I was drowning. Not literally, but I felt like I couldn’t get my head above water or keep up. I knew how I wanted to serve my clients, and was working hard to get a workflow figured out and serve them quickly, and it was coming along! My turnaround time improved, my editing style sharpened, and my workflow was settling in. However, this was all at the expense of my family. On editing days my kids were usually stuck in the playpen watching a movie (because if they are in the play pen they can see through the mesh, but not get ahold of the laptop… #momhacks) while I culled and edited for hours. By the end of the day they were done and behaving like hooligans, I was cranky and had a headache, there was no dinner planned, and the house was a disaster. It wasn’t a good formula at all. My business was growing at the expense of my family.
Today things are different. Not a complete 180 yet, but still different enough that both my business and family life have improved! That’s a win in my books. Any step towards having the business and family life be in harmony is a good step in my books. I know I’m not the only one that has dealt or is dealing with the challenges of balancing a family and a photography business. It’s not an easy feat at all. So today I want to share one thing that has made the biggest difference for me so far.
I have mentioned a couple of times about being in the International Academy of Wedding Photographers. There are so many ways this has helped my business grow, but one of the ways is through my amazing classmates. As they go through the Academy and find their niche in this huge wedding photography world, they are each leaving footprints. One of those classmates is Laura Neff. Her passion is helping photographers to get their life back through systems, workflows, and efficiency. She invited me to her Facebook group for photographers where she gives tips and resources. Then from there I was invited to help test out a new product she was coming out with. And that right there is where everything changed for me.
I was excited to try this out, but figured it’d only shave off an hour or two. But even an hour or two would be great. I saved testing the system out until I had a full wedding to try it on. I had the PDF open side by side with Photo Mechanic and then Lightroom, following everything step-by-step. And it was pure magic!
Guys, I seriously cut out 16 hours of work. That’s two full work days!! And that’s with just testing out the system for the first time having to go back and forth between my work and the Playbook, and learning new systems in the process. And, I got more done than I ever had before. I had a finished wedding to deliver, blog images picked, Facebook images picked, portfolio photos set aside (so now I don’t have to go through at the end of the year repicking them all), behind the scenes shots saved, an easy to follow template for writing the blog post, and my sanity!
Guys, I am 100% sold on Laura’s method and ideas. Everything I’ve implemented from her is pure gold and has helped my business which has helped my family life. This means I get to love on my family better and love on my clients better. Win-Win! I don’t have the Playbook memorized by heart yet and still have to refer to it each wedding, but I’m up to 20+ hours saved every wedding. Right now this system is giving me back 12.5 days a year! That’s a whole long family road trip that I didn’t have time for before. Or it’s day trips with Cameron. Or making treats with the kids. Or being able to book another wedding. Or planning and throwing a client party! So much has opened up because of this system!
Laura is hosting a free webinar to talk about her methods that she has been perfecting over the last 8 years (and which save her 1,000+ hours a year!) and I can’t wait to tune in and learn from. She will also be announcing the complete Playbook and making it available to photographers! If you are in any need of perfecting your workflow, cutting hours out of your workflow, or just love learning how to be more efficient, this webinar will be 100% worth your time! You can click here to read more about what she will be talking about as well as to get time time slots for Tuesday (tomorrow) or Wednesday. I’m tuning in on Wednesday and can’t wait to learn more from Laura!!