I never imagined that I would be working from home. I always loved going into the office and working in a team setting. I first started working from home last summer when I was working as a photographer/videographer for an ESL school. They didn’t have an office for me at the school so I had to do my editing at home. I would spend my days of shooting and my evenings at home editing. This opened my eyes to a whole new way of working.
I am currently working for a couple weekly clients, and the rest are new or seasonal depending on the project. I have been successfully working from home, and I learned a few things that I wish someone would of told me when I started.
As an event photographer I have to be available for people’s significant moments in life, and those often take place during the weekend. This is most visible when your Facebook friends post pictures of them enjoying their time at the cottage while your stuck inside editing. You never know when a client will call that you have to make yourself available for. I recently had a house guest that I really wanted to spend some time, but got called in for an extra project and had to work. Sometimes my weeks are overloaded with work and I can barely get through it all, while other weeks I spend thinking of creative ways to appear busy while I’m not.
No constant pay check:
Sometime I make a lot, other times I make nothing. I have managed to get a couple consistent clients, but for the most part my weeks vary. I know that the summer is my busy season and I can expect to make more, and winter is my slow season with clients few and far in between. This has taught me to save. I now have my regular account and a savings account in which I deposit a percentage of all my cheques (plus I need to save money for tax season). In my busy season I take as many jobs as I can get and work constantly while in my slow season I work more on improving myself by doing tutorials, and updating my marketing strategy, promotional material, and website.
I currently live with my boyfriend and find that I am greatly influenced by his schedule. When he is a home I can not get as much done as I would like to. He currently works afternoons which is both good and bad. I sleep in and go for a run in the morning, if I don’t have to be somewhere, but my work day does not start till later in the day. Since he does not come home till late I find myself working for most of the day. I keep bugging my boyfriend that he should start working days so I can get an earlier start to the day, but the grass is always greener on the other side.
With clients emailing / Facebook-ing randomly throughout the day I find that even on days off I have to be available to work. You never know when someone will have a question or need some help so you must stay constantly connected. This can be difficult when you try to take some time off.
There are no sick days:
I no longer have the luxury of a sick day. It simply is not possible to call someone and tell them that you are sorry but you can not photograph their wedding because you are not feeling well. Instead I go to the drug store and cover my cold with nasal spray and cold medicine. I shot a wedding a few years back which I was horribly sick for. I shot the whole day and then went home and updated my Facebook status saying that I covered up my cold with medication. The bride commented on my status saying she had no clue I was sick that day. This is their special day, I would never allow me feeling ill to take away from the joy of the special occasion.
Having access to your kitchen all day long:
Once again this is both a plus and a minus. It’s nice not to worry about packing your lunch in the morning. Cooking from home can save you money, and help you eat healthier. However, I find sometimes I snack for no reason other then I just need a break from what I’m doing. So now I try to break up my day by going for a bike ride just to refresh my head.
Overall working from home is fun. You can sit around in your pjs all day and no one is the wiser. It’s a matter of figuring out what is good for you. At first I was scared to work from home thinking I need to be working for someone else. However the longer I work from home the more confident I am in my ability to do so. I’m not saying that I was to work from home for the rest of my life, but it is a nice change from the traditional 9-5 work week.
– Television Broadcasting, 2013
Follow Ida @idaAdamowicz