How to Become a Photographer

Creating a Manual for your Wedding Photography Business

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To run a successful business, every aspect of your business needs to be dialed in. By creating a manual that outlines every aspect of your systems, you will know it inside and out. This allows you to review everything you currently do and refine any areas that may include unnecessary steps.

When you have a manual that refines each system in your business and properly delegates each task, you can spend more time focusing on other areas to help your business grow. While you don’t have to delegate each task, the mere act of having it properly created and refined creates freedom. Here are three steps to creating a manual:

1. Write the Process

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CreativeLive’s Photo Week 2014

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Each year, CreativeLive gathers the world’s best and most prolific photographer instructors for a full week of Free, Live, Streaming Photographer Education: Photo Week! From master classes to gear demos and how-to’s, these six days will offer something for beginner and experienced photographers alike. Streaming live across three channels, you’ll get all new material on wedding, portrait, commercial, real estate, GoPro, Instagram, film, and outdoor photography. [···]

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The Science of Setting Goals That Will Actually Motivate You

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As a business owner, it is important to remember that goals are necessary to provide structure within your business. Setting goals will lead to the success and longevity of your business. The easiest way to begin goal setting is to determine what metrics are important for you and your business. Metrics are essential, for they give you specific measurements and a framework for making your goals achievable. Here are three ways to set goals that will actually motivate you to grow your business. [···]

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3 Reasons Fast Works

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Here at ShootDotEdit, we believe “Fast is Best” – that is especially true when it comes to our image editing services for photographersFast turnaround time matters for our business and YOUR business. When you have a fast turnaround time, not only will the progression and growth of your business increase, but your reputation for quality service will be noted and will reach many more potential clients. Here are three reasons that fast works and needs to be implemented into your business. [···]

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The 4 Secrets to Building a Killer Pricing Page

4Secrets_Pricing_BannerSetting up photography pricing can be a professional photographer’s Achilles Heel. Price too high, and you may have no clients; price too low, and you may work a lot but never break even. As a business owner, you need to know your pricing as well as you know your camera. With this healthy balance, you will be well on your way to successfully optimizing your photography business. For you to have the best business you can, we wanted to share these 4 secrets to creating a killer pricing sheet that will help you to book your dream clients.

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10 Things that Help your Business go Fast

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Setting up systems for your wedding photography business will help enable you to build a “Fast is Best” company. As a professional wedding photo editing company, we understand how important it is to be fast and efficient in your workflow. 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!

Related: 3 Reasons Fast Works

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 all together 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.

Related: 10 Reasons You Need to Outsource Photography Editing

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.

Related: What is a Specialist?

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.

Related: Fast Turnaround Time Makes You Money

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! Click the banner below to download your copy now.

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6 Fast Ways to Improve your Workflow Speed

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At ShootDotEdit, we believe “Fast is Best” and use that as a part of our color correction services for photographersWe 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

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.

Related: Take a look at these 3 reasons why fast works for your photography business

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.

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).

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.

Related: 10 Reasons to Outsource Photography Editing to a Specialist

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 Lightroom, you can find the Shortcuts under the menu “Help -> Lightroom Module Shortcuts.” Discover this list of 10 Things That Help Your Business Go Fast to incorporate more shortcuts and tools into your workflow.

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 the client, and then one week to blog.

Related: How does a fast workflow make you money?

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.

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 at 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! Click the banner below to grab your copy today.

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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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