January 26, 2021
It has definitely been a whirlwind of a holiday season, and a really exciting (?) start to the new year, to say the least. How are all your resolutions going?? I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen or heard a lot of new resolutions set this year. Maybe we’re all just hoping for bare minimum of what we can get this year, but I want to challenge that mentality.
Resolutions are hard to follow, because we make such lofty goals then give ourselves the whole year to get it done. So when we fall down by February, we shrug and say, “Well I have 10-11 more months to get back on track! I’m fine!” I think many of us would see lasting and impactful change if we changed the way we did New Year Resolutions.
What if, instead of one big goal for a big chunk of time to complete it, we actually laid out small steps that we know would improve our lives, business, health, etc. and gave ourselves mini deadlines?
I’m a huge believer in this statement, originally heard by my fave (Katelyn James, of course)! Micro adjustments create macro results. I learned that when I was working through my editing style, but it also applies to all of my business and life as well.
So as I was planning for my 2021 business goals, I decided to think differently and make small adjustments that would have a big impact on how my clients experience their time as one of my ENP Couples. Here are a few of those little changes:
The first upgrade I made in my business this year was taking my client experience and all the work I put into ensuring a systematic workflow and putting it into a client management system (CMS). Dubsado has been a life changer when it comes to sending e-mails as soon as I receive an inquiry to ensure brides have their questions answered quickly. It also helps me manage contracts, invoicing, and gives all my new clients a portal where they can access all their important documents, appointments, and e-mails with me. It took quite a bit of time to devote into setting it up to work for my client experience and workflow, but it was time well spent. Now my trains are able to run smoothly with very little effort!
I previously uploaded all of my clients’ galleries on Pass+. While it was great to use as a beginner, now I have a lot more I want out of my gallery site. With Cloudspot, I can create folders within my clients’ galleries for each part of their wedding day, and even create vendor specific folders to share just with their venue, planner, florist, etc. separately! The interface is just so much more user-friendly and has a clean & welcoming aesthetic. I can also add my branding so that my clients have a consistent experience, from their first visit to my website to downloading their images.
KJ Preset Process
When I started my business, I swore to myself I would never rely on a preset when editing my images. For you non-photographers, presets are best compared to Instagram filters that make auto adjustments to your images to reach a particular style. And because I wanted my style to be organic and unapologetically mine, I felt presets would be a crutch for me. I committed to learning my editing software in and out to achieve my style manually for my clients and put in the work.
BUT – then my favorite photographer and educator put out something new… a preset process. This is not your everyday preset, my friends. Its a series of saved edit adjustments that you can adjust, combine, and intensify or soften to achieve YOUR own photography style. It’s not a single-click solution, but rather a step-by-step that teaches you what settings are affecting your image and how to get it exactly to perfection according to what defines your own preferences.
It has sped up my editing SIGNIFICANTLY and created so much consistency in my work. My skin tones are so much more natural and beautiful than they ever were when I edited manually. And I still feel like I have all the control.
Reels and Tik Tok are blowing up right now. It is such a good way to connect with people and put out relatable content for your audience. Since I want to be a photographer that my couples can get to know and love on a personal level, reels have been a fun experiment for me!
I was even able to be a beta tester for Natasha Coyle’s Social Media Strategy course, which launches on MONDAY, February 1st! Guys… this course is GOLD! If you’re a photographer or small business owner who wants to learn to utilize short-form video to connect with and pull in new audience members, this course is a MUST.
Lastly, I came to a monumental realization last fall. At that time, I was in a finance class hosted by my church, in line with the teachings of Dave Ramsey (another fave of mine). And I heard it said that renting your home while saving to buy a home is not an unwise option, because owning comes with its own extra expenses of maintaining. So while that’s the goal, it doesn’t have to be rushed.
Then it hit me… it could totally be the same for camera equipment! While it is my goal to own every beautiful, high-end lens on my wish list, that comes with lots of maintenance and insurance costs on top of the already hefty price of the lens itself. So, while my business is in its growing stages, I’ve decided to rent the best of the best for my sessions/weddings, then put away a little profit from each job toward upgrading one day. No rush! My image quality gets to stay tack sharp and beautiful, without compromising my financial standing and slowing down my business growth.
I know a lot of this is back-end, behind-the-scenes information that isn’t necessarily helpful for my clients. But if you ever wonder what makes my business run and keeps your experience clean and easy, that’s why I share! And if you’re a photographer like me looking to switch things up, feel free to DM me on Instagram or Contact Me! I’d love to chat and share more about how the above changes have benefitted my business and clients for the better. Happy 2021 goal-crushing, you guys!!
Copyright 2021. Alexandria, VA wedding & portrait photographer.
Serving brides and grooms in the Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, & Maryland region... and beyond!
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