I only schedule two photography sessions a week. That’s about 8 sessions a month. I wish that I could do more, but with my birth photography schedule, I spend a ton of time editing each of these sessions.
I want to give you a break down of time spent per session from inquiry to delivery of private gallery
- Session scheduling and communication: 3 hours
- Session prep: 30 mins-2 hours
- Session itself: 1-3 hours (depending on the session scheduled)
- Session cleanup and backing up images to my hard drive and online backup system: 45 min-1 hour
- Culling the images (picking out the best of the best to edit) 1-3 hours
- Retouching the best of the best: 5-7 hours
- Posting a preview to social media: 10 mins
- Uploading the final images, creating a slideshow (if purchased), emailing the gallery: 1 hour
- Ordering the thank you print from the lab, packaging/mailing out thank you cards: 45 min
- Placing an order for products ordered from the gallery: 45 min
Total time spent on ONE session is not just a point, shoot, come home, and bam I’m done kind of thing. The photo retouching takes up most of my time and I sometimes can spend an hour on one photo if I need to. I’m just that OCD and want to make sure that every detail is perfect for my clients. I do shoot all of my sessions in RAW, which means that it gives me the largest photo file to have the most flexibility. I am sure to go over every image and I fine-tune every aspect until I feel like it best reflects my style and brand. This is why I will never release the RAW images. That would be like a chef giving you all of the ingredients to make their famous cherry dessert, but not actually making them for you. The actual measuring, mixing, and cooking is part of the magic!
I thought it would be fun to share some of my before and after photos with you! The “before” is actually the image just before I take it from Lightroom into Photoshop (editing software that requires a paid subscription), and I may have already made a few adjustments to the images in Lightroom.
I love black & white images they are so timeless!
As you can imagine, spending so much time editing could be really boring, but I actually find it really relaxing! Especially since I stream my favorite Lindsey Sterling station while I’m working on the photos. It needs to be really upbeat music to keep my attention! I listen to anything from 1990’s rap to country to trance. Let me know if you have any recommendations!
I do believe it’s the level of detail and effort that I put into each image that creates the value for my photo sessions. Here’s one of my favorite memes:
I’m a birth, newborn and maternity lifestyle photographer serving Washington DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Reston, Leesburg, Manassas, Gainesville, Haymarket, Stafford County, Prince William County, and Fredericksburg. I am located in Stafford, Virginia and I’m available for travel in the Virginia, Maryland and DC areas.