In this guide, I show you how to choose who to pitch, how to find the right contact information, and how to craft a winning pitch.
I am a food + product photographer & educator specializing in eco-friendly and sustainable brands. When I am not working with clients, I empower creatives to start their journey by sharing my knowledge on the business of food + product photography.
Efficiency will make or break your career as a photography business owner. You rarely have the luxury of sitting in one place for a long time when there are endless things to think about. It’s crucial you find out how to save time, or else you’ll never strike the perfect work-life balance or reach your fullest potential!
Learning how to save time could mean the difference between a healthy work schedule and one that drives you to your limits. But there’s more to it than that. Check out three deeper reasons you should concentrate on time-saving tactics in your photography business.
We’ve all pulled an all-nighter tying loose ends, fighting sleep to edit one more photograph or respond to one last email. Of course, the responsibilities of a photography business owner are seemingly endless. But they should never take precedence over sleep or healthy life practices.
Photographers who can stick to a schedule and work without wandering (mentally or physically) will inevitably get more done than photographers who lack time management skills. When you learn how to save time, you leave ample room to focus and finish quality work. You’ll be able to set strategic boundaries, advocate for what matters most to you, and become more consistent and satisfied with your career.
What kind of a photographer would you be if you rushed every creative project to answer emails or brainstorm data solutions? (A miserable one, obviously.) Odds are, you became a photographer because you love being behind the camera. The world looks far more interesting through the lens than it does through a computer screen.
You have to figure out how to save time on business tasks so you can get back to the focus of your operation: taking pictures that wow! Imagine actually relaxing on the job because you know every minute is being put to good use and no job is being left unattended.
Learning how to save time is synonymous with learning how to take care of your mental health and well-being. Even if running all over the place makes you feel full and important at first, it doesn’t take long to realize you need rest to sustain your best.
Too many tasks and not enough time can lead to exhaustion, heart conditions, and mental health issues. It can literally wear you thin, wreaking havoc on your metabolism and immune system. But utilizing time-saving strategies leaves more time for self-improvement. Think naps, exercise, outside hobbies, and time with loved ones. Your body and mind will thank you!
Luckily, there are many ways to organize your photography business that will help you move quickly without compromising the quality of your work. Here are five effective ways to get you started on your journey to learn how to save time.
If you haven’t already had the experience of feeling like a broken record—saying the same thing over and over again to clients—you will soon! Running a photography business often means answering the same questions and repeating the same conversations with different people.
Think about which messages you deliver multiple times in a week (or a day!):
The list goes on and on. You can save countless minutes in your day by working off templates for each type of message. Keep them someplace easily accessible, rather than fishing around in your outbox for recent verbiage!
Any small business owner can tell you what a hassle it is to interrupt a current activity to upload your next social media post. Even if you think it only takes a few minutes, those can easily snowball. It’s best to automate your social media posts whenever possible.
This means carving out separate, dedicated time during the week to create social media content. You can shoot several weeks or months ahead in a single, focused hour. Then put them out of your mind by scheduling them with Later or Tailwind. Plann and Blog2Social are great options, too!
One of my absolute favorite social media scheduling tools is Planoly —you can plan and schedule posts, manage multiple accounts, and organize your content. It makes social media so much less time-consuming!
CRM (or client relationship management) systems can save you major time and boost the effectiveness of your photography business. No matter which software you use, CRM programs are responsible for organizing all of your client information, enabling you to access crucial details faster when you need them.
A CRM system plays a huge role in the process of learning how to save time—like a modern (but much more dynamic and reliable) phone book! Some software even monitors your clients’ businesses to see what they’re up to in real-time. With that level of detail, you’ll know exactly when to reach out with the latest marketing deals and scoremore photography opportunities.
SOPs (or standard operating procedures) can be developed for countless photography activities. They’re especially useful if you’re coordinating your business with multiple photographers or administrative team members.
For example, you can create a set of instructions to follow each time a file is saved—and establish routine naming conventions for your business. Write up an SOP explaining the order things are discussed with new clients. You can even develop one to streamline verbal conversations or movements on the photography set. In time, SOPs become second nature and help you cash in countless minutes every day.
The more you have on your plate, the harder it is to mix without spilling onto the tablecloth. (And that doesn’t make for a very nice food photography experience!) Organize your daily and weekly routine so each task (or type of task) gets tackled in a sensical order.
It’s important to consider which items you enjoy, the time of day you feel most productive, and the urgency of each responsibility. No matter how you lay it all out, resist the urge to ditch one task for another.
For example, don’t stop in the middle of cleaning your camera equipment when an email comes in! The bing on your phone is toxic. Teach yourself to put off correspondence (and other intrusive tasks) until a specific time of day!
Discovering how to save time will improve your photography business experience in the long run. You’ll have more energy and enthusiasm to fulfill your assignments without encroaching on other parts of your day. Your clients are sure to see a difference in your passion and effectiveness, too!