Meanwhile... in the real world that doesn't happen.
We were looking for a dog walker when we first started, we rang a few people, most of whom turned us down because they already where fully booked, one lady didn't but upon asking what dates and times we would be needing, we told her mostly Fridays and Saturdays, ummed and awwed and said she would see what she can do but during the summer she had her own dogs in competitions at the weekends.
Well we had exhausted nearly all the options so agreed to meet her and hope that our bookings didn't coincide with hers.
But knowing that we might end up having to use two or more different dog walkers we kept looking, and found our current dog walkers who happily stated that weekends were perfect as most clients want during the week. Great suits our needs perfectly we thought.
We tried to ring the other lady (whom we hadn't yet met) and ended up sending a text to say we no longer required her, but thanks for her time.
She then rang back the next evening and gave my wife a right earful, demanding to know who we went with how much it was costing etc.
We just told her that as we were only looking for weekends we found somebody who was available at the weekend without prior conflicts.
We then recieve a phonecall from our new dog walker, who asked us why did she recieve a nasty call from the other lady?
We hadn't disclosed the new walker to the other lady, so she must have rung around all the local walkers to give them all an earful!
We told the new walkers that we hadn't said who we went with, and the new walker then apologised and explained that it wasn't the first time they had had dealings with the other lady.
No it wasn't the photography industry, but that pettiness exists.
Besides you don't "announce" a booking, that would looks desperate... do venues announce bookings? No... because your are expected to make sales. That is what any half decent business does. If you get a booking you simply update the calendar.
When enquiring about our own wedding next year, we found one photographer that we liked, my fiance looked on his facebook page and was immediately shocked to see posts about "booking yet another wedding at such and such a hotel"
Needless to say we have not booked him.
I agree that it is desperate, and not professional at all. But said photographer is actually busy, a new wedding up every weekend on the blog.
Ok updating a calendar is subtle enough to hopefully avoid trouble.
When you are out with all your kit... and not forgetting that other people may actually live there... and presuming your address is publicly available.
Do you sit in an empty house with just your camera equipment for company? Plenty of other valuables, case in point, footballs fans targetting the millionaire players houses during the match because they knew the players and their families would be at the match.
Anybody who has listed themselves as a business on google maps in order to list in local searches could have that information found. Any company you have put your address details to can and does sell that information, it can be hacked into.
You might scoff and think what lowlife is capable of that level of work just to find a target, but most burglaries are a result of your house being watched for weeks before making a move. It not too much of a leap to add in a hacker that can sell adresses of easy targets to burglars.
Yes I am probably being over the top, and it is not likely to happen as a result of having a calendar or a few dates on a website.
Enquiries from people who straight out want to book and already know you are free also tells you your marketing is working. Nope... SALES tell you if you are in demand NOT ENQUIRIES. If you are booking out then you know to raise your prices. If you are turning down enquiries for dates you are already booked yet not selling to capacity it isn't the time to raise prices. SALES is your metric for price increases.
Booking the 16th of August, and then turning down another 6 enquiries for that date is not useful information? It's not helpful to your earnings but it still tells you something about your marketing etc.
Having it written on the site and still getting enquiries for that date also tells you something about either your clients or your website.
I agree sales are definately a better indicator of all those things, because enquiries might just be from marketing companies trying to extract contact details from you.
But it is still information that can be used, otherwise website traffic wouldn't be reported and then broken down so you can determine its relevance.
Everyone is allowed their own way of doing things, what works for one might not work for another.
Good luck with however you manage to pre qualify your potential clients.