Photographer’s Workflow

One question that all of my friends used to ask me when I first started shooting weddings was “That’s awesome you get to go to weddings every weekend and then hang out all week, what a great job!”. At first I didn’t want to even waste the time trying to explain to them every little detail of what it takes to really run a business. So my response would just be “Well there is still work to be done during the week, but it is pretty awesome”. Then after awhile, and people still thinking I kick back during my non shooting days, I wrote down a list of everything you have to do with a wedding that isn’t shooting and people were pretty stunned. Most people don’t know that a wedding can easily take up 40 hours of your time, it’s not just the 8-10 hours of shooting plus post production time. Today I want to share a little about some of the steps I go through with a wedding and why they are so important to your business.

First off I think it’s a good question to always ask yourself, who is my client? Sounds easy right, your bride and groom, definitely your client. Maybe the mom of the bride, she might buy a few prints. Is that really it? Once you really start looking deeper you see that you have tons of clients at a wedding. I see all guests and vendors as clients and want to get my brand in front of them. Your best source of business is always going to come from people that have seen your work and are in love with it. So I make sure that part of each weddings tasks includes things like sending images to the venue, posting a blog post (with a shout out to the vendors), and collecting the email address from people who viewed the event online. There are actually 17 different tasks that I do for each wedding, one is shooting the wedding and then there are 16 other tasks that all are about either post production or marketing. Here are just a few of the things we do after the post production work is done that is so very important to our business:

  • Create a highlight slideshow – This is a topic within itself, but I always want a really nice highlight show as the first way the bride experiences her images.
  • Upload to the web
  • Send Slideshow to Client – Or if they are local have them come in for a first screening with their family and friends.
  • Order Proof Book
  • Post Blog – It’s a great idea to mention the other vendors that were there and also email or call them to let them know about it. We spend a lot of time with our vendors and want to make sure we take great care of them.
  • Choose images for venue and create marketing material – Lots of times venues don’t have a lot of great images of real weddings so we produce some 8×10 brochures with their images co-branded with their info as well as our studios info.
  • Send Images to Venue – If its the first time working there we make an appointment to come in and deliver the photos so we can get to know them better and start a relationship.
  • Add wedding contacts from online gallery – When friends and family view their photos online they have to enter in their email address. 2 months after the wedding we login and save these emails to our email database to use for future email marketing.
  • Delete outtakes from hard drive
  • That’s not even half of the things we do for a wedding and just a top level overview but you can start to imagine how one wedding can easily take up a full week of time. Managing all of this information is also a key part of the process. You aren’t going to remember to do each one of these steps by just memorizing them. We used to use a nice fully functional CRM system but it really did too much and was cumbersome for what I really needed. All that I wanted was a way to enter all of these tasks on my calendar. That is where an app comes into play awhile back that I helped to create. Photographer’s Workflow is an iPhone app that let’s you quickly create workflows for different types of tasks (weddings, portraits, album designs, etc..) and with just a few taps add an event to your calendar. I’ll cover it in a separate post later today, so check back a little bit later for a full review of Photographer’s Workflow 2.0.

    Edit – our other post reviewing the Photographer’s Workflow iPhone app is now up.

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    Author: Mark

    Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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