Brand Manager // Charlotte Ledvina & Editing Guru // Alli Sabrie Dozet
I LOVE working on a team. I knew this ever since elementary school when they would break us into little pods to do group projects. I THRIVED. I would help delegate and each one of us would work on our specific portion of the project (some worked more than others). We would come back together to finish it as a whole then present or turn it in. I LOVED it. I love working on a creative team so much so I hired TWO people to be on my team.
They are both super part time but we all have to start somewhere. I cannot run this business alone SANE…I honestly don’t know how other single entrepreneur businesses owners do it. For years, I was unhealthy saying yes to everything and everyone. I thought I could be super woman. Turns out I’m just Hannah trying to get a date on a Friday night and sleep in once a week. Hiring a team is not weakness – it’s powerful. Once you can identify your weakness that is where your business will grow. Once I learned how to automate emails, hire a CPA, and work on a creative team, I’m not kidding you, my life changed. I only have capacity to do so much a day and don’t want to give all my energy to tasks someone else (who really loves them) can do.
Hannah’s Tasks: I stick with the creative/connection side of the businesses which looks like:
- Photographing (which is most of my job)
- Culling sessions + weddings
- Editing previews to send to clients + sending off my wedding so Alli can edit the rest!
- Emailing ALL clients + interactions
- Client gifts + cards
- Timeline consultation for wedding days
- Writing blogs
- Writing all instagrams + photos
There are about 100000 more tasks to do a day when running a thriving photography business. So enter Charlotte + Alli.
As my business progressed, I needed help to turn around photos in a timely manner. I hired Alli over a year + a half ago. We were friends in the plains of the midwest where we both went to college. For years she edited other photographers weddings when I was clutching TIGHTLY to my weddings in fear she would not edit the way I wanted. Let’s all just call it what it was – control. Once I hired Alli to edit a few weddings for me my stress went down incredible amounts. There is something to be said about doing one thing REALLY well and hiring out the rest.
Now for all of my brides who think I edited your weddings… I did still. The process looks like me editing 30-60 images for preview photos for the clients but also so Alli can get a feel for my look and style for each wedding. I send off my Lightroom catalogue where she can open the whole wedding gallery on her computer and see all my edits. She goes in and makes sure each image matches my style from preview images. She is doing the tedious work of getting the right exposure, color balance, and retouching to ensure each image is up to my HRG standard. SHE is freaking amazing. And she LOVES her job. I couldn’t do it all with out her. By hiring Alli, she frees me up to photograph more and connect with all my clients on a personal level so you all get your galleries back with in 4-6 weeks. Lots of photographers don’t return their images for 3-6 months. And I believe in returning a wedding gallery quickly after your honeymoon.
Charolette Ledvina: Brand Manager
This last year I hired my past bride and friend, Charlotte, to take over all things business and marketing in HRG photo! She has helped to systematize, organize and structure each task in this business. She was much needed this last year when I felt like I was drowning. It took a long time to set up my plan but finally once I did – it’s SO WORTH IT. She picks up the slack where I was dropping it. She helps to keep the business going when I am off photographing weddings in Mexico or sessions on weekdays. This is a must for anyone who feels like they are drowning in business tasks but have a desire to grow. If I’ve learned anything from the greats – they say you must spend money to make money. Sure, it’s hard to hire someone and watch your money go to them – but once you see their value in your business it will be worth every penny.
Charlotte’s Task list:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- SEO + Blog
- Sending weddings to magazine + publications to be featured
- Album Design process for wedding clients
You may not feel like you are ready to hire a team and that’s ok. YOU WILL KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME. I could not do it by myself. I had many resources of photography friends across the country who have structured their teams all differently from tasks, payments, to roles. But all have said that it was a must in order to grow their businesses. You can’t do it alone.