I don't know who needs to hear this... but you can charge more for weekend sessions. That's right. Weekend session options are PREMIUM. They are the pink starburst of session options. If you want to offer them, go ahead, but seriously consider charging MORE for them.
And no... I'm not talking about $50 - $100 more. I'm talking DOUBLE your session retainer. Oh yeah, I said it. Listen, people will pay A LOT of money for convenience and that is exactly what you're selling when it comes to a weekend slot. It's happening all around us... how much more do you pay for curbside grocery services? How about pizza delivery to your home? And flower delivery on your Momma's birthday? See? Everyone is already doing it, so you charging more for a weekend session is not ground breaking stuff. Try it out and I bet you'll be surprised beyond measure at how many people are willing to a) pay the weekend fee, or b) suddenly have a weekday available to shoot (even if they didn't think they did when you first e-mailed them your availability). Money talks.
Because here's the truth that not a lot of people in this industry are talking about... weekends are meant for families and friends and personal time. They're not usually meant for work... so PLEASE don't feel guilt for charging plenty more for a weekend session when what's really happening is you're being compensated for time that normally would have been spent with your family.
Now... are you wanting to get out of weekends completely? That's TOTALLY doable! Let me tell you how. It's a bit complex, but just follow the steps and you'll be good to go. You ready? Here we go... "NO." That's a complete sentence right there, y'all! "Nope, nopity, nope nope nope." is also a complete sentence. Hah! But for real, if I ever get a client who wants to shoot on the weekend, I reply with one of the following:
"No ma'am. I don't work on weekends."
"No ma'am. My makeup artist and I reserve the weekends for our families."
And that's all I have to say. They usually respond with "I completely understand! Let's do that Wednesday you offered!" and BOOM. That's it.
I think photographers are scared to make it awkward by asserting our personal schedules over our business availability, but that's what's so great about being a business owner! We get to create our own schedules!
Want another quick tip about NOT working for the weekend? Head on over to our A-List Instagram feed for another quick tip!