All right, you guys. Well, we're gonna jump right in here with our workflow. An album design class that I really think is going to be workflow Uh, unlike any other kind of workflow talk out there. So, um and we'll just get started here. I came across this tweet several years ago when I myself was drowning with my own workflow challenges. And it says, I'm so behind on editing that if I died tomorrow, I would still be putting out albums like to Pop. And I thought that was hilarious. And I had a suspecting feeling that it would be handy someday. So I'm glad I could fulfill that by sharing this with you here. But obviously, we're all, you know, laughing, and that's because we can relate to it. Right? So we've struggled with this, and I know people tend to have albums and edit. Something's very backlogged in our studios, and that's just not a fun place to be. Um, I came across another tweet from a photographer, actually local to where I live. Who said it's 5: a.m. I haven't slept, and I sti...
ll have five more hours of editing to go to meet deadlines, and when I saw that my heart broke and I thought, Wow, we all are really having a hard time with this and they're there simply has to be a better way So I'm really hoping that everything that we're gonna talk about today can actually change lives. That's a big That's a big, heavy thing to say. I don't know. I'm putting it out there, though, but I really I really believe in what we're gonna talk about today, and I think, you know, it's it's flexible for to meet all kinds of different needs and the different ways that people work. But I think that there's there's a lot of stuff here that can really be powerful stuff. So when I was thinking about this, I thought, Why is it such a hassle? You know, why is a workflow so challenging? And I think there's really a lot of reasons, and I think it we can be aware of those that really helps. The first thing is sometimes that is just hard to get started. You know, you, you go shoot a wedding or you do a bunch of portrait sessions and then you get back home or get back to your studio or whatever. And you're like, Oh, well, this is downloading to Dio and it can just be sort of a laborious start. Even so, I think that really holds people up, so we'll tackle that. I think also, we end up putting a lot of unnecessary steps or processes in our workflow, and those tend to come, I suspect, from when you just sort of do something because you you heard that. That's sort of how it was done or somebody mentioned something one time and so you just sort of grabbed onto that and you made it part of your workflow. But it may be, doesn't actually work for you. But sometimes we cling to the idea that it has to be a certain way, even if it's really not working. So sometimes that's part of the problem. Another thing is that we we tend to let the ball drop, and I'll explain what that means. But that's huge. And even if we ourselves don't drop the ball, we often create a situation where we allow clients to drop the ball so we'll explore that another big one is using. I say bad or wrong software, but maybe just not the most helpful software. So I think software tools are a huge part of it. Um, we'll talk about that sometimes. I think the approving process for either the photos themselves or the album can be can be painful. And people shy away from that because it is sometimes very challenging. And I think pricing and how you can be effective and efficient with that, too. So those are all things that we're gonna talk about, but just to give you a little bit of an idea where I'm coming from here, I can relate to this whole putting out albums, like to Poch and struggling with workflow. For me, my turning point was the summer of 2008 and I was in the middle of a huge explosion in my business, and it was wonderful. But as you can probably relate, it meant no sleeping. It meant no like days off for months at a time. It meant missing birthday parties, family events, you know, wedding showers, all those things family re unions even missed once. And, uh, I in fact, my schedule was so tight back in those days. One day I got sick and tried to go to the doctor and actually wasn't even able Teoh move a shoot so that I could go to the doctor and be seen. So it was kind of just painful, right? Like, who wants that? So I have been there. I have done that. So if you are feeling that pain, I can relate. And that particular year, I found myself shooting 30 weddings by myself entirely on on top of all of the weddings. I was personally shooting and editing and booking and, you know, servicing and 50 seniors. And that was just between the months of, like, June and September. So, um, I was bananas, like totally. That's bananas, right? Like I'm not just thinking that that was being it's, but so I was doing that because I didn't realize it was bananas. And I think sometimes we struggle with that, you know, because we were by ourselves often, right, like, out of our homes. And we don't always until you go to town of conferences and really meet people and watch creative, live and learn all these great things. You sort of don't realize like how what you're doing relates to the rest of the industry. Or maybe what healthier balance. And so I was doing this because I could not because it was smart or comfortable or helpful. I was doing it because I could. And so anyone would call me up and be like, Can we book you? And I was like, Is there daylight? Or even if there's not, you know, I was like, I will be there and that's a great can do attitude. But it does, of course, have a limit. I mean, so that's what I was reaching. And so it basically felt kind of like hell like I was drowning. But even in my version of hell, I still maintained a three week turnaround for everything, which is maybe why that's why I was working all the time and all this crazy stuff. But I still I didn't want my clients to know that I woz bananas, so they were like, Oh, this is still agree. We're getting our stuff in three weeks, you know? And I'd be like, Yes, here it is. And then, like under the surface of the water, I would like, you know, I was just a machine on When I look back now and like, I don't know how I ate or took a shower. Or remember, some of those days I was shooting four seniors a day and I would literally like I had a 10 o'clock or eight. I don't remember what the Times were, but four seniors a day and I would shoot them, you know, in the morning. And then I would try to, like, have a bowl of cereal for lunch, and I couldn't even like I poured the milk and I went to dig the bite and the doorbell rang and it was my next session. So, um, you know, and I went and I took care of them with a huge smile, even though my tummy was like So it's OK, you know, you powers through that stuff, and I think that's important. But it can be better. There is a better way. So I found myself needing an intervention, and I decided that I was going to basically have to two choices two different paths that I could take I could hire since test. That would be nice. Maybe some additional shooters at that point I had built a pretty decent brand recognition for myself, so people were calling because they wanted my brand. So I could have hired and trained some shooters and, you know, expanded into a big studio and really rented some big space. And that was an option. Or I could adjust my prices, which obviously needed some adjustment. I gotta just my prices maybe restructure what I was doing, what I was offering in the first place and revamp my entire process and basically the question that I found myself facing WAAS. Should I expand or should I stay kind of nimble and just smaller? I think that there are advantages and disadvantages either way and for everyone. I think the answer to that question is totally different, and that's totally fine. But the key is to know yourself and know what works for you. And I decided that I liked being a one woman show is sort of how I think of myself. Um, so to me, that was part of my identity, and I really wanted to stick with it, and I like some of the advantages that go along with that, like being able to be flexible you know, I was concerned that if I expanded for me, I didn't want to have to worry about the overhead that would be associated with that. I also know that I like to switch gears and do other projects. And sometimes that means taking time us. So I didn't want have to worry about taking care of my staff and paying them and see, you know, being responsible for all of that. I wanted to stay small. So for everyone, that's different for me. I decided to do that, and I needed to ask the question, Where do I start? Because I was like I said, drowning. And, um, it wasn't going to be enough to just get some keyboard shortcuts or it's a new action or right over right. Like that wasn't going Teoh rescue me. Um, so I really decided that I needed to overhaul everything. So the idea of workflow needed to go way beyond keyboard shortcuts, actions or a faster card reader or something like that I needed. I needed to completely redefine this whole thing. So that's what we're going to do today. In case you were waiting for your keyboard shortcuts. Um, though they're nice, but that's that's not going to save you. So we're gonna start at the very beginning. And I decided that I was gonna focus on a couple of things because it's not enough to just be efficient, right, Because you can cut corners and you can, like, do all these little cheap tricks and be efficient. But that's not always effective as well, right? So for me, I wanted to make sure that I was being both efficient and effective. And I thought, If I could be efficiently effective, are now this is a tongue twister or effectively efficient. Then maybe I'm going to be on to something right? I thought. I think there's power there that might that might make me an unstoppable freight train of speed, so on do all kinds of good things. So that's what I decided to do. And the difference between those things, of course, is that efficiency means that you're doing things the right way away. That is, you know, lean, it's gonna be fast. May be cost effective. You're not being wasteful in your process itself, so that's being efficient. Effective means that the things that you are working hard at being so efficient on are the right things to be doing in the first place. Does that make sense? Right? So I want to make sure that I am being nimble and quick and lean and tight in all of those things. But on the things that matter and the things that have actual value. So if you were, for example, in a rowboat and it was leaking, you could and let's say you have, you wouldn't want to be alone in your robot. Let's say that you have a crew of of strapping young rower crew guys, right? So they're in your boat with you ladies. You love that, right? And they have a bucket because your boat is leaking. So you could Maybe with that type of crew in your boat, you might be able to efficiently use the bucket to scoop all the water out. And with enough people in your boat, you could pass the bucket around so everybody gets a break. And you could maybe keep that up forever. I don't know. Um, but that might be efficient. It certainly would be more effective if you just plug the leak. Right. So that's what we're going to be doing. We're gonna be doing things efficiently and effectively. We are gonna plug those leaks