Wedding Photography Workflow + CMS for photography

wedding photographer hold camera

From inquiry to delivery, your ability to not only duplicate the experience for your clients, but systematize your entire business will determine whether or not your business can sustain growth. Are you able to keep track of every single inquiry and their associated tasks? Or friend, may be you aren’t even sure of what you should be doing for every inquiry and client. And while it sucks to admit, every task missed is a small jab to your business. It’s seriously imperative to create a consistent experience for every single client to make sure no money is left on the table. So let me walk you through the wedding photographer workflow and the best way I know to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Yay! I’ll introduce you to my favorite Client Management Software for photographers (CMS for photography) .

Wedding Photography Workflow From Inquiry to Delivery

The Initial inquiry & Follow up

Let’s talk from the very moment you receive an inquiry, what next? The obvious is to respond to the inquiry. There are various ways to approach your sales process, and not a topic I will cover during this particular post. However, what I do want to address is after your initial response: the follow up. What if you get ghosted?! *gasp* Or what if you chat on the phone and then you hear nothing?

The first piece of workflow necessary for your business is a follow up system. I’m not talking about spamming your potential brides every day asking them to book you. No, no no. I’m talking about a simple process of either finding ways to give value or simply just checking in. Repeat after me: Following up is professional. Not to mention, there is a statistic that prettyyyy much says a prospective client needs at least (something like) seven to ten exposures to your product/service before they actually purchase.

Y’all. How much are you leaving on the table without a follow up system? Let me just say, this is especially true if they have zero idea who you are. The colder the lead (as in they have no idea who they are) the more info they are going to need to: know, like and trust you. This is why word of mouth referrals are so powerful- they trust their friend, who now trusts you because of their awesome experience with you. That testimony of their trusted friend helps build that the know like and trust factor before they even talk with you!

I think within our industry as a whole, the follow up game can be a little weak. (I know that sounds bad, I’m sorry!) But when I was personally searching for a photographer there were very few who actually followed up with me, and when you’re sending emails in the panicked frenzy known as wedding planning, you can get lost as to who you’ve even reached out to. So those that followed up definitely stood out in my mind.

So, first order of workflow: Inquiry comes in. Respond. Create a simple system of follow up.

Congrats they’ve booked!

OK, so you’ve just booked your lead, yay! Now what? I’ll essentially just list some tasks off for you. And to make your life super easy, I actually have a free downloadable workflow checklist that I created for you 🙂 You can print these off and use them in hard copy of client folders, or enter the tasks in iCal, or the best option- create a workflow with this list using your cms for your photography business. (If you’re not using one, try my favorite one!)

Here are the tasks:

  • Send TY email.
  • Mail out welcome box.
  • Send Getting to Know you questionnaire.
  • Send getting to know your wedding questionnaire.
  • Secure the second shooter & send them their contract
  • Check in with the bride, see how things are going & remind them we will discuss timeline 8 weeks prior to wedding.
  • Schedule timeline call.
  • Send payment reminder.
  • Have timeline call.
  • Mail bridal care package
  • Email the little details questionnaire
  • Send timeline to bride or planner.
  • Check in about timeline.
  • Send Starbucks gift card
  • Send excited about your day tomorrow email!
  • Clean all equipment, get cards & bag ready.

All of these tasks are done at different times through their planning process. All times are noted on downloadable worksheet, so don’t forget to grab that here to see those details!

first page of wedding photographer's workflow checklist to enter into your CMS for photography

after the wedding

The wedding day has come and gone, woo hoo you made it! Now what? After I get home from every wedding, I immediately off load the photos onto my external hard drive. I also keep those SD cards (All cards in both slots) until I fully deliver that wedding. The night of the wedding I don’t do any other work than that. Because well I’m just pooped haha. But on Sunday or Monday, I begin to cull. Here are the following tasks that I do after the wedding day:

  • Send email telling bride everything is amazing!
  • Cull all & mark favorites
  • Post peeks on social media
  • Edit all faves.
  • Blog all faves.
  • Upload all faves to Pic-Time and send to bride.
  • Order gift of favorite photo for couple
  • Send vendor galleries
  • Set aside images from favorites for portfolio
  • Edit all images
  • Upload all images to pic-time & archival galleries
  • Send bride final gallery
  • Create book for venue
  • Upload favorites to Two Bright Lights & Submit
  • Create initial album design (either in Fundy or send to Align Album Design)
  • Send album design
  • Send feedback questionnaire

You may have realized … this is A LOT to remember! haha. Which is why it is imperative to have a way to not let anything fall through the cracks. And yes, if you have just a few clients it’s much easier to remember. However, if you’re in the habit of relying on your memory- what happens when your business starts to really pick up and you have no system set in place to make sure you do not forget about anyone or any little task?

Your New Biz Bff: HoneyBook A CMS for Photography

snapshot of home page for the best cms for photography, Honeybook

I gotta tell you guys, I lived without a client management software (a cms) for a LONG time with my business. And living on this side of life is so.much.better. What I did before I had a CMS for my photography business was use iCal. I would enter the task on the day in my calendar that it needed to be done. It was a lot of work typing in all those tasks throughout the calendar. I hate to admit, but I wasn’t always great at keeping up with them. Having an actual software dedicated to keeping up with your clients and all communications is literally life altering! I’m not exaggerating lol. I feel like I cannot even fully communicate the amazing-ness of it. But, here are some of my favorite features:

  • Create a workflow of tasks and automated email communications ONCE, and apply it to every client when they book
  • Your workflow can automatically apply upon receiving inquiry
  • Ability to automate tasks and emails
  • Populates tasks on set day and they don’t go away until you check them off! (Difference from iCal)
  • All client communications are kept track of easily and accessibly
  • Create questionnaires within platform
  • Receive payments in platform
  • Create custom proposal for each client
  • Payment reminders automatically sent to clients
  • Payments available for immediate transfer into account
  • Contracts created by lawyers already built into platform for you to use
  • Set your schedule of availability and send clients calendar to schedule calls or sessions without having to go back and forth with availability.
  • Create clickable brochures for your clients. (This means create your price guide/brochure within HoneyBook and your client can click on the package they select and continue with process easily for booking!)

There are literally SO many features that make this thing stinking awesome. Literally the best CMS for photographers, and I really can’t list all the reasons why here.

a snapshot of inside of the workflows page for Honeybook a CMS for wedding photography
I’ve created multiple workflows to apply to various types of clients and scenarios.

Conclusion: get Honeybook my fave CMS for photography

I know the heading haha, but seriously! When you are ready to take the leap for your business and invest, I really can’t recommend a cms for your photography business any more than I have. But in the mean time, I hope that my suggestion of using iCal with the workflow checklist (Plus an explanation of the bonus items you may not have ever even thought about) helps you to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Now go wow your brides with an amazing experience!

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