs in Manchester to see Death Cab for Cutie and Frank Turner.
At the end of January we headed back to visit our close friends and their little boy in Dolgellau, Wales. Whilst there of all places I actually met up with a couple getting married in the area this September to discuss having me along for the ride to do the photographs. It’s all booked in now and I can’t wait to shoot Catherine and Calvin’s day.
The start of February marks Cera’s birthday so more family time was prescribed to help celebrate another year milestone in her life. It was the first birthday Cera has been able to celebrate properly since being well and out of hospital. Then just after her birthday we stayed at a friends place in the Lake District just to get away from it all and have some time with just the two of us. Even though the climate was rather cold and dismal we still had an incredible time wandering around, drinking, eating and going to a retro cinema.
It then wasn’t long after we returned from the Lake District that we were off again! I know I’m making myself tired just thinking about it. Myself, Cera and some of our families stayed a week down on the Ceredigion coast in a lovely place called Gwbert. On the first Saturday Cera and myself celebrated our 9 year anniversary with everyone which was truly special. I finally made it all “official” and asked Cera if she wouldn’t mind sticking around for a few more adventures. Very surprised and somewhat shell shocked probably thinking the day would never come she said she’d love to and ‘that kids is how I met your mother’. Renting a huge farmhouse we all had tons of space and spent the time walking the coastal paths, relaxing in the farmhouse, cooking, eating, drinking and being merry! I also managed to tie in my brothers engagement shoot at Mwnt, you can check out the photographs on my blog here.
On the way back I continued my habit of being in the right place at the right time as I met Emma, a bride who’s getting married at Combermere Abbey, in Oswestry for a meeting. All booked in as well and I’m really looking forward to that one also.
So as you can read my soul, body and mind has had some great time to repair, reflect and reimagine. Care which will do me well in the coming year ahead.