I recently sat down to highlight the areas where I made small tweaks to various aspects of my wedding photography business. There were three changes over the past year that significantly save me time, allowing me to use that time in areas where it more needed. I hope these three time savers make as much of an impact on your business as they have on mine.
Contact Form Integrated with Tave
This may seem like a no brainer, but I just recently started tracking every single one of my inquiries in my studio management software, Tave. My previous contact form was VERY pretty and was custom designed for my website. This past December, I started to log every inquiry through that 'pretty' contact form in Tave... manually. I would receive an inquiry, log into Tave, create a new lead, enter all the information that came in from that inquiry and then reply. After doing this for a couple of months, I realized how much time I was wasting not having an integrated contact form. My new contact form may not be as pretty, but it is customizable and it does serve its purpose. It sends me an email as soon as the contact form is submitted and it immediately creates a new lead. And, it gives me more time to write love letters to inquiring couples :)
Culling in Photomechanic
Every wedding photographer's favorite part of their business is culling, right? Bad joke, I know. We have all been there, culling in Lightroom. I really should call it more like waiting to cull in Lightroom. Waiting for the files to import and then waiting for the previews to be generated. Since using Photomechanic, I have drastically reduced the amount of time that I spend culling images, as I can start picking out my favorites while my images are being imported. If you are still waiting to cull in Lightroom, which I am surprised to hear how many people still are, please do yourself a favor and invest in Photomechanic. One of the best decisions you can make.
Lightroom DNG Proxies
This tip I learned from Sidecar Post's CreativeLIVE course and I will never go back to editing an entire wedding with full size RAW or full size DNG images. So you have culled your images in Photomechanic and you are now ready to import those into Lightroom and begin editing, right? I highly suggest you do just ONE more step before you import into Lightroom. Create a copy of those full size RAW or full size DNG images into a smaller DNG that is fit perfectly for your screen, a proxy. I use Adobe's DNG Converter to create keeper proxy images (see my settings below). I am essentially taking the full size file and making a much smaller copy of that file. I won't be able to zoom in a whole lot to look at the detail, but it allows me to color correct in Lightroom quickly. Before I export my image to send to my client (or do photoshop edits), I update the folder location of my images to point back to the full size RAW or DNG images. This way the edits that I have made to the proxies are now made to the full size image folder that have the same exact file name, but different folder. Genius!
Adobe DNG Converter Settings:
Update Lightroom Folder Location Before Editing in Photoshop OR Exporting Final JPEG Images for Clients:
Let me know in the comments if you have ANY questions!