Time really does seem to get faster as the years go by, and when you’re trying to run a business in a field that is constantly changing and growing it feels like things move in warp speed! At some point around 2012/3 life got crazy for us, we moved to WA and had to re-establish ourselves (which is no easy task)…we got behind. In 2014 our Boxer Charlie passed, we bought a house, and we spent most of the year just going through the motions so we kept up with our clients orders..we got more behind. 2015 has been a whirl wind of growth and change. In May, in order to benefit our family, Holland stepped out of his role as a full time photographer/business owner to take on a career that can provide benefits, vacation days and retirement (things that our photography business hasn’t been able to provide yet). Holland will continue to help me with photoshoots on weekends, and has agreed that he’ll use his vacation days to help me photograph weddings as well. All other aspects of running this business were now suddenly solely mine. Unfortunately his new career started just days before I left for 6 weeks of traveling to TN, NY, CA & WI for photoshoots every day. It was then I realized I was in over my head.
I reached a freak out point in May, the problem was trying to keep up, catch up and get ahead at the same time felt down right impossible, especially by myself. “Don’t-drown” was my only goal and I am so sorry to my clients who saw me during that time. Fate just so happened to bring Meghan, one of my closest friends/neighbor/client/our dog sitter, up to Seattle just one month after Holland started his new career. As a small business owner, working out of my home, I have been very resistant to hire on any help thus far but Meghan had helped me as an assistant in San Diego before; she knew our business so well for about 6 years, she shared our love for pets, our vision for a quality experience and has a personality that really is easy to get along with. So, in June I brought Meghan aboard the USS Some Like It Shot and personally trained her in the area I was most desperate at the time…to help us prepare images for clients’ online ordering galleries. This way I could continue taking photos as galleries were being posted for people to see their images. Even with Meghan we didn’t have the chance to catch up yet. Once I was home from the 6 weeks of travels clients began making orders, some from the 6 weeks- some from months earlier or even years earlier by surprise, I thought I would get a chance to catch up but it never slowed down. Our queue has been over 10 orders at one time since July, which I am not complaining about, I just honestly feel bad that I haven’t been able to catch up and be the person I once was. Meghan took over writing our monthly e-newsletters for us so that we can get them out once a month as promised, we have so many great things happening with our images that have fallen through the cracks without announcements in our newsletter. Even with Meghan’s help, I’ve only been able to barely stay afloat…
Things began to change when I was selected to attend Creative Live‘s 2015 Photography Week. I went there hoping for inspiration in photography and ended up leaving with so much more than that. I took the class from an amazing photographer, Hannah Marie, about organization. I am now slowly inching my way toward Catching up (Thanks Hannah!). She told us how one day she decided to take a break from photoshoots and focus on mending her broken business and getting herself organized. I am following in her footsteps soon and making changes that will benefit my business, my sanity and my clients. My turn-around time for orders isn’t perfect yet, but it’s getting better every day. I’ve started using a new software program for small businesses called 17 Hats that Hannah introduced. Since starting 17 Hats we’ve gone to paperless contracts, invoices, and automated emails, our calendar, tax sorting and to-do list are all right infront of me in order. It is the 1st digital to-do list that has worked in my life, I am very much a list maker on paper but this one actually functions. I can’t tell you how big of a difference this makes, I didn’t realize until now how much time I was wasting searching for information, trying to keep track of who paid what/when, and hundreds of emails to respond to… This new software is getting me organized a little more each day. As soon as I have caught up with current client orders I can focus on catching up with things from the past 4 years that I have needed/wanted to do.
In order for me to get fully caught up I am taking the cold, soggy, dark winter months of January & February to focus solely on fulfilling orders that were for post-holiday season, you will notice changes on our website, and you can probably see some changes on social media already. We have a new logo which will soon take over our website, pricing in our boutique will change, products in our boutique will change to better suit the clients we work with. Be prepared to relive some of our past adventures as we finally have a chance to blog and share photos with you all.
Some Like To Catch Up
Some Like To Keep Up
Some Like It Shot