So, I am a photographer at Christmas. Not all photographers have big holiday rushes–those who focus more on weddings or commercial work or models have a big slowdown.

But I photograph kids. So the onslaught begins mid October and is unrelenting until the day I cut them off, which is this weekend.

Because I had such a rough Saturday (five shoots, almost all with multiple kids), I pretty much just stopped and left my work to be taken up again on Monday. I answered no emails, returned no calls, and didn’t update anything.

So if you’ve ever wondered what the first hour of Monday morning during Christmas season might be like for a family photographer, here is mine:

8:30 — Listen to five voicemail messages. Four from the same anxious client not sure when she might ever be able to pick up images. Could I mail them even though she hasn’t paid?
8:35 — Restart 22-hour print job of 250 watercolor cards. 10 hours to go.
8:37 — Open Outlook to find 23 emails, five are new orders.
8:41 — Get interrupted by phone call wanting to redesign cards we made Saturday. Agree to redo them.
8:44 — Begin writing up orders from emails and replying.
8:59 — Phone call from worried client saying husband doesn’t like what they wore in picture, what to do? Promise to crop at shoulders.
9:05 — Back to writing up orders, faster this time.
9:06 — Realize printer silent. WTF! Try to figure out why not printing.
9:09 — Printer pissed about canceling old job on Saturday. Where is work ethic, it asks. I tell it to print or I will toss it out on its ethic. Restart job.
9:11 — Return to writing up orders–even FASTER.
9:14 — Enter orders into Quickbooks.
9:16 — Look over difficult shoot from a few days ago. Try to figure out what to send the lady since she insisted composite images are never believeable and mine would be no exception. But, her kids did not ever stand by each other. Not within five feet, even. Wants card with both kids. Rapidly create new design featuring two separate images. Email it. Hope she approves.
9:28 — Suddenly remember I will not work tomorrow to prepare for photography party. Just promised five clients images will be here by Friday, but not possible unless do all the orders by 2:00 today. Printer senses another work ethic violation and paper jams.
9:30 — Puts head on desk. Rethink whole photography career.

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