A Photographer's Hibernation

As a photographer that shoots almost exclusively outdoors - and primarily families - the winter is a very quiet season for business. Anytime I run into friends who are checking in to see how I'm doing professionally (and let's face it, this is my life!) they ask:

"So, what exactly do you do in the winter?"

Well, I blog about random stuff. (See this blog post...)

I do my taxes for the previous year.
It's just as fun as it sounds.

I do some maintenance on my blog. Little things that I put off during my busier seasons. Instead of "spring cleaning", it's winter cleaning.

I relax. I enjoy the forced vacation! I catch up on my DVR, catch up on personal projects I've put off, and let me kids see I do in fact have a face - not just the back of Mommy's head looking at the computer screen. After the rush of fall pictures, which is my busiest season as a family photographer, it's really nice to have some time off to regroup. Who knew Private Practice was so addicting??

I drink a lot of hot chocolate. It's never too late or too early for some cocoa. I recently tried adding Nutella to my glass - it's fantastic.  

I spend time looking at my business model. What should I change? How can I improve my business? What will draw in clients? What will keep current clients happy and coming back? Does everyone hate me or am I not booking because it's cold? I mean, it is cold...

I think about the areas in my photography that I need to improve at. I'm humble enough to admit I have weaknesses and I'm constantly trying to improve. I don't want to blow highlights in the faces. I want to master white balance, once and for all! I want to stop cropping off limbs at weird places. I want to be less "conventional" with my candids... Having goals only makes me better.

I do a lot of newborn and child photography, that takes place indoors usually all year around. The sessions I do have on the books, are those. So excited to meet some new babies, especially since my "baby", is now 6 months old! Holy cow!

That being said, I catch up on taking more pictures of my own kids. Everyone thinks as a photographer I probably have thousands of pictures of my kiddos, and I don't. I try to do some sessions of them in the winter, and my Photo a Day project is definitely inspiring me to pick up the camera more at home.

When spring finally rolls around the and session inquiries start coming back in, I get the jitters! It's like riding a bike. Once I start peddling, it all comes back. The confidence returns and it's no longer like I'm seconds from tipping over. Going a few months without shooting every week is tough. That's why I love the first few sessions in a new year - I love the rush. The excitement. I hope I never grow out of that.

So, when it's cold I'm relaxing and regrouping - but my head is constantly turning. I'm thinking about you - the client, past and present. I'm anxious to see you all in a few months, or your babies in the next few weeks. According to Punxsutawney Phil, I'll be seeing you guys sooner rather than later!

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