Posted on Thursday 15 July 2010
Matt Pereira, who recently swept the board at the MPA's SE Region awards, tells us how Light Blue has helped his business grow.
I call myself a "people photographer" really, because I cover weddings, families, and children, as well as the occasional band & headshot too.
Several years ago I started to really get fed up with my full-time IT job and wanted something different, where I could be my own boss, and where the effort I put into my work would be properly appreciated. Photography had always been a passion, after my first camera at the age of 10! When I had to choose my O-level subjects (that shows my age!) I could have gone down the artistic path or the computers and maths path - the latter won, but more recently the former has started to take over. Allowing that to happen and moving into photography seemed like a logical step. Although I am finding that just because you know how to take a photograph, doesn't mean you know how to run a photography business! Having a strong IT background certainly makes it easier in certain areas though.
I work on my own, so I have to wear all the hats at Matt Pereira Photography. I have only been in business for 3 or 4 years, but I have ended up being the photographer, salesman, marketing man, post-production expert… the list is endless. Light Blue is key for me, keeping everything organised and easy to see at the click of the mouse. It's the one piece of software, other than Adobe Lightroom, that I run every single day, to see where on earth I am in my business.
What were you using before you found Light Blue?
I started with plain old spreadsheets and then shelled out a whole load of money for another application that I found to be clunky, clumsy, horrible to look at and horrible to use. I spent more money on upgrades for it, hoping that this would help, but it was just a complete waste. I went back to spreadsheets and Microsoft Entourage but it was all very disjointed.
All my client contact information, mileage, invoicing, scheduling, letters, etc, etc. You name it, it's in there! I love that everything to do with a single client is kept in the database, and quickly retrievable for reference. It does take some time to get set up, but once you have this down to pat, it's really quite simple. It's self explanatory and the customisation is great - and you don't have to pay for customisation, either, which was a huge bugbear with the other photography business software that I've used.
What's your favourite feature in Light Blue?
I particularly like the mileage feature - it's a silly little thing, but I really had a problem with this in past years, but now I have it all there in front of me. Can I have another feature fave? It's probably the reports and queries - being able to see exactly where you are on a daily basis is great, and the shoot profitability report in particular is smashing!
Yes. Light Blue has changed my life, for the better - I cannot impress enough just how easy it is to use, how important it is to use and just how great the customer service is too.
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