This evening, I attended another Canon workshop, mostly for inspiration, as well as to refresh on my camera skills, especially my mother Canon EOS, even though most of them now use digital cameras and I am still using film cameras as well as my iPhone6.
Wedding Photographer Nathan Nowack talked about the workflow and project management for working on a wedding. Your to-do list includes having a good website, which displays your portfolio and describes yourself. Include a good photograph. But make sure the website is simple and easy to maneuver, although add humor and entertainment to express your personality. Talk to your clients and really get to know them on a personal level. You should also talk about your experiences.
But don’t use an “About Page.” Leave names out. Don’t put anything negative and abstract, as well as don’t ramble or rant about anything. Keep your website professional and simple. Make sure your website is easy to find.
Create a hook. It starts out with an email, phone call, and meeting. The first step is the inquiry, which starts at the website. Then, you get a phone call, which gets you leads. And, then, you need to track referrals. The second step is to respond, which involves confirming email within 24 hours. The third step is to follow-up 2 to 3 days afterwards. Then, follow-up within 24 hours. Fourth step is getting the immediate meeting. It can be via phone or video chat. Many people nowadays to their meets on Skype. Confirm 1 to 2 days beforehand. Fifth step involves getting a booking. Make it easy for the client. Have the contracts ready, as well as make the payment process easy.
The event preparation involves pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding tasks. Consider a 2 to 6-week timeline. Set-up phone meetings, formal family suggestions, and confirm addresses as well as start and ending time and date. Be confident and organized by creating a schedule to organize your workflow, from beginning to end. Be specific and detailed so it won’t get confusing.
Before going to the venue, watch out for traffic. Go extra early, about 30 to 60 minutes early. Sync time with time.gov; bring along some water and snacks as well as timeline. Remain focused, calm, and in control, especially when it gets hectic and chaotic. Communicate with the DJ, Wedding Planner, and vendors. Drink water to stay hydrated. And, make sure to tell the Wedding Planner that you are leaving. They might want to give you something.
Post-Wedding starts out with going to a spa and getting a massage. When you return home, start backing up images. Post photos on social media. Backup images again. Recharge batteries. Backup images again. Do some culling, which involves going through the photographs from your recent wedding and picking out the best images for your client. This is done during the day after the wedding. Backup images again.
Editing involves doing culling. Consider ingesting photos to Photo Mechanic program. Rename files a descriptive name so that you can easily find photos when you need them. Create Metadata, which involves copyrighting, etc; cull for the best images, before exporting to a select folder. Separate folders for each shooter. Create catalog in Photoshop. Create yearly catalogs. Separate catalogs for each wedding. Keep catalogs on external SSD drive. Use RAW Files on RAID. Add folder of photos to catalog. Create previews. Edit and rate photos that you did on photoshop, social media, and portfolio. Create a collection set and collections. Backup catalog. Cull with Cullinator, which costs around $55; edit with Loupedeck, which costs around $250.
Organization of files in the hard drive should be by year, client name, and event.
Deliver online: in a wedding, you are likely to should around 2000 to 3000 photographs. But after the culling process, you will pick out 600 to 800 photographs for your client to choose from. The client will then go through them and pick their favorite 80 to 100 photographs.
Delivery: you can use CloudSpot, which is online, but it has a fee. You can store files online and deliver 4 to 6 weeks. 10% of the photographs are in black and white. Categorize for quick retrieval. Pick out 80 to 100 images. Custom USB for wedding. Print sales with custom catalog. Track email logins, favorites, and expiration date. Delivers images easier and faster.
Backup: when you are on-location, it is important to use dual cards on camera, external drive option, uploading to a laptop, and connecting photos to your iPhone. At home, you can use SSD working drive, raws on RAID with mirroring, NAS setup, multiple SD/CF cards, and storage hard drives, which are cheaper. 22% of hard drives fail within the first 4 years.
Online Storage—Cloud: Backblaze costs $6/month; Dropbox for small previews; Google Drive; Amazon Drive and Amazon Prime free personal photos; and, consider taking some to your parents’ house, if they live nearby, and place on their hard drive.
Destination involves when you are in a far location. Don’t keep everything together. Mail duplicates to your house. Use flash drives.
Client satisfaction is the last task. Send thank you gift cards to your client. Send out questionnaires before and after the wedding. Ask for reviews after the wedding. Respond to negative reviews. Communicate promptly. Tell clients about anniversary options. Set up viewing parties and deliveries.
Software includes 6 different programs for accounting, culling, editing, touchups, compression, and tasks/scheduling. Create online contracts, invoices, credit card payment, booking, and blogging. To help you make money, consider hosting, making prints, album building and printing, and printing on WHCC.
But always do your own research about everything. Keep on learning and growing.