We are excited to continue an ongoing series of Day in the Life Features from some of our fabulous contributors. These blog posts will take you through an average day of some of the top photographers in the industry.
Today we are pleased to feature Katie Lamb. Enjoy ~
My daily routine will be changing quite drastically in a few months as we are expecting twins come January; however, for now, I have a very consistent routine during the week in order to remain efficient in how I spend my time so that I can keep a healthy work-life balance.
I wake up at 6:15am every morning without an alarm clock. I couldn’t sleep in even if I wanted to, so I make sure to get to bed early every night. The first thing I do when I get up is make our bed as I always feel like I am more productive and overall more at peace with a clean home. (Clearly my dog shares my love for a made-bed!)
I also make sure to always change out of my PJs. (Okay, okay, so typically I’m just changing into sweatpants and a t-shirt, but something about “getting ready” each morning makes me feel less like a bum!) I then take time to prepare breakfast and sit down at the table to eat before heading into my office for the day.
My favorite part of my work day is always the morning - before the hecticness of my day starts, before I’m drowning in editing, and before I get lost in a cycle of never-ending emails. I take that time to mentally prepare for my day, going over my to-do list and tasks for the next 8 hours and planning out my priority items. That time in my office is always quiet - it helps get me in the right state of mind to start my day fresh and creative instead of hectic and rushed where my creativity is nowhere to be found.
Another part of my morning is co-worker time. As all photographers know, we struggle with social interaction on a daily basis, especially if this is our full-time job, and we don’t get out of the office much except to shoot. This is when my best photographer friend (Kat Theis of Mustard Seed Photography and fellow co-owner of the Develop Retreat) comes in. We always take 15-20 minutes to talk about our week, the struggles we are having, the funny things that have happened to us throughout the week, etc. We use this time to encourage and build one another up, bounce projects off each other and help one another through tough tasks - such as the images we’ve been editing for the last hour that we just can’t seem to get the color right on, or the email we’ve been holding off on replying to so we could get some advice from a friend.
I try to get the majority of my editing done in the first part of my day while my eyes are still fresh and haven’t become tired from staring at a giant white screen all day. This gives me the best color turn out on my images and also allows me to take a break in between quality-checking my work later in the day. After editing for an hour or two, I take time to sort through my inbox and tackle the monster known as email. As I am sure all photographers can relate to, this can be an all-consuming task, so I make it a rule to only check my inbox twice a day and dedicate 45 minute to an hour to reply to whatever emails I can.
My husband works for the Kansas City Chiefs; however, we live in Dallas. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to live by our family, since we have two little ones on the way. But this also means that, during football season and draft season, we don’t see much of each other since he’s working in another state. Sometime between noon and 1:00pm, I make sure to take an actual lunch break - meaning that I step away from my office and set aside 30-45 minutes to enjoy my meal and some rest over Facetime with my husband.
Tuesday afternoons are reserved for packaging and shipping. With everything from albums, flash-drives, client orders, to prints and more. I have set aside a designated area in my office just for packaging so that everything is in one area and easy to access to make this process more efficient and keep it organized.
With so much of my life being focused on work, it’s important for my creativity to set aside time for personal projects that help keep me both inspired and connected in my private life. At this moment, all of those projects seem to revolved around decorating our nursery. :) As artists, the happier we are away from the camera the more inspired we will be when we are behind it.
A few hours before any photo session, I take time to charge batteries, clear my cards, and ensure I have everything together. I do live in Texas - so having my boots packed and ready to go is just important as having my camera.
When I come home from a shoot, I always upload my cards and backup my images. Then it is time to turn off work completely and focus on a little down time. Another way I stay inspired (both personally and in work), is by browsing through a few of my favorite magazines and enjoying a nice cup of tea before I head off to bed.
~ Stay tuned for more Q&A posts from our wonderful contributing photographers.
Are you a contributor (or interested in becoming one) and would love a feature? Contact us here!
Katie Lamb is a photographer based out of Houston, Texas. She has been in business since 2008 when she graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Fine Art Photography. Katie originally pursued photography in order to document international missions and the orphan crisis around the world, and this still remains her greatest passion. As for her portrait business, she specializes in seniors, families, and has a separate brand for beauty & boudoir. Over the past seven years, she has fallen in love with the business aspect of what photographers do and has since co-created the Develop Retreat - a workshop focused on the business side of the craft.
Do you feel overworked and underpaid?
Does it pain you to deliver digital images...but no album or wall portraits?
Do you believe in tangible products, but don't think your market can support higher priced items?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you're not alone and there IS a solution: In-Person Sales. There's no limit to how much more money you can make by providing IPS instead of online sales or shoot & burn. Or how many hours you'll save because you'll be able to shoot fewer sessions to generate the same revenue. Or how many hours of sleep you'll get because you won't be worrying about money.