Every photographer struggles with the decision of whether or not to let go of their wedding post processing.
It’s not easy! The struggle is real.
Recently we asked several clients to share their story. There was no expectation of what to write about other than it had to be from the heart and perspective. Amy DeYoung is a photographer I’ve had the pleasure and joy of serving for many years and she chose to share some great insight that I find SUPER common among our clients.
Below she shares her story in business and how she came to the place where she could outsource her post processing. If her story is familiar, raise your hand by leaving a comment below.
Juggling a business, family, and all of life’s curveballs, is no simple task.
Juggling is defined as a skill involving the manipulation of one or many objects at the same time. Jugglers have the ability to toss numerous objects into the air and with the swift, continuous movement of the hands, keep all of the objects from dropping to the ground. The really good jugglers manage to keep going, even when new objects are thrown into the mix.
I am a photographer and business owner, a wife, and a mother of two busy boys, one dog and 4 hermit crabs. In my day-to-day this can spill into many hats: artist, manager, maid (my least favorite), chef, laundry goddess, the family accountant, grocery getter, chauffeur, boo-boo kisser, book-lover, puppy snuggling, do-it-all.
To sum it up, I am a juggler of life. Most of us are.
If you are a business owner like myself, then you have most likely come to the realization that owning and operating a business is so much more than meets the eye. My business started with a passion, a desire to control my time and have the flexibility to work on my terms.
The thing is, my business needed so much more.
There is a dreamy vision floating around of what chasing your dream, in this case, to become a photographer looks like. It seems to include frolicking from glamorous photo shoot to photo shoot, clicking happy little fingers and capturing the most joyful of people on the planet, only to deliver glorious images to clients who swoon over them and send you ten of their BFF’s, who are no doubt willing to drop top dollar.
This may be slightly misleading.
Sure, it starts with a passion and a camera, but when the reality of running a photography business takes hold, it gets much messier and requires countless hours and even your heart and soul. It requires many sleepless nights staring at a computer screen until your eyes are stuck in the crossed position. It involves dealing with all personalities, BIG and small, and every other type you can imagine.
Running a business involves learning what your true gifts are and marketing those successfully, while also learning what your weaknesses are and working on those until they turn to strengths. When you work to build and keep a successful photography business, you will give a big part of yourself to it. It will become a part of you… at least it did me. I had to learn to let go and not allow it to overtake my WHOLE life.
I have a hard time handing over responsibility.
However, upon the arrival of my second little man, I could see that this juggling act wasn’t going to last. With so many objects being tossed through the air simultaneously, it was only a matter of time before I dropped something. As I frantically tried to keep everything in the air, I looked around at other photographers who had appeared to have a bit more success than I at this whole juggling act and desperately began seeking their wisdom. Here is what I learned: outsource.
It’s a beautiful word really.
To obtain (goods or a service) from an outside supplier (Ex: Essential Edit), in place of an internal source (Ex: Me). It came down to making the choice of what I wanted to keep my hands in and what I was willing to let go of and allow others to do for me.
Each thing I agreed to let go of was one less thing I had to juggle, and since I had just added another human to my juggling act (whom I was fully responsible for feeding every hour on the hour) taking multiple things off my hands could not have been more welcomed.
Up to that point, I had done practically everything in my business (NOT recommended). I began to look at what areas of my business I enjoyed the least and sucked the most of my time. By a landslide, my #1 was color-correcting my Raw files. I detested this part and had already given weeks and most likely months of my life to this monster.
The idea that I could keep all that time for myself from this moment forward was a gift beyond measure! Throughout the years of myphotography business, I have outsourced other things and those things change from time-to-time, but the one that has made the biggest difference in my life is allowing someone else, (who is waaaaay better than I, by the way) to take care of this process for me.
I photograph mostly weddings where I have anywhere from 500-1000 images per event. Consistency is a high priority. The fact that I can send these images off to Essential Edit and trust that they will come back ready for the next step, is a gift that keeps on giving.
I’ve been juggling a lot for years and I don’t see that changing in the immediate future. However, giving up some control so I can regain more control over my time is one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made.
I often revisit the question of what else can I let go of?
And honestly, the answer isn’t always the same. However, there are always things I will gladly set down in order to keep juggling the good stuff in my life. Whenever I’m tempted to take the unnecessary items back into the juggling act, I remind myself that at heart, I am a creative soul, a seeker of knowledge, lover of the written word, seeking adventure, true connection, a restful spirit, and fulfilling moments to hold dear. Knowing my priorities is vital… which means I have to set some things down, so I can keep on juggling the rest!
So I challenge you, what is it that you want to spend your time juggling?
And what can you let go of?
I promise it will be worth it!
Amy’s favorite vendors that make the world go ’round:
ShootQ for managing clients and contracts (life changer for me since I used to do everything by hand and snail mail)
Pixieset for online proofing