When you’re a small business owner, it can be challenging to find time for everything you need to get done. If you’re like many photographers, you likely juggle your business with other responsibilities like family and personal commitments.
It’s no secret that the photography industry is competitive, so if you want to stand out from the crowd and make money doing what you love, it’s important to develop a process that works for your business and allows you to get the most out of each day.
In this post, we’ll discuss some tips for managing your daily photography process so that you can spend less time worrying about paperwork and more time shooting great photos.
Photography is a process. You can’t just take an amazing shot and call it a day. There are steps to follow that will help you get the best possible results from your camera and improve your workflow from start to finish.
Table of Contents
Plan Your Shoot
Shooting in spurts is much more difficult than shooting efficiently over an extended period of time, so plan out your shoots before you start shooting. Look at reference photos or videos of your subject, if available, and map out what shots you want to get, where they should be taken from, and how long each one will take. This way you’ll know exactly what equipment and lighting gear you need ahead of time (and won’t have to waste time running back and forth between locations). If possible, try to shoot with as much natural light as possible — it’s free!
Set Up Your Workflow & Schedule
Create a schedule that will work best for your business needs and then stick with it as closely as possible. For example, if Mondays are typically slow days in your area or at your particular location due to holidays or other factors, then consider scheduling client sessions on this day instead of trying to take on more than one client at once during busier times of the week. This will help ensure that there are fewer distractions and fewer disruptions throughout the week which will help keep things running smoothly from start to finish.
Create a workflow that works for you
A photography workflow is the process you follow to get your images from the camera to your computer, and then onto your clients’ website. The best way to find the right workflow for you is to experiment with different methods until you find one that works well for you.
Sometimes it will not work if you copy other people’s workflows. Only you can understand the way you work and how you can master it. It is the best if you can take time to experiment and improve yourself.
Take Notes on Every Shoot
Taking notes is crucial for keeping track of everything that happens during a shoot, especially if multiple people are involved (or multiple photographers). If someone needs something or there’s a change in plans due to weather or other factors, make sure everyone knows about it so nothing gets forgotten!
Use a CRM system.
I use Salesforce for my business and I love it! It’s an extremely powerful tool that helps me stay organized, keep track of client information and manage orders from start to finish. I also use it to send quotes from within the system so clients don’t have to wait around for me to reply. You can also use other CRM software, especially some affordable software for small and medium businesses.
Organize your images with Lightroom.
If you’re like me, you take thousands of photos every year — which means there’s no way you’ll remember what photos went where if you don’t organize them properly! Lightroom allows me to tag them by location, client name or even keyword so they’re easy to find later on when I’m looking for inspiration or searching for specific shots.
Once you’ve found a workflow that works for you, consider using a photo management application to help keep your photos organized and backed up securely. For example, Lightroom Classic provides powerful tools for editing, organizing and sharing photos, as well as backing up images in the cloud.
Create a checklist for each shoot.
Having a checklist ensures that nothing important gets overlooked on a shoot — especially if you’re working with multiple people involved in the production process (like models). Don’t forget to include everything from booking confirmations to the details of your clients’ needs and demands.
Keep Everything in One Place
Whether you’re working with an assistant or not, it’s important to have everything in one place. This means that all of your images should be stored in one placc, as well as any notes from clients and other information related to shoots.
Setting up a folder structure that makes sense will help keep everything organized, so it’s easy to find what you need when needed.
Be organized. Keep track of all your work in one place, whether it’s on a physical calendar or in an app like Evernote. You don’t want to lose track of upcoming deadlines and meetings. If you don’t already have a system for organizing your tasks, try a method like GTD (Getting Things Done) that allows you to keep track of tasks and projects in one place.
Use a Calendar or Task Manager
Keeping track of client appointments can be difficult if there’s no system in place for doing so — but it doesn’t have to be complicated! You can use a simple calendar app like Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar to keep track of client sessions and appointments.
Use Task Management Software. I love using task management software because I find it helps me stay focused and get more done throughout the day than if I were keeping track of all my tasks manually. There are many options available, including Asana, Trello and Basecamp.
Plan Your Day the Night Before
Whether you are a full-time photographer or working on photography as a side business, you need to plan your day the night before so that you can hit the ground running in the morning.
I like to use my calendar so that I can see everything I need to do for the following day, including any appointments, tasks and projects. I then create an agenda for each day that includes these items along with any other tasks or projects that need attention.
Keep an eye on the big picture.
Try not to get bogged down in details too early; it’s easy to get lost in the weeds when planning out shoots or editing sessions. Instead of getting caught up with each step along the way, take a step back every once in a while and look at the entire project as a whole — this will help you stay focused and avoid distractions.
Work smarter, not harder. Learn shortcuts wherever possible; they’ll save time while increasing efficiency and productivity over time as well as reduce stress levels!
Before the shoot
As a photographer, there are many things you should do to get the best possible photos. You need to have the right equipment, the right lighting, and the right composition. But, while these are things that need to be addressed as you go along, there are some things that you can control before you even step into the photo shoot. These things will help you get better quality and better productivity out of your photography process.
What are the Top Things to Control Before Taking Photos?
It can be easy to get distracted by the technical details when planning a shoot, but there are several things that you can do to get ahead in the photo shoot. Here are some things that you should do before the shoot.
Research Your Subject
Before starting, research the subject. Find out about their history, lifestyle and any interesting facts that you might find about the subject. Also, think about how you can capture their personality through your lens. Researching the subject will help you determine the best approach for the shoot and will help you plan out a strategy for the shoot.
Do a Little Prep Work
Even though you’re already prepping the subject, it never hurts to get some extra details ready. For example, you could set up the tripod and camera on a tripod stand if it is a fast paced shot or a little closer to your subject for a more personal shot. There are many things that you can prep before the shoot so that you’re not scrambling when the shoot begins.
The most important thing to get ready for is your camera. Make sure it is charged and that it is the right setting. Also, make sure that your camera is in a case so that it is protected from dust and dirt.
Have a Plan
A lot of the time you will be working with a client who has a plan and you will be following that plan. However, some times you will be doing a shot without a specific plan. Having a plan can help ensure that you are taking the best photos of the subject. If you have a plan, you will be able to capture the moment and you will be able to compose the shot better. When doing a photo shoot without a plan, it will be harder to capture the perfect moment, and you might miss that shot.
Have a Backup Plan
When you’re in the middle of a shoot and things aren’t going as planned, it’s important to have a backup plan. This can be anything from simply taking a few more photos, using another angle or switching to the other camera on the tripod. It is important to have a plan for when things go wrong, and to have it written down somewhere so that you can reference it when things go wrong.
Make a Schedule
Sometimes, it can be hard to get everything done for a shoot. To help you keep things organized, you should make a schedule for the day. This schedule can include what you will do, when you will do it and what you will accomplish. Having a schedule will help keep you organized and will help make sure that you’re accomplishing everything that needs to be accomplished.
These are just a few things that you can do to improve your productivity when taking photos. Even though you can’t always control the environment and the subject, you can control the things you do before and during the shoot. By doing these things, you will be able to get better photos and to be more productive.
During the Shoot
The best time to capture a good shot is the moment it happens, but to make sure the shot you end up with is just as good, you need to know how to take the best possible photos in the first place. You may not be able to go back and edit out unwanted elements, but there are things you can do to make sure you get a great photo every time. Here are some tips to keep in mind during your photography session.
Do Your Research
Before you head out to a new location, do your research. Know what time of day is best to shoot, whether you need to bring extra lights, what types of lenses you want to use and how much time you will have to work with.
Know What Camera You Want to Use
Make sure you know what camera you want to use. It will help you be more organized and efficient. Be sure to pack the right camera, lens, accessories and battery charger.
Get To The Location Early
Even if you don’t have a specific plan, getting to the location early will give you a chance to see if the lighting conditions are right. It will also give you time to do any adjustments you want to make to your lens and camera settings.
Bring Extra Batteries and Chargers
Bring extras of both batteries and chargers. The weather may be nice when you get to your destination, but it may be cloudy or rainy when you arrive. Bring enough for the shoot and your trip home.
Know Where to Put Your Lenses and Accessories
It will help you to be more organized if you store your lens and accessories in a way that you can easily find them later.
Use A Tripod When Possible
If possible, use a tripod to steady your camera and take photos at the same time. This will help you control the settings on your camera and the exposure of your subject. It will also prevent blurry shots due to moving objects.
Use Filters to Improve Photos
Filters can improve photos. It is important to use a filter with a polarizer for landscape shots to reduce glare.
Take Different Angles of the Same Subject
It will help you to be more organized to take multiple images of the same subject. You can then choose which one is the best.
Avoid Over Exposure
Make sure to avoid over exposing your photos. If you are in a setting that needs a flash, take multiple shots. You may not be able to adjust your settings later, but you will at least have a variety of exposures to choose from.
Do Not Allow Yourself To Get Distracted
Do not allow yourself to get distracted. Even if you are working quickly, you will miss great shots if you are not careful. Set a timer to keep yourself focused.
You will not only get more of the shots you want, but you will enjoy the process more. Have fun with the people around you. Smile and let the mood of the moment dictate what to shoot.