Business

Which Annual Plan is Best for You?

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At ShootDotEdit, we know that your photography business is as unique as the images you shoot. No two businesses, like no two weddings, are the same. Because of this, we offer multiple pricing plans so you can choose what’s best for you and your business! In order to fully explain the features, advantages, and benefits of our plans, we have gathered insights and knowledge to share with you from our clients: wedding photographers just like you. These professional photographers have partnered with us using our UNLIMITED and our Rollover plans, and they have all agreed that it has saved them both time and money, provided greater image consistency, and even offered them peace of mind! [···]

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10 Things that Help your Business go Fast

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In our How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business Guide, we devoted a whole section to systems and ways to speed up your overall workflow. Setting up systems in your photography business will help enable you to build a Fast is Best company. To help get you started, here are 10 programs and apps that will help your business go fast and save you time.

1. Dropbox

Bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. Any file you save to your Dropbox account will also automatically save to all your computers and devices. Folders can be easily shared to collaborate with other clients and colleagues. You can also connect Dropbox with your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter to share your photos with friends, family, and potential clients. Interested in sharing photos with vendors after a wedding? Dropbox is a great and simple solution!

2. Evernote 

With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use. Do you keep notes for every client? Evernote is a great place to store them so you can pull them up at any time, in any place. Evernote also has an organization system, allowing you to either categorize your notes into different notebooks, or clump them altogether as “stacks.” Evernote will keep organizing notes simple and FAST as your client list keeps growing.

3. 1Password

1Password can create strong and unique passwords for you. Rather than trying to remember all 30 of your passwords for each business-related program you use (along with your personal ones), 1Password will remember them, and restore them, all directly in your web browser. All you need to do is create one strong password and this program will do the rest! 1Password is a great place to keep them safe and secure so you don’t have to worry about searching for passwords when you need them.

4. Text Expander (Mac)

Type more with less effort! TextExpander saves your fingers and your keyboard, expanding custom keyboard shortcuts into frequently-used text and pictures. Do you have emails that you send to every new client or a standard wedding timeline that you send out before the big day? Text Expander is great for filling out those emails, saving you time!

5. Boomerang

With Boomerang, you can write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at the perfect time. Just write the message as you normally would, then click the Send Later button. You might answer all of your emails at 11PM, but that doesn’t mean you have to let your clients know that! You can write an email when you want, then schedule it to send during normal business hours. This helps to educate your clients (even brides!) to respect your business time and personal time.

6. IFTTT

IFTTT is an online service that links your networks and allows you to create “recipes.” These recipes are rules you create that allow different actions to occur between your different social networks. Some great examples include a recipe that can copy an email with the word “receipt” in the title to a Google doc to help keep track of your expense—or a recipe that links all your Instagram photos with a certain hashtag to a Dropbox folder to download and keep. The possibilities are endless. These recipes can do everything for your business.

7. Wunderlist

Wunderlist is an easy way to manage and share your to-do lists. It works on all platforms and devices. You can create a to-do list for a wedding while you are at home on your computer; then, while you are on-site at the event, you can check items off on your phone. Then, before the night is over, you can review the list on your laptop to make sure you got them all.

8. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management system that businesses can use to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. You can plan all of your tweets, Facebook status updates, and other social media updates from one place at one time. Hootsuite also allows you to monitor and immediately respond to what people are saying about your wedding images and blog posts.

9. ShootQ

Developed by photographers for photographers, ShootQ is your virtual studio manager, assisting you from the moment a prospective client contacts you until the final product is delivered. You can use ShootQ to subscribe to calendaring applications like Google Calendar or Apple iCal. It keeps your job leads and workflow organized and always reminds you what needs to be done next.

10. Asana

Asana is a project management software that allows you to share projects among users and to set deadlines. It’s a great tool to keep track of all of your clients and to allow other members of your team access to all of their information. A really nice feature is the ability to set sharing for each individual project. So if you have a few associate photographers, you can allow them to see only the clients they will be helping with, and they will not be overwhelmed with all of your clients or projects.

The faster you can utilize any of these programs and apps within your workflow, the faster your wedding photography business will grow. Discover additional ways to speed up your workflow with our Guide, 27 Simple Hacks to Transform your Business!

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6 Fast Ways to Improve your Workflow Speed

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At ShootDotEdit, we believe Fast is Best. We polled our post-production specialists and trusted professional photographers to find 6 ways to help you improve your workflow speed.

1. Use Photo Mechanic for culling

As mentioned in our “How to Grow your Wedding Photography Business” Guide, Photo Mechanic is a great tool for viewing and culling through your images quickly and efficiently. Touted as the “fastest view for digital photos,” it can save you hours from your culling time and can then be exported to your editing program of choice.

2. Use Lightroom 5 with Smart Previews for Faster Upload & Download Times

The Smart Preview technology that was introduced in version 5 of Lightroom is revolutionary. It allows you to create a Library and render Smart Previews from your full resolution images. Smart Previews allow you to share your library and rendered previews without having to worry about attaching the large source images. Because of this, the Smart Previews can be sent to a trusted partner like ShootDotEdit in a fraction of the time.

Related: A Simple Checklist to Help You Integrate ShootDotEdit into Your Workflow

The Smart Previews can then be edited here at ShootDotEdit and sent back to pair with your high resolution images for export to clients. The upload and the download back can all happen in under an hour, compared to a full 8 hour overnight upload/download (or even longer in some cases)! Jared Platt does a great job explaining this further in our Lightroom webinar.

3. Use Quick Develop to Add Edits on Top of a Group of Images

When you receive your images back from ShootDotEdit, we always encourage you to add your own Signature Style on top of the custom color correction. Using the Quick Develop module in the Library tab in Lightroom allows you to make these signature changes to a group of images relative to the edits already made. You can make these changes much more quickly with Quick Develop than you could if you had to edit each individual image in the Develop tab.

4. Create Presets for your Actions and Workflow

If you utilize the same actions and/or edits over and over, you should create presets to help streamline the process. You can create presets in most editing programs, but we highly recommend utilizing Lightroom to create and use them. Combining the power of the Quick Develop module with custom presets can allow you to work at the fastest speed possible, all while maintaining your unique style and vision.

5. Keyboard Shortcuts & HotKeys

While we highly recommend editing in Lightroom 5 for speed, you can find Keyboard Shortcuts and HotKeys in all editing programs. In our Aperture webinar, Sara France gives a great description of how to create your own customized shortcut guide for Aperture. In Lightroom, you can find the Shortcuts under the menu “Help -> Lightroom Module Shortcuts.”

6. Take Fast is Best through your Entire Client Workflow

By choosing to partner with ShootDotEdit, you know the custom Color Correction portion of your overall client workflow will be back in as fast as 48 hours. Take our Fast is Best mentality and extend it throughout all of your tasks. Assign specific time limits for yourself. Consider the different tasks within your client workflow, and assign each of those tasks a specific time limit. For example, after a shoot, give yourself one to two days to cull and submit to ShootDotEdit. Once you receive your images back, allocate one day to add your Signature Style, 3 days to upload to your proofing site and deliver to client, and then one week to blog. You know how great it feels to get your images back from ShootDotEdit? Your clients will be just as thrilled with that fast turnaround time. Because nothing makes clients happier than getting their images back. The faster, the better.

RelatedHow Fast Turnaround Times Create Client Evangelists

Becoming a Fast Is Best business starts with finding ways like this to speed up your business workflow. Once your workflow is optimized, stick to it for every client. You will be amazed with what a consistent system will do to make you and your clients happier. You will immediately see the benefits of doing quality work fast.

Discover additional ways to create a fast workflow with our Guide, 27 Simple Hacks to Transform your Wedding Photography Business!

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Our Marketing Webinar with Justin and Mary Marantz

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Book more weddings and increase web traffic to your site with 10 simple ideas! Come join us for this FREE webinar, supported by WPPI and hosted by our President Jared Bauman and Marketing Pros Justin and Mary Marantz! During this webinar, Justin and Mary will share with you 10 simple action items to help you book more weddings. These small yet impactful marketing tasks can be implemented immediately, allowing you to experience the results right away. Some of the topics include:

* How to create stories for your clients to tell about you

* Hosting a blog contest to create tons of web traffic

* Creating vendor cards to explode your vendor referrals
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DotPreview – Everything you need to know

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Did you know that ShootDotEdit has over 100 different color profiles? With so many different options to choose from, the ability to satisfy everyone is there. Our goal is to help you make the best selection as easily as possible. The tool that ShootDotEdit developed for this is the DotPreview.

We think of DotPreviews as free insurance for your job. We select 10 images from your event that display different lighting conditions and color correct them according to your chosen color profile. This will give you a great overview of how the entire job will look, and it is your guarantee that you will like the way your images are edited.

DotPreviews are automatically applied to the first few jobs you submit when you begin working with ShootDotEdit. It is a great way to get to know how the color profiles will look on different skin tones and lighting styles, and it’s completely FREE! If it doesn’t look exactly how you want it to the first time, you can request another DotPreview. Our experienced Color Consultants are also available to connect with you to help in finding the right profile for your job. You can go back and forth with the Color Consultants as many times as it takes to get it right!

It can take a few jobs to figure out the best color profile that matches your style – that is why we require DotPreviews for the first two jobs. After that initial period, you are welcome to request a DotPreview for any job, though if you are comfortable with how to  select a color profile, you can continue with the submission process without a DotPreview. We recommend choosing DotPreviews for events with unusual lighting situations or with mixed skin tones. Any time you have an event that is outside your normal shooting environment, the DotPreviews are available to make sure the color correction still matches your vision.

The best part about DotPreviews? They are returned to you in one business day or less. “Fast is Best” applies to everything we do. Our only recommendation is that you view the returned DotPreview on the color-calibrated monitor that you edit on. We know it is tempting to open the link on your phone or tablet, but viewing it on your primary workstation is best!

Remember, if you are happy with your DotPreview, you will be happy with your job, so use them to your advantage! Your happiness with the color correction we provide is our main priority, and DotPreviews help guarantee that our editing matches your style!

If you would like more information about how to integrate ShootDotEdit into your workflow, please access our Free Guide below!

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How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business Guide

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As a photographer and business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. Between setting up strong systems and workflows, posting social media, increasing SEO, and networking, growing your business is no easy task. That is why we created a guide just for you!

How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business

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 Our FREE Guide also features:
– Setting goals you can achieve
– Becoming unique and specialized
– Creating fast and effective systems and workflows
– Building your website, social media, and blog to reflect your brand
– Developing relationships and making meaningful connections
– Trusting specialists so you can become scalable

 

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Partner Interview: Zenfolio

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Our next partner spotlight shines on Zenfolio, an all-in-one solution for photographers to display, share, and sell their work online. We spoke with Brittany Nelson, a valued member of the Zenfolio team, to learn more about the company.

How did Zenfolio begin?

“Our about page says it best: [Zenfolio] began in the cradle of so many great ideas: a coffee shop. Four friends with a passion for photography, a shared background in technology, and complementary skills had a goal. They wanted to create an all-in-one Web solution for photographers—both amateur and professional—to organize, display, and sell their images with uncompromising quality.”

How does Zenfolio work with ShootDotEdit?

“ShootDotEdit will cull, color correct, and then upload a completed job to a photographer’s Zenfolio account. This takes away one additional step for the photographer and cuts down on the time it takes to get the event online and published.”

What is your favorite part of your partnership with ShootDotEdit?

“I love that the partnership between Zenfolio and ShootDotEdit takes away pain points for photographers and makes it easier for them to edit and upload their weddings after they are shot. Using ShootDotEdit is a great way for photographers to partner with a Specialist in post-processing and save themselves a huge amount of time in not only editing but also posting the wedding.”

What is your favorite part of working with photographers?

“They are creative, artistic, and really great people.”

What do you wish photographers knew better about Zenfolio?

“Zenfolio caters to every type of photographer, not just professional. That’s why we have several plans: basic and unlimited to those who do photography more as a hobby, and then Premium and Premium Business plans for those who are looking to sell their work. We also have a high-volume plan for businesses that have lots of clients, such as photo studios, schools, sports photography, and more.

Also, our support team is fantastic. They are available seven days a week, 365 days a year and are here to answer all of our users’ questions or for people who are thinking about joining Zenfolio. Our support team consists mostly of enthusiast and professional photographers (wedding, landscape, editorial, etc.), so they know exactly what photographers need.”

Describe a day in the life at Zenfolio…

“Drink coffee, eat onions, and drink lots of coconut water. Oh, and get daily delicious lunches delivered from waiter.com.

The ongoing (funny) story at Zenfolio is the office is split on onions. Half of them love it, half hate it. It started with one of the founders being highly sensitive to onions (aka repulsed), so it is now an initiation if you will to ask new hires what their stance on onions is and to share an embarrassing story of course.”

If you could be any piece of camera equipment, what would it be and why?

“A telephoto lens so I can see far into the distance, in focus.”

Thank you, Brittany, for taking the time to talk with us! Learn More about ShootDotEdit’s Integrated Partnership with Zenfolio!

Interested in learning more from a real photographer who uses both ShootDotEdit and Zenfolio? Click the banner below to hear how Corrado Amenta cut his turnaround time down to less than one week!

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How to Book your Dream Client

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every wedding you shot was with clients that you felt you had known forever? If each of these events could have been taken right out of your dreams? Building a successful photography business doesn’t mean you have to work with just anyone who will book you. Engaging with your dream clients can become a reality in just a few easy steps.

Visualize

It may sound strange, but before you can find the perfect client, you need to know who you are and what kind of photographer you want to be. Reflect on your passions, on the things that you truly love. Imagine your perfect work day. Really think about the details of what you love to do. Identify what you do and don’t want to do. Think critically about who you want to work with and why.

Photographer Kellie Coughlin shares:

“I’ve found that I have to BE my dream client in order to attract my dream client. Whenever I am in the position as “consumer” or “client,” I make every effort to treat that vendor exactly how I want my dream client to treat me. And when I have a client who I find less than dreamy, I take time after our interaction to really meditate on what made that client someone who I didn’t want to work with.”

Specialize

Author and specialism guru Jeff Jochum says in his book, Work Happily Ever After;

“Anyone can copy what you do; no one can copy who you are. In truth, it’s not magic, though to outsiders it probably looks like it. The essence to making Specialism work for your business is that you must stand for something other than ‘making money’ to make this happen. Your WHO becomes your primary differentiator, and the real value of your business. We call this ‘YOUniqueness.'”

If you love the outdoors and love shooting outdoor ceremonies—go after it. If you’re an editorial city-lover, focus on that clientele. Don’t think of specializing as limiting yourself—think of it as channeling your passion into what you do best. Doing so allows you the best opportunity to work with people and places that you love. When you enjoy what you are shooting, your clients will notice and refer you to their like-minded friends and family.

Publicize

Once you’ve identified who you are and what you want to photograph, make sure to advertise the point. Have an “About me” section on your website that discusses your passions. Talk about them on your blog. Reach out to other related sites to network. If you love weddings that feature a dog as the ring bearer, perhaps do a guest spot on an animal shelter blog about how to structure the day to be best for the dog. Most importantly, show the kinds of images that you want to shoot in all of your marketing. Becoming known as an expert in your particular niche will attract like-minded people into your life.

Sarah Roshan, a wedding photographer based in Colorado shared how she has used these steps to book her dream clients:

“Booking the perfect clients started becoming a priority for me for about a year and a half ago. I was booking great clients but not at the price point that I wanted.

Specialism was key for me. I declared on my website that I only photograph romantic mountain weddings for carefree couples. Sounds great, but it was real and authentic to who I was. I am a mountain girl who sees the world through rose colored romantic glasses. I changed my bio to state only what I stand for and who I am instead of what I do, and something amazing started happening. It started bringing me exactly the type of clients I want.

The game changer for me was understanding that the only thing that makes me different than every other photographer in the world was that I am me. No one can be me. People generally want to work with people that are similar to themselves, so by putting myself out there authentically to the world, the absolute right people began to call me and book me, most of them in a twenty minute conversation over the phone.

I was attracting such a specific client that I ended up with 2 brides that had the same tattoo within the same year. The tattoo: the directions to Neverland—a perfect example of my ideal, romantic, carefree client. Both couples paid my fee with no questions or push back, and I had an absolutely wonderful time working with them.

Declaring who I am on my website has been life-changing. I have become more of who I want to be, and my clients help make me more of who I want to be too. I am working happier, with amazing people who appreciate me and my work.”

Following these key concepts will help you to identify and attract the perfect client for you and your business. Are you ready to get started? We’ve compiled some questions that will help send you in the right direction.

  • Identify five features or traits that exist within your Dream Client.
  • Determine three areas that are essential to who YOU are, the elements that construct your YOUniqueness.
  • List three action steps that you can start working on immediately to personalize your brand and begin booking your Dream Client.

Booking clients to your wedding photography business is the best way to grow your business! To learn more marketing tips and tricks that will intrigue your clients, download our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers!

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3 Reasons you haven’t considered in partnering with a Specialist

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Deciding to partner with a Specialist in your wedding photography business is a big commitment, and not one to be taken lightly. In previous articles, we have shared some reasons why you should trust a Specialist. We’ve also shown a glimpse at how ShootDotEdit in particular, has been able to streamline other wedding photographers’ workflow and to help them run a more profitable business. Other than the most obvious reason of saving time, here are three additional reasons you may not have considered when choosing to bring an outside partner into your business.

Specialized Focus

When building your photography business, you made a choice in your specialization. You took the time to get to know what story you love to tell through your images and created a business around it. This was a strategic decision to increase your productivity and your profitability. Not to mention, you may enjoy shooting weddings far more than portraits or products. Now, think about that logic with your post-production work. Specialists are trained in the science of color correction. This is something they have chosen to excel in.

You may dread spending hours working on editing your images, but the experts at a company like ShootDotEdit can help to ease this pain point. By using their expertise and knowledge, especially of the science of color correcting, it will get done faster. This will allow you to reduce your overall client turnaround. Then you can spend those hours invested in your specialty and let them invest in theirs.

Artistic Freedom

If given the opportunity to spend 8 hours capturing beautiful images, or 8 hours working on color correction… what would you choose? It’s not really a hard question. As a professional, your time is valuable. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed especially in the busy season, feeling that creative spark dimming slightly in the face of how much work there is to be done. By finding a specialist and sharing the load, it can free up your time to do what you do best. Invest in others to be able to profit from the freedom that their help will offer you!

Increased Consistency

You probably don’t really think consistency can be a reason to work with an outside partner. Many photographers can change styles from one click of the shutter to the next! But being able to deliver consistent quality, every time, and the ability to have all of your images match your brand is a big benefit that you might not notice. ShootDotEdit’s color corrections are complete and custom, and by utilizing the 90/10 method it allows you to focus on that part of the process that you do best: the artistic edits and finishing touches that bring the images to life.

The bottom line is that your business, like your photography, is unique. You bring your own signature style to your customers and that’s what makes them want to hire you. Partnering with a Specialist, finding ways to streamline your workflow and maximize your time, can help you devote more of yourself into your passion for photography and build the business of your dreams.

Download our free guide to learn all the different areas a Specialist can help you in your business!
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