Let's talk Workflow and Black Friday DEALS!
So, I’ve always had curly hair. It was cute when I was little, but once puberty hit, oh man - those hormones made it go bonkers, and as any curly girl (or boy, I assume) knows - it’s all about finding the right products to tame that totally out of your control mane. Much like haircare, we’ve learned a lot in our years of running a photo business and that includes finding a great arsenal of products to help run the biz, make life easier, AND elevate the offerings. Since sharing is caring, we wanted to share some our faves in hopes that it can help YOU hone in on that efficient bad ass business babe and dude life. Bonus: It’s Black Friday, and there are sales. Oh man, are there sales.
Let’s start from the very beginning.
You’ve shot your session and now your home. What do you do first? Upload all dat bidness so you have a back up copy, right? If you don’t already have a back up for your back up - you should. There are far too many horror stories out there NOT to back things up multiple times and in multiple places. I’ll save ya the lecture and let you in on what we use to back up our back ups.
Enter in - the DROBO
5D3 Enclosure on sale for Black Friday for $549 (We use the 5N because it’s attached to our home network)
Next step? Cull all that awesome shiz you just made down to the most awesome of the awesome. We learned early on that while we love ourselves some Lightroom and do the bulk of our photo processsing there, culling quickly is not its forte.
Enter in - PHOTO MECHANIC
Worth every bit of time you’ll get back from waiting for your photos to load, and on sale November 23-26th for $30 off.
Next, we pull it all into Lightroom for editing, with photos making the occasional appearance in Photoshop as well. Once everything has been edited (and run through one other thing that’s TBD #keepreading), we organize it all using Bridge - so yea the Adobe Creative Suite is kind of necessary.
Black Friday Sale - 39.99/month (normal 52.99/month) or 15.99/ month if you’re a student
Let’s talk presets real quick, too because while we’ve come to find our very own mix of colors and shadows that work for us, we learned a lot about what our voice was and what Lightroom is capable of by using presets. We started with VSCO, but there are tons of other photographers out there that make some beautiful starting places for you, so we wanted to list a few of our friends deals for you to check out.
Twyla Jones Preset Packs - 40% off November 23rd - November 26th. No code needed.
Eric-Rene Penoy Horizon Pack - 40% off
Levi Tijerna Presets - 40% off for Black Friday
Brandi Potter - Not a discount per say, but she’s working on something even better and we HAD to mention it. There’s a preset pack coming out soon. Every month, she’ll donate half of the proceeds from her preset sales to a new charity. That’s worth talking about.
Once we’ve curated and looked at every image (multiple times) in Lightroom to ensure the color story is cohesive, we run our photos through Alien Skin exposure because it does something for skin, sharpness and grain that no other program can accomplish. It’s the secret weapon that adds the sweet stuff to make our photos pop like corn on a hot fire.
Enter in Alien Skin Exposure
Save 15% through November 26th
So now, we’ve exported all the things, organized them in Bridge (because I’m the most anal person you’ve ever met when it comes to delivering a product) and delivery is in site! To optimize the files so our clients don’t have megaladon sized folders of images taking up room on their computers, we run them through JPEGmini first. This is also useful for a quick re-size before posting to social media and making sure the photos on your site are optimized to make thangs run quick.
25% off for Black Friday!
Speaking of being totally anal about how our stories are told, blogging is one of those things that always took me FOREVERRRRRR. Ben lives in a constant battle of telling me the blog is ready to go while I tell him it’s not perfect enough yet. Poor Ben. I live in my mind, he lives WITH it. Anyway, Narrative is the best thing that’s happened to my ability to put out a blog without spending days and days on it (yea… days - secrets out), and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
The brilliance of Narrative surpasses me.
Black Friday sale of $1 a month for 6 months or %50 off for a year. Get on that one fo sho.
Before we deliver a gallery, we send a slideshow to our couples while we create the GIF’s that go with our stories (a time consuming task to say the least). It gives us the ability to tell the story the way we want them to see it for the very first time, gets them SUPER excited, and in turn, we’ve seen sharing go to an all time high because they’re so flipping excited to get a peek at what we’ve been working on! In the constant battle of fighting social media algorithms, this links back to you and people lurrrrrv it. Plus, setting things to music just makes an experience better.
Enter in Pixellu Smartslides
40% off Sale now through November 26th and worth every shiny penny.
AND Pixellu also offers the easiest album creation software known to man - so if you create a lot albums for your clients, you NEED this.
Also 40% off through November 26th #whoa.
So all those photos have to go somewhere in order to get to the client, right? We live in a digital wo-oo-orld (spin on a Coldplay classic, anyone?), and let’s just say that we have a high level of intrigue with a particular gallery provider out there these days. We haven’t tried it out just yet, though we’re SUPER excited about the GIF integration that’s in the works, but goodness it is PRRRRRRRRRetty. Plus, the way they do sales to show how happy those pictures you worked so hard on look as tangible goodies? Color us impressed - straight up, with a twist. So while we haven’t had experience dabbling in the program, it’s worth taking a look at yourself because why not get it on sale.
15% off yearly plans through November 26th.
Finally, we used Squaremuse to create the bones of our Squarespace site and honestly learned a lot in the process of building and tweaking it to fit the look and feel we wanted. It’s always a work in process, but they’ve got deals too!
Getchoo some website help at Squaremuse
Black Friday deals up to 40% off.
Dats it! Get your shop on, people, and treat that business to some time saving, better making, super awesome sauce improvements!