Why Photographers Should Embrace Their Left Brains

Over time, I’ve noticed that many photographers struggle with creating an efficient workflow, like most artists. By nature of the personality that is drawn to the profession, photographers often live and work almost entirely from their right brains, dreading anything that requires a system or a spreadsheet.

In contrast to the average tog, I love systems and spreadsheets (actually, I used to be a budget analyst). I equally love art, travel, adventure, and creative expression. I guess I have a bit of a split personality; I am one of those unusual people who lives comfortably in both sides of my brain.

Ten years ago, an organizational psychologist warned me “there are not many jobs that will make you happy” because I need work that is both creative and analytical, and most jobs fall squarely into one category or the other.

Since then, my career path has been an unpredictable series of twists and turns that led me here, to full-time photography. And, I love running a photography business because on a daily basis, I get to create, communicate, organize, and analyze. Photography makes my whole brain happy. I use my right brain to create beautiful photographs, and my left brain for pretty much everything else that it takes to run a business (which, by the way, is probably 80-90% of what I do. That’s the un-romantic reality of being a freelance photographer).

One of the major factors that distinguishes me from others in the saturated photography market is how quickly I can close out a job. I consistently deliver images to my clients in 1-2 days. Which would be impossible without a solid, thoughtful, and replicable workflow procedure. Which would be impossible without left-brain tools like (eek) spreadsheets.

Previously, in Part 1 of my Workflow for Photographers series, I shared my backup procedures. Today’s post, Part 2, is supposed to be a motivational speech, to prevent you from being daunted by all of the workflow dirty work. I to encourage you to come back over the next few days for specific tips on tracking photography job leads and project management. I’ll give you almost all of my secrets. 🙂

  • Does it take you more than a few days to deliver images to clients?
  • Do you blog about jobs months after actually shooting? (Or not at all?)
  • Does your website portfolio still feature images you took years ago?
  • Are you still burning and shipping DVDs?
  • Do you lose track of whether you’ve thanked people for referrals and bookings?
  • Do you spend weeks every year preparing for tax season?

If your answer to most of the questions above was “yes,” I think some of my workflow procedures may help you gain more control over your business and life. So come back soon.

-HBA

P.S. Did you take the right vs. left brain quiz at the link above (2nd paragraph)? If so, what was your score? Mine = Left Brain 11; Right Brain 10. Told ya. 🙂

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About Holly Baumann Photography

I am Holly Baumann Ambuehl, a commercial and portrait photographer based in Central Illinois. My blog posts feature client work, but I just love to write, so I also write about owning a business, food and drink, travel, and my personal life! I am always honored when clients trust me to capture their vision, and equally so when my readers converse with me about what I've photographed or expressed here. I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate professionally and/or become friends. I'd love to hear what you think! - Holly
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