Orange County Photographers: Use Excel to Standardize Post Production

The OC photography industry is competitive. To increase his ability to compete, an Orange County photographer should standardize the production process. The idea is to free up more time to shoot additional sessions by reducing the amount of time spent on editing, color correction and album creation.

While large companies often use complex project management software to accomplish this task, a small photography business owner might consider a simpler method of going about it. Using excel to put together a list of procedures is fast, flexible and usable by a number of different people. The following are some tips on how to do this using excel.?

1. Create a list of procedures where each cell holds one of the steps.?

2. When documentary information is needed to complete one of the steps, add a link to the document from the cell in which the task description.?

3. Use the cells to the right of the description as a checkbox. When the task has been completed simply put an x or some other symbol in cell to indicate that the task has been completed.

4. When the procedure requires the opening of a program such as Photoshop or Lightroom, put a link from the cell description to the program executable file. The key to documenting and standardizing commonly used tasks is to increase the speed in which they can be completed. Adding the link reduces the number of steps needed to complete the task.

5. When the process calls for a decision to be made and different subsequent actions are required based on that decision, add the possible options in the cells to the right of the question requiring a decision. Link these cells to the subsequent steps. This allows the quick progression of steps in the process even when a decision could result in a number of different paths.

Creating these procedure documents can help a photographer in a couple of ways. First, it eliminates the repeat of costly mistakes. Once you have learned from a mistake, you can add it to your process. You will then be reminded not to make the same mistake. Second, these documents will make it easier for you to train an associate photographer or production manager to perform these tasks. Most people have some excel skills so they will likely not need to train on the program use to benefit from these documents. In addition Microsoft Excel is common. Many people will already have these programs on their system, removing the need to purchase additional software.

The OC?photography industry is competitive. By taking advantage of the benefits of standardizing and documenting his production process using a common simple to use program like excel and increase a photographer?s competitiveness.

The Author is a Laguna Beach Wedding Photographer. He has created a website that evaluates, from a photographer?s perspective, wedding and portraits sites in and around Orange County.

Included cities are Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Temecula, Irvine and Costa Mesa. Suggestions from readers on San Diego, Riverside or other Southern California Locations which the reader feels is a great place for portrait or wedding photography will be evaluated and added if the author agrees on the quality of the location.

The author also teaches other Orange County Photographers technique and business strategy.