Write! App — A must for Wedding Photographers, a simple text editor for distraction-free writing!

Write! is an elegant workspace to create notes, to-do lists, writing projects and texts of any kind. It has the all features of a good word processor packed into a clutter-free interface. I use Write! App daily for my wedding photography business, it caters for all my literature and text needs, like seriously it makes my blogging, client content literature and generic responses a doddle. I was looking for an app like Write! to come along for some time if I'm honest. I've always found myself in a confused mess of text documents and hand written notebooks with important information and then not being able to quickly grab the text I needed. I've only been using Write! for the last couple of months and I’m seriously only touching the surface with its capabilities, but here's a few reasons why it's perfect for wedding photographers and photographers alike!

Minimalistic Interface

Write! keeps what is essential for writing on top and hides all distracting and unnecessary features and buttons. A simple and user-friendly interface was designed especially for bloggers, writers and in my opinion, professional wedding photographers. When I sit down to write a blog post or create some future social media literature I want to solely focus on the task(s) at hand, the interface of WriteApp is perfect for this. Firstly you can jump from document to document and quickly scan through them like you would in an Internet browser with their simple tabbed interface. There's also Cloud-synced sessions which allows you to basically open a new interface, I personally have separate sessions for different categories i.e. Blogging, Email Responses and Social Media Literature... Save tabs together and open them all at once by switching the session. Secondly, you can fade out all paragraphs except for the one you are currently working on to stay in the flow and focus. Lastly you can choose from a Light or Dark theme, personally, I use the Dark theme, it's less strenuous on your eyes and looks bloody awesome!

Native Cloud & More

This has to be one of the best selling points for me, as a destination wedding photographer, I am constantly on my travels. I had a bad habit of locating my generic email responses by searching in my sent mail. Furthermore, I'm always writing new content for blogs and want to switch between devices (iMac, Macbook & iPad). With Native Cloud your documents are always at hand both on Windows and Mac, there are no third-party apps required to sync between devices. So if you're writing some new content or taking notes one device, you can access that on any other device through the cloud, it even autosaves as you type, you will never lose a very important document in the middle of writing. You can also store an unlimited number of documents at no additional cost. If you're not connected to the cloud or you don't wish to cross platform a document, you can save it locally.. the features are seriously endless with this app.

Note Taking

Now I bet you think I'm pulling your leg with this one, I mean do you really need an app to takes note? Well, I didn’t think so until I started using WriteApp. For every client meeting I go to, I have a note taking document open to jot down all the couple’s details, questions and plans. The compact view that moves tabs to the side to take less screen space. Works perfectly well with the Alt + ` shortcut that brings Write! instantly from the system tray.

Impressive Writing Aids

It goes without saying any good document/text creator needs the generic aids so Writing tools like configurable Autocomplete, Intelligent Spellchecker and Unlimited Ctrl+Z all come with WriteApp. The spellchecker works like any other and for someone who is terrible at spelling, good job I'm good with a camera, it's needed. The handy self-learning Autocomplete that analyzes the structure of your document and gives you options as you type is also a great asset to have, and it seriously speeds up your writing speed.

 

The full Write! experience is just $19.95 for a Pro subscription if you love the features, particularly if you’re looking for something to bridge the gap between restrictive free tools or other apps that don’t quite feel right for drafting medium or long form content. There's plenty of free and paid writing solutions out there, some may be better suited than others, but for me and my wedding photography, Write! works perfectly and doesn't break the bank! 

 

To find out more visit: www.writeapp.co


Hard Drive Storage Cases from ProStorage

In this digital age, data breaches and file corruption are some of the most serious threats to your business. Whether you work in the wedding photography industry or another creative industry you understand the crucial nature of data security and confidentiality. Of course, cloud storage has come on leaps & bounds in the last decade and as a wedding photographer, I certainly use the cloud to store edited backups of all my wedding snaps. But when it comes to storing my RAW files I used external drives and with the ever growing image file sizes, you can certainly eat your way through these during a wedding season. Regardless of whether you’re self-employed or work for a large corporation, you are undoubtedly aware of how important it is to archive this digital data. With so many hard drives full of sensitive data piling up, how can you ensure information security? 

Whether you work from home or an office, having multiple hard drives lying around the workspace can lead to disorganisation and a loss of data. So first tip, watch my video on BACK UPS. If you have multiple hard drives, it’s a good idea to organise them or at least store them in a durable container where they can be preserved.  This is where the ProStorage units come into play.  ProStorage is a breakthrough product designed specifically for secure, offline digital data storage or “cold storage.” Their products provide businesses and individuals with confidence that your data is safeguarded from potential competitor hacks and network failures, not to mention everyday dust and grime. ProStorage cases accommodate up to 24 hard drives and are specially designed with closed-cell, anti-static foam to provide layered protection from static electricity and shock.

If you have multiple hard drives with a multitude of information stored on them, it is important to organise them in a way that allows you to find what you are looking for when you need it. What’s the point of having several years worth of information available to you if you can never see it again? The ProStorage Units have individual slots for each hard drive, which makes it simple to stick labels above each slot or even on the case cover itself.

Most external hard drive cases on the market today lack the protective features incorporated by ProStorage. Many cases are lined with nothing more than a layer of velvet or some other type of fabric, comparatively offering very little in the way of shock absorption or static resistance. They typically come equipped with a hard-shell exterior made of plastic, polyurethane or neoprene, but in the absence of shock-absorbing interior foam, the impact of a fall or jostling will still be transferred to the delicate hard drive inside.

Additionally, most hard drive storage cases currently on the market are designed for light personal use; at most, they only hold a few hard drives. The only storage systems with the capacity to accommodate 18 to 24 hard drives are the ones manufactured by ProStorage.

A lot is riding on your personal or your organisation’s ability to safely archive and store its proprietary information and sensitive data. The modest investment in a ProStorage system protects you against the devastating costs that can result from file corruption or a data breach. 

Images courtesy of DannyRich


5 Wedding Photographer's Office Gadgets: July

Pinch punch it's the first of the month! Here's July's issue of the wedding photographer's office gadgets. Who doesn't love photography and something new to have around the office? So each month I grab some of my favourite office essentials I'm loving right now. I'm always on the hunt for new toys and gadgets to satisfy my creativity. If you love weddings, photography, new gizmos and gear or just home office decor, these gadgets are worth checking out! 

1. IKEA BERGENES

©LukeHolroydShareMe1-6.jpg

Probably the cheapest product I will ever feature on here but it's mega practical, the BERGENES from Ikea holds both a mobile phone and tablet. Each holder has two felt lined slots which ensures your phone or tablet is protected. It's a perfect tool for housing your iPhone / iPad whilst you have a film, video or have apps running, they're that cheap and handy I suggest you grab one for each room. Away from the office, they make the perfect stand to move about in your kitchen whilst you watch a program and cook! 

2. KB Covers

©LukeHolroydShareMe1-5.jpg

There's a whole host of editing software out there for photographers, whether you’re a beginner or professional I can pretty much guarantee there are always a few handy shortcuts you can learn to speed up your workflow. I've recently been using Adobe Premier Pro more and more in the office, not only to create awesome videos for the Creative Resources & Advice Blog but also as I move towards adding video into my photography packages.  As with all of Adobe's software there are a whole host of shortcuts you can use and if you're new to digital processing it can be a little daunting trying to learn them all... but KB Covers will help you learn and it's very affordable for any photographer or student. There's the added bonus that the covers also add some protection to your Apple Keyboard or Macbook... you can now eat and edit at the same time without clogging those keys up with crumbs.. never mind those coffee spills...bonus! 

3. Offscreen Magazine 

©LukeHolroydShareMe3.jpg

One thing I'm always conscious about during wedding season is to make sure I'm taking time away from any technology and read something that's educational and relevant to my work. If you work in the creative industry or are just fascinated by it, then I can highly recommend Offscreen Magazine. Published three times per year in beautiful print, Offscreen Magazine is a thoughtful deep-dive into the entrepreneurial spirit and creative thinking of people working with technology. I've bought almost every issue, in fact, it's my mission to get hold of the back issues I missed because the content is just so awesome and I highly recommended you grab yourself some copies. It's full of extensive, intimate interviews with creative thinkers, makers, and entrepreneurs and food for thought through reflective, personal stories on life and work in a connected world.

4. Grammarly 

©LukeHolroydShareMe2.jpg

'Were' do I start with my spelling & grammar (See what I did there!). Seriously, it's a good job I'm good with a camera because I totally suck at most academic things and I imagine there are many of you creatives reading this that feel the same. But don't worry Grammarly will seriously help you out if you need help with your writing/blogging or social media posts. Grammarly  offers a free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox that corrects critical grammar and spelling errors. Grammarly for Chrome, Grammarly for Safari, and Grammarly for Firefox bring Grammarly’s powerful algorithms straight to you wherever you are writing online, including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. You can correct mistakes in your text with a single click. For users who want to supercharge their writing performance and leave no errors unchecked, Grammarly Premium is a paid upgrade that will instantly flag over 400 types of mistakes, including vocabulary enhancement suggestions, detects plagiarism, and citation suggestions.

5. Ambiance 

1.jpg

For me and many wedding photographers who work from home, you can easily start to miss the buzz of an office workspace. I often turn to Spotify or educational podcasts to stop the silence of a home office but in reality, music and podcasts come sometimes be a little off putting. This month I found an awesome app that solves this problem, called Ambiance. This cool little app fills the gap between sometimes distracting music and the awful dead silence. Ambiance is an "environment enhancer" designed to help you create the perfect ambient atmosphere to relax, focus or reminisce. Choose from over 3500 free sounds, exclusive to Ambiance, to download and listen to, create customized sound mixes, cycle through playlists and much, much more. I was a little sceptical at first whether this would actually work, but it really does. One of my personal favourites is "Rain on a tent" .... bliss! 


Luke.png

Feature Your Gear / App 

 

The Creative Resources & Advice Blog attracts hundreds of visitors from all around the world who want a different perspective on photography, especially wedding photography. My readers share a passion for individuality in a world dominated by tradition. If you'd like to submit a product for the blog or think there's a product I should get my hands on, then drop me an email: luke@lukeholroyd.com


Wedding Photography Welcome Package

In any business to consumer industry your relationships with your clients are hugely important to ensuring your business thrives, grows and becomes recommended to other customers. This couldn’t be more relevant in the photography industry especially in the wedding genre, couples who book wedding photographers not only want to fall in love with the photographs you capture but also feel comfortable in their decision of booking you. If you follow my photography and Creative Resources and Advice Blog closely, you will probably already be aware how much emphasis I place on client relationships and building a friendship with a couple before I capture their big day. After the initial chat/meeting in the lead up to a couple booking, which has already began to build that relationship, I then send out a welcome package. These packages have changed over the years with different formats, but they all serve a purpose not only to house all those official documents but reinforce their reasons for booking you and educating them on the way you approach your photography. Guess what, it doesn't stop there, if you design and produce a killer welcome package to send out to clients, they are more than likely going to show their friends and family and post a snap of the package on Instagram and Facebook. So, for all the photographers out there here’s some of the important information and branding styles I feature in my welcome packages and for all the brides and grooms to be who are just about to book, here’s a sneak preview of what will be dropping through your letter box. 

Branding

For all the photographers, if you're at the stage of creating your welcome package, you've probably already nailed your branding and your website looks the shizz. Branding is a fairly obvious one but it is a huge tool to create a fantastic first impression, whether that's through your website, social media accounts or in this case your welcome package. Keeping your branding consistent in both your online and printed marketing tools is essential to keep that trust and professionalism in your business. The welcome package is more often than not the first physical thing your clients will receive from you, so it's a huge importance not only to keep your branding consistent from the route they booked you through (Website & Social Media) but also that the package they receive screams quality and professionalism. First impressions count!  

Like your branding, the welcome package should reflect your style, approach and also you as a person. I often talk about how wedding photography is a very personal business, you and the clients both need to be at an understanding and create a friendship, so make sure you add your own personality to your package.  

Welcome Letter

As soon as a couple opens up the welcome package they’re greeted with a welcome note that firstly thanks them for booking, reassures them that they’ve made the right choice in booking and finally let’s them know you're looking forward to capturing their big day. As any wedding photographer I LOVE social media, so I always include a list of the accounts I am active on, 9 times out of 10 they have probably found my work through one social media channel but maybe not checked out my others, so I always like to promote where I upload my work and videos. 

Contract

Although I’m more about creating awesome photographs and growing relationships with clients, terms and conditions are an important part of my business and of course add more reassurance to the clients. I’m a straight forward kind of guy, in fact, that’s how my contract starts.. I don’t aim to confuse couples with hundreds of terms and conditions. Like my photography approach I try and keep it as relaxed as possible, I recommend you take some time to develop your contract so it is personal to you as the photographer but also the type of clients who will be booking you. If you need some more tips on what you should include, check out this blog post: 12 Terms to include in your Photography Conditions

Advertise Other Wedding Vendors

The great thing about the wedding industry is you get to meet other awesome and like minded wedding vendors and it’s more than likely they’re a similar style or feel to your portfolio.. after all, the weddings you generally meet these vendors were all booked by the same couples. If you’re like me you will build up relationships with these vendors and continue ‘networking’ with them after the wedding, so why not share these relationships with your potential and new clients? There’s many ways to include this in a welcome package, you can create a printed ‘preferred vendors’ list or just include their business cards in your package. I usually stay away from lists only because some of the wedding vendors I recommended can’t always travel as far as I can. So instead I include a small envelope that features the business cards and leaflets with all the recommended vendors, I can then tailor it to each specific client and their location. Be sure to communicate this gesture with the wedding vendors themselves, more than likely they will do the same for you in the future.   

Timeline of Events

Every wedding photographer loves an organised bride and groom, but if we’re being honest it's usually the bride who’s super organised and has everything planned for the wedding day. The more pre planning goes into a wedding the smoother the day will run, ensuring the time you need for the all important shots of the bride and groom doesn't get eaten into. I always include a timeline of events the couples should be thinking of from 12 months up until the day big day, each wedding is of course slightly different so the checklist is very broad but it certainly has has great feedback from the brides and grooms that have used it so far. Photographers; you can also use this checklist to market some of your products further, for example if you charge extra for pre wedding shoots and singing boards you can add this to thier checklist rather than emailing the clients to see if they want to book one. 

F.A.Q

I’m a firm believer that a ‘stupid question’ doesn't exist and as a wedding photographer it’s important to understand that yes, we spend our lives at weddings but the couples who book you probably are tying the knot for the first and last time, so they’re bound to have lots of questions. I include a generic F.A.Q sheet that answers some of the most popular questions couples ask me, but as I will continue to mention in this blog, each client and wedding is unique and there will be small details that the bride and groom to be will need to go over with you. Remember to promote the asking of questions, you can not only use your experienced knowledge and perspective to reassure them but you can also grow that confidence that they’ve booked the right photographer for them. We all love a stress free wedding! 

Pre-stamped Return Envelope

A very simple thing to include but I can reassure you that it's a necessity, always include a pre stamped envelope in your welcome package that also features your logo. In my packages I require the couple to return a completed and signed terms and conditions form. If you make the process of returning this simple for your clients, you can move forward quicker and as we all want to do.. get the boring paperwork out of the way. Finally, ensure you include the correct stamp or postage costs on the envelope, I would suggest visiting your nearest post office or delivery depot to ensure you are stamping the return envelope correctly to avoid any further fees on the return.


 Good luck creating your own welcome package and I would love to see your final results. If you need any further advice or tips don't hesitate to drop me a comment or email. If you want more business advice, I highly recommend checking out some of the resources below!