The first thing that will help you get a handle on all of your shoots is to schedule the due dates on your calendar when you book them or right after you’ve finished shooting them.
You can do this manually or rely on your CRM like Honeybook. This helps a TON when you’re wondering what needs to be finished and when. It also helps you to schedule time accordingly when you’re sitting down to edit or get some work done.
I typically schedule my due dates a few days early to ensure I’m always on time with what I’ve promised my clients. Remember, under promise, over deliver whenever you possibly can. This will go a long way to building your brand!
Now you know your due dates for photos, which is the first step in getting all caught up.
The second piece to staying on top of your edit pile is CULLING.
Some of us are super speedy cullers, others take our time. But the worst way to feel totally overwhelmed during a busy season is to have a bajillion shoots on your plate that not only need to be edited, but they haven’t even been culled yet.
Schedule things on your calendar differently. Start changing your mindset around shoot days. In the same way it takes a minute as an entrepreneur to view every paycheck with a big chunk cut out or taxes and expenses and not the full amount (which would be nice), start thinking about shoot days as shoot and cull days combined.
It’s not so bad, really.
In my calendar, I have the shoot, typically and hour or so blocked off, then I extend the time block 2 hours afterwards to allow for travel home or to a cafe where I ingest the images, back them up, and cull them.
It is SO much slicker to cull a session that’s fresh in your mind, too. You can easily recall the shots you can’t wait to get to, and get through the whole culling process waaay faster because things are fresh in your mind. You can always go back again quickly to double check, but the main point is that you’re all set to edit.
I’ve even started culling on wedding days. It takes a while to ingest cards so why not cull as they come in? There might be wine or netflix involved sometimes since I tend to cull faster than my cards can ingest, but it’s an amazing practice.
Try it for a month and see if you feel more on top of things.
Remember, consistency is key.