Well I really like to space these blog posts out don’t I!? In all fairness- it’s been a busy year and adding that two month streak of morning sickness did NOT help hahah! Did I mention that’s something that can directly interrupt your beautifully planned out workflow??? 🙂
On another note– I am glad to be posting this last one that I decided on and I am leaving the rest up to YOU! I’ll be taking topics that people email/message me about, bring up at Q+A’s and post when I make a status about needing a Workflow Series blog topic. I think that’s a great way to keep this series going but make sure I’m answering specific questions being asked by real people!
So you’ve culled, edited and your images are DONE. You finished that session/wedding, hooray! It takes a LONG time I know! I deliver between 600 and 1200 images depending on the amount of wedding coverage for the day on average. Smaller weddings 400-500 but it’s still a great amount and usually will average out to over 100 images an hour. Whew! That’s a lot! How do you get these to your clients?
My preference is using a PASS gallery for uploading images. It takes me a long time, from an hour to three hours for them all to upload but I know my clients will be able to view their images right away in an organized fashion. They also have the option to view them and just download a couple and wait for their USB in the snail mail in the mean time, and I do love sending a flash drive still because I think clients should get something tangible. There are a lot of debates out there about how it’s great to just be able to send a download link and that’s it, but it means a lot to me to send a hard copy of the files to them, too. I love the packaging and the idea of sending a little gift to them in the mail after the wedding!
PASS Gallery Example:
Also with PASS, I drag the folder to the program and it uploads them how I already have them organized into folders! PreCeremony, Ceremony, Portraits, Reception, etc! It’s so convenient! That way clients can navigate easily through their gallery to find a specific moment or family portrait, etc.
Friends and family who were in/attended the wedding can go find images of themselves and download them, too. No watermark, high resolution – and for free. That’s how I roll! I’m a shoot and share photographer so my pricing accommodates me not having to charge an arm and a leg for the digital files. I do not profit from prints, I simply give my clients the rights to print their images and share them freely. This is SO nice for brides to not have to pass around a disc to their family and friends!!! Anyone who wants to can go online and grab their images themselves. They can order prints if they like too, but they don’t have to from the gallery if they don’t want to!
So I’ve already mentioned but I do send a flash drive in addition to the online gallery. The online gallery and all images are usually done within 2-4 weeks after the wedding, the sooner I can do it of course the better because I LOVE a fast turn around time (why are some people waiting 6 months+ for their wedding images???? I don’t know, not my place to judge either I guess, meh.) The flash drives however I am sending every 2-4 months because I like to make a big post office trip. My new workflow for next year will have me mailing those WAY sooner, I don’t like the time frame people are waiting now on that! I will most likely prepackage all of them and have it easy to grab one from the closet, throw in the USB and write my thank you note and have it ready to send faster in 2014.
Submissions! There are a LOT of ways to do this, but my method is actually pretty simple and easy. I use Two Bright Lights, a platform for photographers, vendors and blogs/publications to be connected and submit images and their stories for features. It’s $150 a year and to me, worth the price! Do I book weddings (so far) directly as a result of being published? No, not that I know of. But how does it feel to send a bride or client and email saying — your hard work on your wedding? It’s being FEATURED. That’s why I do it!! OF COURSE I LOVE getting an email that says they want to feature my work…I would be lying if I didn’t say part of this was for little me! But there is something more rewarding about doing it for your client, too. It’s a nice plus and wonderful to eventually add a Featured or As Seen On part to your website to showcase your hard work!
REALLY SIMPLE PROCESS– I upload the blog images to Two Bright Lights from a session or event. That’s it! If I want to add more from the day, I do..if I need heavy details for certain blogs but for the most part the way I blog a wedding contains all of the images an editor could ask for. Details galore and lots of romance, too! One thing to remember to do ahead of time (before the wedding) is require a vendor list from your bride! That way, when you submit to be published you have all the info you need. You DO need all the vendors info and websites and additionally a short paragraph beautifully describing their wedding day! You get some buttons to also select and choose with descriptor words like “Summer” “Pink” “Classic” or “DIY” – etc. It’s very user friendly. Your next decision is just Exclusive or Non-Exclusive meaning your event can either only be featured and published on ONE blog or on several. I highly recommend using this platform!
In all total honesty my workflow is established to cover these last steps but my daycare/babysitting time and budget does currently NOT cover this part of my process. This is something I have to get up SUPER early in the morning for or do while my family is playing in the other room on weeknights or weekends. With the new baby on the way we had to spend a significant amount of money on new equipment because we had mildew on some of our stuff we thought we could reuse in the garage 🙁 I also made a morally correct decision for one of my clients this year that ended up hurting us financially but overall I know it was the right thing to do for her– but daycare is an IMPERATIVE part of a business owner’s workflow if they are a parent! You really can’t expect to “get things done in between” — you must set aside PRODUCTIVE and uninterrupted work hours. In order to work smarter and not harder, you have to have a clear and concise to do list/workflow and a clear mind. It seems silly when people see my editing workflow because it’s all common sense items (For example: Shoot wedding, post sneak peek, back up images, cull images, etc) — BUT because mommy brain is alive and real, if you EXPECT YOURSELF TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING, you will MISS simple things. This even goes for those without children! You will start out in the early stages of your photographer career with a tiny to do list for sessions, “shoot, edit, deliver!” and end up with a list of 12-15 things. Make a list and don’t be ashamed 🙂
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