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Be like Frances Marron, don’t give up

The mission of ShootDotEdit, beginning in March of 2007, is to partner with Pro Wedding Photographers and help them succeed more. We’ve purposed to bring valuable content ranging from how to start a photography business to how to add presets to Lightroom. We have always maintained, nevertheless, that to succeed you MUST figure out how to do what you do best and outsource the rest.

The story and testimony below is another customer story we are proud to share. And, it’s the story’s across the globe like this that remind us to keep on partnering, keep on focusing, and to keep on innovating on behalf of Pro Wedding Photographers.

We hope you enjoy the read and get inspired to keep pushing toward success!

A ShootDotEdit Customer Story

Written by Frances Marron

4 minute read time

Last year, in March of 2018 I had to let go of my in-house editor who had been with me for 10 years, and who had been doing basically everything post-shoot for my business.  It took me years to get into a good rhythm with her and when we broke up, I was convinced that the only person that could replace her was me.  I have always been someone who will bite off more than they can chew. It’s how I ended up with the kind of clientele I now service, so it’s not always been a bad thing for me!  But, then, as it does, life happened. I got engaged.  We bought a house together and I moved from the burbs to the city. Basically my entire world got turned on its head the WEEK before I had a string of 12 weddings to photograph in an 11 week time period. That is not a normal season for me.  I usually have breaks naturally built in.  I usually have weekends off in the middle somewhere.  But not last year…  It was like the perfect storm brewing.

I was handing EVERYTHING myself.  I was using Shoot Dot Edit to get me to a very basic edit, but I wasn’t even sending them everything.  I was very much stuck in a place where I thought I had to have my hands on every part of the process…  It was hell.  Fast forward to the end of the wedding season. I had just been a slave to my computer for FOUR MONTHS and I was honestly ready to snap.  I. was. exhausted.  I was drinking too much, sleeping like crap, and dreading the work days.  My business was literally not fun anymore and I was starting to think about ways out….  I had had a good run, right?  Fifteen years is solid, right?  Maybe it was time to phase out…  But that money though….  How was I going to replace my income?

I can’t really remember a time I have been more stressed-out in my business since it’s inception 16 years ago.  I was also suffering physically and was developing carpal tunnel in my right arm to the point my right hand would go numb in my sleep regularly.   I was A HOT MESS.

But, as time tends to do, the further I got from the insanity of the 2018 wedding season, the more weddings for 2019 started to book. I had not figured out a great plan, other than simply blocking off weekends so I had time and rest in-between jobs. I put a hard line cap on the number of weddings I was going to take.  Because I never ever wanted to have another wedding season like that again.  My physical and emotional and mental health depended on it.  So I decided.  I. WILL. ONLY. TAKE. TEN. WEDDINGS. MAX. Period.  I knew I didn’t have the band-width to deal with more than that if I was doing the same things I did last year.

Exciting news coming this Wednesday

Also, my fiancé and I are planning our OWN wedding for Oct. 19th of this year.  I thought the last wedding I could take was the Sept. 14th job I had booked.  That would give me enough time to get everything done for that client before my own wedding and honeymoon….

But guess what else that meant?  Less income.  Less jobs=less money.  And in a year that we are recovering from the purchase of a new house, a wedding, and a total remodel of my boudoir studio, the timing was not good to have less money coming in.  But, I truly didn’t know how to balance my own sanity with the number of weddings I “should” be taking on.

Enter Garrett and a conversation about how to get free with Shoot Dot Edit…..

At first I was kind of terrified.  My perfectionistic evil alter-ego kicked in hard and did everything in her power to talk me out of letting go of the “things.” The culling, the organizing, the tweaking, the straightening, the exporting, the uploading….  All the things that take TIME.  But, I was also already headed down a road in which I was exploring other ways in which I might be able to use my creative talents.  Because remember, I was so fed up with my business that I was sure I needed to find a new career trajectory. 

It was a situation of serendipitous timing.  What if I could do BOTH?  What if I could do other things with my time AND still make great money?  My mind started to get blown.

And then, I decided.  Just like that.  I decided that I was NOT going to be a slave to the things about my photography business that are NOT enjoyable for me.  The things that take all of my time, my energy, my mental sanity, and that are physically derailing me.  It actually wasn’t that hard.  It was just a shift in my mindset. It was pretty simple now that I am on the other side of it.  After that, it was as easy as one conversation with Dave at Shoot Dot Edit about the logistics and cost.  I signed on the dotted line and customized my unlimited plan. Boom.

Then something really crazy happened.  Almost immediately, my putting into the universe that I was NOT going to do all of the “things” that come after shooting a wedding anymore, MORE weddings came knocking down my door. 

First, a great wedding on Oct. 12th, 2019.  The WEEK before my own wedding. Keep in mind I wasn’t going to take another job after Sept. 14th!  But…now I didn’t have to do anything besides SHOOT it, download my cards and hand it over?  Um, the answer was YES! I booked that wedding and I put another 10K toward my bottom line.

Two days after that happened, I got an inquiry for a four day massive wedding in Aspen with a planner I have been courting to work with for about a year now.  And I was their first choice!  So guess what?  Yep. I booked that one too.  Because all of a sudden my band-width was open again.  Giving myself the space to do the things that make me money (SHOOT) and give up the things that don’t (CULL/EDIT/UPLOAD) means I can MAKE MORE MONEY.  Right?  It’s basic math.

The moral of this story is that instead of throwing in the towel on a business I have spent 15 years growing and building with love, sweat, and tears because it’s all just too much to deal with, I changed my mindset.  I allowed a new way of thinking and operating in. I went ALL-IN with Shoot Dot Edit, and as a result, I am going to end up making more money this year than I have in any of the last 5.  Boom.  How do you like them apples?

Pretty sweet, right?  Yeah, that’s what I think too.

To all of our readers, we hope this short story was a breath of fresh air and inspiration to you. Keep on keeping on!

And, Frances, our sincere thanks to you for sharing your story and for being transparent about your journey! It’s our privilege to be serving you.

Be sure to check out Frances’ brand and work when you have a second!

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