How to Work Less, Live More, and Find Balance in Your Photography Business with Katie Lamb

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running a photography business: schedule, shoot, edit, repeat. But most of us–myself included–didn’t start our businesses to hustle constantly. The key to avoiding the constant hustle and eventual burnout is with automation and creating systems that allow you to work less, live more, and spend your time doing what you love.

automation in photography business

In this episode, I’m chatting with Katie Lamb, family photographer, mother of three, and mentor for passionate photographers.

What’s in this episode:

  • How Katie got her start in photography and eventually launched her own business [2:14]
  • Developing your own style and stay true to yourself [4:04]
  • Why it’s valuable to try different styles and learn the basics before specializing [5:40]
  • How to create a business that allows you to live the life you desire [8:15]
  • How to reignite your passion when you feel stuck in the daily grind [11:25]
  • Working smarter, not harder through automation and intentionality [14:56]
  • How to actually stick to the systems you create in your business [20:56]
  • Why your life priorities should inform your business decisions [25:25]
  • Taking a break from shooting to focus on other parts of your business [31:41]
  • How to stay consistent even when life and business get busy [32:54]

If you long to create a business that lets you work less and live more, you don’t want to miss this conversation with Katie.


SUBSCRIBE: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Resources Mentioned

Katie’s favorite automation tool, 17Hats

One of Katie’s favorite productivity tools, Freedom.to

Katie’s favorite calendar app, BusyCal

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Meet Katie Lamb

Katie Lamb is a photographer, mother of three, and mentor who’s passionate about helping fellow photographers build sustainable businesses they love. She began her career photographing the orphan crisis overseas, and now she’s a family photographer, course creator, and mentor for passionate photographers.

Connect with Katie

Visit her website

Connect with her on Instagram

Join her free Facebook group

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Transcript:

[00:00:00] Katie It’s so easy to get caught up in the mindset, well, this is what everybody else is doing, I guess this is what we do know. You own your own business. That’s the beauty of being able to own your own business. You don’t have to do anything like anyone else. You do what works for you and you put your family above your job. 

[00:00:19] Lisa Today I am hanging out with Katie Lamb. Now, first and foremost, she is a wife, a mom of three little ones, and she began pursuing her photography at a very young age and went on to major in fine art photography at Baylor University to pursue her passion of documenting the orphan crisis around the world, as well as the efforts of various mission groups.

She spent time in Africa, China, as well as Western and Eastern Europe, living out her first life passion before starting her own life style photography brand in 2008. Throughout the years, she has spent building her brand and learning the ins and outs of running a successful and sustainable business. She found her passion for helping others to do the same through workshops, one on one mentor sessions and online courses. I first found Katie online. I think it was maybe even an Instagram ad, and I was like, I want to chat with his girl. I think she’d be amazing to have on the show. So without further ado, here is Katie Lamb. Welcome, Katie. 

[00:02:07] Katie Hi, thank you so much for having me. 

[00:02:10] Lisa So tell us who you are and what you’re passionate about. 

[00:02:14] Katie So I’m Katie. Liam and I live in Dallas, Texas, and I always knew I wanted to be a photographer growing up and went on to college at Baylor University, majored in fine art photography there. And then after that, I never, ever could have dreamed I would own my own business now doing what I do because I went into photography specifically to serve overseas with various mission organizations and kind of promoting international and orphan outreach through photography and videography.

So that’s how I started. I spent a ton of time in Europe, China, Africa all over and doing that and then got married, and it was not my husband’s dream to live overseas like I wanted to. So I settled here in the states and stayed here, and that’s when I started my business, really. At first it was to fund a lot of my projects overseas and then creating that business really made me fall in love with business itself and love that.

So that was I graduated in 2008 from college, so I’ve been in business. I 13 years, I think, and I have three little ones at home with me and my the main. My main focus with photography is families, and education is a huge part of my business now as well. I love to help other people transform their business. That’s something inside of my business. What I’m passionate about is helping others, specifically moms. I’m just I love moms and it’s very hard to run your own business as a mom. So that’s kind of my passion as to helping other moms create successful, sustainable businesses, work less, make more. And then outside of photography, my passion is my kids and my family and my husband. I just we’re very family oriented and that’s where my heart always is. 

[00:04:04] Lisa I love that. I love that. I think you hit the nail on the head because I think we’ve been bombarded with such hustle culture over like, especially in the online businesses. And it’s like work, work, work, work, work, make, make, make me make. And no one really talks about the cost of your lifestyle or, you know, detriment to your family of working all that time. So I love that you are educating moms that it doesn’t have to be that way. And I think that’s such important work. So you should be really proud of yourself, and I’m just so excited to dove in and ask you all sorts of yummy questions about you. So, and it was really easy to get caught up watching all the newest trends or the filters on social media and to really start questioning our own styles. So what advice do you have on developing your own style and staying true to it and not getting caught up in those trends? 

[00:04:59] Katie I think one of the biggest things is a lot of people that start out, so if you’re listening and you have recently started your business within the past three years, I think a lot of times we the people you may follow, other people you may see maybe 10 years down the road from you. And what’s that quote? It says, like, don’t compare your mettle to someone else’s Ind or something like that. And I think that’s so true is that so many times you want to jump ahead ten years and have, you know, everything else that all these business owners do that far ahead of you.

Whenever you have to put in the work, those first few years of developing your own style, because if you don’t put that work in and you don’t narrow it down, you’re going to be easily swayed with the trends that come and go. So finding your style and how I recommend doing that is experiment. Like if you’re in the early days, like shoot everything and try different styles, see what speaks you now. I don’t recommend building your business on that because you don’t like figure this out before you even launch your business. 

[00:05:58] Katie You want to be doing this and like confusing all your clients. What is you yelling? And it’s how you started your business. Like, do this on the side, but shoot everything and try out these styles. Try out and one first of all, what comes easy to you? What’s natural to you to shoot in a way? And then what do you enjoy? What do you actually like? And then narrowing that down into a style into and then processes within that style to really get it narrowed down so that you’re not going to be so easily swayed with how often things change?

And then along with that, something a little bit like limit who you follow. I follow very, very minimal amount of people, and most of them are not photographers. I follow very, very few photographers. If I do follow them, it’s because we’re friends. So limit what goes into your brain. I understand wanting to follow some for inspiration, but sometimes that inspiration is a detriment and it’s not actually inspiring. 

[00:06:56] Lisa You know, it’s like more like a punishment. That reason you’re just exactly. I’m not punishing myself right now. This is ridiculous. Right, exactly. I love that. You know, what comes into my head is, you know, like someone’s wanting to be a chef or they want you to be a pastry chef. Well, they go to culinary school and they learn all of the different things they try, the things they try, how to make sauces and how to cook all the things and how to chop and all other things that they need you to do. And they don’t get to specialize until they’ve gone through the basics and then figured out what they like and don’t like, and then they’re able to make that choice. So I think that’s so interesting when it comes to photography is, yeah, like learn the basics, try the things that if when you are, you need to go specialize, pick the one that you love and to do the basics first. 

[00:07:42] Katie Exactly. Oh, I love that comparison of culinary school. This is a great example of you don’t even know what you don’t like till you’ve tried it, you know? So that’s such a great example. 

[00:07:52] Lisa If you want to be a pastry chef, you don’t need to chop onions. 

[00:07:54] Speaker 3 So that’s. Yeah. 

[00:07:59] Lisa So we’re currently recording in December, and I know for many photographers it’s a time of year of exhaustion. And, truth be told, battling their burnt out blues. So do you have any advice for maybe getting through this and getting over this? 

[00:08:15] Katie So something I always tell my students is create a business that you own, not that owns you. So for me, I know this isn’t everybody’s scenario, but I’ve set my business up in a way that this time of year isn’t really any busier for me than any other time of year. I only shoot four sessions a month period, no matter what time of year that is. So that’s how I have managed that.

I’ve been in business long enough to know I don’t want one. This is my favorite time of year. I want to be with my own family, not with all these other families at this time of year. So I set it up where I only still shoot only for a year. So that’s something that I’ve done and how you do that is what your pricing has to be set in a way that makes sense for you to be able to do that. Being able to say no, so many photographers I find just book the sessions. Not even because I mean, some of them are chasing money, but sometimes I just can’t say, no, yeah, you got to learn how to say no in your business, like raising my hand over here. Yes. So learning to say no. 

[00:09:24] Katie And and then like I said, raising your pricing is is huge so that you can shoot significantly less and make more or the same as you were making before. I think that’s so key to be able to do that. And if, say, you’re in an area which I understand I I’m from Dallas. We were living in Kansas City for a few years and we just moved back to Dallas.

So when living in Kansas City outdoor sessions in December, January, February, that’s not happening. It is freezing cold. I’m in Dallas now. We can shoot year-round. It’s great, except in the summer, but so figuring out ways. To counteract that during those months that you’re not putting so much weight on yourself in the fall, so maybe that’s studio sessions, maybe it’s some other type of passive income. I’m really into diversifying your income. That’s something I talk very, very highly of because figure out ways to diversify your income so that you’re not having to put all that weight on you one time of year to try to get everything in that time of year. 

[00:10:22] Lisa It’s so true. I was talking to your friend last week, and we’re like the only industry we’re family photographer is in our busy season. We actually discount ourselves and charge less like one. 

[00:10:36] Katie Yeah. Does it make any sense? No. Doing it right. Everybody needs to stop doing that. Like, even like 

[00:10:43] Lisa mini sessions and things like, yeah, the clients can pay for a full session. You don’t have to do a mini. 

[00:10:50] Katie Exactly right. 

[00:10:51] Lisa And this is someone who used to do like 90 minutes every fall and like, almost died. Oh my goodness. I was so exhausted. Absolutely. This year, I just said, No, I’m not doing any. And it was like revolutionary. It was amazing. 

[00:11:04] Katie Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely not needed. And I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the mindset. Well, this is what everybody else is doing. I guess this is what we do know. You own your own business. That’s the beauty of being able to own your own business. You don’t have to do anything like anyone else. You do what works for you and you put your family above your job. 

[00:11:25] Lisa Oh, I love that it’s so trendy this conversation. I’m going to have to go back and listen to this one. I think a lot of photographers, me included, really get stuck in that never ending loop of a book shoot, edit and repeat, and it really can start to feel monotonous. So do you have any suggestions on maybe reigniting your passion when you feel like it’s starting to dwindle? 

[00:11:49] Katie Absolutely. I mean, I totally went through this probably year for three or four, and I get I totally get. If you’re in that spot, I feel for you because it’s a hard spot to be in because you’re like, Well, this is this is my job and this is what I do. 

[00:12:01] Katie I still have to do it. 

[00:12:02] Katie And an hour type of job can be hard because we’re putting it’s almost like we’re putting on a show, right? Especially if you’re a family photographer with young children, your personality, you’ve got to bring it to the table every single session, no matter what your kids just did at home. No matter how burnt out you are, you still have to have that energy to to get those photos. And so that’s hard, and it can be so exhausting mentally and physically. So for me, when I started going through that, that is really one. When my pricing changed, I knew I needed to shoot way less and getting that down to four sessions a month. Got that? Now I look forward to shooting every week because it’s like just once a week that I really, really love it and enjoy it.

But then also another way outside of this is something that I do a couple of times a year is just setting up your own shoot. Like, figure out something that you what you exactly dream of, like your perfect photo shoot, like, set it up, go find some friends to model for you and pick their outfits, do everything and go to some location you’ve been dying to try or something just to push your creativity out of that box because it can. I remember, like just being an art school. Like when I was going through school, I kind of felt that a lot too was like, You’re you have all these deadlines to to create all these different, whether I was in painting or sculpture or whatever I was doing it. Did it feel creative anymore? I felt like I was just getting it done because I did do day, just like in our business. And so I had to step out of that and do something for myself.

And so as creatives, I think that’s really important to find time during. Maybe if January is your off month, you know, try to plan something, then just even if it’s like your own kids or your own family, that’s even better because then you get pictures of them and then two other things. One, I also started around that time well, this 10 years ago, I started offering session films where I offer video for a session. And this is something that I love more than photography. I love being able to offer these to my clients and that let me do something different, too. So maybe it’s something else that you can offer, whether that’s video for your sessions or something else, but something just to make you feel creative again and trying something new again. And then lastly, I would say, find a hobby outside your business. Don’t let your business be all you are. Find something outside of it, whether it’s working out or it’s hiking. Whatever it is, find something that just lets you get, like, get fed more so that you have the energy back in your business. 

[00:14:31] Lisa Yeah, I think that’s such good advice. I think it goes back to that filling your cup and finding those things that you fill your cup. And I remember I made a list last year 

[00:14:40] Katie and I don’t know if I did everything on my cup list. 

[00:14:44] Lisa So I be going through my filling my cup list again this year. 

[00:14:49] Katie There you go. There’s always another year. Right, exactly. I love it. 

[00:14:56] Lisa So I love because I was checking out your website and. I know what you’re really passionate about is finding ways to work smarter and not harder. So do you have some tips or techniques that you can share with our listeners? 

[00:15:06] Katie Absolutely. So no, I mean, my number one tip always is automation. You want to automate as much of your business as possible. How I do this, I use 17 hats. I love 17 hats. I’ve been with them since the year they started many, many years ago, and I’m able to. I could go on forever about this, so I’ll try to keep it short. But every aspect of everything in my business is automated so that when I’m outside playing with my kids in the dirt, my business is being run, I’m booking sessions, contracts are being sent out, questionnaires are being sent out, my taxes are being done, they’re being organized in my bookkeeping.

For me, I’m not doing all that stuff. It is done. I could not run my business without 17 hats. I personally couldn’t and still be a very present mom. So for me, that’s everything I have. It’s automated from the time you know they email me, the client emails me wants to book a session, they get my session information guide link. And then on there from that point forward, it’s automated. They book the session and it all looks custom like it came for me because it’s pulling their names, it’s pulling their everything, you know? So I resisted the idea of automation for so long because I was like, It’s just not personalized, it’s not coming from me. And then what if I miss something? But it’s it can be. It can still be so personalized they will have no idea that this is automated. But once they book, it goes into my calendar, it sinks with my personal family calendars. So my calendar that has all my availability. If it knows that, OK, I put my boys Boy Scout meeting on there on my calendar. 17 hats knows. Oops, she just added something. I’m to remove that availability from her calendar because she no longer is available that day. That’s a game changer. 

[00:16:46] Lisa It’s a game changer. 

[00:16:47] Katie It is because when you have lots of kids and lots of things and you’re trying to think of, OK, we have this this night, this night. Oh, we got a birthday party now and then going back and be like, Oh no, my calendar is open for those dates, you don’t have to think about that anymore, like that’s done for you. And then on top of that, like once they book, they get their contract, they get their email two weeks before their session date, emails are automatically sent out. How you do end is checking in how your outfits go and things like that.

Everything is automated for me, so hands down that’s number one for me is the automation, and I highly recommend, highly, highly recommend that. And then everything is a workflow or a template. Everything I do has a workflow attached to it. Again, that is automated. I basically think of 17 hats as my virtual assistant. They are another employee of my business that runs it for me. And then lastly, it’s something that I don’t think a lot of people use and take advantage of. That they could is if you really sit down and you’re honest because sometimes we don’t, we’re not honest about this and you sit down to work. How much of that work time are you? Just like, Oh, let me just check Instagram. 

[00:17:51] Lisa Oh, let 

[00:17:52] Katie me just check my email. Oh, let me in that time adds up. And if you’re a mom, then you know you don’t have time. 

[00:17:59] Katie There is no extra time. So there is this app, I guess you call it. It’s called Freedom Dot, too. So instead of like freedom dot com, you would go to freedom dot t. Oh, it’s amazing. It blocks everything so you can choose. You can either choose which websites and which apps to block or you can block them all. And the great thing about this one, because I’ve used several. The one thing I love about this one is it sinks to your phone. 

[00:18:23] Katie So yeah, you could block it on your computer. How many times do you blog? 

[00:18:28] Lisa I like, I like. I see a system I can crack. I’m going to do that. 

[00:18:33] Katie Exactly, exactly. That’s exactly what I was doing. 

[00:18:37] Katie So when I found this, I was like, This is genius. It’ll block it from my phone. And on top of 

[00:18:41] Katie that, not 

[00:18:42] Katie only can you do that, you can also set a schedule. So two things that are great about this one. If you have specific work hours like I do is nap time, when it might, when my littlest one is napping, that’s my work hours so I can schedule it every day from twelve to three. Everything’s shut down. I cannot access any of those things. That’s great. And then the great thing also with your personal life is you’re able to block off the whole day if you want to or is say your kids are in school. OK, well, I want to block Instagram, Facebook, just everything from the time they get home, from school, until the time they go to bed. I’m not even tempted as a mom to be on there so that I’m present with my kids. So it works great for your business, but it also works really great for just your personal life too. 

[00:19:27] Lisa I’m going to do those. 

[00:19:28] Katie Yeah, and 

[00:19:29] Lisa I’m literally like some freedom to you, and we’ll put that in the show notes to you. I will be hooked up to that. I could. I have to. I have tried so many and I will find a way to crack them and get the codes in. And I’m like, I’m just going to sneak in here. I’m like, Why did I? Now I’m just taking more time to trying to break in. 

[00:19:46] Katie Exactly, exactly. It’s taking up more of your time. It’s been. I love 

[00:19:50] Katie it. I highly recommend it. I think it’s like $2 a month or something. Or you can. I just pay. I don’t like subscription stuff, so I just pay it and be done with it. I’m like. Yeah, you could just pay it for like into eternity or something, so I highly recommend love 

[00:20:02] Lisa that that’s a great idea. So you mentioned 17 hats. So do you have any other favorite tools for staying organized in your business? 

[00:20:10] Katie The yeah, that was so 17 hats is pretty much everything in my business because it does my bookkeeping counter all of that. But I also use busy core, which so it’s like busy scale. It is a calendar which I know 17 Hats has a calendar, too, but I love the layout of Busy Cow, and it’s also easy. It has the app on your phone, so think of it kind of like your ical on your phone, except we know we all hate Eichel. It’s not great. And so this is kind of similar, but it can sync with 17 hats. It’s beautiful. You can color code everything. And then when you look on your phone, it’s not like dots like iCal. You know how they’re it’s like that. It’s actually like the text. It’s it’s kind of hard to explain what all it can do is it can do so much, but that’s really key. That’s the hub that and 17 hats are the hub for everything in my business. 

[00:20:56] Lisa I love that. Awesome. Now what suggestions do you have for someone to create a system but also stick with it? Because I think that’s where we get little hung up like we always like. We love setting them up, but like actually continuing to use them is probably where 99 percent of people stop. 

[00:21:16] Katie I’ve kind of found the opposite with my students in that I’ve never really had anyone be like, I took all this time and I set up all these workflows and all this automation, and I just don’t do it because for most people, I’m just like, Just do it. That’s yeah, that’s my advice is just do it because you just got to take the time. Because once you set up especially like automation part, yeah, right? Once you set that up, it is done for you. So you’ve just just do it.

Just take the time to it is going to be an investment of your time, but the return of that investment is tenfold. So take a time especially like this. I’m not sure when this will be released, but I know, like January, February is typically a slower time for people, and that’s a great time to start to start setting those things up and then actually doing because when they’re automated, once you set them up, there isn’t any. I don’t do them anymore. It’s well, it’s just done for you. You don’t do anything anymore. It just does it for you.

So just taking the time to invest in that, to actually get them set up and set up well, if you are still confused, I think a lot of people feel overwhelmed or they’re confused by it. And so they just don’t put in all the time to actually do it, and that’s where they just kind of give up on it, you know, and they won’t keep going with it. So I think just just actually spending the time to really know it in and out, whatever you’re doing, because once you make it become a habit, the first few if if you’re not doing automation and you’re doing some type of workflow, I think it would be easy that part of it would be easy to fall off if you’re doing it like like what you were saying, like three times during like, OK, this is good and then you just kind of fall off of it.

Yeah, it takes. Where do they say like twenty one times to become a habit or something? You’ve got to make yourself stick with something like that until it becomes second nature for you. Because I can promise you, no matter if you go automation or just workflow route, it will be worth it. 

[00:23:07] Lisa Yeah, I love that what I’ve been. Have you read atomic habits yet? 

[00:23:12] Katie I haven’t read that, but a lot of people have. 

[00:23:14] Lisa Oh, it’s a good one. It’s a good one. And they talk about habit stacking and it’s like, So you start with one. So say, for example, you’re like, I’m going to I really want to like, work out every morning. So your first step is like, you go down, like you get your shoes on, you put your shoes up by your bed. So that’s like your habit one. Then you go down your pictures and then you get on the treadmill. Then I’m like, I want to listen to this podcast every day, and it’s going to be my reward for, like doing my treadmill walk. So I’m like piggybacking my habit, but also giving myself a reward while I’m doing it. So I’m like incentivizing my entire habit thing.

So I’ve been doing this with so many things. So over the past three months, I like I was like, not a workout girl. But now every morning I’m like getting off. I’m taking my vitamins. I take in my workout supplements, I’m getting my celery juice, I’m getting on the treadmill, I’m doing my free weights, doing Pawlenty’s workout and then rewarding myself with the hot tub. And I’ve been like doing this over 

[00:24:07] Katie the past three months and I was like, Are you? Who am I? Well, and I love the way that that’s 

[00:24:15] Katie how you said that it broke it down into little habits rather than just saying, I’m going to work out every day. Yeah, that can feel like, all right. Well, I said it, but I didn’t have it, and nobody would like to break them down. 

[00:24:28] Lisa Like literally putting my shoes out was like the very first. It’s like my shoes and my workout clothes and my AirPods are charged right there. You know, I don’t have an excuse, so I’m just going to do what I 

[00:24:37] Katie have to do it. That’s great. I love the idea 

[00:24:40] Katie of breaking it down into smaller, achievable task that you can do. 

[00:24:45] Lisa My favorite part, though, is like, I don’t get to go in my hot tub unless I’ve like done it. So I’m like, it’s nice and like. And also, my thing is, I didn’t have to be perfect. I have to do at least 75 percent and if I do 70 percent. Five percent. I’m OK with a C-plus. Yeah, I can get that up. 

[00:25:03] Katie That’s good. That’s good. I love it. So it’s like 

[00:25:05] Lisa my C plus effort 

[00:25:07] Katie to go. I go. I love it. So, so many 

[00:25:13] Lisa photographers really struggle with overbooking, overshooting, overdelivering. So can you share your thoughts on this and how overdoing it just leads to burnout? And how can we just keep ourselves in check? 

[00:25:25] Katie Absolutely. So as for overbooking, really for over anything best for overbooking? I love this quote. It says every single time you say yes to something, you are inadvertently saying no to something else. Choose wisely. I think that’s so important to remember that if you are a yes yes person, if it’s hard for you to draw boundaries and lines in the sands with how many sessions you book or whatever, you have to remember that it may be hard to say no to them, but you’re saying no to.

If you’re if you have a family, you’re saying no to your own family or if it’s just you, you’re saying no to your friends or to time for you to go do something. So you are saying, no, it’s not a matter of you’re just not good at saying no, you’re just not good at saying no to that where your priority should be. So for me, that is is huge is really putting that in perspective of knowing I don’t want to overbooked myself. I want to be with my children, period.

And so everything else kind of builds from there. So and then with that also is you have to have, like we talked about earlier, is like, you have to have your pricing set right in a way that you’re not just always chasing bookings or you’re like, I need the next booking, I need the next booking. I need the next booking. You need to have your pricing set, which relates to your brand. You can’t just charge a ton and you know, people may not pay it if your brand and your work is not there, but you want to make sure that your pricing is set so you’re not having to overshoot.

And as far as, like overdelivering, that is something that I did a lot. In fact, I would always say like, I want to under-promise, overdeliver, and I applied that to my pictures, and I don’t think that’s where it should be applied. It should be applied in every other aspect of your business. But the pictures you deliver, we don’t want to overdeliver. This isn’t the topic we’re talking about. But with that comes like if you’re an all inclusive photographer and you’re just including all the pictures, you have capped yourself off from so much income.

So for me, I have my collection set up where it’s like you get the first collection, you get 30 images, and then once they get their gallery back, they have the ability to purchase the rest of the gallery. There’s only going to be 60 65 images in that gallery ever anyway. So there’s no really ability for me to overdeliver in that aspect because they have bought a certain percentage of images. And then ninety nine percent of the clients always purchase the full gallery. So that’s just additional income I’m getting after the session. So overdelivering with your images, you want to be really careful about where you’re going with that because you could be shooting less because you’d be making more four from your clients. 

[00:28:05] Lisa Yeah, it’s something that I’ve struggled with for years and somehow like it creeped up from. I was like, I promised twenty five and the first year I was like, Oh God, I get 40. And then it crept up to 50, and then it crept up to 60. And then like, right now it’s like 90. And I’m like, What is wrong with me? 

[00:28:24] Katie And I think a lot of that is 

[00:28:26] Katie we get as artists. And this isn’t just photographers, we’re artists and as artists, we get really attached to our work. Right. So Kaling, it’s really hard to get out some of those images. And so like with all of my students, we work so heavily on Kaling specifically to get out of that mindset, you should get a call, a session and five minutes tops. And so I want to go through it so quickly that I’m getting only the best of the best images that represent my brand. Because how many times do I hear a photographer say out of all the images I gave them, they posted that one. 

[00:28:58] Katie I know that one, but it’s like, Well, then why did I don’t give it to them so that they let me know that was there? Yeah, exactly. They didn’t know it existed. Don’t give it to them. 

[00:29:12] Katie But then also, when you’re narrowing down your images that you’re delivering, if you have a pricing model kind of like mine where they can purchase additional ones, if they have a ton of images that all the images start to kind of look the same, you have several in the same pose. It’s going to be a lot harder to upsell that gallery as opposed to if you have really narrowed the gallery down to the best of the best.

There’s only one image from that pose that doesn’t look anything like any of the other images. Then they can’t turn the rest down. That’s why my, you know, my rate of them upgrading is so high because I make sure no image looks similar enough. Also, another tip just side note if you do that approach, randomize your gallery. Don’t put it in the order you, you take the pictures and it’ll make them look even more. And they will upgrade. 

[00:30:00] Lisa I love that. So that is such a good step because, you know, I usually get stuck because I’ll do the poses where I’m like, OK. So imagine like holding baby, so good dad and mom holding baby and say, Look at me, close your eyes, turn your head, kiss her on her cheek, kiss her inner temple, close your eyes back at me. Eyes open again. Oh, look at you. Let’s keep him light. So there’s like 20 images there, and I typically will give them all eight all of this. And I’m like, 

[00:30:26] Katie even when 

[00:30:26] Lisa I’m editing, I’m just like. Face Palm. Yeah, it’s doing what I’m doing is I think I get him to in my head that I’m like, if I don’t do this, they’re going to be worried that they’re going to say, Do you have the images where Jim was kissing me on my temple? And like, they forgot I even got 

[00:30:46] Katie do not 

[00:30:46] Katie remember. 

[00:30:47] Lisa And I’m so worried that I’m going to have to go back and look through it and take my time to do that. I’m like, Oh, well, I’m already here, so I may as well. Just so I so just like I. This is like the conversation that happens every culling session. 

[00:31:03] Katie Yes. So I made 

[00:31:04] Katie sure that now given if you’re doing newborns, you’re a lot more limited, right? I don’t shoot newborns. 

[00:31:10] Katie So if you are shooting newborns, you are a little bit more limited, but you can still get creative. I don’t do so many this summer, but I know that you’re like newborns not moving around a whole lot. 

[00:31:20] Katie But like I still want, but I want each image to be like, I wouldn’t frame it and crop it in the same exact way with all those different poses. It would be like a really close and shot a really wide shot. That way, the image is so different still. So you can still keep them in that same pose and do different things, but then crop them differently, shoot for different angle things like that. 

[00:31:41] Lisa Yeah, you’re right. I’m going to change things out between 20. It’s funny because right now I’ve actually put like the complete. No one can book a session with me right now. I like, put the brakes on. I’m booked actually until June right now, but after that I’m like, I’m not booking clients. I might take the back half of the year off and just just work on my stuff and podcast. And I’ll like all this stuff because I’m going to businesses like, I’m a busy lady, right? And I’ve been renting a full time photography studio on top and recharging, delivering, like earning. And I’m like, Yeah, it’s time for me to, like, put my big girl pants on and like, figure out what I actually want to do. 

[00:32:15] Katie So, yeah, I 

[00:32:17] Katie think that’s so smart. If you have the ability to take time off like that and really focus on what’s working, what’s not and region and come back better and more sane with, you 

[00:32:29] Lisa know, like just I need to make some better choices because I still like anchoring on the choices I made starting a business 10 years ago. I’m like, I’ve changed so much. My style changed. Like, I think I don’t even know if I want to do that in this way. So, yeah, like that’s kind of the way that really feels good. And so that’s what my twenty twenty two is. It’s just like this gentle pause of figuring things out. 

[00:32:51] Katie I love that. I love that. 

[00:32:54] Lisa So what would you say is the key to staying on track and achieving what you want for your business because it’s really easy to start, but staying consistent is tricky. Like with the marketing and clients and the whole shebang? 

[00:33:08] Katie Absolutely. So I think it’s really comes down to like just wanting it bad enough, like you have to put in the effort and you have to make a choice to put in that effort because it’s not just going to happen for you, right? You have to do it. So I can teach. I tell my students this all the time. I can teach you all the ins and outs of how to set up automation, of how to create a great client experience of how to shoot exactly the light and airy way. Whatever I’m teaching you, I can teach it all to you. I can’t make you do it. It’s like you have to make yourself do it so. And everybody’s personality is so different. To figure out what what’s going to make, you want it for me. If you follow the Instagram, I’m an Instagram three. 

[00:33:49] Katie Same determination. Like, I don’t 

[00:33:53] Katie struggle and it’s hard for me to relate. I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to relate to a lot of my photography. Friends are very much like, 

[00:34:00] Katie I want to be successful, but I don’t know. I just get, you know, I’m like, That’s not me. 

[00:34:04] Katie I’m like, If I want this happening, like, 

[00:34:06] Katie I will make it. Yeah, you get it right. 

[00:34:09] Katie So that’s something that, like, I personally struggled to relate to that. But maybe I can help you just think like, I don’t know another 

[00:34:17] Katie way, except like, you just have to do it. 

[00:34:20] Katie So setting aside like figuring out times to put dedicated, I come from being a mom, so my perspective of is always time. Like there’s just not much time there to give. And so figuring out how you can make the most of that time. I’m not asking you to make time. I say this all the time.

You know, when you hear people say, you know, you’re never going to find the time you have to make the time. Well, those people that say that are not moms because they know there’s no time to make. And so if you don’t have time to make, then you have to make the most of your time. So figuring out how to when you sit down to work that you are. Putting all of your effort into that and like, there’s no distractions, that’s huge.

And then if you’re wanting to making change in changes into your business or whether it’s marketing or wherever you’re struggling to figure out how to get help, find someone that you respect in the industry and get help, ask them. Getting an outside perspective is everything to be able to see it because you get so locked into your business. I think that.

And if you’ve done it for a long time, I think some of the photographers that struggle so much are the ones. I’ve done it forever because they haven’t changed. We’ve done the same thing, but it doesn’t always work. Life changes your personal life changes. You know, just the way when we started, you’ve been in business, you said 10 years. So when we started our business 10 years ago, that was a totally different world. Everything was so different back then than it is now. And for our businesses to be sustainable, we have to be able to change and implement new things. So figuring out what that is and for your specific business and getting help if you need help but making making a way that you can, you can make a plan and and really stick to it. But a lot of that comes from your own decisions. No one can make you do that. 

[00:36:10] Lisa I love that. That’s a great answer. So you’re ready for the lightning round? Oh yes. Coffee or tea 

[00:36:18] Katie coffee. 

[00:36:19] Lisa Most luxurious vacation you’ve ever been on Croatia. What was your favorite TV show as a kid? 

[00:36:28] Katie Kenan and Kel, all my 90s kids get this 

[00:36:35] Lisa last thing you did for yourself as an indulgence. 

[00:36:39] Katie I don’t remember the last one, but I am going away on a girls trip this weekend, so it’ll be this weekend. 

[00:36:45] Lisa Morning person or night owl? 

[00:36:47] Katie Definitely morning. 

[00:36:49] Lisa What did you want to be when you grew up 

[00:36:52] Katie a photographer for international mission work? 

[00:36:54] Lisa I love that. What makes your soul light up the Lord? I love that. What’s for dinner tonight? 

[00:37:02] Katie I’ve no idea. My husband’s in charge of that tonight, so no clue. You love it. 

[00:37:08] Lisa And I love to invite interviews of this last question. And it is what are you curious about or artistically curious about? 

[00:37:18] Katie Oh, so I feel like I can make something up, 

[00:37:22] Katie but I’m going to be really honest. I love it this season of writing. I’m not really curious about anything. I’m so busy being a mom and my brain is is 100 percent filled with kid stuff and kids songs that I wish I could even make something up to sound like. I’m curious, but I’m not. I love it. I love it. That’s the best answer. Well, thank you for joining me today. Thank you so much for having me. 

[00:37:51] Lisa Oh, what a great conversation with Katie. Now, what I really loved was how she’s diving into your workflow and automating things so your homework. My lovely listener is to actually sit down and look at your whole client experience and your workflow. All of the emails that you’re sending, all the packages are the forms and figuring out how you can simplify that, how you can make it easier for yourself and anything that you can start doing as canned responses. I think it’s so important to simplify things and to find ways to work smarter, not harder. I am sending you so much of my light and my love today and every day. I’ll see you next time. 

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