SURVEY PART III: HOW WE SPEND OUR TIME

One of the things I really wanted to look at, was the difference in how successful photographers spend their time - compared to the average photographer.  To do that, I had to establish a baseline that we could compare from.  Now, this doesn't indicate that if you do not meet this baseline - you aren't successful.  What it does mean, is that this is a reasonable measure that we can look at to determine photographers - and studios - that have demonstrated consistent performance that exceeds their peers.

The criteria we used were: 

  - In business 5 or more years

  - Shooting more than 12 weddings per year 

  - Average revenue per wedding > $5000

I know that some would question my criteria - that's okay.  In particular, I know that there are many "very successful" photographers who have been in business for less than 5 years.  Here's the thing - it's too soon to tell whether or not some of these businesses are truly successful - or whether they have just had a lot of luck.

There's nothing wrong with luck - but it's not something that anyone else can take and use as a best practice.  So for this comparison - I stuck with the above criteria.

Here's how photographers, as an average, spend their time:

 

And here's how "successful" photographers spend their time:

Conclusions:

The average photographer spends about 10 hours a week shooting, and 16 hours a week editing (culling, processing, etc) their photographs.

"Successful" photographers spend the same 10 hours a week shooting, but only 5 hours a week editing.

Successful photographers spend 40% less time doing administrative work than average, but spend more than twice as much time on marketing, networking and growing their business.

Successful photographers spend 30% more time with their clients, but 40% less time fulfilling orders.

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