How to improve your workflow system | 5 steps to a quicker workflow

10/10/2019

One of the questions I get asked a lot by fellow photographers is how do I get galleries back so fast and keep on top of my work. So here it is, I am laying out how I do it all in 5 steps to a quicker workflow.

Before I start I would like everyone to know that I am not perfect. I am not always on top of my work and I am human. However, I try to always be on top of my work for the most part because it relives my stress to not get too behind. I would love to help you all relive some of your stress too in this busy season.

I would also like to say that keeping on top of my work as a mom is hard and if you do not have help I hear you that this is not a feasible workflow. I have help from my mother in law and mother to watch my babes a couple times a week so I can keep up with my work. Thank you both for being amazing grandmas.

  1. First things first, create a system that works for you and make sure to keep it up for at least six weeks. After that it will likely become a habit. This may seem simple but it is hard to implement. I would write down my workflow on post its, in my phone and on my daily to do list chart as to remember it daily.
  2. How to create a system? Do what makes sense for you. For me that is this:
    1. Day of wedding shoot and come home to download it. (Sat.)
    2. Next day cull. I use a system called photo mechanic and I can cull within 1 hour usually. (Sunday)
    3. Next day edit 1/3 the wedding (Monday)
    4. Next day edit wedding 1/3 (Tuesday)
    5. Next day 1/3 the wedding edit Upload and blog (Wednesday)
    6. Next day send out pictures to couple, vendors and send out a review me link to the couple. (Thursday)
    7. Edit all other sessions I did throughout this week, upload and send. Also, prep timeline & poses & set out client gifts on ledge for next wedding. (Friday)
  3. Things to do each day: Answer emails two-three times a day as to keep on track of emails and give clients faster response times. Attend shoots (usually 2-4 times a week for me). Send out invoices and contracts. Take on bridal face time first time meetings or timeline meetings right before their wedding.
  4. Things to do on a semi regular basis. I do these things anywhere from 1-4 times a year. In order to get all of these things done. The majority of the yearly things I do in winter. The rest I do Jan/April/July/Nov.
    1. Update SEO on my blog/website and website information/pictures.
    2. Update the knot ad pictures & information.
    3. Order new client gifts (for me its salt water taffy, bags, thank you cards, national park stickers, clay earrings and cookbooks for each couple).
    4. Pay taxes (state and income), figure out tax write offs.
    5. Creative shoots plan and shoot.
    6. Plan out instagram and blog posts for 3 months at a time. Plan out blogs for 6 months at a time.
    7. Come up with a marketing/business plan once a year.
    8. Plan senior rep shoot. Rep meetings, rep contracts, rep poses plan, rep location and outfits plan and props. (This takes 6 months to 9 months to plan).
    9. Keep on top of payments. Payments for invoicing system, editing systems, ads etc. (I pay yearly for each thing as to not worry about it each month).
    10. Organize desk, documents and every place I work quarterly. The cleaner the better.
  5. Last step is to remember that your workflow might look differently. You might need two or three weeks to edit or you might want to cull, download and start editing the same day. Whatever works for you do it. Try out different systems and whichever one is the best for you do it. I wanted the fastest system which still allowed me to produce the same results (my same consistent editing style). I do not edit all within the same day because I want to be able to revisit it in case my lighting changed, the mood I was in changed or I missed something. A span of 3 days works for me but I used to need 5-7 when I first started out. I hope this did not overwhelm you but instead excite you for a new way to do things and hope for a less stressful busy season.

Pictures by Alyssa Luzaich Photography.

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