Around here, most photography businesses stay open from 8 am to about 5 pm. Big mistake, but one I’m happy others are still making. Having odd operating hours may be what ends up getting you more business than more advertising.

Senior With Wind Blown Hair

Working Weekends
The weekends will probably be the days with the highest demand for sessions. Our studio is closed on Sundays, but we definitely do sessions on Saturday. While it may seem like an inconvenience to work on a weekend, you can make up for the extra day during the week when there isn’t such high demand for sessions and weddings.

Working Late
Many photographers who work Saturdays miss out on business during the week by working “regular” business hours. That may seem normal, but it may not be smart. The problem with working only during regular business hours is that everyone else is working then too. We get late appointments all the time from people who couldn’t make it any time but after work.

Working Holidays
To work on holidays may cross the line for some people. For us, we try to take family time and still manage to squeeze in sessions. Some of our working holidays have been some of our most profitable days. Do whatever works best for you, but for the sake of the business, at least consider your options for taking an alternate day off after a major holiday.

Best Days To Take Off
Many studios where the employees work on weekends opt for a Monday off instead. We’ve found that for us, this is not the best choice for an alternate. Mondays tend to be crazy here. We’ve got a wedding that needs to be edited and posted from the weekend. We get our highest call volume on Monday for people looking to book new sessions. We’ve got people waiting for responses to email. Monday is where we regain control over time-sensitive business tasks. We leave our day off for a little later in the week.

What business hours do you keep? What times are you not willing to give up for extra business?

9 Responses to “Business Hours – Why After Hours And Weekend Photographers Make Big Bucks”

  1. Eric Kim says:

    Working weekends are tough–but they definitely pay dividends! :D

    • TJ says:

      I think for us, it was especially tough at first, but now that we’ve been doing it for around 8 years, we’re used to it. The only time we really notice is when our friends ask us if we want to do some kind of activity with them and we have to decline.

  2. Alex says:

    TJ!

    My mate is just getting into building a blog around his photography talents.

    This is a great blog for sending him to – full of information right up his alley!

    BTW_ Thanks for all your awesome support and ongoing comments at my blog mate, I really do appreciate it.

    Sorry its taken so long to come and repay the favour :)
    (I’m not a photographer that’s why :) )

    • TJ says:

      Alex,
      Thanks for stopping by (even if you’re not a photographer :) )! Send your friend on over. I’d love his feedback on the blog. Your blog is always a good read – plenty of thought provoking content.

  3. Mike Ramsey says:

    Actually, all depends on what kind of business I have. I need to adjust myself based on the demand of clients. If people goes to my business during weekends, then I can extend my opening hours until Sunday. As long as it would be really be an advantage on our part, I will definitely grab the opportunity. Workers won’t be that problem because I can just organized their schedules from time to time.

    • TJ says:

      Mike,
      Definitely it’s all about client demands. I think for photographers, after hours and weekends just tend to be prime times for clients with daytime jobs. Thanks for your contribution to the conversation!

      • Mike Ramsey says:

        Overall, we just need to be thankful to getting more and more customers from time to time! In the long run, it might be an opportunity for future expansion right?

  4. Steve Causon says:

    I pretty much work Every hour god sends, although it doesn’t feel like work. I do weddings on fridays Saturdays and Sundays, lie in on monday morning (i look forward to monday morning!) client meetings week day evenings and process pics, do marketing etc during the day.
    Having said that, i feel like i never work, becaus I enjoy it so much. If I cant sleep, im blogging in bed on my iPad (like now)
    You are absolutely right in saying that togs that work odd hours get more work. My clients know that they can call me at 10pm if they’ve suddenly thought on a question and that sunday morning emails will probably be answered by sunday lunchtime and they appreciate that level of care.

    Shhh, don’t tell anyone, or we’ll loose our competitive advantage!!!

  5. TJ says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for stopping by man! Do you do weddings exclusively? It looks like you’re using your iPad for a lot of your marketing and showing pictures. That’s awesome. Would you say that it’s been worth the price tag?
    I’m sure your comment on losing our competitive advantage was tongue and cheek, but in case anyone is wondering what I think, in my opinion that probably won’t happen. A true competitive advantage is one that isn’t easily reproduced by others, and I think late and odd hours is one of them. Big studios aren’t willing to stay at the studio any later than they have to. Even knowing that it could bring in extra business, to them it’s not worth the time investment. What do you think?