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I've been in the photography industry for a decade now, and in that time, I've learned a thing or two about how to manage my time and manage my money better.
And like anyone else in this industry, time and money always seem to be in short supply for me, so maximizing them both only makes sense. After all, learning how to make money with photography is what it's all about.
I've outlined a few tricks below that I've used to streamline my workflow and make my dollar stretch further. These have been lifesavers for me, and I think they will be for you as well.
Let's get started!
Edit Your Photos in Lightroom
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For years, I refused to make Lightroom my go-to editing program because I learned how to edit photos in Photoshop, it was all I'd ever used, and I had no interest in changing my workflow.
That was a bad decision...
Eventually I was so tied up in editing photos that I really had no choice but to make the switch to using Lightroom as my primary editor. It was the best decision I've ever made.
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Not only is Lightroom a far better program for organizing my images, but the ability to make presets in Lightroom helps streamline the process even further.
Some photographers warn that Lightroom isn't as capable an editor as Photoshop, and I agree.
But if you take the time to get your images right in-camera, then you won't need to spend hours and hours correcting them in Photoshop. Instead, light edits in Lightroom should do the trick.
Don't Buy New Gear
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As we all know, new photography gear can cost a pretty penny. Even an entry-level camera with a couple of lenses can easily cost over $1,000.
That's why I've become a big fan of buying used gear.
I know that "used" has a bad connotation in some circles, but if you go about it in the right way and make your purchases from reputable outfits, it's hard to go wrong. After all, you can get higher-end gear without paying higher-end prices. What's not to like about that?
I recently came across a website called Gear Offer, and I have to say that this looks like the future of buying (and selling) used photography gear.
Gear Offer brings professional and enthusiast photographers together in one place to meet one another's gear needs.
So if you want to upgrade your kit with a 70-200mm lens, all you need to do is sign up for a free account, add your payment and address information, and search the site for the 70-200mm lens of your dreams using the site's product filters.
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Once you find an item you want, you can either buy the item right then and there for the list price or you can make an offer on it at a lower price. The seller can either accept or reject your offer, and if it's accepted, the item is yours!
All payments are made via Gear Offer, so it truly is one-stop shopping. They'll even send you shipping updates so you know where your item is from the moment it leaves the seller's location to the moment it arrives on your doorstep.
If the process sounds simple and painless, it is! In that regard, buying pre-owned gear from Gear Offer not only saves you money, but it saves you time as well.
Save Time By Delegating Tasks
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While I understand first-hand how tempting it is to try to do everything yourself with regards to your photography business, trust me when I say that it is definitely not the most efficient way to operate.
Yes, it costs money to hire people to help you, but in the long-run, having help frees you up to work with more clients and bring more money into the business. That's how you make money with photography!
Even if you hire a part-time assistant to handle client communications, bookings, and other day-to-day tasks, it will free up hours of your time each day to handle other business-related tasks.
I would encourage you to build a larger team, though, if possible.
That includes having an attorney to advise you on business matters, an accountant to handle your books, an insurance broker that specializes in working with photographers, and any number of other professionals that can help you build and grow your business.
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There are probably a million other things you can do to save yourself a little time and money as a photographer, but these three tips should get you headed in the right direction.
Each of these tricks have helped me immensely, and I'm sure they can do the same for you.
The old adage "work smarter, not harder" definitely applies to being a photographer, and if you can utilize these ways of saving time and money, you'll certainly be sitting pretty!