WorkLife Balance. Tracking the hours you work. Photography business.

| Decatur IL Photographer | Work/Life Balance | Worktime App |

So photographers, do you ever feel like you work ALL the time? Husbands (and wives) of photographers do you feel like your photographer spouse works all the time?!?!

You know it’s because most of the time our job doesn’t feel like a J.O.B…. we enjoy it. (Scratch that we LOVE it!!) In our down time our mind may wander back to it. Inevitably when two or more of us get together, even on a day off, we will end up turning the conversation back to something photography related. We’re sick and we know it (and love it)!

Well as I’m sitting here (at 11:26pm on a Tuesday night), I’m unwinding from my busy day in the office by working on a senior album design, getting a few orders uploaded to the lab and finishing up a proof video (yup WORKING). Without even meaning to I often end up in front of the computer or in the office at the end of the day working on a few things I want to wrap up or if I’m feeling particularly inspired to design I’ll dive into an album/card project. It doesn’t feel like work, but I know it is

Balancing work with life is a popular topic with photographers as is the topic of profitability (how much do you really make per hour if you’re working SOO many hours?!?). Well last week I had the thought that surely ‘there’s an app for that!’ and sure enough there are a LOT of them. I basically wanted an app that would let me clock in and out of work every day. Why? I don’t make any more/less per hour by clocking in and out. I’m not paying myself by the hour and my clients aren’t paying me more for an album that I spend 8 hours on versus one I spend 4 on so I can’t exactly turn over my ‘time sheet’ for reimbursement. No, but I can get a really good and accurate perspective of how many hours I’m working each week/month/year.

So why the blog post about this? Why not!?! I’m taking you (fellow photographers, or just fans and blog readers) along for the ride of self-discovery. I know all us photographers struggle to fit our lives/careers/families/etc into the hours that work for us.

For me, my business is a full time Monday-Friday (and sometimes Saturdays for my wedding couples) and it’s 9:30-5:30 type business. For many photographers their businesses are evening/weekend gigs on the side of another job or their full-time family life. But so many of us feel like even when we work work work that we aren’t working enough. Those of us with day hours can’t always accommodate the clients who need evening/weekend appointments but we feel the need to try. And what about the opposite? Can an evening/weekend only photographer be full time? Well sure… but how many hours does that take and when are those hours?

With a husband in the gone to work most days 8-5:30 I always feel the pressure to ‘be at work’ during those hours… but what about weeks that I may work 12-14 hours on a Saturday too. Or the evenings I work with clients until 8:30/9? I often have to remind myself that sleeping in on a Monday or doing laundry/cleaning house on a Tuesday afternoon is okay because I’ve put in my 40+ hours already.

I’m very curious to see the reality of the hours I put in and to see if it’s more/less than what I think. Any guesses???? I figured 9-10 hours a day about 6 days a week so maybe 60 hours, anyone think that’s low? High? Let me know your guesses for the hours I put in this week… we’ll find out Thursday how many hours it’s been!!!

THE APP: I didn’t do a ton of research on the app I picked but it seems to be working fairly well so if you’d like to join in and track your work schedule I’m using an app called Worktime. My plan is to try to do this for a full month consistently and as accurately as possible. If I make it that far then I’ll commit further (I’d love to do a year but whoa that’s a while to stick to it!).




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