I know I make it look easy (ha), but running a photography business takes a lot of work. If you’re not prioritizing putting systems in place to set you up for success, it will be your downfall. Even if you’re an incredible photographer with the finest equipment money can buy, it means nothing if you’re not a good businessperson.
Creating a brand and fine-tuning your workflow is one of the hardest parts of running your own business. Any business! Creating the images is a piece of (wedding) cake; it’s nothing compared to juggling your clients, editing thousands of images and handling everyone’s money. A tight, streamlined workflow ensures you’re organized on your end and you’re not wasting precious time and energy. More importantly, getting systems in place shows your clients you’re professional and trustworthy, and it keeps you on everyone’s (aka the bride’s) good side.
Keep scrolling for the scoop on the products and programs I use to make my business and life run more smoothly. Don’t worry, we’re gonna get your ish together!
MacBook Pro and iMac
I have been an Apple user since 2009, and I’m never going back. If you’re not on board with Apple products, you’re entitled to your (wrong) opinion. I’m not super tech-fluent, so I can’t speak too much about the RAM and memory and fancy things like that, but I love that all my Apple products pair up and work perfectly together. You can’t deny Apple devices are fast, sexy and precise. Get into it.
Before all you Lightroom users get all worked up, let me just have I have tried to use Lightroom on at least three separate occasions. Each time I convinced myself I could make the switch because it’s what the cool kids are doing, and each time I hated it more and more! For the last seven years I’ve used Adobe Camera Raw, and at this point we’re pretty committed to each other. Within ACR, I love using Phil Chester’s presets. They aren’t too warm or overly trendy, and the skin tone color is always spot on.
Pros: Simple to use, fast, comes with Photoshop
Cons: I’m going to say none. Booyah!
This is how I cull all my images. Simple as that.
Pros: Cheap, fast .jpg rendering, easy cataloging
I recently started using JPEGmini to compress my finished images without losing quality. So far, it’s a game changer and saves me money on my custom USBs.
Pros; Drag and drop simplicity, cheap, magical
Cons: Extra step in the workflow
Pixieset is an awesome client gallery website. Everything looks clean and professional, and it includes a “favoriting” feature that allows clients to click a heart icon to indicate images they love. I also use the service to sell prints!
Pros: Clean, Minimal, email feature, easy to use, great customer service
I recently ditched my complicated system of Google forms for a more streamlined system of keeping track of my client information. A friend told me about Dubsado, and once I tested it I fell in love! This client management software allows me to keep track of client accounts, communication, appointments, and everything in between.
Pros: Affordable, great community to help, responsive customer service
Cons: It’s still new, so there are kinks to be worked out
I can’t recommend Flothemes enough for all your website needs. I’m a picky client, especially when it comes to my website. It’s my face to the (Internet) world! It’s where potential clients go to see if we’d be a great match. The team at Flothemes has worked on my last two websites, and they’ve gone above and beyond to answer my questions, fine tune to infinity and beyond and make my website dreams a reality.
Pros: Stylish, easily customizable, excellent customer service
Cons: Uses themes, so it’s not 100% custom to start
A lot of this may sound overwhelming, but take a deep breath! I promise if you implement systems for yourself and your business, the sky’s the limit. You’ll spend less time running around like a chicken with your head cut off and more time making beautiful images. And I don’t know about y’all, but that’s what I’m all about. If you are more interested in my photo gear don’t forget this post.