In this episode, I’m talking availability vs. capacity. This is a timely episode as we are getting deep into the fall busy season for family photographers across the US.
I talk about the difference between capacity and availability. Knowing when to say no to those last-minute requests and some reminders to keep you from getting overbooked and overwhelmed.
I also introduced a new series coming to the podcast called Photographer Stories where I’ll be interviewing photographers in all stages and seasons of business. I want to talk to YOU! You can find the details and my booking calendar at howyoupicturedit.com
The new website is up at dearkatebrandstrategy.com with some great freebies and resources as well! Would love for you to check it out!
Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps photographers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success. Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through courses, group coaching, and 1:1 mentoring.
Hey friends. Welcome back to the, How You Pictured It podcast. It has been a while since I recorded an episode for you, and I’m really excited to jump back in. Um, this summer I was recording episodes while my kids were in summer camp, and then when summer camp ended, it was just not feasible to get very much work done at all with my kids in the house.
Um, and then as summer started to come to a close, I realized our time was really short with each other. And I wanted to spend as much time together and enjoying my kids as possible before they went back to school. Then when school started, I jumped into a new big project, which was moving all of my website stuff over to show it and thrive cart from Kajabi. And it just really ate up my brain and my time. And so.
That’s that’s where we’re at. So, going forward though, I have a lot of things that I want to talk to you about here on the podcast. I’m so looking forward to it. I’ve been, working on a list of all of the topics. And today we’re going to just start with jumping into, capacity versus availability, which I think is timely as we hit that fall busy season.
I don’t know about you, but I still have people emailing me, constantly, asking if I have spaces left for them for fall family photos. And honestly, at this point, I don’t, um, I have a couple of spaces on my calendar for full sessions, but there is, like literally two, I think and, Only one is a weekend day. So.
I don’t think those are going to fill. I don’t really want them to fill. Necessarily, but if I have a past client that I want to, um, fit in, it’s there. But let’s talk about the difference between your capacity and your availability. When you’re looking at your calendar and you see all of this white space where you could put a session or you could put, um, this kind of work or that kind of work; I want you to think about if that white space is really available or if you’re at your capacity.
I have weekends that I could sneak a session in, but. I wouldn’t be able to spend the time with my family that I want to then, and I wouldn’t, um, get to give those clients the experience that I want to give them, because I would be overwhelmed.
So when you’re getting these emails saying,” do you have availability for fall session?”; I want you to think: do I have the capacity for more sessions?
Capacity also takes into consideration how much time that project is going to be outside of the session itself. Do you have the capacity to take on another client? Do you have the brain space to make sure that they’re getting all of their questionnaires and contracts? Do you have the brain space and the capacity to make sure that their editing is getting done in a timely manner?
I really want you to think through who you’re serving. You’re already serving your family and your friends. You’re serving yourself. Maybe not so well at this time when you’re in this busy season. You’re serving the clients that are on your calendar. And then you’ve got those other people who are asking for sessions and you may not be able to fully serve them, when you’re already at capacity. That’s a disservice to them because really there could be another photographer out there that is looking for more clients. That’s not at capacity. I think we get into our head sometimes that if a client can’t book with us, they can’t book it all. And that’s just not the truth.
There are so many photographers out there. There are so many different options for clients to go with, and they can even just wait for you to be available. Um, and to have the capacity to serve them in the fullest extent.
I know, I personally had a couple of clients that missed mini session booking with me this year. And I do keep that really limited.
Honestly, those are mostly all repeat clients. But this particular client missed my emails or just didn’t get to it before all of the spaces were gone. I left a little buffer room in my schedule to make sure that I could serve those, um, particular kinds of clients that I work with year after year after year, and that I love seeing. I had left a little bit of buffer room, so I could put a session before, the other ones that I had already booked.
I offered that to her. And she said, “Thank you. We won’t be able to make that date work, but we will see you for holiday minis instead. We’ll just wait. We’ll wait until you’re available. We missed it. It’s not your fault.” I love that attitude from her that she would rather wait and work with me, then find a different photographer.
And we’ll both be able to see each other at a better capacity in that, in that time. When we do get to do our session, I won’t be overworked and she won’t be over-scheduled. So we’ll both be at a better place.
All right friends, I hope that this has been helpful for you going forward. When you’re looking at your calendar and you’re getting those last minute emails of, “can you fit us in?”. Think through what really, that, that means if you can fit in a session, yes, that’s an hour. But don’t forget about all of the other stuff that goes with booking that client and, um, the time and the availability to do those things. And what it takes away from if you do take on that client who maybe is a little bit late in getting booked. I am. Again, really excited too. Be back at the podcast.
Um, I have the capacity back for it now in my life and in my schedule. And I am looking forward to talking to you weekly.
I do have a new series that I’m launching called photographers stories. And I would love to talk to you. Uh, this is a series for all photographers at any stage of life/ business. Um, I just want to talk to you about how your business is working for you. What’s not working, maybe what you’ve changed, and how you’ve adapted your business to really fit your life. Um, and maybe even if you’re not quite there yet, that’s fine too. I just want to talk to you about what’s working and what’s not, and how you kind of got to the place where you are. I love hearing from you and hearing your stories. And again, this is for photographers at all stages.
If you’re interested in being interviewed for one of these episodes, go to how you pictured it. Dot com and just scroll down to the bottom. There’s a place to schedule your interview time. And I really would love to chat with you. I’m looking forward to those interviews and sharing more stories here on the podcast about photographers, building their business to fit their life just how they pictured it.
That’s it for today. Thanks for joining me. And I will talk to you again soon. Bye.