Monday through Friday Money Part 1: The Philosophy

2015 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

So, there you are… A bag full of expensive gear that is worth less every day… Mad skills… Eager to shoot… Ambitious… Looking forward to a lifetime of amazing experiences behind the camera ….annnd you are sitting in front of your computer editing the weekend’s images, posting to social media, writing a blog post, answering emails, drooling over another photographer’s Instagram account, planning your next lens purchase, and doing all of the other behind-the-scenes things that running a successful photography business requires you to do. I was there, too. I was working 80+ hours a week for years – convinced my overworked struggle would pay off with success + less to do later.

© 2015 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

It took me 7 years of working way too hard before I figured out my happy place in the photography market, and another 4 years to find my ‘success with less …

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How to Create a Photography Brand That’s Uniquely You

copyright Creatrix Photography

“You are unique, just like everyone else.”

This quote always tickles me a little, because it almost seems to lift you up, while slapping you down at the same time. Which is really just the true sense of our industry: highs and lows. Our industry is filled with bright-eyed peeps new to the scene and I always find myself eyeing them with envy. I miss that “I NEED TO WIN THEM ALL” attitude, that insatiable need for success that makes you work 110 hours a week.

Then I remember how hard it is to start a business and I’m grateful for the comfortable zone I’m in, where I only need to work 60 hours a week. I remember how many hours I poured over my idol’s websites and looked at the trends, thinking to myself, “what do I need to do to make this happen?”

My first website was pretty trendy, back when …

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5 Tips for Coordinating and Creating Compelling Social Media Messaging

Coordinating social media messaging can be daunting. Not only do you feel pressured to craft perfectly interesting messaging that attracts attention, but you’re supposed to do it consistently!

Here are five tips for removing stress and saving time while creating social media messaging for these channels:

1. Choose the right tool.

Instead of jumping from login to login, choose a tool that enables you to post content on various social media sites from a central location. We recommend Hootsuite.

2. Schedule in batches.

Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike or spending bits of time creating social media messaging throughout the week, identify a specific time and day each week to create and schedule messages. By batching your messages, you’ll be consistent and efficient.

Note: Although you’re scheduling in advance, don’t be afraid to make relevant updates as they arise. By not overloading your schedule, you’ll be flexible yet consistent.

3. Understand the purpose of every channel.

Each social media channel …

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3 Easy Techniques to Turn Portrait Leads into Bookings


We’ve all received leads from potential clients that we feel REALLY excited about, right? We start to paint the picture in our head of just how amazing their shoot would be! We’ve also all felt super bummed when they don’t respond or end up booking with us. We make up a scenario in our heads as to why they didn’t book, blame it on price, blame it on the email wording, etc. The fact that everything lies in one email is crazy sauce.

Have you ever felt this way? What if I told you there are more things you can do to get this lead to book aside from that ONE EMAIL?

I own a woman’s portrait studio (we specialize in boudoir) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, called Molly Marie Photography. At my studio, we have three techniques we use in order to get these leads booked.

First, did you know that 80 percent …

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Creating Memories with Family Reunion Photos


If family photography or portrait photography is your primary focus, there is an often-overlooked market that may be a natural fit: family reunions. Traditionally a harbinger of summer (though they can occur any time of year), reunions are the reason millions of Americans travel each year, and photographs are critical. After the corn-on-the-cob has been eaten and the water balloons tossed, photos remain to document growth and change. The fleeting nature of a family reunion gives just one chance to capture these important moments; then they are gone, perhaps forever.

Clint Thayer, photographer and owner of Focal Flame Photography, says of family reunion photography, “Those tender moments last only seconds. Being ready to see those moments and capture them does not come when you buy an expensive camera, it comes from studying your subjects and environment and crafting an effective photo – one that tells a story rather than just being …

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11 Tips to Bridging the Gap between Photographers and Wedding Coordinators

Debra Gulbas Photography

As a wedding photographer, some of the most important relationships you can build are with wedding coordinators. If you are just getting started in the wedding world, these tips are a fantastic way to make a great impression on wedding coordinators. If you have been in the wedding industry for awhile, these tips will help you strengthen your relationship with wedding coordinators. This will also help your shoots go much more smoothly!

I recently sat down with two successful wedding coordinators in Austin, Texas, to discuss the relationships between coordinators and photographers. Thank you to Rosa Gibson, of Austin Wedding Planners by Rosa, and Amy Mader, of Amy’s Platinum Weddings Coordinating and Consulting Firm for their help and advice.

1. Send a Welcome Email

Ask your client if they have a wedding coordinator at the initial consultation. Once the client books with you, email the coordinator to tell them you’re excited to work …

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3 Ways to Keep Track of Contracts & Invoices Without Losing your Mind

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You didn’t get into photography so that you could manage paperwork.

But between all the invoicing and contracts that you manage for your various shoots, it’s easy to feel like you spend a majority of your day managing those tedious details! So how do you keep your desk and brain clear of the clutter from this pile of paperwork? Here are three tips for streamlining your workload, so you can get out from behind your desk, and back behind the camera.

I. Put everything online.

Contracts and invoices can all be done through online systems or services, making it quick and easy for your client to sign and return things to you. Plus, down the road, it’s easy to find all the contracts and invoices under each client’s online folder!

II. Automate as much as possible.

Invoices should be sent out automatically online through your studio management software. If clients pay by credit card, you …

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How Teaching Photography Helps You Go Pro

Teaching photography 2

Are you one of the thousands of photographers out there who’s talented enough to go pro, but still need a few more clients or pieces of equipment to make the leap? It might sound counterintuitive, but I believe teaching photography ticks both boxes brilliantly.

Here are 7 reasons why teaching photography will boost your business, and help you go pro!

1. Your students can become your brides and grooms. If you’re teaching photography, sharing your knowledge openly, your students might actually become your best clients. For example, what if one of your students is a twenty-something in your city, who gets engaged six months after taking one of your classes or workshops? Who do you think she’ll call when she starts thinking about a wedding photographer? And the same principle applies to parents who might want family portraits or baby photos.

Photography lessons are like a sales session. The student gets to witness firsthand …

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Why Workflows Were a Lifesaver for Sara France & Made ShootQ Her First Choice

Photo: Sara France


Photo: Sara France

Before finding ShootQ, Sara France was drowning in spreadsheets to track tasks, and wanted workflows that enabled her – and her team – to stay organized without passing bulky files back and forth.

Now that she has ShootQ, she’s able to automate almost everything!

Her studio’s workflows are automated. Everything from invoices, emails, to new lead generation is automated and cloud-based.

According to Sara, “I didn’t want to do that work and needed to focus on growing my business. It’s much more efficient and takes less time. I don’t know how anyone has a studio without this program.”

In this case study, we’ll take a look at Sara France’s business and explore the ways that:

• In order to focus on growing your business, it’s important to have a solid management solution in place • Taking the time upfront saves countless hours over the long haul  • Cloud-based services allow photographers to access key …

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Keeping Tabs on Your Leads (and Turning them into Paying Clients!)

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Have you ever had a sales lead fall through the cracks? Maybe a bride emailed you about her wedding, but her email got pushed down so far in your rapidly-filling inbox that you totally forgot to reply to her? We all know this feeling; it’s frustrating for you AND your prospective clients!

Losing track of leads can cost your business – big time. You may lose jobs when you don’t respond quickly to leads, or when you simply forget to follow up. How can you ensure that you’re keeping tabs on your leads, so you can turn them into paying clients?

I. Centralize your notes

When you get a new lead, enter it into some kind of system (ShootQ, Excel, etc.) ShootQ is ideal because it checks for date conflicts and automatically fills out all the fields for you and creates a contact card for that person.

You can …

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