The "Production Wall"

Getting Organized
studio-office-organization

My office

has been a work in progress for the last year and a half. You see, when you run your business out of a DORM ROOM for two years, it takes a while to really get organized once you have a “big girl office”. I have filing cabinets and charts and places to actually DISPLAY my sample albums. Before I got married and was in college, I stored my whole business in a room smaller than most people’s walk-in closets! It’s amazing “Katelyn James Photography” didn’t shut down after year one!!  So today I’m showing my latest project that I have been working on recently. I finished my craft closet and now I’ve conquered the “Production Wall”.

I realized that filing my clients information and contracts is a great way to stay organized… but not a great way to see the overall 2012 wedding season at a glance.  In order to be organized and STAY organized, your systems have to be readily accessible and EASY to use. Take my kitchen counter for example. I have magnetic file folders on the side of our fridge for filing bills as they come in.  Well, our file folders are tucked away in the corner of our “study” that is down the hall. So guess what happens to all of that paperwork? It stays in a huge pile on the kitchen counter because my”system” isn’t the best. I need to re-work that! My information needs to be easy to read, easy to navigate and readily available so that I can easily see my client’s information. So I created the “Production Wall”.

 

This wall includes a “In the Works” flowchart, an “Albums Guide” and a “Client Production” flowchart as well. All three boards have a different purpose. My “In the Works” chart shows me what I have recently shot and how I’m doing on those specific workflows. My “Client Production” chart shows me ALL the bookings for 2012 and what they have booked and what we have accomplished. So I can easily look and see what we have done and what we have left to do! Last year I ended up shooting a ba-zillion engagement sessions in the fall because I didn’t realize how many 2011 clients still needed to have their sessions booked! I also had a scare this past year because I totally forgot a certain couple had booked a second shooter and it was friday night and I hadn’t contacted anyone! GAH!!!! Katelyn come ON!!! I had to figure out a better system for this!! So my “Client Production” chart shows my 2012 weddings that are booked thus far and everything I need to accomplish within each booking. It’s a little overwhelming but I would rather be informed than BLINDSIDED by something I forgot! Not a great feeling!! The last chart is my “Album Guide”.  It Basically lists all the albums that are in progress, ones that need to be designed and albums  that will be added to the queue later on in the year.

 

This wall is right beside my desk and I can easily glance over when I need to check something. I just made a simple chart in Photoshop and then had a 20×18 print made of that file (I use WHCC for my personal prints and business materials and I LOVE them! They have like a 2 day turnaround, it’s crazy!!) If you’re not handy in PS and want a studio organizer like this, you can purchase them at Design Aglow, a great tool for photographers that aren’t graphic designers!! All of the frames were purchased at Target and I don’t think I’ll ever have anything hanging or pinned onto that quilted board…. it’s purely decorative!! I’m so picky like that!!

 

So hopefully some of you can find this little wall to be an inspiration or some spring organization!  It’s already helping me a TON! Be sure to make your “production” area your own…I added a picture of my extremely attractive husband to my wall and there is about to be a fluffy face up there as well!!

 

****** My Production Charts ******
 
These were created in Photoshop by making an 11×14 NEW file.  I made the graph by creating lines and duplicating the layers. I added my logo at the top and then I added titles of the different steps of my workflow.  Everyone’s workflow is different and unique so this is a project that everyone needs to make on their own to ensure that it fits their individual needs.  If you’re not skilled in Photoshop, there are GREAT resources like Design Aglow, where you can purchase your own customized chart! My chart is just a printed graph placed inside a frame from Target!:)

Comments (24)

Comments

  1. Emilia Jane: ( )

    Love it! I need to make a similar chart :-D

  2. jamie: ( )

    love your organization!! thanks for your sharing your methods and for making it all look beautiful too!

  3. Abby Grace: ( )

    Ahh, I love that you posted this! I’m working on a tracking board with my graphic designer right now based on something we found on Pinterest. Your charts look so good- like wall decor! And I really like that you just use a Dry Erase marker on top of the glass- so much more practical than what the pencil idea I was thinking of. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  4. Jillian Tree: ( )

    LOVE how you incorporated it into the decoration. I had made a paper version workflow chart, but it wasn’t nearly as pretty & as much incentive to use it ;)

  5. Gabby / En Route Photography: ( )

    Great idea!!! I’m definitely makinga wall like that!!! ;) It would be very helpful if you’d detail the different colums you have on your chart! Maybe in another follow up blogpost? Wink wink ;)

  6. heather: ( )

    Very Nice! I am in the process of designing a workflow board as well :)

  7. Stephanie Stewart: ( )

    This is exactly what I need!!! And it’s beautiful in addition to being functional! LOVE!

  8. Rebekah Nougaret: ( )

    LOVE!!! Okay now you can come and organize my office :-) I love this idea and I think I am going to have to steal if for organizing bills and counseling info…I love this!!!! I think you need to blog more about your creative ideas… LOVE!!!

  9. Tiffany Farley: ( )

    As a live in nanny who runs my business out of my small bedroom this gives me such hope! :)

  10. Katie Nesbitt: ( )

    I’m so glad you posted this!! I love it!! I’m in the process of updating my office now and I was thinking about buying a regular dry erase board…I like your idea so much better!!

  11. Annetta: ( )

    Thanks for this Katelyn! I plan to use something like this when I get my craftroom/office done.

  12. Mallory: ( )

    I love that you thought about it enough to decide on a custom chart rather than using an actual dry erase board! Very creative.
    I think you should tuck a few black and white snapshots in your pin board! lol.
    Great work! I realized a few weeks ago that you’re younger than me…so this some how makes me feel a sense of pride that you’re doing so well, and sharing your experiences! We can all learn from people like you!

  13. You probably | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Katelyn James Photography: ( )

    [...] share night! Since we’re talking about last month’s goals, I also managed to get my “Client Production” chart done and I created a craft closet!  I think January was a GOOD MONTH! Here’s to an [...]

  14. Deborah Zoe: ( )

    ummm HOW DID I MISS THIS?!!! The OCD, type A, organizational freak in me is DROOLING:)

  15. Ashley {Ashley Daniell Photography}: ( )

    Love this idea!!! Will definitely need to consider it!

  16. Shannon Rosan: ( )

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  17. DISPLAYING YOUR WORK FLOW : GETTING ORGANIZED » Amy Rizzuto Photography: ( )

    [...] to a little inspiration from Kaitlyn James, I was able to create my visual workflow wall for under $30!  I purchased the cute wooden frames [...]

  18. chupp photography | wedding photojournalism | ontario wedding photography: ( )

    [...] came across the wonderful, katelyn james, of katelyn james photography through somehow stumbling on this post. [i don't even remember how]. her desire to be organized in her business [and the way she likes to [...]

  19. Erin: ( )

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your wall color!!!! Do you remember what color paint that was???

  20. The Office Nook » Stephanie Dee Photography: ( )

    [...] folders and mail stay here, and that chart tracks where every client is in my timeline! Thanks to Katelyn James for that amazing [...]

  21. Working it Out with Workflow Boards » Sarah Syhakhoun Photography: ( )

    [...] inspiration and gained the most inspiration from the following places/people: Lauryn Galloway, Katelyn James, Design Aglow, and Photography Concentrate.  Admittedly, I created a workflow chart similar to the [...]

  22. Simone: ( )

    Dear Katelyn

    Thank you for inspiring me! Your “little wall” is AWESOME and so nice in that mint! I love it. I just started my Year 0 so wish me luck. But with a system like yours I hope I will make it. Thank you!

  23. My Clientele Workflow » Allison Shumate Photography: ( )

    [...] the lengthy post on my post-processing process?? Well, not too long ago I read a blog post that Katelyn James did last year about her “Production Wall” and I thought to myself… [...]

  24. DIY Photography Workflow Frames and Charts - Laura Radniecki - Inspirational Blogger, MN Photographer | Laura Radniecki - Inspirational Blogger, MN Photographer: ( )

    [...] while back, I read a blog post about a photographer who created and printed her own workflow charts to keep her organized in the process of booking, shooting, and then editing a wedding or portrait [...]

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