OK, I started blogging about my goals as a Pittsburgh wedding photographer yesterday and the post got to be too long to read in one setting. So I broke it up and this is part two of my goals for 2011. If you haven’t read the first part of this blog and think you might be interested, check it out here. It’ll probably make more sense in chronological order, if it makes sense at all! If you find you’ve read through both posts and have something you want to say, please do—I’d love to hear from you. Here are my running lists for business operation and equipment purchases:
Create a standard workflow outline
Create a tracking spreadsheet
Create a consultation checklist
Have a focus group meet about branding
Plan a charity event: family portraits, portraits in the park…
Offer an internship (opportunity for students to gain experience while helping with lights and gear)
Re-organize office space
I’ve developed a workflow for weddings and portrait sessions and it’s worked pretty well so far, but I think I can be smarter about my workflow and I want to come up with a standard workflow so that it’s easy to track between multiple projects at the same time. It’s amazing how anxiety creeps in when I’m working on lots of different projects and how it dissipates once I put everything on paper so I can see the big picture and know that my deadlines are achievable.
Yep, I know I’m behind in tracking leads and the clients who hire me. It’s just smart for marketing purposes and business planning, so I’m going to do that too. I’m going to break out an Excel spreadsheet and get to it.
When I have consultations with clients, there are so many things I need to communicate and I like my clients to be able to take control because they know what they need to know to tell if I’m their photographer, so it’s up to me to respond to their questions and provide an overview of Captivating Imagery’s services. So often I leave a meeting thinking, “oh, I should have told them about this or that…” What I think I’ll do to solve that problem is create a consultation checklist to memorize or bring with me so I know I’m covering all the bases.
I’m going to put together a focus group of upcoming and recent brides and we’ll get together over dinner and discuss what they want in their wedding photography experience and I’ll present a few concepts and get their reaction. If you’re interested in helping out with this, let me know and I’ll be sure to send you an invite.
Ok, I’ve been wanting to do a charity event or a fundraiser for a good cause. And I have grandiose ideas, but at the moment, not enough resources. So I’m going to start small and offer a family portrait day for families with no strings attached. This will be open to any family and it will be simple, one look for each family, and a disc to take away with permission to print their portrait for personal use. I will spread the word trough my church and local non-profits. I just feel a need to give back and serve others in Jesus’ name to help share His love and expand His kingdom. I’m so grateful at how He has blessed me and my family and I need to start somewhere by using the gifts He has given me. So stay tuned for an announcement about this event on my blog and feel free to tell friends. This could be a blessing for someone you know and I’m sure it will be encouraging for all involved.
Over the last season, I’ve been blessed to find a fabulous second shooter. It is so wonderful to know that I’ll be going into this coming season with a great photographer who is fun to work with. And on the other end of the spectrum, a couple of very helpful photography students have come along to help with lights and other gear in order to gain some experience and learn more about wedding photography. I’m hoping to keep that door open and would love to hear from any budding photographers who are looking to gain some experience.
And while I’m at it with these goals for 2011, I think I’ll need to re-organize my office. I think I can be more efficient and need to change the way I have my office set up. Plus, I want it to be a fun place to be since I spend a lot of time here. It’s funny how this is not an office job per se, but it comes with a whole lot of office work.
Get a new camera body, mid-range zoom lens, a couple of speedlights and light modifiers
Ok, last and definitely not least—I need some new equipment. I keep thinking to myself, “after this purchase, I’ll be all done for a while.” Ha! That’s never true as long as I don’t become complacent. I’ve learned a lot this past wedding season and I look forward to what the next season holds. I’ve got a lot of ideas and now I need to equip my business so I can take it to the next level.
If you’ve made it this far into this lengthy post, you must have some interest in running a photography business. If so, leave a comment and let me know if you have any ideas or questions. I’d love to get a conversation going.