What Do You Do During The Slow Season?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by LarissaPhotography, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Usually the winter months are slow for photographers around here. Do you guys experience the same thing? What do you do with the extra time when you don't have many sessions?
     
  2. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

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    It is important to mention that I don't shoot for my only income source. It is pretty much my second full time job. My wife was laid off a couple years ago and never really had to go back to work because of the photography business. So now she's a stay at home mom. But anyways. . .

    Since I live in MN I have a slow season. May through the end of October, i'm shooting 4-5 weddings a month and 6-10 portrait sessions a month. Once the cold hits in mid november, I drop down to 1 wedding a month at the most. This last year I actually had 3 weddings in December, but that was out of the norm for me. Things don't pick up until late April usually for me. In the summer I am working 80+ hour weeks just about every week. So by the time November hits, I welcome the slow down and I sleep a lot for about 3 months. Once I feel rested, I spend most of my free time researching new techniques, equipment and business practices. I am currently working on my business model for the following year (2010) and start coming up with new idea's on how to increase efficiencies in my workflow. I also get any of my gear repaired that needs it and I do a good cleaning of all my stuff so its ready to go.

    By the end of my busy season, my computer needs a good sorting and a year end backup of all files on remote hard drive. So I'll spend a month going through all my photos and documents to clean up space and usually do a clean install on all my computers. I also buy new hard drives for my scratch disk and primary storage drives and demote my old primary drives to seconday and throw my oldest drives away. Drives are so cheap now, I only have to spend 200-300 dollars to update my primary drives now (2 TB primary, 4 TB secondary).

    So to answer your question quick. . Sleep, sort, clean, repair, read.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    My slow season is Jan through April. I'm still plenty busy catching up on processing from Nov and Dec weddings in Jan, then it slows way down. Which is fine with me, because June through Dec I never stop scrambling. I always have a long list of stuff I'm supposed to work on when the shooting slows down, so I try to get to some of that: file organization, personal work, new business cards, get photos to other wedding vendors, taxes, meet with new clients, etc....

    This year I'm also sending in my DSLR bodies one at a time for cleaning, tune-up, etc... They've been used pretty hard, and it's time for some general maintenance. I've noticed the often used buttons (like AF) on some have become less responsive and sometimes sticking.

    As the weather warms up a bit (in KS Feb and Mar can have a lot of mild days, and by April spring is here) I try to get out, and do some landscape photography. Once May rolls around I'll be too busy with family and clients to get out and explore much.

    I also encourage friends and family and other volunteer work/projects to take advantage of my slow season if they want photos taken.

    Here's what I was doing last year in March and April.

    HenryPeach.com Gallery - Mass Street after KU vs. Davidson

    HenryPeach.com Gallery - Mass Street after KU vs. North Carolina

    HenryPeach.com Gallery - Mass Street after KU vs. Memphis
     
  4. Chad Truss

    Chad Truss TPF Noob!

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    I have yet to earn money from photography. I hope to someday.

    I am in Minnesota as well and in the winter months my photography does slow down. I still try to get out and find things to shoot, but I spent most of the winter cleaning up my hard drive as well.
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    When things are slow, which thankfully has not happened in quite some time (5 weeks). I chain myself to the computer and research AD's and magazine editors to send cards and emails to. I also shoot some creative studio shots for my portfolio and work in model TF*.

    And of course I poop around on TPF and MM way too much.

    Love & Bass
     
  6. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    It seems around here during the winter months the weddings get slow, but the indoor sports get busy. I have been spending most weekends either shooting Gymnastics, Hockey, or heading to trade shows. Again this isn't my primary source of income, but it's a nice second full time job.
     
  7. eyelookok2blindgurls

    eyelookok2blindgurls TPF Noob!

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    If you have a slow season your not marketing yourself properly or not being diverse enough .
     
  8. visualpoetry

    visualpoetry TPF Noob!

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    I disagree. Some photographers have a niche and for those niche wedding photographers, business does get slower when the weather gets colder in northern states. Now, maybe to change that - destination weddings may be something to strive for. It's definitly on my to-do list!

    I blame the economy for slowing business, too. Not everyone has the money to spend on pro portraits or wedding photography. I live in Michigan and we're feeling it BAD.
     

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