I'm the first to admit to anyone who meets me at this season of my life in business as a photographer that I'm still pretty new. I only started taking my photography seriously back in 2015. I'm not trying to discredit myself or anything like that because I stand by my work and everything that has led me to where I am in this moment but I'm just trying to prove that with a ton of hard work, determination, and focus, you can get where you want to go. Oh, and lots of coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
I'm constantly working to find a workflow that works best for me.
As a mom to a busy toddler and running a separate business for graphic design, I'm busy. I have to make the best use of my time when I am at the computer and therefore I've really honed in on my own wedding workflow and what works well for me to spend less time at the computer and more time with my family. The same principles can be applied to portrait sessions but I find that my workflow with portrait sessions is not as complicated as a wedding workflow. I say complicated only because there is a lot going on with a wedding from first inquiry to sending questionnaires, to the engagement shoot, to the actual wedding, and to all the post wedding work involved. My wedding season doesn't start for three more weeks so it was my goal before it to finalize my workflow system to give myself a smooth and successful wedding season!
I love using excel for so many reasons.
When you shop around online for resources you are going to see so many cute templates that are designed in Photoshop. While I'm aestetically drawn to these guides, I don't find them very practical for me. I don't like to print things. I like to have everything on my computer and/or smartphone. I'm an avid user of Excel (I blame my old accounting job for this obsession), but it helps me stay organized at home in my office. I have Excel spreadsheets for everything but my main one is for my wedding workflow. With so much going on in one year and working with over 15 couples, it is important to ensure you set yourself up for success. What does that mean? You don't want to miss an important step. You know, like actually sending the final gallery or delivering your gift at the end of it all. I have always been someone who likes to check things off a to do list so I designed a spreadsheet that allows me to do that from first inquiry all the way to final client gift delivery.
HOW TO USE THE SPREADSHEET
This spreadsheet is designed for myself and MY workflow. Yours will most likely look different than my own. I have a unique system in place to give my couples an amazing experience. It's important for you to find what works for YOU and to make YOUR client experience unique and special. I'm all about sharing, so feel free to use some of my ideas but please push yourself to think outside the box and make it as special as possible and unique to you and your style!
I have specific columns with all the basic information including name, wedding date, wedding location and about the client. I like to add the about the client section as a space for me to put little notes in there about the client. I refer back to this list just before an engagement session so I can be reminded of who they are and little details that make their story unique! This not only helps me stay organized, but adds to the experience because when I show up, I have something to talk about that directly relates to them, making them feel special. This isn't an attempt at being unauthentic, it's just the honest truth that I work with A LOT of people every single week. It's impossible for me to keep everyone straight all the time. This little box on the spreadsheet helps me make sure I don't miss any important details about my bride and groom!
The rest of the spreadsheet is pretty self explanatory. I go through and put an "X" in the box whenever I've completed a task. Without this method, I just know things would get missed. It's the reality of working with 15+ couples per year and running my other creative business as a designer. I'm pretty organized, but without this spreadsheet I think things would be a hot mess around my office and home life!
USING YOUR SPREADSHEET - A LITTLE TIP!
If you use a google email address (gmail), upload the spreadsheet to your Google Drive Sheets page. This way you can access it from anywhere! This comes in handy for me when I am on my laptop and away from my office (or at any computer) because my spreadsheet is available anytime I login to my google account.
While this spreadsheet isn't the most pretty thing in the world, it's PRACTICAL. I am all about being practical in my life as a business owner. Like I said before, you will find things like this online that are super pretty and designed in photoshop, but I've found the ease of this spreadsheet to not only do the trick, but it's something that I actually use every single week. I don't print it off and it gets lost in a stack of paper somewhere in my office. Nope, it's always available and easy to access! I hope it works for you, too! Shoot me an email or comment below on this post to let me know what you think!