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virginia wedding photographer

February 13, 2018

10 BEST DECISIONS I EVER MADE IN PHOTOGRAPHY

You read a few weeks ago about 10 mistakes I’ve made in photography but I figured that I would share 10 best decisions I’ve made in the business! You’ll notice that “invest” is a key word for most of these 10 best decisions. You gotta invest in yourself!

  1. Invested in Lightroom. When I first started in business I was editing in Photoshop and it suckedddd. I’m not doing anything that ever requires Photoshop. Lightroom is SO user friendly!
  2. Bought a ThinkTank. This bag goes with me everywhere! It holds all my lenses, flashes, etc. AND it’s TSA approved and it’s the bag I carry-on to planes when I’m traveling to destination weddings! It never leaves my sight! It also locks. Check it out here: https://www.thinktankphoto.com//collections/airport-series/products/airport-international-v3-0
  3. Invested in education. I think it’s smart to invest in yourself and your education. No one is done learning. Taking the Katelyn James Workshop Experience changed my life! I went full-time 2 months after taking her workshop and here I am going on 3 years!! Her workshops sell out super quick! Join the waitlist!: https://katelynjameseducation.com/workshops/ . My other favorite conference is ShowIt UNITED – I’ve been two years in a row! Not only do you get to learn from the best in 4 days (main stage talks, styled shoots – like the one below, breakout sessions, etc!), you make tons of friends! Sign up for the ShowIt United waitlist!! https://showit.co/unitedBelow: The Katelyn James Workshop Experience – April 2015!katelyn_james_workshop_experience
  4. Decided to deliver online. I deliver all of my clients’ sessions through an online platform called Pixieset. It’s SO nice because it allows for my clients to get their galleries as soon as I’m finished with them, download to their computers in an instant, and share easily with their family and friends. I love the “favorites” feature because when I’m designing albums for my clients, they can “heart” their favorite images and I know which ones must be in the album! Use my referral link: https://pixieset.com/ref/JXPxWdAK1G
  5. Bought a 50mm. My 50mm 1.2L is my favorite lens! Second place… probably my 24-70. I know… a zoom?!?! crazy right? Well, it’s my go-to lens for traveling because if you want to travel light… this one does the job.virginia wedding photographer
  6. Invested in an iMac. Editing on a tiny laptop can really get old. I was actually developing tennis elbow from all the long hours I was spending editing using a trackpad. I know… you can sync a mouse… but that wasn’t the only issue. The screen on my MacBook Pro is tinyyyy compared to my 27″ iMac. It’s SO much easier to edit on a bigger screen!! I still use my laptop when traveling but the 27 in iMac is my #1 baby.
  7. Invested in HoneyBook. HoneyBook is the system I use for tracking client payments, collecting contracts, and communicating with my clients. I got it 3 years ago and it’s been the best! No need for client checks to get lost in the mail… everything is done online and that is SO nice and easy! Check out Honeybook using my referral link for a discount!: http://share.honeybook.com/fJ8tc
  8. Invested in PhotoMechanic. Cull your photos in half, maybe more than half, the time. I can edit an engagement session in 15 min and a wedding in 30. WIN!!!! I waited far too long to get it… don’t make the same mistake as me!! haha! Try it out before you buy: http://www.camerabits.com/tour-v5/
  9. Found the perfect accountant. I use a CPA who works with several of my other photography friends/small business owners. It was very important for me to hire someone who knows how my business runs!
  10. Joined The Rising Tide Society. After joining this creative entrepreneur group, I connected with so many photographers (and other creatives!) who have now turned into second shooters, friends, and the greatest support group. I work “alone and at home” almost every day but with this group, I feel connected to a team. Everyone needs a support group, a tribe, and people that you can trust. I’ll forever be grateful to this incredible group of business owners!! If you run a creative business, click HERE because you MUST find your local group immediately!!!

Curious to hear YOUR best decisions! Sharing is caring! (ha!)

To read about my top 10 mistakes in photography, read more by clicking HERE!

  1. Rachel says:

    BRETT!! I love this!! Your posts are always so informative, even though I’m not a photographer I find myself reading through it going, “mmhmm, 50mm lens…got it I’ll have to pick that up” hahah but for real it’s such a great insight into the photographer world and the things you like and don’t like are super helpful! Also, thank you for making lists!! I love reading blogs that are short and sweet…don’t bombard me with 8 billion pictures and novels full of text, my brain cannot handle it. You are the best!!

  2. Krysta says:

    I love your top 10! I seriously wish this information would have been available when I started my business. It’s so nice to see how someone else builds their business – meaning placing emphasis on things that help them significantly. I can back you up on Lightroom, PhotoMechanic, Honeybook and pixieset. All of this things were game changers for me! Thanks for sharing!

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