One of the things I’ve learned over the years since starting a photography business is that there’s not a lot you can rely on, especially in the beginning.
When will I book another session?
How much will my client spend on prints?
Will I make more than $22 this month?
Will my clients be happy?
What if the weather ruins my session that’s been scheduled for two months?
The one thing we all have in common as photographers, pro or not, is weather concerns. For me, especially in the beginning, if the weather was too cold or there was snow on the ground or in the forecast, that was an automatic DO NOT BOOK on my calendar. I just never considered that anyone would want to take their kids out in the snow to take photos. And some people? Maybe even most people? Well, they don’t. There are different types of clients out there. Those that want the perfect image of everyone looking at the camera, smiling, wearing matching polos and then there’s the other kind of client, the one that just wants their family photos taken, cold, rain, laughing, crying, sweating - it doesn’t matter.
I learned two years ago to never shut my calendar down during any time of the year. Even on the hottest of days and the heaviest of snowfalls, beautiful images can be captured. You have to be able to take the risk and learn how to handle each challenge individually as it comes your way. Scheduling a session with a family is difficult, especially these days when everyone is so busy. Even though you’re rescheduling due to something completely out of your control, it’s still frustrating to parents to have to reschedule – so do whatever you can to avoid this frustration, this helps ensure that they’ll not only return as a client but they’ll tell their friends and family how you overcame this giant struggle and managed to create their dream session even during the most challenging elements.
Here are some examples (real! examples!) of sessions that had weather challenges with them and how we fought against the elements and captured beautiful moments rather than having to postpone and rearrange schedules.
This particular session was COLD. It was a maternity session, Mom was due any day and we had to get the session in. We headed to the beach and bundled up. WAY bundled up. We had so much fun. (especially the kids)
RAIN! The morning of this session, I laid in bed and listened to the thunder rumble outside, I heard the rain hitting my windows. I checked the radar and knew there was no way it would clear up in time for the session. My client and I texted back and forth about the rain that was ruining our plans. I suggested we push it back an hour. We did. I’m so glad we did. Also, underneath that blanket is two more thick blankets, I did that so their bottoms would remain dry. Lesson: be flexible! be prepared!
HOT. OMG, so hot. We scheduled this session at 8 in the morning knowing that the temperature was scheduled to reach 100 degrees that day. It was already crazy hot but we knew what we wanted for this session. So, we went early. Tip: always bring a sweat rag for parents. (especially for dads!) Oftentimes, parents are so busy making plans and preparing for their kids that we forget about the adults. Make that your job!
WIND (And cold) I call this session a “drive by shooting.” This was for my son’s two year session. I knew exactly what I wanted and where but the weather was nasty. (I love that you can’t tell in any of these images just how bad the weather was) We jumped out of the car, I set up up, grabbed the baby (okay, toddler) and went crazy with the shutter. We were in and out in five minutes. Tip: work quickly!
FREEZING. This session is one of my favorites. It was ten degrees outside, there were snow flurries, we were in the middle of the field where the wind was whipping us without mercy. We persevered. I don’t know what would have happened had we rescheduled. We were all so busy, I’m afraid we never would have found the time to shoot again. Samantha passed away six months after this was taken. I’m so glad we didn’t let something as little as the weather stop us from meeting and capturing this amazing moment.
Lesson: don’t let the weather control your business.
Only YOU can do that.
I wrote this post for Clickin’ Moms. I am thrilled to be a blog ambassador for CM. I can’t really express what a great resource CM has always been to me with regards to photography. (both pro and hobby)
I have a special discount code to anyone that is interested in improving on their photography – just click here (must be that specific link) and you’ll receive 20% off your membership using code FOLDINGLAUNDRY