Are you interested in learning more about how to use Aperture in conjunction with ShootDotEdit? Download this FREE webinar, hosted by our President Jared Bauman and our Aperture Expert Sara France! In the webinar, Sara will walk through a job submission with the Aperture Workflow, showing you:
– the most efficient way to prepare, send and receive a job using ShootDotEdit
– how to quickly stylize your images and add your own special touch in minutes
– tips and tricks for Aperture efficiency
– Bonus Q/A at the end!
If you’ve ever wondered how to incorporate ShootDotEdit into your workflow, or have struggled with submitting your first job, this webinar is for you! Download HERE!
While growing your successful photography business, you inevitably get to the moment where you have to make important business decisions. You are spending more time on tasks that do not involve taking photographs and interacting with clients, the reasons you started your business. In order to create more space to do the things that you love and that bring in the most money, you have to outsource and partner with a Specialist. But what exactly is a Specialist?
: a person who has special knowledge and skill relating to a particular job, area of study, etc.
Specialists are experts in their field
Whether you choose to partner with a Specialist for your wedding photo edit needs, image fulfillment, bookkeeping, or blogging (just to name a few), you want a company or person who is an expert in that particular field. When you are searching for the perfect Specialist, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask for references or a client list and talk to the people who have used that service. A person who is an expert will have all of this information ready to share before you sign on.
Specialists should save you time and therefore money. They are repeating the same tasks over and over, and chances are, they can do it more efficiently than you. Even if it is a task that you dislike but can complete quickly when you choose to partner with a Specialist that is time that you are freeing up.
Think of all the hours of training, second shooting and learning anything related to photography that you went through to become a leader in your market. Now think of all the hours of specific task training you would need to obtain the level of a Specialist in another field. We always recommend keeping current with software updates and tutorials, as it will make you a better photographer, but by hiring a Specialist, you are acknowledging that you don’t have unlimited time for training and doing, and that is ok.
We strongly believe that making the choice to work with a Specialist is the gateway to bringing your business to a new level. Now you see how hiring one in an area (or two!) of your business, will give you more satisfaction and fulfillment in your work life and make you more profitable.
To learn more about appealing to your target market, download our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers by clicking the banner below!
We recently sat down with LensProToGo, one of our partner companies, to share why we feel they are outstanding. LensProToGo is one of the nations largest online photo and video rental companies; you can rent camera bodies to lenses to lights to cords – everything you may need and they ship all over the United States.
Meg Rodney, whose official title is “makes awesome stuff happen”, took the time to answer our questions. We asked Meg about the background of LensProToGo and she told us the story of how Paul, the owner and founder, left Corporate America seven years ago to become a photographer. He was working hard to support his family, and he had an idea to supplement his photography income by renting Canon gear out of his spare bedroom. It grew to include more kinds of gear, which he had to move to his basement to store and ship. Before he knew it, he was moving to the first warehouse space while starting to hire employees. Paul knew he didn’t want to hire just anyone, he wanted the best customer service in the industry. Not automated responses, but real people who could answer questions and give helpful feedback. So he established the company policy of only hiring photographers. Real working creative professionals who understand the needs of a person who is renting from them.
This dedication to the professional photographer and the commitment to provide them with the best customer service are the main reasons why we at ShootDotEdit choose them as a partner. Being fun to work with is also a plus! Read on for more tidbits from Meg about LensProToGo.
What is your favorite part of your partnership with ShootDotEdit?
We absolutely love how open minded everyone is on their team. At LensProToGo, we think outside the box. I mean…way outside the box. We aren’t a very rule based company. We’re photographers and filmmakers. We’re creatives. Like us, ShootDotEdit is always open to trying different things to improve their customer experience and give back. More than that, everyone on their team is considered a really great friend of ours. Nothing is better than friendship in the world of business.
What is your favorite part of working with photographers?
We LOVE working with photographers (and filmmakers) because we’re photographers and filmmakers too! I think our most favorite part of it is that our customers come to us as a resource. We, as a team, shoot a variety of things (weddings, portraits, babies, pets, products, cars, etc.) so when we don’t know the answer we’ll hand it off to someone who does. We get the warm and fuzzy feeling when this happens because people trust our judgement. We’re here to make sure their shoot is the very best it can be and it’s an incredible feeling when we hear back that all went better than expected because of our suggestions.
Also, Photographers are just cool! Our conversations with them are normally 20% about the order, 50% answering/asking questions and 30% talking about what they are having for dinner or something having to do with dinosaurs. I bet you Verizon customer service doesn’t get that last part!
Describe a day in the life at your business…
Coffee, slippers, hugs, morning meeting, high fives, oatmeal, laughs, local drop offs, e-mails, answering phones, answering phones, answering phones, coffee, e-mails, answering phones, UPS drop off, laughs, clean gear, sort gear, clean more gear, test focus, answering phones, lunch as a family, high fives, answering phones, e-mails, dance party, laughs, more dance party, packing gear, answering phones, e-mails, packing more gear, high fives, pack the rest of the gear and UPS picks up.
For the most part it’s mostly customer service, tons of shipping and a lot of fun!
What do you wish photographers knew better about your business?
I think the one thing we’d want them to know, the most, is that we’re people too. Today, so many companies run as robots. You place an order, get a confirmation email, and it ships to you. Sure, it’s easy, but what’s personal about it? We’re here to assist you in any way we can. It may be hard to understand… but WE LOVE TALKING and may even hold the record for longest customer service call. More than that, there is a human hand in every single step of the process. Your order is seen by the customer service team and either handed off to the shipping team or they will specifically handle any issues/questions.
If you could be any piece of camera equipment, what would it be and why?
LensProToGo would be the 24-70 (we’re a team of Canon and Nikon users so I won’t specify a brand!). I say this because we are ‘the trusty workhorse’. We get the big picture and zoom in to focus on individual customers!
LensProToGo currently has a staff of about a dozen photographers and filmmakers with more coming onboard in the immediate future. They invite you to contact them with questions about renting gear, using gear, or photography and film related questions in general or follow them on social media – Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. They always have something new and fun up their sleeve, and they usually have some great gear pictures to lust after. You’ll have to check it out to see more! And when you go to their site, LensProToGo has provided this special offer to our readers, feel free to use code SDEJHV34 for 10% off all rentals good until April 30th.
Thank you Meg for taking the time to speak with us. We can’t wait to see you at WPPI!
Speaking of WPPI – Download our Free Show Guide below to help you navigate your way around.
Lightroom is an extremely powerful tool that your business can use in conjunction with a wedding photo editing company, such as ShootDotEdit. We’ve put together Jared Platt‘s Top 5 Lightroom Tips – enjoy!
1: Use a “Master Catalog” in Lightroom
Jared recommends using one “Master Catalog” in Lightroom. With this model, you can work on multiple jobs at the same time within the same catalog. The other option is to have a separate catalog for each job, only allowing you to work on one job at a time. Having a “Master Catalog” is a much more efficient and time effective way to work.
2: Use Lightroom to export for Job Submission
The export function is one of the points where your version of Lightroom matters the most. While we can (and do) accept jobs from older versions of Lightroom, we recommend using Lightroom CC or Lightroom 5 because it allows for uploading speeds that are up to 30 times faster than in Lightroom 4. By using the technology of Smart Preview, it allows us to edit images that are not physically connected to our computers. Meaning Lightroom is able to package a job without needing the full RAW files, saving a ton of space. Jared uses the example of how an 8-hour overnight upload of a wedding has decreased to 15 minutes. You can’t beat that for time management!
3: Add your Signature Style on top of ShootDotEdit changes quickly & efficiently in Lightroom
After our color corrections have been received and uploaded back into the “Master Catalog”, many dive right into the Develop module to make their Signature Brand edits on top of our custom color corrections. If you choose to add these additional style edits, Jared suggests an alternative workflow to save you time: By staying in the Library module and using the Quick Edit or Spray Bottle tool to a group of images, you can make adjustments to all of the ones you have selected. You can also apply presets to the group of images in this way. The biggest benefit is that these changes are made relative to our edits, so you keep the neutral color and white balance that we strive to achieve and can add your signature style quickly and easily.
4: Immediately Save your finished Lightroom catalog when you receive it back from ShootDotEdit
When you receive your email from us stating your job has been completed and the catalog is ready for download, Jared recommends that you SAVE IT IMMEDIATELY! Even if you don’t plan on pulling the files back into Lightroom and working on them at that moment, download the edited catalog and save it in your job folder. Preview images are not sent back with the catalog file, so the download is significantly faster than the upload. No reason not to pull it down and save it as soon as you receive it!
5: Time-Sync your images in your ShootDotEdit Lightroom Catalog
Even if it is already a part of your workflow to sync your cameras onsite, Jared recommends that you should still use Lightroom to check the timestamps and make sure they are the same, and to do this as early in the editing process as you can. When we receive images that are not synced, it slows us down in returning your images to you in the fastest possible way. This is why Jared insists it is easiest and fastest to sync the timestamps through Lightroom when you first upload the files.
Of course, we couldn’t keep it to just five! Jared Platt has some other great tips in the webinar, including information about Selecting a color profile (including dot previews & selecting for challenging jobs) and When and why you should rename your images.
Even if you don’t have the time to watch the whole webinar, but are looking to expand on a specific tip discussed here, topics are conveniently broken out by time markers below the video itself.