Self-Employment: Month 11 ~ Chicago Wedding Photographer

Wow. I can’t believe it has almost been a year since I quit my job at the law firm! It is amazing the journey we’ve been on this past 11 months and how far we’ve come! Reading back on the entries from other months I’m pretty sure that almost every month I thought I had finally ‘hit my stride’ and ‘figured things out’… only to say the same thing a month later! So, naturally, it’s pretty obvious that running your own business is definitely a learning process that never ends! There is growth, mistakes, learning from mistakes, decisions to be made, goals to be set, and always, always, always – more work to be done!

So this month – instead of pretending I’ve figured it all out for the millionth time (because I really haven’t) – I’m just going to share some tidbits from this month!


We’re 14 weddings into our 26-wedding year (possibly soon-t0-be 27 weddings)… which means we are just over half way through busy season… which also means my closet currently looks like this:


A couple things have seriously helped my productivity this month:

1. Our required 1-day-off per week (see calendar on the right below). It’s amazing what a day off does for your mental & emotional state of being and how much more productive you are the other days of the week because you know you have a day off! There is a greater sense of urgency to wrap up projects when I know I have a day off that week… a day in which I want to feel caught up, and not guilty about taking the day off – which only really happens if I felt I was productive and turning work around quickly the rest of the week. It has been working so far – a few weeks into the new schedule! 🙂



2. This new post-it daily/weekly calendar (left photo above)!! I always had a to-do list… but it was always just that – one. big. list. This way I have specific tasks that must be finished each day so I know what I need to do to ensure I stay caught up and am turning around photos to clients promptly. It is nice too because even though I have a bunch of sessions/weddings on my to-edit list (which normally overwhelms me so much I almost feel frozen), this isn’t so overwhelming since I know each project has a day on the calendar in which I’m scheduled to complete it. As long as I finish the tasks on my list for that day I feel good about wrapping up my workday at a much more reasonable time than I used to! (Which in turn makes me more productive for the next day because I haven’t spent the day before sitting at my computer for 14+ hours – like I used to.) Balance, people!



3. Adding my calendar/planner to google so that it is online and with me everywhere I go, backed up (since my friend, Lauren, so kindly pointed out that I would be in trouble if my purse got stolen with my planner in it), and able to send me reminders on my phone! But I can’t get rid of the handwritten planner all together – so for now I’ll keep both. There is just something I love way too much about putting a pen to paper. Sorry!


Anyway – that was a little glimpse at this past month of self-employment for me! A few things that have helped me get more balance in my personal life and more productivity in my business life! 🙂

I’ll see you guys next month! 🙂


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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!