May 22, 2013

Wedding Photographer Workflow Chart

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

light chaser, dreamer, go-getter.

@stephaniemessickphoto

serving

COLORADO

NORTHERN
VIRGINIA

&

find insperation

Gallery images

get to know me

weddings

engagements

lifestyle

Today’s post is for the photographers out there! πŸ™‚ When it comes to handling many clients, it can be a little tricky. It is SO important to be organized … really. Between 2013-2014, I have booked 30 weddings which means I’m handling 60 clients (bride/groom) when it comes to emailing, engagement sessions, meetings, the actual wedding day … you know what I mean. So there had to be a system implemented in order for me to keep sane and to keep me on track from client to client. I can refer to my workflow chart to be sure that one of my couple is on track with the rest of that month. And it is WONDERFUL! This is one of the many things I have done in my business that has really benefitted me on the backend of my business … all I’m really doing is keeping organized.

Coming from a graphic designer background, I have a way of approaching my business in a structured way which has done great things for my business and I only hope to develop it further in the future! πŸ™‚ As you all know that my first year anniversary of my business is coming up in June and I still am just in disbelief of what God has shown me what only ONE YEAR can do for a business! Seriously, I have seen everything fall into place because I have put my ALL into this business. I never would have thought about owning a photography business 1.5 years ago! I would have been CRAZY to think that! Haha! Everything happens for a reason… πŸ™‚

About my workflow chart, I have been inspired by Katelyn James who talked about her system back at Pursuit 31 at the Georgia conference last October. I had something similar but it was built into my Google Docs … which I LOVED, but I knew that I needed something more hands on since I like to be able to physically cross off a detail instead of checking it off through a digital document. So, I developed the Google Doc document even further to function the way I like to go through each client. I think it is SO important to really figure out what works best for YOU. My workflow chart might be just what you needed in your business or it just might need some tweaking based off from your own system. This just works for me. πŸ™‚Β 

workflow_warrenton_wedding_photographer-3_web1

I thought that I would share this with you all today and see what you thought of it! I have printed my workflow charts on 11×17 paper and used frames from Michaels Craft Store to hold them up on my office wall. I pushed out two holes (one in each corner) of the workflow chart and stuck a pin through the 14 printed charts and then into the cardboard that I cut out inside the frame. I was being resourceful and just used the cardboard that came with the frame that covers the back outside of it to protect it … just measured the inside of the frame and cut it out to ensure it was not too big to fit or too small that it would slip out of the open frame. In order to cover up the brown cardboard, I was also being resourceful and just flipped the white piece of paper they keep in the open frame when advertising the frame. It did just the trick! So I also punched a hole through the white page and the cardboard in order for my pin to go all the way through with the charts holding on. If you ever have any questions or comments … even if you find this resourceful, feel free to comment below to let me know what you think about this! πŸ™‚ I LOVE it and I am always so excited to run over to it and cross tasks off along the way!

workflow_warrenton_wedding_photographer-4_web1

workflow_warrenton_wedding_photographer-1_web1

In my chart, I keep everything blank so I can customize it as I go. So I can write in the month at the left hand top … and then start added in my clients per month. I like to do it this way so I can flip through, almost like a calendar. This way I can look into the future of my weddings and also not mixing up dates and can look at my clients for the month knowing if one is behind schedule or ahead. Super helpful!!!

workflow_warrenton_wedding_photographer-11_web1

I want to help break down my list so it is easy for you to understand:
Initial Welcome–
* Client Name
* Guide – They have agreed to the pricing (really though, they will have already agreed to your pricing if their name is on the chart)
* Date – Their wedding date
* Client Profile Sent
* Client Profile Received
* Prepared Contract
* Sent Contract / Schedule Meeting
* Meeting (Give Gift)
* File Contract / Received Deposit
* Thank
* Finance
* Notes – I find it important to have a notes section for anything involving that client that might need to be noted
Engagement Session–
* Client Name (again I want to keep it consistent from one row to the next)
* Date – Wedding Date
* Contract Sent – Basically a profile that clarifies details of the engagement session so we are both on the same page as for location and date/time
* Contract Received – I check this off when I have printed and filed their contract
* 1 Week Confirm
* 1 Day Confirm
* Shoot
* Thank
* Back Up – Be sure to back up your cards!!!
* Star – I go through and star the ones I want to keep and edit to give to the client
* Edit
* Blog
* FB
* Package
* Mail
* Gallery – I have an online client gallery that I post up my sessions as a backup plan
* Publish
* B-Up – Backup the final edits
* Notes
Wedding–
* Β Client Name
* Date
* Schedule Meeting
* 2 Month Gift Sent
* Meeting Received Final – This is generally when I will receive the final payment
* Thank / Finance
* 1 Week Confirm
* Shoot
* Thank
* Finance – This is if any additional charges happened from going over the contracted time or whatever. Generally, I never have to do any financing after the wedding day though. This is just in case. πŸ™‚
* B-Up
* Star
* Edit
* Blog
* FB
* Package
* Mail
* Gallery
* Publish – I like to try to get my weddings published on a wedding blog or some type of print
* B-Up – Back up one final time with the edited photos
* Vendors – Send photos to vendors if requested or you feel the need to. πŸ™‚
* WW – Wedding Wire
* Thank

workflow_warrenton_wedding_photographer-6_web1

I will have to admit that being a graphic design major really helped me on this project as I was able to create this chart without problems and now able to give this over to you! Wohoo! πŸ™‚

In order to download this document, go to this link:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3Y5m1gzFcnPcU95RTRhQURoUDg/edit?usp=sharing

Hope you found today’s post resourceful and a system you could try out for yourself! Love mine! πŸ™‚

  1. Eddie says:

    OhMyGosh, I love! Thank you so much for the generous share!

  2. Alisha says:

    I knew photographers spent a ton of time on each client, but this really puts it into perspective! You work SO hard and your organization methods show it, as well as your amazing work! I was blown away seeing your list of things to do with each client!

  3. Wow. This is a VERY helpful tool. I’m trying to organize myself better so that I can do more work during the semester when I’m taking classes. It gets too overwhelming otherwise!

    Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!

  4. Ashley Sneed says:

    Wow this is great! I love it!!! DEFINITELY using this! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Ashley Givens says:

    THANK YOU!!! I’ve been trying to put this together for a long time now knowing that I’m missing some things! On the right track now that to this goodness!!!

  6. I just started to get crazy busy with my photography this year and I was looking for something and found your post! Thank you so much for the share. This is perfect! Now I can get organized πŸ™‚

  7. Hi there! Silly question: What is a “client profile”? I am not sure what you are referring to on the chart where you say: client profile sent / client profile received is. (If you have a chance please respond and thanks!)

    • Hi Beth! Yes, sorry a “client profile” is what I have my couples fill out with their general info (contact, prepping,ceremony,reception venue, estimated times and what package they are interested in). This is what I use to create their contract. πŸ™‚

  8. Barbara Kowalski says:

    Really great resource. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. […] details…but for now, I’d love to share a few of the posts that helped me out a lot!! Β This post by Stephanie Messick andΒ this post & this post by Abby Grace Photographer were big […]

  10. […] an amazing little desk to call my own, organizing sheets courtesy Elle & Company (with a little Stephanie Messick inspiration in there too!!), and […]

  11. Erin L. Hughes says:

    I came across your post here about a week ago and have been saving it on my phone so I can come back to it when I can really study it. While trying to multi-task while dealing with major ADD, it’s hard to keep everything straight. I have searched all over the place for a charting system that will work for me… and I have finally found something that I absolutely LOVE!

    Thank you so much for sharing your secrets with us. πŸ™‚

  12. Jan McComas says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the chart you designed! I love it!

  13. This is amazing and so helpful!!! Thanks for sharing it for the rest of us. πŸ™‚ 

featured

as seen in

as seen in