photo by Prostock-Studio via iStock
After a long year of very little work, my calendar is really quickly filling up. Thankfully, I’ve been in this industry for years so I recognize how much work I can take on at once, but I have a lot of friends who are struggling because they don’t want to say “no” to their clients and they are ending up way in over their heads.
Thankfully, there are a ton of organizational hacks that you can use to keep yourself on track, to spend less time on administrative jobs, and, ultimately, to keep your clients happy.
All of these organization tips for photographers are things that you can easily implement this week, because if there’s one thing I know it’s that you’ll never learn how to streamline your business with photography business tips that are more trouble than they’re worth.
All of these organization tips for photographers are also relatively cheap.
Invest in Being Comfortable
photo by mediaphotos via iStock
My favorite organization tips for photographers are ones that help you do your job better because you’re more comfortable. Sure, it’s annoying to have to go searching for a password or to forget to post something on Instagram, but there’s nothing worse than working in a space that is physically uncomfortable.
This is why I recommend that you invest in your own comfort. Ergonomic chairs are far cheaper than they ever have been and if you’ve never used one before, then you will be shocked at just how comfortable they are.
You should also have a desk that is large enough for you to be able to comfortably work on. And, truthfully, it should be a desk that is height-adjustable so you can change your working position over the course of the day. I know I get very fatigued if I just sit all day, so a standing desk was the ideal solution for my workflow.
And I know what you're thinking - a standing desk is way too expensive. But you're wrong!
ZipDesk is an affordable standing desk that's priced starting at $729. Now, that's still a good chunk of change, but when you consider that this is a high-quality desk with features like a Bluetooth controller, a smartphone app, and a dual-stage, dual-motor lift, you begin to realize that this desk is an investment for the long-term, not just a quick fix to make you more comfortable.
The ZipDesk is engineered and built in the U.S., and with certifications for reliability and durability, as well as being compliant with ergonomics guidelines, it's a great partner for giving you a more comfortable (and functional) workspace.
These desks are pre-made and ship the same day they're ordered. When the ZipDesk arrives at your door, it's 95-percent complete, so you can unpack it and set it up and start your workday in just eight minutes.
Add in tilt-over detection technology, anti-collision technology, a 10-year top-to-bottom warranty, and a 100-day satisfaction guarantee to the mix, and you have the makings of one heck of a desk for a comparatively low price. Heck, the desk even disassembles easily, so if you move to a new home or office space, you don't have to spend all day taking your desk apart and reassembling it.
With a fully-programmable digital controller with an easy-to-read LCD readout and three height favorites to choose from, this desk is ready to rock to help you be more comfortable at work.
But don't take my word for it - learn more about the ZipDesk to see why it's the desk for you!
Of course, you can also invest in ergonomic keyboards if you’re trying to get really fancy with your space. The important thing is that you try everything out before purchasing it, or at the very least purchase it somewhere like Amazon that will easily accept returns. You’ll be worse off if you invest in an ergonomic chair or keyboard that doesn’t work for you.
I recommend that you start here, because all of the other organization tips for photographers on this list truly take a back seat to your comfort.
Focus on Digital and Physical Storage
photo by Kostikova via iStock
The next set of organization tips for photographers is to figure out your digital and physical storage. I mentioned physical storage above when I recommended that you buy a desk with more shelving, but this tip doesn’t go nearly far enough.
You should purchase a great bag that will allow you to store all of the photo gear you typically need for a shoot, so that you can just pick it up and go. You should also purchase boxes and a label maker for gear you only use a few times a month. After years of storing all of my photography gear in a closet, without any labels or organization, I can firmly tell you that you should not make the same mistake.
However, many organization tips for photographers don’t deal with physical items, but digital ones. Think about where all of your images are currently stored. If you didn’t have access to your memory cards or your laptop, would you still be able to access all of them? If the answer is no, then you need to get some digital storage.
You can use a cloud based storage, like Google Drive or iCloud, or an external hard drive, like this one from LaCie. There would truly be nothing worse than losing a ton of client photos out of carelessness.
Another point about keeping your stuff organized is having the right camera bag to keep your gear safe, secure, and easy to access while you're out shooting.
I've gushed over my Camera Pack from Nomatic and Peter McKinnon before...it's simply one of the best camera bags I've ever had.
And now they've teamed up to create a new line of Everyday Bags that continue the tradition of being uber-useful for photographers.
The Everyday line includes a backpack and a sling bag that give you all the options you need for carrying your gear.
In both cases, you get weather-resistant materials, comfortable shoulder straps, thoughtful organization, and durable construction.
Both bags are incredibly well designed to give you the height of functionality and to help you keep your gear - whether big or small - neatly organized.
We're talking dedicated storage for batteries and memory cards, optional dividers and cubes to give you customized storage spaces, tons of mesh and zipper pockets, and easy access.
But don't take my word for it...have a peek at their Kickstarter campaign and see why these bags would be a great addition to your gear collection!
Automate Your Website and Social Media
photo by golubovy via iStock
Now that we’ve gotten some of the most important organization tips for photographers out of the way, we can get to some of the more fun tips for being more organized: like automation.
You’re no longer worried about losing your photos. You’re no longer worried about an aching back from hours of photo editing. Now, you can be worried about making your life easier. And automation is one of the best ways to do it.
I recommend that you automate all of your social media posts, since very few photographers really love posting to their social media accounts anyways. You can use a number of different tools to do it, like Hootsuite, Later, or Plann.
photo by Tero Vesalainen via iStock
All of these tools are going to cost a nominal fee, but the time you’re saving is more than worth it. At first, you should aim to have your social media posts planned out one week in advance. But, when you really get going, you’ll soon have them planned out a few months ahead. This is definitely one of those organization tips for photographers that will enable you to squeeze in more clients because you’re no longer worried about the mundane part of your job.
You can do the same thing with your website, as well. You should be posting to a blog on your website at least a few times a month and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t create your blog content a few months in advance. You can add this content to your editorial calendar.
Keep Every Conversation in One Place
I don’t know why keeping on top of communication can be so difficult for photographers, but I get tons of emails about it. So, I couldn’t create an article all about organization tips for photographers without including at least one about staying on top of your conversations with clients.
I recommend Podium to every photographer I meet. Podium is an all-in-one messaging platform that pulls every conversation you have with clients and puts them all on one platform. You will never again have to jump from Gmail, to Instagram, to Yelp, to your texts, and back again, because Podium takes every message you receive and places it in one inbox.
It also helps me to keep track of how much time it generally takes me to respond to clients. You are far more likely to get jobs if you are the first photographer to respond to a potential client. By keeping track of my average response time, Podium has actually helped me to bring in more money to my business. What’s not to like about that?!