A FEW UPDATES. WHAT WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON AND GOALS FOR 2019.
A FEW UPDATES
WHAT WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON + GOALS FOR THE COMING YEAR
OUR BUSINESS AND CRAFT
We currently have a mix of five weddings and elopements in our post production queue, which I want to hit hard over the next few weeks and deliver to our generous and patient couples. This workflow is one that I’ve worked hard to optimise over the last year, and I want to make this more efficient going forward.
My goal here is to get post production down to just 4-6 weeks from shoot date to delivery. This might still sound like a longer stretch of time to some, and if you’ve come across a photographer who has their post production down to a shorter amount of time I’d love to talk with them and learn something.
What many don’t really consider when it comes to what we do is the amount of time spent in post production after the shoot. Shooting the day is only part of the work. After each shoot we back up all of the images taken to a hard drive and cloud backup, then we cull the bad shots out, then spend time curating and grading a mix of colour and black and white shots that will make it to the final delivery. From here, more time is spent exporting, backing up, uploading to our cloud delivery service, considering submissions, and working with our printer to execute tangible products. We’re not paid for just the shoot day itself, it’s everything in the lead up, time spent in post, and covers admin, marketing, expenses, our income and growing our business (more on this below).
So what can we do to optimise and make our post-production more efficient?
Invest in faster equipment. Faster hard drive. Faster internet (if that’s possible).
Less spray and pray (churn and burn, shoot and loot, fire wired). Be more intentional about the shots we take so we spend less time culling.
Presets. We’ve spent years optimising these (and have just started selling them). It’s been a huge step in reducing time spent in creating a great edit.
Schedule and focus. This is probably the hardest thing for me, so I’ve made it a priority. Have set times for business, messaging, emails, meditation, then a bulk amount of time to do the work that really matters.
A common solution that some of you might be thinking is outsourcing our edits. This is where we send our presets and raw files to another human to bang out the post production, which can definitely work for some photographers. I think for me it’s harder to let go of this process, and if we choose to go down this route, I’d rather do it in a way that will grow our business and make it stronger, rather than flicking our work elsewhere. This is where I’d like to talk about bringing on a new hire.
GROWING OUR BUSINESS
We’ve been considering for a while now and have set a goal for the coming year to bring on someone new into our business part time. This will be our first hire, and feels like a great step for us. We want this person to uphold the same values we hold and have built Kings & Thieves around, and to take responsibility for their work (man, I feel like such a ‘grown up’ writing this). I’d love for this person to help out with post production, editing our shots with our signature style, album production and assistant shooting. Right now, realistically, it’s still a goal to reach. But I want to change this so we can consider it toward the end of the year.
I have some financial goals for the coming year, which ties in directly with growing Kings & Thieves and launching new projects that I’ve been working on behind the scenes.
LAUNCHING NEW PROJECTS
There’s a fair bit happening here, and I’m scheduling my time better to grow these projects into something sustainable. It’s bloody exciting launching something new, which is one of my strengths (it’s easy to start something new, still learning how to grow and sustain). Here’s a quick rundown.
This is my next focus after our main work. I’ve launched mentoring and have had some great success with helping coach someone grow their new photography business in WA. I fully believe in them, and going forward with new mentees I want to help encourage their vision and offer insight. This program is encouragement-based, and a huge proponent of it is based on a talk I gave at Camp Common Folk last year, Shoot True. Right now it’s very open and free flowing, answering questions and helping where I can. I’d love to continue with this format, and also develop some sort of curriculum that can be used for online education and future workshops.
I love street photography, and I’ve been shooting a fair bit around my home in the Blue Mountains. So many people come here to visit and shoot these amazing mountains, but there’s a thriving street culture that’s unique to this place. I’d love to start selling prints soon, having some limited prints also. As an extension of this I’d love to get some of my work into a gallery, but this might be a reach.
We launched our preset packs a month ago, and it’s been a great endeavour so far! I’m very keen on reaching more photographers and having our presets available for others to use as a part of their workflow. We’ve spent years developing them, and we’re damn proud of our style. This ties in directly with making our post production more efficient, and it has. Right now my focus is to release mobile presets, then another Pack at some point in the year.
TO BE ANNOUNCED WEDDING PROJECT
This is exciting, and I’ve been reaching out to a few like-minded folk to launch a new endeavour that I’m really amped about and fully believe in. More soon.
TO BE ANNOUNCED VEGAN PROJECT
Again, super excited to get this one off the ground. It will be super local, but I want to show you how mind melting decent vegan trash food can be. More soon.
UPDATED PRINTS, ALBUM AND PRODUCT OFFERINGS
We’ve been working hard on sourcing some quality products for our couples, and we’ve found them in Atkins Pro Lab. They’re the oldest print lab in Australia, and their quality is second to none. We’ve made it easy to order prints from your private gallery, and have made album ordering simple and collaborative. We go into a bit more detail on our pricing page.
NEW INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
This is maybe one of our bigger changes of late. We’ve switched from our old account of 4,500 followers to a brand new one of a few hundred. It’s been a huge release on my brain, it feels. I’ve done it for a range of reasons, which I go into detail a bit in the first post, but it’s felt like a great move. Right now, I’d rather speak to and engage with a smaller dedicated following than shouting into a larger crowd. I’d love to focus more on authentic engagement, rather than worrying about the numbers. With this, I’m only checking our Instagram once or twice a day, if that, and have thrown our Facebook on auto. So if we’ve been a little slower seeing your messages, it’s because of this self-imposed limiting. You can reach us anytime via email or Messenger.
HERE’S TO THE YEAR AHEAD
Another great one, at that. Last year was kind to us, and I hope we can extend this kindness back to you, valuing community over competition, growth and true authenticity.
If there’s anything on your mind, if you have questions or input, we’d love to hear it. Comment on our Instagram post or reach out directly.
Ben and Carisse