Overwhelmed by busy season?! ShootQ to the rescue!

Have you guys heard about the BIG changes coming to ShootQ? We have, and we have been SO excited to see them roll out! If you aren’t using ShootQ, you are missing out on a CRAZY valuable tool for your photography business. Chances are, if you’re doing something manually in your business, ShootQ can take it over, and provide you with precious extra time! Emailing the same thing over and over? ShootQ can handle that. Still having clients sign their contracts in person? Let ShootQ email them a digital contract. Tired of collecting payments or sending invoices manually? Look no further. At this point, we’re wondering if there’s anything ShootQ CAN’T handle for us!

We are SO excited about the changes, we invited Adam Fried back on the show to chat with us a bit about what’s new, what’s the same, and what to expect from the revamped ShootQ. Tune in to hear how you can take advantage of ShootQ to help you with your photography business!

Key Takeaways

  • Take FULL advantage of the free trial. Oftentimes, we’ll sign up for a free trial for something, dip our toe in, and get so overwhelmed with the whole process that we don’t really end up using whatever it is to it’s full extent, which means we’re just confused the whole 30 or 60 days or whatever, and end up not subscribing to the service at the end. So here’s the awesome thing. ShootQ is designed to really help you with setting everything up. They help make the on boarding process fun, so you get incentives to complete your set up. There’s always someone to help you,
  • Don’t be scared of change! If you already use ShootQ, don’t be scared they’re going to mix everything up on you! You have the option to keep things the same for as long as you like, and ShootQ is rolling out new features slowly, so you can very easily make the switch without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Utilize questionnaires. Questionnaires are a GREAT way to know all sorts of things about your clients. From the very first inquiry, you can use a ShootQ questionnaire to find out more info about your client & what kind of shoot they’re looking for. After the shoot, you can use a questionnaire to find out what worked, what didn’t, and get honest feedback about your shoot. ShootQ has unlimited questionnaires you can send your clients, which makes the whole process very easy and streamlined!
  • Keep track of all of your clients. ShootQ makes it SO easy to keep track of your clients. First off, obviously all their information is saved in your ShootQ, so you know their contact info. Also, you can look back on ALL your past shoots, and you can see notes you’ve made throughout the years. This is great for something like locations. You can make a note of what locations you’ve already used, so you know new locations to offer them. You can also note important things like birthdays and anniversaries, so you can send little notes or gifts on those big days!
  • GO MOBILE. These guys are rolling out an AWESOME mobile app to go along with their service. It’s going to be revamped, and easier to use than ever. You’ll have all your client info at your fingertips, all the time. So if you forget something before the shoot (like dad’s name… raise your hand if you’ve done that!), you can quickly look it up & save yourself!

Of course, Adam talks about a LOT more ShootQ features, as well as shares a hilarious story about #vanlife. (You just have to listen, I can’t explain that here!) So be sure to download this episode now! THANKS FOR LISTENING!! Have a great week everybody!

 



Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here

Episode 83: Our Favorite Things!!!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…

… YOU GET A CAR! YOU GET A CAR! EVERYBODY GETS A CAR!!!!!

OK… maybe our Favorite Things episode isn’t going to be AS exciting as the amazing musical, Sound of Music OR Oprah giving her whole audience cars. But we are pretty excited about it nonetheless!

One of the things we tend to miss about having an office job is the interpersonal relationships you build in a setting like that. You’re constantly chatting with co-workers (if you’re lucky) about a myriad of topics, including things you’re obsessed with at the moment! We decided to bring a bit of that atmosphere to the show this week, and we’re talking about our Favorite Things!! Most of them are “semi” photography related, but we weren’t too worried about that. We just wanted to dish about some stuff we’ve been loving lately!! Here’s a highlight of our favorite things… tune in to hear more!

  • Rothy’s: Julie is OBSESSED with her new shoes. These shoes are made from recycled water bottles (yay!) and are SUPER cute and comfortable! The best part is, they’re great for weddings & shoots because they’re machine washable!! You don’t want to be worried that your shoes are stinking up the hotel room when you’re taking “getting ready” photos, so this is a huge plus! Go check them out, and if you buy with this link, you’ll get a discount! (And Julie will get a hookup, so it’s a win/win situation!) https://go.referralcandy.com/share/D8ZDD28
  • Podcasts: This is a GIVEN, but of course we are all obsessed with Podcasts! Podcasts help time pass faster, especially while driving or working, and they are educational AND entertaining! We plan on doing a whole episode on our favorite podcasts in the future, so definitely stay tuned for that!
  • Playstation Vue: Cable is SO 2014. Kate & her husband have been cable free for quite awhile now, but have always hated not having live TV. Playstation Vue is a new app (you don’t need a Playstation for it!) that you can stream to your TV via your phone, or Roku (or similar) device and you actually get live TV along with DVR, on demand, and more! It’s great for mindlessly listening & “watching” Fixer Upper while editing shoots!
  • Bandolier: This thing is rad. It’s like a purse, meets a phone case, meets a wallet. It’s a luxury product (not super cheap) but it replaces your phone case & purse! It’s SO hard to describe so you have to go check it out yourself, but it’s great for photoshoots because you can keep your essentials on your body, it hides your phone (so it doesn’t look unprofessional), and it stays around your neck so it’s nice & safe. Again, Julie’s hooking it up with a referral code, so go check it out for yourself! https://go.referralcandy.com/share/C4X68PH
  • Etsy: A lot of people think Etsy is just for handmade items, but there are a lot of awesome digital templates & business-related things on Etsy! It’s a go-to place to find a designer, templates, contracts, client gifts, etc!
  • Greetabl: Speaking of client gifts, Greetabl is an AMAZING gifting service! It’s not just a packaged gift, it’s totally personalized with pictures, text, etc. They have such cute stuff on their site, everything from cute office supplies to champagne gummy bears, and more. It’s SO easy to order & send straight to your clients. We’re obsessed with this company right now!
  • Instagram Live: Ashley has been using Instagram Live for awhile now, and she’s loving it! She can interact with fans & friends, and people get to see what she’s up to at her shoots! IG Live will send out a notification to your followers, so it’s a bit more celebrated than just doing a story or regular Instagram post.
  • Lipsense: If you haven’t heard of Lipsense yet, you must not be on social media. This is an awesome product that’s basically long lasting lip color. It’s a lip stain plus a gloss, and they have a bajillion options for both. The color does not transfer at all, even immediately upon application. It’s perfect for wedding photographers because all you have to do is reapply the gloss throughout the day, and it will stay on forever!

We hope you don’t mind us gabbing about our favorite things!! Let us know if YOU have a favorite thing that we should know about and try!



Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here

 

 

Maybe Later: The Procrastination Episode!

We think one of the BIGGEST hurdles in owning your own business is pretty much being on your own timeline. Without a boss lurking around, it’s very easy to put tasks off until later & chill on the couch bingewatching Grey’s Anatomy instead of doing your work. The three of us definitely struggle with procrastination on a regular basis, so we decided to do an episode all about it! Tune in while we chitchat about ways we put off important tasks, haha, and hear how we deal with fixing it!

LISTEN HERE!

Key Takeaways

  1. UNPLUG. We might be beating a dead horse on this one because we’ve totally talked about this in the past but it’s the EASIEST way to keep yourself from procrastinating. Unplugging from social media, Netflix, texting, heck even your family sometimes will really help you be more efficient with your workflow.
  2. Just do it. This applies to that stuff that’s awkward or hard that you just kind of don’t want to deal with. The longer you put off that uncomfortable phone call, the harder it will be to make it. Ashley’s strategy is to pick up the phone immediately and tackle the awkwardness. She makes a great point that she doesn’t want her clients to linger on their feelings waiting for a response from her. The faster you just do whatever it is you aren’t looking forward to, the easier it will be in the long run.
  3. Reward yourself. This is another thing that’s tough about not being in a typical office job, you don’t really get accolades for your hard work. I mean, at least not from other people. Clients loving their photos is amazing, but at the end of the day, a lot of us need little rewards along the way. This can be something as small as getting your nails done after finishing culling a long wedding, or as big as giving yourself a raise & increasing your prices! Set a goal, finish that goal, and reward yourself. Even tiny things like a cup of coffee or a 30 minute break to watch a TV show will go a long way in keeping you productive & preventing procrastination.

Relevant Links

Episode 81: Creativity & Vision Wake Up Call!

Anyone who has been in business awhile will struggle from time to time with creativity. Shoots can start to feel very monotonous and routine, and it’s easy to catch yourself capturing the same shots over & over again.

This week, we are joined by the absolutely amazing Alexis Cuarezma! If you don’t know who this is yet, you totally should! He has been commissioned by big names like Nike, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times (among others!) and is known for his vibrant aesthetic for editorial and commercial shoots. Alexis often shoots celebrity athletes on a VERY strict time crunch, so he is very familiar with tapping into his creativity quickly! He chatted with us this week about awakening your creativity.. and he tells some awesome stories too!

Key Takeaways

  1. Connect with your subjects: Alexis stresses the importance of developing a connection with your subjects before, during, and after your shoots. Since he only has a few minutes with most of his clients, Alexis does a lot of research beforehand. He learns personal facts, stories, and the history of each subject so he has things to chat with them about during their shoot. He finds this is a great way to connect quickly with his subjects & get those awesome shots!
  2. Know who you’re shooting for: As wedding & portrait photographers, a lot of us are shooting for the client. Our style, posing, location, etc all have to please the client in the end. So we need to make sure we keep that in mind while shooting. Commercial photographers oftentimes are shooting for magazine editors. They have to have a style and set up that pleases the company they’re representing. Alexis is so established in his field that he usually gets to shoot for HIMSELF! How rad is that? He gets to incorporate his own vision & creativity in his shoots, which is a luxury not everyone has. However, there’s nothing wrong with shooting for yourself from time to time, whether that’s by incorporating something new & creative in your family shoots, or doing your own side projects. Keeping your creativity alive is easier when you get to use it!
  3. Leave your comfort zone behind! A great way to ignite your creativity is to jump outside your comfort zone. You want to find something that makes you excited and tests your creativity a bit! Kate mentions a shoot she did recently with some pirates that challenged her but ended up totally amazing. Sprinkling shoots like that among your regular shoots (I mean… we have to pay the bills, right?) is a surefire way to help spark some creativity in your schedule!

We really hope you tune in to this full episode; Alexis has some awesome stories & is such an inspirational person!

Relavent Links

Episode 80: SEASON TWO IS FINALLY HERE!!!

HI EVERYONE!!!

Wwwwwwww…. long time no see!! We are SOOO excited to bring you the new, revamped PhotoSpark… season TWO! This season is going to be full of awesome guests, new topics, and maybe even a few special get-togethers to meet you guys!! This first episode is just a quick one to catch you guys up on what’s been going on in OUR lives since we last chatted, so tune in to hear some updates from the PhotoSpark ladies!

Julie Ferneau

For those of you who don’t already know Julie, she’s the wedding photographer of the group! She is a social butterfly who is amazing at keeping up with networking on TOP of her booming photography business! The past few months have been packed with second shooting gigs in addition to her own clients. Julie has had a few THREE wedding weekends over the summer, which to me is completely crazy!

There’s really no end to the “wedding season” in San Diego. The weather is amazing year round, and couples take advantage of the cooler fall and winter weather in addition to the spring & summer! So Julie has been knocking it out of the park all year!

Julie gives some tips in this episode about second shooting, as well as outsourcing editing, which she has done for the very first time! For the listeners who have been with us for (almost) two years, you’ll love to hear that Julie is outsourcing to Lauren Nygard, one of the original PhotoSpark hosts! She’s a new mom now, living in North Carolina, and is helping Julie with editing & matched her style perfectly! Julie is loving the smooth process & having a little less on her plate!

Ashley DuChene

Ashley is a family & child photographer, who also takes on some corporate clients throughout the year! She is keeping busy for sure!! It’s been a long road, but Ashley now officially has an assistant, who she trained to help with her photography business. The training process was lengthy; Ashley had to make training videos and teach her assistant all about photography, but she is SUCH a great fit for Ashley! Ashley is enjoying having someone write emails, make/answer phone calls, and help at shoots too! Her assistant has been taking behind the scenes video for Ashley’s Instagram feed, so make sure you follow her to watch her stories/live updates!

Ashley gives some tips about having an assistant in this episode. She talks about the benefits of an assistant, as well as the time it took to get everything in place. There were some financial commitments she had to make to get her started, and it’s still a little tough for Ashley to be spending more money. She’s DEFINITELY making more money though, so it has been worth it for her so far!

Having an assistant & being able to delegate tasks has helped Ashley plow through this busy season successfully! Be sure to tune in to hear about her process!

Kate Mills

Kate is also a family & child photographer who is laughing at the term “busy season” because really it feels like we go from one busy season (summer) to the next (fall/holiday shoots). There isn’t anything super new or exciting in her life at the moment, she’s just trying to find that work/life balance & chats about how she is starting to wonder if there really IS a balance or if that is just a myth! Currently, she’s doing her best to streamline her business better, which will really help get through this NEXT busy season and come out alive!

The best thing she did this year was automating her mini session scheduling! She used BookedIN and set it up so clients could pick their desired date & location from her calendar. They’d click on the time slot they wanted, fill out their contact info, and pay their session fee via PayPal right then & there. This has helped TREMENDOUSLY and has cut out the back and forth that mini sessions usually bring! It also ensures Kate isn’t chasing down any session payments. It took some time to set up, but saved a lot in the long run!

Kate also speaks about mini sessions… a lot of photographers are moving away from them which is totally fine, but she finds that they do provide some financial security during the holidays. She talks about why she does them, some regrets about them, and how to make them work for you!

THANK YOU so much you guys for your patience with the launch of Season Two! I promise we’ll be good with our weekly episodes from here on out! Please feel free to check us out on social media & drop us a line!

 

 

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