Posted on Saturday 28 August 2010
Gill Taylor, Light Blue user since November 2009, talks us through how she's transformed her business since then.
I mainly specialise in wedding photography, with a specific focus on winter weddings. I also shoot portraits - mainly engagement sessions, baby shoots for past wedding clients and family portraits.
I studied photography at school and college but life got in the way and I ended up in the corporate world. I made the move to wedding photography after deciding to change careers and second shooting for a number of photographers all over the UK, almost like an apprenticeship! I started my business in 2004 and went full-time in 2007 - I've never looked back.
I'm currently a sole trader, so it's literally just me. I'm every department you could think of, from sales and marketing to admin to art director to post production artist to photographer - and more - so it makes sense for me to have an excellent studio management system to keep me organised. Light Blue fits in with my busy lifestyle as I just enter all my data as and when it comes my way. It keeps all my information organised, allows me to invoice, keep tabs on income and on - I couldn’t live without it!
What were you using before you found Light Blue?
Excel spreadsheets. Shudder.
Pretty much everything to do with the day-to-day management of my business! I track new and existing enquiries, record client information, do all my invoicing, plan for the future and so on. I love the way I can link shoots together (like engagement portraits and the wedding shoot, for example). It's also really useful to work out which shoots were the most profitable - I'd had a hunch before but it's good to have the actual numbers in front of me.
What's your favourite feature in Light Blue?
The shoot details that can be entered are fantastic. I can keep an eye on costs per shoot, including mileage. I can run reports on enquiry sources and see what advertising is working and what isn't, which will help me spend money on things which are effective. The To do and Schedule features for shoots are fantastic, and the fact that it is all published to Google Calendar is amazing.
I think its blindingly obvious that this software has been carefully developed by photographers for photographers - every requirement we have has been incorporated. I used to be so lazy (or busy) when it came to chasing enquiries - now with reminders set up and email templates to the ready, it can be done in no time, and I can track my booking ratios readily. Fantastic.
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