25 of Salt & Light Photography’s Company SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

  1. When we deposit money at one of our banks, we always write down on the receipt who paid us, for what, and what day we deposited it. (This is ESSENTIAL to solid accounting)
  2. We use “Canned” email responses in gmail. Stop writing out the same emails over and over, and start creating canned emails. You can use the native gmail setting, or, the slower version, you can save your email templates to a running word document which you leave opened all the time. Here are a few examples of canned emails we keep ready:
  • Bride’s first inquiry
  • Follow up to first bridal inquiry if no reply
  • Follow up email after bridal, or general consultation
  • Locations for local shoots (More to determine what they want)
  • Recommendations for local wedding venues
  • How to determine music for videography
  • Shoot date is already booked (when potential customer inquires about a date we already have booked)
  • Instructions for ordering their book
  • Instructions for ordering prints and other custom print products
  1. Before leaving for a photoshoot, we go over a checklist to make sure we have EVERYTHING. If you don’t do this, you will forget something, and will look like a fool(or at least unprepared) during your shoot.
  2. When we receive an inquiry, we send the inquirer our canned information email within 1 hour, which contains instructions on how to book, pricing, contact, etc.
  3. We always bring back up batteries because even $50 Nikon/Canon batteries can fail.
  4. We purchase new memory cards every 3 years because cards can fail too.
  5. We keep business cards in every bag we carry gear in – you never know when you will have a marketing opportunity and will kick yourself if you’re not prepared.
  6. We always leave 15 EXTRA minutes early because it’s never wise to rush anywhere. Example: If we have a shoot at 2, and it takes 15 minutes to get there, we leave at 1:30. That way, we’re not rushed, we won’t speed, and will still be a little early even with unexpected traffic. (Plus, remember this saying from module 7: If you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late, and if you’re late, you’re fired!)
  7. If we’re shooting a wedding, we pack our gear the previous day, and begin charging batteries. No matter what you think, you’ll wish you packed the night before. Wedding days are always a bit hectic, and the best way to smooth out any rough spots, is to be prepared the night before so you’re not rushing to get things together if something out of the ordinary happens.
  8. When shooting weddings and events, we use in-ear walkie talkies, so we’re always communicating, regardless if the event has good cell phone reception. For about $50 a person, you can add a level of professionalism and convenience to your shoot, which believe me, has saved our butts many times.)
  9. After every shoot, we backup our cards immediately.
  10. Every week we back up our computers on a backup hard drive, which is then stored in a fireproof safe.
  11. Within 48 hours of every shoot, we put up a preview on facebook of at least 1 or 2 photos
  12. We place a hand-written thank you note in with every delivery of photos or products.
  13. We place every CD, or Flashdrive, in a nice bag, giftwrapped with tissue paper.
  14. We always follow up within 72 hours of mailing a package to our clients to make sure they received it.
  15. When a bride or groom books with us, they receive a nice welcome gift in the mail.
  16. Within 24 hours after every booking, we scan, and email the clients their executed copy of the contract.
  17. After every booking, we input the client contact information, and shoot information into our client database.
  18. After every booking, we input the shoot date, location, the client’s contact information, and any other details into our google calendars. That way, on the date of the shoot, you will receive reminders from your google calendar, and the event will have everything you need to know for the shoot.
  19. After every booking that involved documentation, all documents are scanned, and filed into our dropbox so they’re accessible at anytime, and by anyone we choose.
  20. For every major booking, we fill out a “Bridal client contact info shoot” which is also scanned, saved in our dropbox.
  21. For weddings, we have a phone call or in person meeting with the bride or groom around 30 days out from the wedding to discuss final details.
  22. If we’re shooting a wedding with another company (One of us doing photo, the other video, or vice versa) we make sure to share our calendar event with said company so they have all the details as well. (So, even if they’re not doing their job as well as they should,, at least we are, and can make the day go more smoothly – the client’s interest is the most important.)
  23. For major shoots, or weddings, we place the shot list in the calendar event as well so it’s on our phones/ipads as well as on paper.
  24. If we’re shooting a wedding with another company (One of us doing photo, the other video, or vice versa) we make sure to share our calendar event with said company so they have all the details as well. (So, even if they’re not doing their job as well as they should,, at least we are, and can make the day go more smoothly – the client’s interest is the most important.)
  25. For major shoots, or weddings, we place the shot list in the calendar event as well so it’s on our phones/ipads as well as on paper.

    Do not share this list! :) Thank you!