The “off-season” is a myth.While shooting schedules may calm down a little bit during wintertime in the Northeast, engagement season is already well underway. 70-80% of a photographer’s shooting schedule for the year is booked during these three months, and most of these “off-season” days are spent meeting with clients, writing contracts, scouting and managing the upkeep of the business (marketing, accounting, taxes, etc.). One well-known photographer was vehemently defiant as she told me: “I don’t give discounts for an ‘off-season’ wedding because there’s no such thing. I’ve got so much stuff to do, in fact, I’d charge them double!” Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure she was joking. But for the record, Ben Lau Photography does not charge double for weddings that take place during the “off-season” :).
The marketplace is not as big as everyone thinks.While it’s nothing like two lemonade stands competing for the same customer, many wedding professionalsÂ generally know (of) one another, and are keenly aware that a good portion of their business is referral-based.Â Condescending attitudes generally don’t prevail, and there’s absolutely way more to gain from being genuinely nice and helpful as opposed to being snarky, mean and nasty.
It’s important to maintain a work/life balance.Many of the photographers we met that evening were married, some of which were husband and wife teams just like us. They manage a work-life balance that allows them to feel fulfilled in their personal lives, while at the same time allowing them to pursue their dreams as successful entrepreneurs. I’m not sure how two little monsters would’ve been factored into their equations, but I do know firsthand how easily it is to become consumed by one’s work. In the end, I do believe prestige and success are meaningless if celebrated alone. And I’ll be darned if I look up from my computer again to find out that my kids have aged a few years while I wasn’t looking :).
And this, my friends, is exactly why we mix business with pleasure :). I’m totally convinced Lil Monster 1.0 enjoys scouting NYC with his dad in the freezing cold!
Happy Monday ya’ll,
Ben & Karis