Barb Cameron – April 7, 2014 – Building a Team
Title of article: Spotlight on CPC2015 Speakers Haley & Michael from Shandro Photo.
Michael and Haley Shandro conduct some of their best work on walks together. No camera. No kids. Just them and business/personal topics where they hope to come up with epiphanies that will make their lives better. On one particular walk, they talked about the desire to bring someone else into their business – haven’t we all thought about it?
They had tried hiring an office manager before to make their lives easier but it didn’t work out. In fact, a previously poor experience had soured them to being open to the idea again. However, they realized that in order to increase revenue, a focus had to be on shooting more, not paperwork. They were at a breaking point in their business and it would be unfair to family and themselves if they didn’t get help.
All the little things add up and take a huge chunk of our business time: emails, filing, contracts, sending pictures to vendors, help with submissions, business tracking, etc. The Shandros were intent on finding someone who was not an aspiring photographer. They wanted someone who was organized and could run the office, not interested in learning how to start up a photography business based on their intimate business details. In fact, when they listed the position, they stated that a skill in photography was NOT considered an asset.
They tried advertising on a government job bank but that was a disaster due to the fact that they were only allowed to write a very vague description. Eventually, they posted on Facebook where it was shared amongst friends. Hiring someone to handle your office will not be without growing pains. For example, not knowing that you and your partner go out Friday nights and they subsequently book a consult. Or it may be having to share your calendar with them that may have personal details and appointments in it.
Due to these details, it is important to find someone you are comfortable with. Forget the notion that you need to be a huge studio with multiple employees in order to justify having an office manager. It is essential that in order to make money in your photography business, you need to be photographing.
An office manager gives you the freedom to do that. In addition to an office manager, Shandro Photo has a team of second shooters that they work with to allow them to shoot weddings separately. Come to Vancouver in 2015 to the Canada Photo Convention to hear the Shandros talk about how they built their team!
Because they had never heard someone discuss this topic at any workshop they attended, they thought it was essential to discuss during this year’s Canada Photo Convention. See you in Vancouver where the Shandros will reveal more information on this topic to aid in your photography business!
Written By: Barb Cameron
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