Ep 177. Navigating Sessions + Projects That Take Longer Than Expected

I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography and my signature program for mompreneurs: The Efficient Mompreneur.

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Have you ever glanced at the clock during a photo session or project and realized you’re way behind schedule?

It’s a common challenge for sure, but there’s a silver lining in learning to manage these moments.

In episode 177, I dive into practical strategies for keeping your sessions and projects on track.

You’ll see info about making a simple plan that actually works, setting reminders, prioritizing tasks, and getting everyone on the same page from the get-go.

Plus, find discussions on the art of clear communication with clients and how to gracefully extend sessions or wrap them up efficiently.

Are you finally ready to get a handle on your time and make every minute count? Let’s do it!

Here are two main break downs for how to handle sessions that are taking longer than you thought they might:

#1: During The Sessions: 

  • Make a timelines and shot list *(as a wedding photographer it made me realize the importance of having a plan) 
  • Set reminders on your phone to keep you on track during your sessions 
  • Communicate with your clients ahead of time about what to expect, and let them know you will have timers set to keep everything on track
  • Have your clients approve your timeline
  • Have them create a must-have shot list and then prioritize it in order of importance 
  • Always shoot group shots first with kids 
  • Set a last call alarm. Say something like, “we have 10 more minutes left, this is what we’ve been able to get through, we didn’t get to this _____. We can add another 30 minutes if you’d like for $_______. Would you like to do that or are you okay with what we got?”
  • Sometimes we overshoot a session because we lack confidence that we can deliver. But if you’ve clearly communicated what you’ll deliver to your client, and at the shoot find yourself not able to deliver, use this as a learning experience for next time.
    • Let your client know what you didn’t get to, and ask if they are okay with extending the shoot an extra 15 minutes (free of charge). 
    • Learn from your past and course-correct for next time. 

#2: While Working on Projects:

  • Look for templates to make things simpler 
  • Parkinson’s Law is the idea that your work will expand to fill the time allotted for its completion.
    • Set self-imposed deadlines by implementing something like the Pomodoro Technique.
      • Pomodoro Technique: Set a timer and work for that amount of time and then move on 
  • Ask yourself how much of a priority this project is, get a first draft done and then you can always come back and make it better if you want to. Check out my Connect + Collab Playbook for help with this!
  • If it takes you more than 5-10 minutes to troubleshoot an issue, create a support ticket, post in a FB group for help, and move on.

Complimentary Episodes:

Ep 69. Setting the Tone for Your Work Blocks + Following Through

Ep 70. Handling Distractions + Interruptions While You’re Working

Ep 134. How to Batch Your Tasks for Increased Efficiency
Browse All Productivity Related Episodes


  1. Connect + Collaborate Playbook
  2. Looking for tips and strategies for making motherhood and business easier? Join Our Free Community – The Organized Mom Photographer
  3. Need support managing your time well and creating systems to streamline your Photography Business? Join the Efficient Mom Photographer (12 Week Group Coaching Program)
  4. Message me on Voxer (My username is afreehan)
  5. Join the Waitlist for my Free Masterclass, The Profit Shift: 3 Strategies to Optimize Your Limited Time and Maximize Your Revenue as a Mom
  6. Have a question for me? Or a specific struggle you’re dealing with? I’ll address your question on the podcast. Submit your ‘Ask Ashley’ question here
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My mission is to help fellow mom business owners experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for mompreneurs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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