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2 min read

5 ways photographers can start automating their work

By Tyler Robertson · June 29, 2021
A woman wearing a white shirt holds a camera with a long lens up to her face. Out of focus in the background is a wedding party and a flowered canopy.

As a failed art major in Portland, Oregon, I was lucky enough to meet a lot of photographers early on in my career. Any time I started to feel bad about the menial labor I had in whatever dead-end job I was working in a given week, I would talk to one of them and feel instantly better. 

Turns out, in-between the cool stuff like taking photographs, editing them, and getting paid, there's a lot of boring stuff that I'm glad I don't have to do. Things like: scheduling clients, finding new clients, managing file uploads, or exporting images to weirdly specific formats. These tasks took up hours each day and were universally reviled among my group of friends. 

So, if you met me between 2012 and 2015, this post is probably for you. Here are five ways to automate the boring parts out of being a professional photographer.

Track new leads and requests

Whether you're running ads or growing your business by word of mouth, keeping track of potential customers is paramount in the life of a freelance photographer. Using Zaps (our word for automated workflows), we'll help you make sure a lead never falls off your radar. With these Zap templates, you can automatically save new lead information to a spreadsheet to come back to later, or an app like Trello, to incorporate them into your to-do list.

Add new Facebook Lead Ads leads to rows on Google Sheets

Add new Facebook Lead Ads leads to rows on Google Sheets
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Google Sheets logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Google Sheets

Turn form submissions into calendar events

Once you've booked a client, actually scheduling time to meet with them is sometimes the most difficult part of putting together a shoot. Using this Zap, you can let your customers fill out a form that automatically creates calendar events with everyone invited.

Stay on top of appointments

Now that you've actually booked an appointment, you want to make sure you don't miss it! Using these Zaps, you can automatically get a summary of tomorrow's events, or build a to-do list from upcoming appointments.

Get a Slack message with tomorrow's schedule

Get a Slack message with tomorrow's schedule
  • Google Calendar logo
  • Slack logo
Google Calendar + Digest by Zapier + Formatter by Zapier + 1 more

Get a jump start on editing

After a shoot comes the long, often arduous task of importing and editing footage. Apps like Adobe Lightroom and remove.bg want to help take some of the tedium out of that process. Use their integrations with Zapier to start editing by applying presets as soon as your files have been uploaded to OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive.

Get files to your client wherever they want them

When all's said and done, the final step (besides getting paid) is getting the files to your client successfully. This would be super easy if clients weren't so mercurial about which apps they use for files. Luckily, we can help automatically sync your files between Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and more, and help notify you and your clients when the final images are ready to go.

Want to see what else Zapier can do for you? 

Check out the other ways that you can automate your work regardless of role or industry, how we can help keep your files organized, and how to publish and promote your work automatically.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'