As with the past three years, I spent my weeks September-November (er... early December) taking yearbook photos all over New England, and many of my weekends at weddings, editing weddings, and booking more weddings. It's not so much that I shot more weddings this year, just that they clustered more tightly into my fall yearbook season, which itself was more busy than previous years.
(As an aside - I put together a spreadsheet showing how the wedding season, or at least my wedding season, is shifting later and later every year. The trend is there but not in an exciting enough way to pretty it up for this post.)
And since I am already bringing up numbers...
WEDDINGS: 19 (SAME AS 2015/2014)
Once again, it feels like it was way more than that... I'm actually quite surprised that this number has stayed so constant over time. I believe this year saw the smallest proportion of "hourly" weddings, though, which probably accounts for feeling like this year was busier. Or my memory isn't that great. Either way.
My career total comes now to 90 weddings. (I also second shot 1 wedding.)
ENGAGEMENTS: 8 (UP 4 FROM 2015)
This is my biggest change from 2015. Mostly it's due to engagements now being standard with my biggest package, but it's also partly because I'm slowly moving to a higher price bracket, and people want to work with me on a small scale before committing to the big contract. Which is great - I welcome the on-the-job interview and chance to work with clients before the big day.
OTHER PORTRAITS: 5 (NO CHANGE FROM 2015)
This includes headshots, maternity photos, and family photos. Headshots are up 1, family photos down 1, and maternity unchanged.
I'd really love this to be a bigger part of my business (so if you are interested, drop a line!). Working on that is one of my big goals for the early part of 2017 - expect to see some more involved and creative portrait shoots written up here.
What does make me feel good, though: all but one of these was a return customer. That tells me I'm doing a good job - the problem is with reaching new people..
CORPORATE GIGS: 8 (NO CHANGE FROM 2015)
This includes product photography and events. The "no change" actually hides an important shift. In 2015 those two camps were split evenly 4/4, this year it's 2/6 respectively. That's a great change for me going forward.
Product photography is a totally different business to weddings, and a field I'm lukewarm about. All the work I've ever done in this category has come through family friends. In short, it's nice to have, but not a real focus of my business.
Corporate events, meanwhile, tend to be like shorter, less-convoluted weddings, and distribute themselves more evenly throughout the year. (In fact, since a lot of them are with UConn, they tend to be during my slow winter/spring season.)
So not a big change overall, but within this category the trends are good.
COMING OF AGE/MISC. EVENTS: 5 (UP 3 FROM 2015)
There are aspects to this I am not happy about - I only did one Bar Mitzvah this year, for example, compared to 2 last year - but in general I am very excited to see people thinking of me for things outside the wedding/engagement box. As far as I recall, all of these came from referrals through friends and past customers.
TOTAL: 45 (UP 7 FROM 2015)
Well, that explains why I felt busier! As with all the above: it's a trend I like and hope to see continue, especially if more of the uptick is from small, non-seasonal stuff like engagements, events, and portraits.
I drove almost exactly 10,000 miles for work this year, split 50/50 between my yearbook season and everything else. I'm deeply sick of the inside of my car.