Many years ago before my wife and I had kids, I was the photographer that would work all the way to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Yes, I too would have family over for the holidays. See, my family is spread out over Texas, so the closest family member is still a 10-hour drive. Although we would get together, I was still working and trying to make every client happy.
Later, after having my daughter, then followed by my son, I started to slow down. Growing in my own Catholic life, I soon was shown through my kids lives that surviving Christmas as a photographer meant getting others to plan ahead because the week of Christmas is both, in a religious view, a time to prepare and the coming together of family. To me, this meant my family. I wanted to be with my family and not out with others’, I wanted to celebrate Christmas (in mass with the music and church) for what Christmas truly is.
I am telling you a true story, to survive Christmas as a photographer I have found that it’s best to start early, educate your clients on your Christmas schedule. Today with blogs, Facebook and other means of social media, say to the world: “Plan ahead”, because I will not be there for you the week of Christmas, and you will have to wait.
Yes, this is harsh and firm. Yes, you will be tested. But I will tell you that you will be better RESPECTED!
After my second year of my new Christmas plan, I have customers who will use October and Thanksgiving holidays to prepare for the Christmas family portraits and holiday cards. New customers will even call the studio and ask when my last appointment is for the year. To date, I have not had one client whine about shutting down the studio for a week at Christmas to spend with my family.
This article was written by Craig Stidham of Bevington Studio: www.BevingtonStudio.com