Working From Home: Pros/Cons/Tips

I would venture to guess that a lot of full-time wedding photographers work from home. Some share a studio space, or have their own, but many of us find ourselves working out of A) our living room or B) home office.

I would also venture to guess that most full-time photographers who work from home have a love-hate relationship with the aforementioned situation. On days where you just roll out of bed, get a cup of coffee and get to work (in your pajamas!) it’s an “I love you” kind of day. On days where you have more to do than your to-do list has room for, it’s probably an “I hate you” kind of day.

Let’s chat about some of those obvious downsides of working from home:

– Hard to stay motivated
– Your TV is only steps away
– Your kitchen is only steps away
– Your bed is only steps away
– Messy house = distractions
– Lack of human interaction (not just the social aspect, but also being around people who are working typically motivates you to work)

Okay, before I get too depressed, let’s chat about some pros:

– Flexible schedule
– Low overhead
– Showers are optional  😉
– Save on gas money
– Lunch time is easy/affordable
– You get to tell people, “I work from home”

I’ve been working from home for over a year now, and while I love the opportunity, I’ve also had to figure out how to make it work for me. I’ve created a list of tips, based on my own experience, that have helped me keep the momentum going. I’ll just be honest with you, it’s WAY easier for me to write these down, than to actually do them. The funny thing about working from home is that it’s WORK to work from home. Yes. I’ve had to work harder while working from home.

So here are a few things that have helped:

– Tidy up the night before (I try to clean up my workstation, kitchen & living room each night before I go to bed so when I wake up, I can immediately get to work without feeling guilty for leaving dirty dishes in the sink)
– Make your bed in the morning
– Make LISTS!!
– Keep an up-to-date calendar (and spend a few extra bucks to get a nice calendar/planner…that always adds an extra bit of excitement to making a schedule – or maybe that’s just me?)
– Read a lot of books that keep you inspired
– Schedule consistent coffee/lunch dates to get out of the house
– Switch things up every once in a while (rearrange your office, switch out art, etc.)
– Exercise (sound body, sound mind)
– Try to make yourself a schedule (ex. 9:00-10:00 exercise, 10:00-11:00 emails, 11:00-11:30 lunch, 11:30-1:00 edit, etc.)
– If all else fails, take your laptop to a coffee shop and set up camp every once in a while  😉

These are just a few of the things that help me get through the day as gracefully as possible. If you work from home, I’d love to know what helps you stay on track…leave a comment below if you have any extra tips/advice/questions.

p.s. it doesn’t hurt to keep fresh flowers around to help with the overall cheer-level. (beautiful arrangement by Juli Vaughn)