Day in the life of
Photographer – Kelly Johnson
The types of photography that I do are primarily headshot portraits, business lifestyle photography, and high school seniors.
My work life as a photographer
This is a tricky one for sure! I don’t know if there is a typical day, but I will give you a couple of scenarios.
Photo session day
On a day where I am photographing a business owner for business lifestyle photography, I definitely have a routine. Usually, these photo sessions will be multiple hours, so we start first thing in the morning. I start preparing for the day of the photo session the night before by charging batteries for my camera equipment and lighting. I also prepare any SD cards that I will need, I will have one ready and cleaned off in my camera as well as a backup. I make sure that any props I need are either at my studio or in my car to take to the location where the photo session will be happening. I will also confirm the start time with the client and anyone else that is going to be involved in the day such as hair and makeup or my assistant.
On the day of the photo session, I make sure to arrive at the studio or location before the client to begin to get a feel for the light in the area and start to plan the flow for poses. A business lifestyle photo session could range from a minimum of 1 hour to 4 or more hours. The length of the session depends on the amount of content the business owner is looking to obtain from the session. I create poses for the business owner that will make them feel confident, bring their business to life, and help them connect with their audience. After the photo session is over, I will head home, where I will download and backup the images on my computer. Within a week I will cull and edit images to present to the business owner for final selection. Since the purpose of a business lifestyle photo session is to create images for the business owner to use on social media and marketing platforms, the images are delivered digitally.
There are days as a photographer that I don’t even pick up my camera to take a photo. These are the admin or business building days. A day like this could be broken up into blocks of time that allow for networking, follow up, social media engagement, photo session planning with an upcoming client, research, bookkeeping, customer service, content planning, editing, or marketing. There are many tasks to take on as an entrepreneur building a business. These are not always the most fun days but are necessary.
You can niche down to a very specific genre and be successful. There are photographers that just work in the wedding industry, or photograph newborns exclusively. I personally know photographers that make a living at photographing high school seniors only. With photography, the world is your oyster! You can travel the world and get paid for it. You can plant yourself in your hometown and build a business that will be your legacy. It’s really all in what you want to make of it and how hard you want to work.
One of the most prominent pro is that as a photographer, you are capturing and recording history. You get to capture moments in time that are fleeting. You are honored with the task of recording someone’s presence on this earth. Photographs are also something that gain value everyday.
I also love to work with business owners to help them feel confident and bring their business to life so they can connect with their audience. It is so rewarding to be a part of their success. I also like the diversity of working with different business owners. I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of entrepreneurs such as a women’s self-defense instructor, beauty consultant, professional organizer, and a first time author. Each entrepreneur has presented their own requests and ideas on how they want to connect with their audience and how they will use their images.
The photography industry is extremely competitive these days. The entry level to purchase a decent camera and be able to call yourself a photographer is relatively low. There also is no industry standard to say that you are a photographer. Meaning there is no license required to be a photographer.
A con or a pro (depending on how you want to view this) is that professional grade equipment is expensive. This can separate the leaders from the rest of the pack. If you want to compete with the big dogs so to speak, you need to invest in professional grade equipment and know how to use it.
As a business owner or entrepreneur, many of the business tasks can fall onto your shoulders to take care of even before you pick up your camera. Many of these tasks are yours to do until you are able to outsource things such as bookkeeping, editing, social media management, etc.
In the end, I always remember that I am doing what I love and getting to serve other business owners through my craft.
photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects. May use lighting equipment to enhance a subject's appearance. May use editing software to produce finished images and prints. Includes commercial and industrial photographers, scientific photographers, and photojournalists.