Workflow Made Easy series - Part I

March 19, 2024

What if we told you that you could spend more time behind the camera and less time in front of the computer? Would you believe us?

For most people, a picture is worth a thousand words, but what's the worth of your photography business if you experience the same pain points over and over again, day in and day out? Photography and videography post-production can be chaotic, often leading to burnout, a desire to quit or even disappointing your clients due to poor time management.

When we were building Hive5 - we've learnt that photographers spend 70% of their time doing administrative tasks and only 30% shooting. And we were absolutely not okay with that fact. We believe you can enjoy doing what you love while also making your high-volume photography business thrive?

Photographers' Workflow Chart
What if we told you that you could spend more time behind the camera and less time in front of the computer? Would you believe us? 

Yes, we know that you’ve tried it all. But the tools are disintegrated. You still have to switch from one studio management tool to another and spend hours in post-production. 

There's one tool for task management, the second for online payments,  the third for communicating with retouchers and editors, fourth for communication with your client, fifth for posting your portfolio online—you get the point.

You can now optimize your post-production work, avoid burnout and dazzle your clients. You can finally do what you love - shoot photos and videos and all that with one photography management software.

But let’s first take a look at the problems at hand. 

Chaotic workflow = burnout.

Yes - this is the math of it. Photographers across the board have similar challenges when trying to structure their workflow.

Whether you are a commercial, stock, or wedding photographer yourself or a producer coordinating these professionals - you must have faced some of these challenges, if not - all. Let's see what we have to deal with:
Backup on external storage graph by Hive5
Backup on external storage - External storage is one way to save photos and videos. Although this is a solution, it isn’t ideal because you may lose your files at any point. 

There are a few different reasons why external hard drives fail. The most common reason is simply aging. Over time, the components in your hard drive will start to wear out and won't work as well as they used to.

Another common cause of hard drive failure is physical damage. If you drop your hard drive or if it gets too hot or too cold, it can damage the components inside and cause it to fail.

Finally, hard drives can also be damaged by viruses or other malware. If your computer gets infected with a virus, it can spread to your hard drive and corrupt the files stored on it.

If you think you are alone, you’re not. The award-winning National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale had this happen to her. 

She said to the New York Times: ‘I’ve had hard drives fail throughout my career. For example, back when I first started as a photographer, I had a very nice hard drive system in my home, and the whole thing failed.

I lost some historic moments from the first part of my career, and they’re gone forever,” adds Vitale.

Good news is this - Hive5 provides secure cloud space for photographers and videographers to deploy their content for customers. We use Amazon's cloud infrastucture designed to provide an extremely scalable, highly reliable platform that enables customers to deploy content and data quickly and securely. This infrastructure is built and managed not only according to security best practices and standards, but also with the unique needs of the cloud in mind.

Continuing to our next struggle:

Running out of space graph by Hive5
Running out of space - Photographers and videographers face two major problems regarding storage. The first one comes early in their careers. The computer can only accept so many files when you upload photos to your drive. 

After that, you either need new computers or external drives. Most opt for external drives or cloud-based solutions. Uploading photos to the cloud works, but these tools are not designed for photographers. Why, you may ask?

Well, look at our previous article and see how we stack up next to Dropbox, a popular cloud option.

The second problem occurs when you fill the external storage. You can either: 

- Buy more storage

- Buy more storage, but bigger

- Optional: Cry in despair and think about changing your profession

- Read through this article and learn the solution

Unable to keep a full archive of past shoots graph by Hive5
Well, being unable to keep a full archive of past shoots is a common pain spot for photography businesses.

These businesses try to create archives of past shoots and keep them as long as possible. Most of them save them forever, in case clients ever need them again. External hard drives as an archive option means making extensive notes what's on them and waiting for hours for images to load. This can become a problem for small businesses working with multiple clients. Sure, they then turn to cloud-based solutions, which are often overpriced, besides not being designed to keep raw files.

The archives can become massive if you work a lot and have daily shoots, eventually damaging the financial health of your photography business. And we don't want that for you. We want you to keep your files safe and easily accessible.

Unable to find old shoots graph by Hive5
Unable to find old shoots - The bigger the archive you have, the harder it becomes to find the old shoots.

While you are labeling everything and keeping things organized, there’s always a risk of losing a drive or damaging it over time. 

How many times have you heard- "Hey xxx, can you please send the shoot from July 2021 - our brand is doing a recap of last year's campaigns?''

You may spend hours looking for some old shoots that you need. And how about we start to talk about packaging your finished work?

Package finished work graph by Hive5
Package finished work - In an age where digital media reigns supreme, the new standard is to share photo portfolios with clients online.

For many photographers and videographers, the challenge now is not in taking beautiful pictures but in packaging their finished work in a way that will resonate with clients in a professional way.

Sharing a link to a Google Drive folder or similar space doesn’t show off the efforts or quality of your work, and you really need to stand out in your client’s eyes, both existing and new. We want you to stand out from the crowd and dazzle your clients, not just hand them your portfolio in an uninspiring way.

Decipher client feedback sent by email is a tricky one.

Communication with clients can become complicated due to different channels you make yourself available on.

Anyhow - this communication usually tends to go through email. Often, they attach the photos that they want you to edit, and they will write what they need.  You will then have to go through your  storage to find the image, make the changes, and send an email. 

Having automated emails isn't an option because of the specifics clients may ask for. One of the options is to create email templates for the most common problems you would edit and send to speed up the process. Having your own email templates makes the process slightly easier, but it is still too complicated, especially if you deal with many clients. 

You need user-friendly management software that sorts out this problem. Just imagine having all this post-production talk being handled by one platform.

Working with clients brings a whole new set of problems. Successful small businesses and large photography studios have a developed calendar system for planning future gigs. They also use contract templates and offer the option of digital contract signing.

Online booking and the ability to sign contracts in a matter of a few minutes make cooperation with your clients a lot easier.

Sometimes, clients can be demanding, but having a simple online booking option and offering different online payment options is something you must consider as a photography studio. You can track clients as they go through the process all the way to the end. Wouldn't it be neat to do so with just one software? We know the answer to this, hope you do too by now.

Work with multiple tools simultaneously - To achieve everything, you have to use different tools and platforms. These tools include storage sites like Dropbox, stock websites, tools for editing photos, tools for working together, and so on. 

None of these provide a seamless post-production experience, and you need to balance between them constantly. 

Although you can find photography CRM software that would help you organize daily tasks and cater to some of your business needs, you'd still have to find the best client communication option, storage, and photo editor. 

Google and Apple calendars are also common tools photography businesses use for upcoming photography projects, but we're back to square one. You still have a dozen platforms for your business needs.

Bottom line - your photography business deserves a better workflow.

Two roads to take:
- Read Workflow Made Easy Pt.2 coming out on January 24th.
- Or just sign up for today, and try our features for free.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, we like to think that our app can speak volumes.

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