I get many emails asking me about basics… how I meter, how I white balance, how I shoot in full sun, what do I say to clients when x, y or z… I have to say- I totally remember that time. I remember starting out and wanting to know everything NOW. Staring at images wondering ‘how in the heck…’ or being frustrated that a client was asking or needing something of me that I just didn’t know how to maneuver. It took a good year or two of full time business to get to a point where I finally felt like I knew what in the world I was doing (well, most of the time at least) ;) It would have been fantastic to have a go-to that I could gain all that knowledge from in one place. Lucky for the those just starting out now there are a ton of resources (yeah- I’m going all old school “back when I started out…” (said in my best grandpa voice). My friend Pascale has put together a couple of books that cover ALL of these things. When I read it a few months back it was page after page of “yep… yep” “exactly” “totally true!”. She has summed up all of the things that you need to know when you are starting your business into super reader friendly, enlightening books!
As she explains: “This e-book covers everything you need to know in order to successfully launch and sustain your own photography business. I delve into logo, branding, pricing, technical expertise, marketing, white balance, metering, histograms, finding the light, using reflectors and other tools of the trade, flash, post processing, RAW editing, calibration of your monitor, using actions correctly, business forms, various FAQ’s, composition, preventing burn out, charity work, finding your style, copyright considerations, plenty of links to great articles and other websites and, basically, just a whole lot of SOUND advice. I spent hours upon hours putting this all together and included actual screen shot captures of my editing process with sample images to help illustrate the process for those of you who are very visual (like me). It’s 50 pages chock-full of valuable advice, expertise, images and information.”
And if you aren’t quite at this point she has a fantastic basics book as well- “If you do not yet understand how such things as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focal length and depth of field work/function then you should get my Basics Beginner Book before getting this e-book.”
You can find her Beginner’s Book here.
& the link to her Nitty Gritty ebook here.
And if you put the discount code ‘SHANNON’ in at checkout you will get $24 off!! Thank you so much Pascale for offering this… I know these will be fabulous resources for all of you starting out!! :)
I get asked all the time about products I use or recommend.
What action was used in that blog post? Where did you get your backdrop paper? What kind of lens do you use?
Most questions are pretty easy to answer. However, the one place where I claim no expertise would be in the business end of things. Luckily I am a type A personality… naturally organized & efficient. I swear though- that is the only thing that has saved me. I have no interest in the business side of things. Take time to create auto-responders? No thanks. Develop questionnaires or referral set-ups? Uh yeah.. that’s okay. I enjoy taking pictures, I enjoy planning for shoots, I enjoy seeing those images develop. Everything else? Not so much. Luckily I have friends that are rock stars in this area. And that is why I am here… to tell you about such rock stardom ;) I will be randomly posting throughout the summer about vendors I believe in. Vendors that I think you should know about. Vendors that can help you.
First up would be my amazing friend Millie Holloman. This woman blows me away with her business savvy. We worked together on the 777 Shootout and every time I had a business or set up question Millie was right there to answer it for me. She kicks butt at what she does. I am sure that a lot of you have already heard of it but in case not- the Get It Together Kit is a perfect package of all her secrets and how-to’s on this side of things.
In the Get It Together Kit, she shares the systems, workflow and strategies she used to grow her business from a one-photographer studio that had her feeling constantly overwhelmed to a seven-person studio that has enjoyed exponential growth.
The kit is divided into six main sections (which follow an introduction). They are:
Brain Dump: In this section, she shares her methods for clearing her mind, setting goals for the business, creating effective to do lists, and finding ways to accomplish those important goals that aren’t urgent, but are extremely important for growing a business.
Love Your Systems: Here, she gives detailed examples of the day-to-day systems she has created to run her studio. She covers everything from office organization to tracking workflow to storing archived discs for clients.
Email (I Hate You): She gets a few hundred emails per day. At one point, it seemed that email was controlling her life. She found a way to win the battle against my overflowing inbox, and she tells you how. There are examples of how to automate your email, specifics on how to organize folders and subfolders in your email management system, and dozens of tips and ideas that will save you time!
Leadtracker: In this section, she covers her methods for tracking and converting leads. She discusses specifics on everything from the questions they ask future brides to the way they keep in touch with prospects to how they set reasonable expectations with a client once a contract has been signed. Even better, she’ll show you how they continue the sales process after the wedding and boost sales and referrals from their vendors.
Flowstand: What’s a flowstand? One of her proudest inventions. It’s an efficient fool-proof way to organize contracts, travel arrangements, payments, wedding details and more. She shows you exactly how she created this system (there are even x-rays of her folders!) so that you can create your own.
Break it Down: This chapter takes you through her workflow step-by-step. She’ll explain the editing and production system they use to edit so many weddings at one time. The process is completely scaleable—it worked when she booked 15 weddings per year and it still works with a studio that handles 90+ weddings. She covers backing up files, rating files, editing, using actions, blogging, designing albums, and assigning tasks to team members to create a workflow chain.
But Wait, There’s More: Throughout the kit, she also shares extra tips, resources, discount codes for her favorite tools and equipment, and worksheets that will assist you in starting to….Get It Together.
The Disc: In addition to the 100-page book, you’ll also receive a disc that includes the exact wording they use for simple client communications, the expectations sheet they send to brides, and a 90 Day plan to get you started on goal-setting for your own business.
GET IT TOGETHER KIT - $175 value but because you are so awesome as to read my blog you get a $25 off code! (just type in ‘shannonsewell’ when you checkout)
what is on the disc? http://getittogetherkit.com/blog/?p=147
what is in the kit? http://getittogetherkit.com/blog/?p=141
website link – http://getittogetherkit.com
blog link - http://getittogetherkit.com/blog
STOP MOTION VIDEO - http://vimeo.com/9912621
I know you’ll love this kit. It is perfect for everyone from a beginner to a seasoned pro. I love sharing products that will help my readers out and a HUGE thank you to Millie for being my first ;)
Happy Summer everyone!!!