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Creating a smooth running photo studio engine

How do you build, or improve, the functionality of a major photo studio?


UNDERSTANDING EACH PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

The lack of knowledge about studio production and #photography is real. Many have an understanding of specific roles, key players or experts with defined skills focused on tasks and responsibilities for their link in the chain, yet few have knowledge of the overall picture, multifaceted and complex.


Identifying voids in #process, equipment, and #systemsintegration that add to lead times, increase costs, reduce efficiency, and disconnect teams and cross-functional partners is a good first step. Hiring someone with this skill set is paramount. This person must speak each team's language, understand the current system, discover challenges, and bridge gaps, creating a smooth running production engine.


LINKING THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Understanding your strategic partners’ timelines, needs, goals, and concerns is vital. If these teams aren’t closely connected sharing information, compatible systems, as well as clear accurate data throughout the process, manual processes become abundant, mistakes are made daily, efficiency drops, sales decrease, while budgets increase.


THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

Creative ops is a beast of its own. From sample tracking to naming conventions, process docs to proper planning, every detail must be reviewed to determine best practices and confirm industry standards. Hiring and booking the right combo of photographers, stylists, digital techs, retouchers, merch coordinators, and art directors requires deep knowledge of each role and how personalities mesh. Building a solid project management system, as well as an ebb and flow schedule with the #photostudio team can also help avoid burnout, maximizing productivity through a healthy happier workforce.


ESTABLISHING TRUST | PROMOTING OPEN CONVERSATIONS

Another key part is the atmosphere you create. In a fake-it-’til-ya-make-it industry, if you don’t foster an environment promoting open honest conversations of ideas, processes, and mentorship, welcoming phrases like “I don’t know”, your company’s #production will suffer. Worst yet, place an unqualified leader into a role overseeing creative ops, especially one with little to no experience about each role, and you have a recipe for disaster. Without this type of welcoming work environment, you won’t succeed in learning which people and areas require the most assistance.


There are additional parts to this process, too many to share in a post. Over a 32-year career, I’ve enjoyed piecing this intricate puzzle together, helping team members succeed in their positions while improving quality, efficiency, budgets, overhead, moral and #workenvironment.


If your company is in need of a #digitalproduction/ photography expert, and if you believe in this philosophy, we may be a perfect fit to build a great team together. 😊


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