At last months meeting of the Maine Photographers Coalition one of the guest speakers was photographer Khara Plicanic, she was just minutes into her presentation before I thought "OMG, I love this girl" (though I am sure when she reads this her response will be "eeeewwww").
But Seriously, she started talking about her workflow and both her content and presentation style are infectious, and when she finished I was so happy that I got to hear what she had to say.
Khara is a wedding photographer from Nebraska and the workflow she employs allows her to shoot a wedding on Saturday and be completely done with the editing process: proofing, sorting, editing, blogging about the wedding, gallery online, slideshow posted, album designed and uploaded well before she leaves to shoot her next wedding the following Saturday.
And to hear her talk about her process really made me think that her process was FAR better than mine... and if I could learn from her, so could many other photographers. So here are a few things that will allow you to hear the gospel according to Khara.
First, she has written up here workflow process and you can get in a PDF called (what else) "Rock Your Workflow".
Almost all wedding photographers have multiple packages (with multiple options) in an attempt to give our clients the choices in coverage that will make them happy. But what Khara learned through her research (which included this talk on TED) was that the more choices a person has, the more paralyzed they become and that it often leaves them with feelings of regret over their final choices. So the choices don't make our clients happy and it frustrates them, so in the end they are very likely unhappy.
Long after a person forgets what you did for them, they will remember how you made them feel... so do we really want to leave them feeling frustrated and unhappy? Really?
So Khara decided on a bold step, to take away this source of client frustration and she now offers just one single package, that's it, no agonizing over choices, no self doubt about "did I make the right choice".
For me, the how and why she came to this decision was itself worth the price of admission, and in her Workflow Guide she walks us through her workflow AND the rational behind how it became part of her process. For me it's not enough to tell me what you do, it's just as important for me to understand WHY you do it and that's exactly what we get from start to finish in her guide, "this is my workflow and this is how it came to be part of my workflow".
She explains why she shoots in manual mode, why her flash is always in manual mode, and (OMG) why she shoots JPG! When she first said she shot in JPG I am sure the expression on my face looked as if someone ran a turd under my nose, but when she explained her relational it all made perfect sense, if you are getting the image right "in camera" do we really need RAW? And let's be honest, RAW does allow us to be a bit "lazy" at times, because we know we'll have the ability to make silk purse out of a sow's ear.
Another thing that gives me confidence in a product is when they are willing to give me some of it for free, a peak inside the "magic box". If you would like to peak in the magic box of Khara's Workflow Guide you can download the first two chapters here for free.
The guide is thorough, very informative, and worth every penny.
Second, if you live between San Diego California and Gainesville Florida you have the opportunity to take a free class from Khara. On October 17th she and her husband are launching the "Un-Tour".
They are (seriously) biking from Sand Diego and Gainesville and stopping all along the way to teach free classes, two different classes to be exact, for hobbyist they are teaching "10 Tips to Instantly Better Photo" and for the pros they are offering the class "Wickedly Fast Workflow".
I can't recommend her Workflow Guide or classes enough, because Khara has a lot to offer to the photographer who is willing to listen.
And she's not just smart, she also takes a beautiful picture too, so be sure to check out her website and her blog (and see just how pretty a JPG can be). :)
UPDATE: If you use the code "CRAZYFAST" during checkout you'll receive an additional 10% off Khara's Workflow Guide!