A great workflow is a wonderful thing. It reduces stress and increases both your productivity and your client happiness.
When we posted about our super simple workflow whiteboard a couple folks asked if we could share our own workflow. I figured I’d create a post about it so everyone could get the details!
Now, here’s the thing. There is no such thing as a perfect workflow. Consider yours (and ours) a perpetual work in progress. We’re always trying to figure out ways to be more efficient, and to give our clients a better experience. This workflow has been revised a couple times already, and there will probably be many more adjustments in the future! We’re always learning!
So, without further ado, here is our current workflow for portraits. It begins when a client has paid their session fee and signed their contract. At that point they’re officially a client, and go onto our workflow whiteboard.
1. Send receipt
2. Input client into database. Right now I’m just using the Mac Address Book, but I tried out Bento and thought it was nifty. Might end up using that!
3. Send hand written card. We send our clients a card letting them know that we’re excited to get to photograph them! Get the excitement going.
4. Email questionnaire and info PDF. We send them a questionnaire to get details about what they like to do, and what they are envisioning for their portraits. The more we can get to know them before the shoot, the better we can prepare to capture their personalities in the images! I also send a PDF with details about how to prepare for the shoot, and what to expect from the whole experience.
5. Receive questionnaire.
6. Schedule viewing and ordering session. We have our clients over to our home/studio to view their images after the session and make their choices about how they’d like to display them. It’s a great experience, and lets us help them figure out how best to show off their awesome new photos! Scheduling this before the shoot helps keep things flowing smoothly.
7. Choose location. Once we have the questionnaire we’re able to find a location that works well for the overall vibe we’re looking to get.
8. Confirm time and location. We make sure everyone is clear about when and where to meet! Never hurts to double confirm.
9. Shoot session.
10. Send thank you email.
11. Put teaser image on Facebook. We love looking through photos right after the session while everything is still fresh in our minds, and pick out a favourite for them to see right away. I know I’d want to get a peek at how things went!
12. Sort. We use PhotoMechanic for this to keep things speedy.
13. Edit and retouch. Here we use Lightroom for photo editing and Photoshop for retouching.
14. Pre-design all products. This is super important, especially for albums. Pre-designing helps the clients really understand how their images will look in your products.
15. Confirm time and date for viewing and ordering session.
16. Viewing and ordering session. Let them see the photos, help them pick what they’d like. Make it a great experience. Have fun!
17. Send thank you email, details of order and timeline
18. Submit order to labs
19. Pickup products
20. Package products
21. Schedule dropoff.
22. Drop off products
23. Send info about referral program
24. Blog session
25. Send email about blog contest
And that’s it! Pretty straightforward. :) I’m sure there are things that we could add to our workflow after reviewing how this one worked out for this season. But overall it’s pretty simple, fits well on our whiteboard, and focuses a lot on taking care of our clients.
Do you have any steps that you add in to your portrait workflow? Share them in the comments!