The Phoenix SMUG Group welcomed Khara Plicanic, a wedding photographer from Lincoln, Nebraska. She gave an enthusiastic presentation on building a “Wickedly Fast Wedding Workflow.” Khara and her husband, Emir, just recently finished a cross-country bicycle trip, The Untour, from San Diego to Florida. While on her bike trip, she taught photography workshops in eight different cities along the way. Years of photography experience have led to the development of Khara’s workflow techniques, and she loves to share her knowledge with other photographers to help them gain quality time back into their lives. Khara is also the author of “Your Camera Loves You: Learn to Love It Back.”
Of the 23 photographers in attendance, several experienced some clear “ahhh-ha” moments as Khara revealed how simple she keeps her workflow. Khara explained that, several years ago, she was so overwhelmed with her shooting and workflowschedule, she decided it was time to get her life under control and bring simplicity to the business for both her and her clients. She was inspired by Barry Schwartz and the concepts presented in his book “The Paradox of Choice.” He says that more choices do not equal freedom, but paralysis and dissatisfaction. By using the “less is more” philosophy, she moved from a tiered product offering and began offering one package for everyone – full coverage of the wedding day (she stays until she feels she has all the images she needs and no longer bases her coverage on a time limit). Also, everyone gets an album, which she considers non-negotiable. Khara says, “Every package is a full package.”
Khara designs her albums in InDesign, uses Lightroom and Photoshop for her main workflow, Flaunt for her client slideshow, and Banti Album Proofing for her clients to see their album and communicate any changes. Her workflow is fast! On the wedding night, she downloads her photos and gets them backed up. The next day, she begins the process of picking her favorites, retouching, exporting to her blog and Facebook, creates a slideshow, designs the album, and uploads the proofs to the client gallery, all of which she gets done within a week, but often in just 8 hours! By designing the album at the same time, she is editing, she simplifies the process for her clients and considers it a part of the service they pay for. She picks out a storytelling variety of photos, making it easier for the client than if they had to start with a blank slate. Her clients have 3 weeks to make album changes (up to 2 rounds) , but she often finds they have little to change after seeing it laid out. She reminds us of how often wedding albums often get put off, delayed, or never done if left to the bride/groom to decide and mull over all the photo choices for an album.
This meeting with Khara was informative and insightful for the photographers struggling with simplifying their workflow and the basics of their business. It's not a joke, it's not a secret, and it's certainly not rocket science. It's just the potent combination of effectiveness and efficiency.
Submitted by the Phoenix SMUG Scribe: Gail Kiehlbaugh