I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been hearing stories from so many people about “turnaround time nightmares.” First, what is turnaround time? It’s how long it takes to receive photos from a photographer. And you all know what a nightmare is.
A few months ago I did a post on what to look for in a photographer (you can check it out here), and one of my main points was the turnaround time. When you meet with a photographer you should always ask how long it will take you to receive your photos. Some will say 1 month, some will say 2 months, some will even say 6 months. If a bride and groom are just starting out the wedding planning, perhaps this isn’t a big deal yet. However, as soon as all the fun has been had, the cake has been eaten, the dress is put away, the photos are what you have left and you can be sure that you will be looking forward to seeing them almost immediately. I was one of those people who was checking Facebook on the honeymoon just to see if a sneak peek had been posted and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there! Maybe you are not one of those people and that’s just fine! But, if you are, please make sure you are checking with your photographer before you book with them to see how long it will take them to give you your photos back.
My brides and grooms are lucky enough to get their photos back within a week after their wedding. I’ve been asked many times how I do it and to me, it’s just simple: I work. This is my full-time job and I treat it as such. Yes, I have the luxury of going out to eat with a friend during the weekday but that just means that I’m making up for lost work time during the night, or doubling up on work time on a different day. Paul will be the first to confirm that my workdays are long, and I’m sure to him it can be annoying (and I really can’t blame him). Some days I’m pushing 12-hour workdays. But the reward of giving clients their photos back in record time is worth it to me. When I come home from a wedding I don’t put the SD cards away to not look at them for a couple weeks or even days; I’m already starting the backup process so that on Monday I’m ready to start culling and editing. It’s almost like I’m racing against myself – I keep trying to beat my record. I know that if I shoot a wedding on Saturday their blog post will be up that following Friday, meaning all 400 or so of their photos will be edited by then. It’s a deadline and I stick to it like glue.
I completely understand that some photographers have another full-time job (stay-at-home-mom or some other job) and that they can’t get all of that work done as fast. Totally understandable! But if being a photographer is your full-time job then it should be treated as such. Turnaround times should be less than 1 month. Or if it’s not, working to perfect your workflow should be a priority. When I first started photography it definitely took me longer to finish a wedding. But I researched and did some trial and error to make my workflow run smooth and fast – I’m still finding new ways to make it even better! I pride myself in my work habits and I love leaving a bride and groom so happy to have their photos as soon as they’re back from their honeymoon. It just makes my day. :)
So, lovely brides and grooms, please do your research and make sure you’re happy with your photographer’s turnaround time. It will save you so much stress in the end (like waiting a year for your photos! Aye carumba!) and you will be oh so happy to have your photos back as quick as possible. :) Happy Wednesday, friends (and up top is a sneak peek of Friday’s wedding – gorgeous colors!!)!! xoxo