I’m often asked about my days, how I work, where I work, what’s it like to work for myself etc. etc. This post answers some of those questions.

I should start with the cliched but 100% honest – no two days are the same. My work spans across many fields (warning: running your own photography or any gig can turn you into Queen of Hustling). To broadly divide the various categories I look into:

– Photography: The actual photography, shooting work, shot-lists

– Production: This is the post-processing and editing work which makes photos go from “whoa” to “wow”

– Emails & Client Communication: Self-explanatory. Wake up everyday to a mailbox full of queries, responses, doubts, etc.

– Branding, Marketing & Social Media: NO business today can claim to not be doing these things. If you’re not, you’re doing something wrong.

– Accounts & Book-keeping: Got to log in those receipts and expenses. Of every kind imaginable so that you can stay sane come tax time.

– Business Expansion & Product Development: Thinking of, testing out and working towards new offerings for your clients.

– Knowledge and Skill Development: Self explanatory. This one’s a must and cannot be neglected.

– Admin: Admin work like keeping track of deliverables, getting them through to your clients in a timely manner, etc.

– Gear Management: Professional photography gear costs a LOT. Time and resources are spent in keeping them in top shape, and in fixing any issues.

As you can see, the taking pictures bit is 1 out of the 9 (broad) heads that I’ve listed here. Time wise, it’s 10% of all the work that goes into SMP. So it is a LOT of work and one has to stay focused and committed to make sure nothing goes neglected.

I never start my day on an empty stomach, and the first thing I do is get a nice hot meal in with a cup of tea and I’m ready to go. My days usually start with me opening my email to check and respond to emails. Most of my mails go out before 11 am. I make sure I take no longer than 24 hours to respond to clients and try my best to stick to that (unless I’m travelling – when my replies have to go in within 48 hours).

I should mention here that I work out of my home-office, so yea, that saves me about an hour in commute 😉 Working from home has its pros and cons – but that’s a topic for another post.

After emails, next up is production work. I promise my clients that are delivered to them within a couple of days post the shoot (and then they get a whole set within 2 weeks). The reason for this policy is that everyone’s excited to see their photos ASAP so I like to give them a little something as soon as I can. Production work involves my working on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for hours. Depending on my workload, I either spend the whole day in production, or I move on to one of the other heads I’ve listed. Sometimes I upload new work on Facebook or write a blog post. I try to be regular, but I can fall off the bandwagon once in a while. Next it’s time for Round 2 of Emails, which is just before I wind up work. I try not to respond to emails (unless urgent) while I’m in the middle of the work day because it disrupts my flow and efficiency. I like setting aside two blocks of time for emails so that I can focus 100% on them and get them done in much less time than had I been multitasking between photoshop, my blog, youtube for new techniques and email (that even slows down the computer).

I take a break of 1-1.5 hours mid-day to run errands, eat lunch, organise home things. This break also keeps me super productive when I get back to my desk.

Days when I have shoot(s) scheduled, I’m off for shoots (which are usually during daylight – hey I’m a natural light photographer after all) in between all of this. For shoots, I usually spend some time the previous day prepping, reading up emails and conversation-notes on the family I’m documenting, creating shot lists which I can bank on for last minute inspiration mid-shoot if required, and gear prep.

Some days I go on shoot trails to – shoot for myself. If I’m experimenting with a new idea, or want to do any other kind of work for fun, I just put it in the calendar and do it.

try to wrap up by 7-8 pm (I start by 10 am most mornings) but this is something that’s far from what I can achieve daily. Some days, especially when I’ve got momentum going, I tend to stay up very late to finish whatever’s I’m doing.

Post work, if there’s time, then it’s time for getting my workout session in (I like going down for a jog/ follow workout videos) and then its time for TV and dinner!

It’s a lot of work, some days go as planned, some just don’t. There are days where I get 3 days worth of work done in a single day and some where I just can’t stop planning new projects (so pending work takes a backseat). But all in all, having a broad schedule and a to-do list very much helps getting things done.

Hope you enjoyed this post, and if you’re a creative entrepreneur, I’d love to know about your day and how to do this better!