Hi, friends! Since we’re getting close to the end of the week, I’m getting ready to head in to my sixth wedding weekend in a row! When I first started photographing weddings, I dreamed of shooting every weekend I could, but completely underestimated how much energy it would take! Weddings take a ton of work since you’re constantly going physically and mentally. You’re working nonstop anywhere between 6-12 hours and basically don’t catch a break until later in the evening!
It can get pretty overwhelming, but there are things you can start implementing in your daily life to prevent having major burn out during a busy wedding season! With all the craziness going on, it’s important for you to come to each wedding feeling as relaxed & refreshed as possible! Here are four of my favorite tips for staying on top of a crazy wedding season:
1) Get Plenty of Sleep
This was a big problem for me when I first started. I knew getting an adequate amount of sleep was important, but as an entrepreneur, I would prioritize getting work done over my health. BUT. Being healthy is absolutely crucial when it comes to photographing a wedding. If you’re regularly sleeping four hours (or less) a night and then try sleeping a bit longer the night before the wedding, your body and mind are still going to feel the negative effects from the lack of sleep you’ve been getting overall. Try your best to have a set schedule to get things done during the day, so you have plenty of time to sleep and recharge at night!
I know I’m starting to sound like a health coach, but when I first started, I wish I hadn't underestimated the impact of working out regularly! I remember working my first 12-hour wedding and feeling so intensely sore and exhausted afterward that I knew I needed to make a change. I started following a workout schedule during the week that helped me tremendously! It prepared me for carrying heavy equipment all day so I wouldn’t feel as sore AND it also built up my endurance so I wouldn’t get tired as easily. Regularly working out helps you feel physically prepared to take on each wedding!
3) Take Time for Yourself
Anyone who is a wedding photographer knows there’s a ton to do even after the wedding is over. With the craziness post-wedding workflow brings, it’s really important to have a set amount of time that you’re working AS WELL as a set amount of time you’re not. If you’re continuously working throughout the week, the next weekend’s wedding is going to be more exhausting for you. Taking time for yourself is allowing you to take a step back and recharge. I know it’s really easy to get caught in the web of “I CAN’T STOP UNTIL I GET THIS DONE,” but balancing work and relaxation is the best way to avoid burnout during a hectic wedding season!
4) Time Management
With getting enough sleep, working out, getting work done AND taking time for yourself - it may feel like there aren't enough hours in the day! That's why stepping up your time management is really important! Start trying to plan a strategic schedule that gives you time for each of these components. Maybe that means waking up just a little earlier to go on a morning run. Or, maybe that means not watching Netflix for five hours straight (I'm absolutely guilty of this) in order to make sure all your work gets done! There are little things you can do to open up more time in the day so that your efficiently taking care of yourself and avoiding burnout!
As my wedding season started getting busier, it seems impossible to not feel tired and sore all the time. But, when I started making a set schedule that took care of my work AND my health, I started feeling SO MUCH BETTER. It may seem like a lot of work just to not feel overwhelmed, but creating a schedule that includes each of these components can really help boost a wedding photographer's work ethic and avoid burning out during a hectic wedding season!