As a wedding photographer, you are responsible for capturing one of the most important days in someone’s life. And while it’s an incredibly rewarding job, running a successful wedding photography business can be quite challenging. There are so many moving parts, from booking clients to editing photos, marketing your business, and everything in between. That’s why outsourcing in business plays such an important role in your success as a wedding photography business owner.
By outsourcing certain tasks, you can focus on doing what you love most while also growing your business and increasing your revenue. In this conversation with Kristen Lenox, the owner of K. Lenox Photography, she elaborates on why she loves to outsource, her advice for people wanting to start a photography business, and her favorite outsourcing partners. Plus, she shares a profound message for photographers who can’t let go of the control. So, let’s dive in!
Trusting The Process With ShootDotEdit
While the advantages of outsourcing photo editing are multifold, we are all too familiar with why photographers struggle to take the leap when it comes to outsourcing in business. From added expenses to finding the right partner, it can be tough and, at times, frustrating. But even with the challenges, outsourcing in business is a fantastic business practice to adopt if you want to grow. “Outsourcing costs money, but it opens you up to having more time to do other things,” says Kristen, adding, “For photographers who are trying to let go, it’s hard in the beginning. It’s a learning curve. It takes time to get the style down and right. It took me a while too.”
It’s a natural human tendency for people to want to do everything themselves – especially when it comes to achieving perfection. Kristen herself has been in that position before, and when we ask her what she would say to photographers who’re not ready to give up the control, she replies, “When you’re outsourcing in business, it’s to make your job easier. I struggled with it, and I wish I did it sooner. What I will say is: Give it a chance. There’s going to be a lot of back and forth. There was one point where I almost quit and thought about just doing it myself. But honestly, I am not an editor. I am a photographer. You know how many times I re-edit my own work because I can’t get it the way I like it?” Our guess? Way too many. And according to our math, that’s too many hours spent in front of the computer instead of shooting more weddings or making more social media content, or going the extra mile for your clients. Outsourcing in business is what will enable you to get these hours back; to dedicate this time to truly nurture your business.
So what is the best way to outsource? “Just trust the process. Don’t expect miracles overnight. Don’t expect perfection. I even tell my brides to not expect perfection. Work through it together as a team, and then eventually, it will settle in as part of your workflow. Trust the professionals who edit,” says Kristen, adding, “When I finally decided to let go, and I got back an engagement session, I was like, “Holy s*&%! This looks awesome! This is fantastic.” I let go, and I had time to hang out with friends right after I’d shot a wedding. When I first started, I used to work harder, not smarter. It took me 11 years to start working smarter.” 11 years is a long time, and if you don’t want to wait that long, we’d recommend that you try to outsource a basic task. See how it goes and evaluate what it does for you and your business. If you’re skeptical about outsourcing services, a good outsourcing practice would be to start small.
Kristen’s Favorite Outsourcing Partners
Even though it took her 11 years, Kristen now knows about the outsourcing advantages and outsources various aspects of her photography business, which allows her to have more time to do the things she loves, including scaling up her business, driving her kids around, networking, etc. While blogging and editing were two tasks that consumed most of her time, the light and airy wedding photographer now also outsources other important business tasks to reliable partners such as:
1. Fotoskribe: One of her best investments, outsourcing blogging to Fotoskribe, helped Kristen not only get more consistent with blogging and her social media, but it is also a business process that has led to her getting more inquiries.
2. Showit: Kristen is a Showit girl. And she’s even gotten her friends to switch to this website-building platform. “I’ve been with Showit for years, and I will never stray,” she says.
3. Dubsado: When it comes to CRM (client relationship management), Kristen says she’s tried them all, adding, “They’re all fantastic in their own ways. But I am always trying to improve.” Questionnaires, schedules, contracts – this CRM does it all for her.
4. ClickUp: This photographer loves a good checklist, and she relies on ClickUp for checklists that help her get through her daily tasks.
5. QuickBook: Their mileage tracker is Kristen’s go-to.
6. Fundy: This is what Kristen chooses to design her exquisite wedding albums.
Kristen’s Gear Bag Must-Haves
While every wedding photographer has their favorites when it comes to gear, we enjoy putting them in a tough spot where they’re in a hypothetical situation where they can only and only bring four pieces of gear with them (including the camera body!). When we asked Kristen the same question, she had her answer ready to go!
- Gear #1: Canon R3 camera body
- Gear #2: 85mm lens
- Gear #3: 20-70mm
- Gear #4: 1 flash
Suggested Read: The Minimalist’s Guide To Wedding Photography Gear
Advice For Beginners Starting A Business
As someone who switched careers and built her own business from scratch, Kristen’s learned plenty of lessons as a small business owner. So, of course, we had to request Kris to drop some pearls of wisdom for those thinking about entering the world of wedding photography. “Get your ducks in a row. Get legal in your state, sort out your contracts, and make sure you have that done before anything else. Open a business bank account. Get an accountant who can help you with good bookkeeping. And double-check your business name. Make sure it’s not being used by anyone else, and it’s not too similar to anyone else’s,” she explains, adding, “If you’re really going all in, you need to have a website. A Facebook page is not a website. It might be okay at the beginning, but when you’re legitimizing your business, a website is important. You don’t need anything fancy, so don’t let that keep you from creating your webpage. Always remember to charge what you’re worth, and be honest about your skill set. Lastly, invest in a CRM. It’s important to have something to organize your leads and your workflows.”
It’s Never Too Late To Outsource
It took Kristen 11 years to switch to outsourcing in business, and for others, it can take even longer. And that’s okay – it’s our job to make sure that you feel confident and comfortable enough to trust us and rely on us to get you and your clients exactly what is needed. If you are someone who wants to scale their wedding photography business, outsourcing tasks that don’t need your attention is one way to improve efficiency. The list of what jobs can be outsourced is long, but photo editing, culling, blogging, social media management, etc., are just a few business processes you could consider outsourcing right from the start.
Whether you want to take your business to the next level or want to be able to give your 100% attention to each couple, or simply want to spend more time with your family – wedding photo editing outsourcing can be the solution. The best photo editing partners will free up your time to do all this and more – you just have to find the right fit for your business.
Further Read: K. Lenox Photography: Real, Raw, Romantic
If Kristen’s story has inspired you to consider outsourcing your post-production workload, then we’re here to answer your questions and get you the help you seek! Our only aim is to empower wedding photographers to dedicate more time to doing only things they love. To learn more about how we can help you scale up your photography business, check out our pricing plans.