If you’re serious about making it as a professional photographer, one of the first things you need to do is evaluate the ways in which you can maximize your time each day. Whether that’s hiring an assistant to answer phones and schedule your appointments or equipping yourself with the latest software to improve your post-processing workflow, you need to squeeze every second out of every work day so that you have time to rest, relax, and spend time with friends and family.
To help you in that regard, we’ve put together this list of three can’t-miss productivity tips.
Break Your Day Into “Chunks”
Chunking is a method used by people to tackle a large task - you work on one aspect of the task, and when it’s completed, you move on to the next one.
This is also a great method for improving your productivity because you can limit distractions and interruptions. For example, if you identify two or three chunks of time over the course of the day during which you return emails and phone calls, you don’t have to worry about being interrupted by those tasks when you’re trying to do something else, like processing your photos.
As a creative person, you know that there are times when your creativity is really going strong, and others when it’s a struggle. The last thing you need to do is concern yourself with how many emails you have coming in or the number of phone calls you need to return when you’re trying to concentrate on developing ideas for shoots or going through hundreds of photos, trying to find the best ones for your clients.
Just record a voicemail greeting that includes the times when you’re available, and create an email autoresponder that outlines your availability as well. Then you can work worry-free and address those tasks when it’s time.
Improve Your Workflow
There are plenty of ways to improve your workflow - have model releases digitized so they can be signed on your phone or a tablet, pack your gear for a photo shoot the night before, if possible, so you can walk out the door when it’s time to leave the next day, and invest in productivity tools for your computer like billing software and a social media app so you can spend less time on those activities and more time actually taking photos.
But one of the best things you can do to be more productive is to equip yourself with tools that make the process of shooting photos easier and smoother. At the top of our list of how to do that is to eliminate those pesky neck straps that always get in the way and replace them with a hand strap like the Spiderlight Hand Strap from Spider Holster, which is currently on Kickstarter. This ergonomically designed hand strap was built for comfort, with padding on the inside that prevents excessive sweating and exterior material the not only looks good, but also remembers the contours of your hand for maximum comfort.
In addition to the comfort factor, using a hand strap frees you from the binds of neck straps to allow you the freedom of movement you need to get the shots you want. What’s more, the Spiderlight Hand Strap fits snugly on your hand so there’s no worry that your mirrorless camera will slide off - you can work freely but with the peace of mind that your valuable gear won’t be going anywhere.
In the past, a major drawback of hand straps was that they weren’t compatible to use with other tools, like tripods. But with the Spiderlight Hand Strap, you don’t have to remove it in order to use your tripod. Just utilize the Spiderlight Thin Plate to make transitions from tripod mounting to handheld a breeze. Use Spider Holster’s Black Widow Holster for easy access to your camera right on your hip, and pair that with Black Widow Vertical Adapter to attach your Black Widow Holster to a backpack or a messenger back for another easy-access option.
Improving your workflow is about making shooting more intuitive and accessible, and for pros that utilize a mirrorless system, the Spiderlight Hand Strap and its associated products do just that. No more fumbling around with neck straps. No more awkward lens changes. No more fatigued shoulders. The Spiderlight Hand Strap will keep your process streamlined and help you maintain a higher level of energy so you can get the shots you need in less time. That’s something your body and mind will appreciate!
Find out more about the incredible products mentioned above by visiting Spider Holster’s Kickstarter page.
Carve Out a Workspace
If you’re like many photographers, you probably work from home. While that helps save you money on rent and time commuting back and forth to a separate studio, it also means that you have to mix your work environment with the one where you relax, eat dinner, or sleep. Those mixed messages can really interfere with how your body and mind works, so carving out a special space in your home for your work is crucial.
Your home workspace needn’t be anything spectacular, but what it does need is to be as separated from the rest of your home as possible. A spare bedroom, a basement, or an attic might be good, out-of-the-way choices that give you the space you need as far away from the hubbub of the house as possible. If you don’t have a separate space, use space planning and furniture choices to create a workspace in your main living area. Something as simple as a desk can help you be more productive as it indicates to your brain that it’s work time in a way that plopping yourself on the couch with your laptop cannot.
Another aspect of creating your workspace needs to be a commitment to being distraction free. For example, it’s wonderful to position your desk near a window, but will it be too tempting to gaze outside rather than working? If positioned near your TV, will the urge to turn it on outweigh your desire to continue your work, even when you aren’t necessarily feeling all that creative? The point is that your workspace needs to facilitate “work mode,” and that will require you to be thoughtful about potential distractions and how to avoid them.