Who else is in disbelief that it’s already December?? If we are being honest, we are still full from all that Thanksgiving Turkey! 😀 The month snuck up on us quick, but we are ready for all things peppermint!
December not only reminds us that Christmas is near, but it also starts our end of the year process. A process all photographers should have in place. Our end of the year process helps us close out the year’s activities and begin for next year’s!
This is probably one the most important things for any photographer to do. As the year ends, weddings and sessions start to slow and it offers the best time to calibrate and clean all equipment.
We recommend calibrating your equipment at least once a year. Keeping clean gear essentially extends your equipment’s life.
It can help with a lot of common frustrations, such as spots on images, lack of clarity, or even slower moving parts. You would be amazed at how many problems can be fixed with calibration.
As photographers, we want to do everything we can to prevent camera malfunctions during weddings and sessions. Cameras are just like machines and need maintenance, much like our cars, to keep them running smoothly.
It’s time to break out that shoe box full of receipts you’ve been collecting all year! Hopefully you did not wait until the end of the year to track expenses, but if you did, NOW is the time to start. It is best to separate receipts and break them out into the categories your accountant needs.
We use an excel sheet we created to stay on track. Some items may not be taxed the same as others, such as meals. Only a portion of meals can be claimed under taxes. Every State is different, though, so we recommend getting a good accountant to work with every year. Having tax preparations done ahead of time prevents less stress and headache when you are filling on tax day to stay compliant!
Galleries should be backed up every time you photograph a session or wedding. We go an extra step and backup all galleries on an extra hard drive AND online to make sure we have the images forever. This allows us to go back to the images at any point. We haven’t had to go back and retrieve galleries yet, but it is better to be safe than sorry!
If you already have galleries backed up, we recommend having another backup source as well. Aim for an online storage service and a hard drive source.
After a year of photographing, we often forget to update galleries on our website. The website is essentially every photographers storefront. It’s what clients land on to view work, so keeping it up to date with images is important.
While you are swapping and updating images, it’s also a good time to look through the “About” section and add any changes, updates, or achievements to it. With Showit5, it is incredibly easy for us to make text, image, and even design changes! It’s saved us from having to hire a designer or developer every time a change needs to be made.
With sessions and weddings slowing down in the Winter, it is the perfect time to start submitting work to publications and magazines. Although, it is a good idea to submit your work throughout the year. At the end of the year, you can no longer use the excuse that you don’t have time!
Having your work featured not only boosts your SEO, but it can help you get in front of potential clients! We have received bookings simply from being featured on blogs and magazines! We will admit that the submitting process can be tedious, but it is well worth the effort!
During the busy season, it’s hard to get out to networking events. As the season slows down for our industry, now is the time to call on vendors you have been wanting to meet or work with. The Rising Tide Society has an easy online guide to find a local chapter that may be hosting a cookie exchange or holiday party. Ask other photographer friends about events happening nearby or if the know of any. Or even start your own netwroking event! Facebook events makes it so easy to connect and meet up with local vendors. We have had referrals from vendors we love that we met at an event!
You never know what a coffee or lunch date could lead to.
December is the best time to get an introspective look into what gear served you well through out the year and what gear you can acquire to one-up your game. If you have lens that you noticed you don’t use or utilize, it may be able to be traded in for a lens that would better suite your needs. Local camera shops often trade or will buy your old equipment. December is also the best time to look for deals on camera bodies, lighting equipment and accessories.
Often, bundles are available to save you even more money! Adorama usually has sells going on through out December. Don’t forget to buy new batteries and cards.Weddings can be hard on batteries and memory cards with fast continuous shooting over extended period of time. New cards and batteries every year helps from having malfunctions on a wedding day.