A Day in the Life of a Photographer

Eleanor R.

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east central Illinois photographer Holly Birch

Hi, Reset fam! It’s Holly, the Reset Conference blog manager, coming to you today with what a typical day in the life of a photographer looks like. Let’s be real though, as a photographer, are there really any typical days? My genres these days are mostly weddings & commercial photography, with some occasional seniors & boudoir. So a normal day for me usually consists of on-location commercial shoots for clients like personal cooks, photographers, real estate agents, agricultural companies, restaurants, and beer distributors (to name a few!). On this particular day that I’m walking you through, I happened to have two very different commercial shoots, so I thought it would be fun for this topic. With that, I give you “A Day in the Life”:


6:45am — Get up, go for a 30-minute walk

7:20am — Shower & get ready for the day

8:30am — Drop kids off at daycare

8:45am — Finish last-minute prep for cooking/food shoot

9:00am — Cooking & food shoot with friend & client Breakfast, Life & Dinner

9:30am — Client does food prep while I photograph and video action shots — making yeast mixture to rise for bread, adding dry rub to chicken, cutting potatoes, plating dishes

9:45am — Located accessories and any misc ingredients or condiments needed for dishes

10:00am — I photograph the rest of the prep and start photographing some of the finished dishes — herbed chicken plate, stuffed lobster tails, charcuterie plate, ginger pineapple

10:30am — Peeled eggs for client so we stay on schedule!

10:45am — Photographed the rest of the finished dishes — fresh-baked bread, crab cakes, deviled eggs

11:30am — Lunch!!  (spoiler alert — I got to eat the crab cakes… Delicious!)

12:00pm — Leave for real estate shoot, 45-minute drive

1:00pm — Client arrives late to unlock property so I photograph the house exterior while I wait

1:15pm — Residential real estate shoot, Photograph the entire house with a balance of natural light and off-camera flash to fill in shadows and expose properly

2:00pm — Leave commercial shoot

2:45pm — Arrive back at home to work for about an hour and a half until it’s time to pick up the kids

4:25pm — Pick up kids from daycare, go straight to ballet class

4:30pm — Ballet class for my 5-year-old daughter

5:00pm — Head home to heat up dinner for the family, thanks to the food from my client! (we had the lobster tails, broccoli, and bread; the kids had chicken instead of lobster)

5:15pm — Eat dinner

6:00pm — Chill out with family on our back deck, watch some TV/play games

8:00pm — Download photos from the day, and do a little editing, send some emails, make sure I am ready for tomorrow

9:15pm — Get kids ready for bed

9:30pm — Put kids to bed

10:30pm — Bedtime for Mom & Dad… do it all over again tomorrow!

That’s my day, but every photographer’s day is different! One of the reasons we love the Reset community is so we can see what others are doing in their day-to-days and pick up tips. After you buy a ticket to the Reset Conference, you’ll be invited to our Facebook community group, which makes connecting over things only photographers experience and problem-solving roadblocks. Everyone’s “Day in the life of a photographer” is it different, and we would love to learn about yours!

Holly Birch Smith is the owner of Holly Birch Photography and is a wedding & commercial photographer who is obsessed with tea (hot or iced!), socks, the color orange, & lobsters. She lives in east central Illinois with her husband, two kids, dog, cat, & lizard.

Eleanor R.
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