Author Archives: Jared C Wood

How Google’s G-Suite Helps my Photography Business

Days Away Creative is my wedding photography business.  For years I was using a mix of Apple’s iWork suite paired with iCloud and Microsoft Office 365.  They worked just ok.  Each had some limitations in file sharing and more importantly collaborative productivity.  Even when using BOX’s cloud service the collaboration was terrible.

So after years of not using it I decided to give G-Suite another try.  SO stoked that I did.  I pay just $5 a month for a custom email address with my personal domain, upgraded Google Drive, and the entire G-Suite.

With G-Suite I can make customer forms and questionnaires for my couples.  I also use it for extensive notes that automatically sync across all devices/platforms.  Once that’s done and I’m planning the day of the wedding.  I start to build all that in Google Docs and I can share that with fellow photographers and videographers I’ll be working with during wedding day.

Before we dive in if you want a discount on signing up for G-Suite Click Here!

Google Docs

These are key for collaborative planning with my 2nd photographers and videographers or anyone else for that matter who may be a part of the day creatively. They make it super easy to drag and drop images if I feel inspired to throw some photo ideas to remind me during the wedding.

Google Sheets

To be honest I don’t use these too much (yet).  I’ve got some wishlists of gear I need to purchase and an overall idea of income and expenses for the year but quickbooks does a great job at this for me. It’s basically google’s version of excel so people who know excel with get so much more out of it than I do at the moment.

Google Forms

Even if you’ve got the most basic webpage Google forms is amazing for allowing you to get leads.  In the past I’ve built out a page on my website only accessible via the direct link and used that in Facebook and Instagram adds by embedding a Google Form and it’s helped me get 10 leads per add. It’s also a great way to collect feedback from your couples after the fact.

Google Voice

With Google Voice I plan on getting a secondary phone number that I can use directly with my current iPhone.  This is great for being able to give my customers this contact number instead of my personal and guess what? It’s free!

Google Drive

If you need to move larger files around you can cost effectively upgrade your basic Google Drive account to accommodate more storage.  I doubled mine from 15GB to 30GB.  This makes delivering large amounts of files to my couples a breeze if they prefer.  Also all of your Google Docs, Sheets, and, Forms are going to live there.

3rd Party Apps

This is where I haven’t even had the chance to scratch the surface yet.  Google being a company build on an open source platform allow so many 3rd party apps like Honeybook, Quickbooks, and more to sync with your contacts, projects, calendars, etc.  This is what I’m hoping to dive more into once we get through wedding season.  Do you have any favorite 3rd party app integrations?  If so let me know in the comments below.

If you want to go head and try out these amazing features be sure to get your discounted offer here.

Anna and Scott’s Wedding at Hotel Du Pont Wilmington, DE – June 16, 2018

This last weekend I had the opportunity to shoot the stunningly beautiful couple Anna and Scott at a very beautiful venue the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, DE.  For this shoot I was partnered up with Pegi from Wildflower Photographs.

I was very excited to shoot such a large venue but of course as a wedding photographer you must always be prepared for all types of lighting situations.  Pegi and I had been discussing some off camera flash solutions leading up to the even and I’m very excited about the results for the massive venue.

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How I Continue Learning Photography

I believe education is one of the most important assets we have.  Perhaps why I work in higher education.  But I think it is important to have a laser focus when it comes to your education.  I spent 4 years as an undergraduate that lacked focus and it’s still impacting me today.  Certain areas don’t need formal education styles to learn.  I think photography is a prime example of that.  In formal photography education they teach you about the history, the foundation (this is important), photo journalism, and fine art photography.  Well hate to be that guy but very few people make money in photo journalism and fine art photography these days.

So I set out to build a business from my photography as many people do.  It can be intimidating to build a business, know what insurance is right for you, LLC, finding clients, marketing all of that.  But there are thousands of people that have gone through those experiences and have been kind enough to share them so we can avoid some of those paint points.

Here are my learning resources and why I use them. 
This is an amazing resource for all types of things.  Many employers even offer the subscription to their employees for free.  If yours doesn’t you can get a free month then decide if you want to pay $20 or $30 a month after that.  They’ve got an app for all mobile platforms include Apple TV and one of my favorite parts is they allow you to speed up the videos up to 2x so I can take more content in faster.

Six Figure Photography Podcast
Ben Hartley from Style Story Creative launched an extremely successful podcast and hosts different photographers, lawyers, accountants, and more all around how to improve not just your technical knowledge but more importantly the business side of photography.  After discovering him I binged 40 hours worth of his podcasts in just two weeks and I’m learning so much from his catalogue.  Listening to podcasts is such a simple way to absorb information on the go.  I don’t think I’ve opened Spotify in weeks because of them.

Improve Photography
Jim Harmer and his crew have developed a fantastic website and a wonderful “Master Photography Podcast“. The diverse group is always bringing guests onto the podcast to help develop new ideas and content.  Improve Photography’s website offers a TON of great free content as well as premium content containing Lightroom presets, photography contracts, and more.  They also offer a free trial I highly recommend.  And if that’s not enough Jim built RGPS “Really Good Photo Spots” iOS app that allows you to find some great places to photograph while you’re traveling.  Also free.

Jared Polin FroKnowsPhoto
Jared is just part of a trio that delivers amazing content on the newest gear, photography news, and tutorials.  Jared’s got an energetic attitude that constantly keeps you interested.  He’s also fantastic at keeping up with his following on Instagram so go give him a follow.  He’s got a great studio here in Philadelphia know as the Fro Factory that you’ll see feature in much of his content.  I’ve learned more from him in 30 second segments than anything else.  He’s also worked to develop a great app called “Gear Vault” for iOS and Android that helps you keep track of your gear and even insure it.

So these are a few ways that I keep learning and keep teaching myself.  It’s also worth noting that I carry a camera with me almost everywhere all the time.  Sure a DSLR is k kinda bulky but I’ve learned you never know when you’re going to capture a great image plus it’s a great way to master the ins and outs of your gear.

If you have any great resources you use to keep up on your photography please leave them in the comments below!