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Simple Guide for Organizing Your Photography Business

Passion and Productivity Can Coexist

Balancing passion and productivity is a hallmark trait of successful creative professionals.

When our workday becomes driven by extraneous elements and dangerous distractions, both passion and productivity suffer.

How do we combat distractions and channel our creative energy into meaningful, productive work?

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison advises her students that discovering when they are at their best creatively is one of the most important things they must learn.

She prompts them with some questions: “What does the ideal room look like? Is there music? Is there silence? Is there chaos or serenity? What do I need in order to release my imagination?”

These questions may seem simple, but they reveal a core truth: we must build systematic boundaries that enable us to create. Without boundaries—secure systems—we are vulnerable to external distractions.

Of course, the ideal conditions for creativity vary for each of us. That’s why organizational systems aren’t one size fits all. The key is to seek a system that is effective, but doesn’t paralyze you with unnecessary complexity. By learning how to embrace efficiency without sacrificing soul, creatives can produce their best work.
In this issue of The Photo Life Dispatch, we explore various organizational systems and profile photographers who are successfully finding the place where passion and productivity meet.

the photo life managing editor rachel lacour niesen

Rachel LaCour Niesen
Vice President, Pictage Community
Co-Founder, ShootQ


  • The Rules of Organization for Right Brain Creatives, Field Guide by The Photo Life
  • Organization System Showdown: Getting Things Done vs. Action Method, by The Photo Life
  • The Action Discipline, by Parris Wittingham
  • Inbox Interview: The “Getting Things Done” Perspective, by Kevin Swan
  • Master the Task Management Balancing Act, by Laura Novak
  • 7 Tips for Client Care, by Millie Holloman
  • Get a Grip! FInancial Organization Simplified, by Jason Aten
  • Worry-Free Workflow, by The Photo Life


Small Business Myth #67: Organization is about excel spreadsheets, fancy apps and complicated calendaring systems.

While some people are naturally inclined to use systems to streamline and simplify business processes, everyone has the ability to adopt habits that will make their lives less complicated. Everyone has the ability to get their business (and life!) organized.

Organization is not about the systems you select. It’s about achieving a result.

Ultimately, organizational systems are designed to manage the moving pieces of work and life so that we have time to focus on things that truly matter. By using organizational tools, we reduce unnecessary clutter and distractions so we can focus on things that add value to our lives and our businesses.


Continue to connect with Volume 3 of The Photo Life Dispatch by sharing your thoughts here on The Photo Life Blog and on Facebook and Twitter#ThePhotoLife.

  1. What is your biggest obstacle when approaching day to day task management?
  2. What have you found to be your biggest strength in organizing your business?
  3. What organization method works best for you and your business? Why?

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