Getting Organized

  • The "Production Wall"

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!:)
28 Comments Photography
  1. Emilia Jane reply

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

  2. jamie reply

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

  3. Abby Grace reply

    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 reply

    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 reply

    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 reply

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

  7. Stephanie Stewart reply

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

  8. Rebekah Nougaret reply

    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 reply

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

  10. Katie Nesbitt reply

    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 reply

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

  12. Mallory reply

    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 reply

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  14. Deborah Zoe reply

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

  15. Ashley {Ashley Daniell Photography} reply

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

  16. Shannon Rosan reply

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

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  19. Erin reply

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

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  22. Simone reply

    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 reply

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  25. Elizabeth Zimmerman reply

    This is fantastic!! I am a HUGE organization freak! Love, love, love it! :)

  26. Kolleen Kintz reply

    Hi Katelyn,

    Thank you so much for sharing this organizational insight! What a life saver to stumble upon this blog…our company has grown from 9 weddings last year, to 20 this year and counting! I am trying to get my ducks in a row before the season kicks off. I am in the process of designing my Production Chart, and I was wondering if you’d be willing to share another photo of that chart? I’d love to see how you laid it out…especially the steps that are at the end. Either way, thank you for sharing!!

    All the best,

  27. Carol mosier reply

    Lyndsey Portell and her financee ate to be married on sept 12. Lyndsey got her surprise engagement at your seminar at your house last fall. She thinks so much of you and your work . I was hoping maybe you could give her a “congrats”. It would mean so much. Thank you Lyndseys gramma

  28. Lorri reply

    Would you be interested in selling your template?

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