It’s true: Gear doesn’t make the photographer. But it’s also true that the right gear can make your job a heckuva lot easier—and more fun! So after more than a decade amassing an arsenal of expensive DSLR cameras and lenses, our studio finally made the switch to an entirely new system. Mirrorless.
Thirteen years ago, I quit my job in pursuit of being a professional photographer. Believe it or not, I didn’t do it for the money. I had no idea that there really was any money to be made in photography. I wanted to do what I loved doing. That was my main motivator. Today, I often find myself laughing with my financial planner when she reminds me of my goals at the time.
To many, the thought of putting yourselves out there can be daunting, especially if you are by nature an introvert. Face-to-Face Marketing often will require you to shed that dynamic if it is part of your personality.
Building a proper infrastructure in your business is much more important than learning how to take pretty photos. I am not discounting the importance of being a good photographer by any means. I am saying that if you don’t have the processes in place to deliver an excellent overall client experience, eventually nobody will care about your pretty pictures.
There is nothing simple about digital asset management. It is easy to get hung up on equipment, shooting and editing, but managing Raw files is the most neglected part of my workflow. I feel like I always rush to import my Raw files, bypass backup and fail to organize my photos in Lightroom so I can start editing immediately. That has to stop.
There is no escaping it: We live in a digital world but we operate in some old-school ways. From photography to our tax returns, we must all learn to operate efficiently and effectively in this new world. Here are some of the tools I use to run my business smoothly and make maximum use of my time. This isn’t just about saving time. It’s about giving your customers a unique experience.
I remember the switch from film to digital like it was yesterday. And look where we are now. I’m about to write an article about your workflow…and it’s going to be all digital. If I wrote this 15 years ago, a computer wouldn’t even have come into the equation. But what does that mean for you? Has life gotten easier? Nope. It has gotten harder. You have more to do and more possible ways to do it (i.e., screw it up). Clients are more demanding than ever (I actually had one the other day who, after I gave her 10 preview pictures, asked for more before the proofs were ready). Marketing is a constant effort. So how do you keep up and keep your sanity?
Becoming more productive means becoming more profitable. One option is to do the same number of activities but in less time. Let’s say your time is worth $100 per hour and you make $1,200 for 12 hours of work. If you do the same amount of work in less time, you are now making the same amount of money but doing it in six hours a day instead of 12. Instead of your time being worth $100 per hour, it is now worth $200 per hour. The dollar value of your hour has just doubled.
As creatives, it is in our blood to break out of the box and try something new. If you are not pushing yourself and developing your photography, where’s your growth as an artist? In this article, I give you the tools to try something new and pack a punch with your images. We will dive into corrective adjustments and how to direct your viewer. These are the basics you may already be doing today, but we are going to mix things up a bit.
Your client has just arrived 30 minutes early for her baby’s newborn session and you are nowhere near finished setting up. After hastily greeting them at the door, you scramble, trying to think of where in the world to start. Does this sound familiar? The good news is that you can help prevent these problems by implementing some simple techniques to streamline your newborn sessions. Layering materials, rotating through stations and transitional posing all contribute to a smoother studio workflow.