I’ve been keeping Ben at an arms distance for the past week. He had a come down with a cold and as most teenage boys are seems incapable of understanding how to shield others from your germs. At times it even seemed he thought that exposing me to more germs would almost vaccinate me from any sickness.
That said, I’ve been a little paranoid with a busy month ahead of me. While things are usually considered “busy” from September through until April, March is often one of the busier months for weddings. Of course shooting on a wedding day is only a small percentage of my job so during this busy time I thought I would share with you some tips on how I stay organised and keep on top of each of my clients needs and do the things I love outside of my work.
I use a third party studio manager which is ultimately the secret to my sound workflow and keeping me organised. I’ve been using it for 4 years now so I know it very well and it allows me to keep a database online that has all of my clients information and against each client there is a workflow based on their collection inclusions. Generally each wedding workflow looks like this:
* Confirm booking – Receive contract and deposit, confirm booking via email, create file for the client and a copy of their pricing and contract and add them to my contacts list in my phone and email
* 2 weeks after booking – Send a handwritten thank you card
* 8 weeks after booking – Send reminder to client to book their engagement session (if ordered)
* 8 weeks before the event – Send email with information about questionnaire being sent the following week and prompting for any information I need to know to photograph their wedding
* 7 weeks before the event – Automatically send questionnaire asking for all specifics of the weddings, i.e., addresses, alternate contact numbers, timings, etc.
* 6 weeks before the event – Send draft timeline for feedback and address anything I feel my client needs to know to help their day run smoothly
* 2 weeks after the event – Blog the wedding and forward a slideshow to my client
* 4 weeks after the event – Release online gallery with high resolution files for download
When each of these items is due, a reminder pops up for me to take care of it. My invoicing is automated to send a reminder to my client 7 days before their instalment is due and as it is all digital, it means I can monitor my workflow from my desktop or my laptop where ever I am and ensures that my client and I have the the gates of communication open which removes the necessity for assumption. In addition to this there is a workflow attached to an engagement session and to any products which works in the same manner with anticipated lead times for editing, production and shipping.
In terms of the wedding day itself, I have my two lovely assistants, Michelle and Kirsty who work on rotation and started this season with me. The are there to make sure I have what I need before I know I need it, second shoot through the day and ultimately free up my time to do what I love for my clients – photograph their day and live out my dream as the 5th bridesmaid.