Monday, February 19, 2007

Cancellations

I mentioned in my last post that I had some great shoots scheduled, but I wasn't going to count my chickens until they'd hatched. This week is turning into a great example of that. I scheduled a shoot Tuesday night (a very rare thing I was doing as a favor to the model) and Wednesday early afternoon. It would have worked out nicely - I could have left everything set up between the two shoots.

Unfortunately they both cancelled. And in both cases they could have told me some time ago, but basically didn't remember about the shoot until my two days before reminder note.

Because I had the two of those set up I scheduled some other shoots the week after or out into March. People don't realize this, but there's a rough guideline that photographers spend 4-5 hours editing for every hour shooting. If a shoot's 3 hours, that's 12-15 additional hours, plus setup and teardown. So each shoot's a couple of days solid of work. With my portrait and other commitments I try to average around one model shoot per week since that's all I have time for.

I'm actually approached by many more potential models than that - I say no to the vast majority of them. So when somebody cancels it's very frustrating on several levels - I've lost the time I've put into scheduling things and weeding through the others, it's a missed opportunity for some other gal, it makes it very difficult for me to work efficiently by planning what I'll be working on when.

And the thing is, they never really know. They don't know how many people I said no to, because I said yes to them. They have no idea what a time commitment I'd made to them or how it affects my schedule.

The good news is that I have enough anti-flake procedures in place that I rarely get the total disaster - set up studio, waiting at home for somebody to show up. And with portrait clients there's a deposit which has helped tremendously. And it's not like I typically have some studio booked or makeup artist booked or some elaborate set built so my situation isn't nearly as bad as it is for some photographers.

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