How to Vacation as a Photographer and Keep the Money Flowing
This one is near and dear to me. I love to travel! When it comes to how to vacation as a photographer and small business owner sometimes the line between vacation and work is a little more blurred than we would like. We worry about missing calls and emails. About booking enough work when we get home and then worry some more. Doesn’t sound too much like vacation to me.
We reach out to hundreds of photographers every week and have compiled some tips based on our personal experiences as well as the good and bad practices we have seen from the photographers we are trying to reach at Prime Edits.
Tip #1 – Out of Office Autoresponders
It may sound simple but we see out of office emails done poorly more often than not. There are two steps to an effective out of office responder. Turn it on and the one most people miss; Turn it off. Your out of office (OOO) responder should tell people the dates you are away from email/Facebook/etc. It should also let them know what to expect while you are gone and when you get back. Remember, we want to hit the ground running when we get back from vacation. (A few too many $15 cocktails. How many sessions do I need to book to cover that?) Here is an example of an effective OOO responder.
Thanks for contacting Dustin T Brown Photography. I am currently out of the office and will return Thursday, February 8th. I would love to photograph your adorable family when I return. To help me out with that please send over a few dates and times next week that would work for you. I’ll reach out to you to finalize the dates, times, and to answer any of your questions a day or two before I return. Thanks again for your patience. A few days away help me recharge and be my most creative self when I return. Cheers!
This one covers all the big points.
- When I’m going to be gone and when I will return
- What the clients can do to help schedule a session when I return
- When to expect a message back from me
- Why vacation is important to me and how this slight inconvenience might even get them better photos!
Now set a reminder to turn off your autoresponder. Now. Like really go do it now or you are going to forget. Going on vacation in 6 months. Just set the reminders now. Your future self will thank you. 🙂
In Gmail you can luckily set the responder to automatically turn off. Click Here for the Gmail Instructions
Tip #2 – Communicate Effectively
Being efficient and effective is the key to making vacationing fun while keeping your studio running. About two days before your return home it is time to get out the laptop and hunker down for an hour or so and respond to all the email and voicemails you have missed. Answer as many questions as you can and attempt to schedule sessions for the week you return so you don’t end up having two weeks off instead of the one you intended. People will understand that you are out of town and will be happy that you told them exactly what to expect.
Tip #3 – Mix it Up When it Comes to Photos
It is tempting when you are in a beautiful place with your family to bring along the DSLR and photograph your vacation like a seven day family session. Don’t. You will probably go a little crazy and miss all the fun yourself. I like to mix it up by shooting film on a trip. I bring along a few cameras and sometimes even a fun junk store find just to play with. I’ll use my phone for a few photos as well just in case the junk store camera was literally junk. If you aren’t into film you can also grab some cool lenses for your phone to vary it up. I love the entire line up from Moment.
Tip #4 – Make Life Easy When You Return
This is the easiest tip in the list and is almost as relaxing as the vacation itself. Before you leave take all the work that is in your backlog and send it over to us. We can take care of your photo and video editing, social media, blog posts, and just about anything else your business needs to hum along while you are out. This way you will come back to no backlog and your business will be ready to start bringing in the money right away.
Not using Prime Edits yet? Click the button to create your account and your customer success specialist will reach out to see how we can help your business thrive even while you are soaking up the sun.