DO LESS WITH MORE FOCUS

For the past year, I have been struggling with the decision to specialize in one or two niche's of photography. This decision has come with a lot more stress than I would like to admit. I sit down and write the pro's and con's of each genre I may want to specialize in and that makes me realize the clientele I may be losing. Who wants to lose clientele?

I came to the realization in the past few weeks that if you do what makes you happy, then it won't ever feel like you are working. I wanted the decision to be made for me instead of the opposite. This gave me an idea! I went through my portfolio searching for images that I deemed my best work. Low and behold, most of my images were from two genres. Almost all of the images I had concluded to be my best work, were coming from Weddings and Seniors. There was my answer!

Do Less With More Focus - Ali Mac Photography

Searching through Pinterest for some inspiration (as almost everyone does these days), I came across the quote: "Do less with more focus." That is exactly what I needed. I needed to know that I was heading down the right path. As I have started to focus more on just weddings and seniors, I have felt the happiness you feel when you absolutely LOVE what you do. Now that all that unwanted stress is out the window, I can slow down, breathe and focus.

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I hope this quote resonates with you as it did with me. It has helped me slow down, take a breath and really focus on what makes me happy.

What quotes do you really relate to? What truly makes you happy?

 

WORK. LIFE. BALANCE | ORGANIZING WORK

Work. Life. Balance. is a very popular topic with creative entrepreneurs or any entrepreneur for that matter. Should you bring work home with you? Should you take work phone calls after you're off the clock? Should you check your work emails (I might miss something important)? The BIG question...when does work end and life begin? There are so many questions and even more answers that benefit each individual business owner. These are the items that have organized and streamlined my business so I can get back to living my life. 

Work. Life. Balance. Organizing Work - Ali Mac Photography

SET BUSINESS HOURS

I have a full time day job, and I have set hours as to when I begin and when I stop working. My day begins when I walk in the door and my day ends when I leave the building. I cannot resume work remotely because the tools are unavailable to me. This got me thinking...what if I set business hours for myself? Within the last few months, I have adopted business hours for my photography business. This has totally changed my life! You would think that the few hours I do have to edit, advertise, respond to email, create marketing pieces and more would spiral out of control, but the opposite happened. The process became more streamlined and easy. I knew the hours I had allotted myself to get my work done and this inspired me to focus more within the time I had set. Each day's hours are a little different depending on soccer practices, date nights, and tv shows (I can't live without my Scandal). I have set my hours for later in the evening so I can spend time with my family before hand. I definitely don't want to miss our nightly book readings. To keep myself on track, I have three alarms set on my phone: 

  1. It's time to get down to business! 
  2. 15 minutes before the end...this gives me time to make a new to-do list of the things I would like to accomplish the next day if I have anything left over.
  3. Time's up! Pack it in, put everything away.

TO DO LISTS

I used to be the post-it queen. I had post-it's all over my office wall. They were completely color coded and I thought it was so pretty, but what happened when one fell behind my desk? That's when I switched over to 2 things:

  1. A to-do list notepad.
  2. The post-it app on my computer

The to-do list notepad stays on my desk at all times. It's an ongoing, rotating list that changes daily, if not hourly. It's an emphasis on what I need to get done and prioritizes my needs as well. To go along with my notepad is the post-it app on my computer. I think this may be just a healthy way to feed my addiction for post-its, without wasting any paper. You can make multiple post-its or one long post-it with bullet points. With both of these items, I have reduced the clutter behind my computer screen & desk and prioritized my needs. 

A PLANNER

I am a planner girl. I actually have two planners. I have one for my photography business and one for life in general. My photography business planner is the same as any other calendar planner with monthly and weekly outlooks, but the one I use is specifically made for photographers. It goes in depth into marketing, workflow, resources and even financials. This is the first item I open up, when I sit down at my desk, getting ready to dive in. It lets me look ahead, to see if I am planning accordingly. 

My other planner is a life planner. With my husband, two kids, and a dog, we need to keep rather organized. I would love to show you what my life planner looks like, but I'm scared of the jumbled mess it is right now. It houses coupons, doctors appointments, grocery lists, meal planning, and any other appointment or list you need with a family of 4. This stays in my purse at all times, so I can send a quick text to my husband reminding him of what's to come. 

BINDERS

Binders are just another way to organize your business. I separate my clients, contracts, and marketing all into different binders. I purchase alphabetical and monthly tabs for the matching binders to get really detailed organization. I am able to look back at the year 2014 and see what marketing pieces I sent out or created. This creates the possibility of recycling or creating a whole new piece. I keep all of my contact information in my phone, but I also have a paper back up. My client information sheet is very detailed. I am able to see the contact information as well as favorite locations, favorite poses, items purchased and more. I just don't see these details in my phone. 


I have always struggled with the balance of work and life in the past. Especially with children that can be so unpredictable. These are some of the items that keep my business and life very organized and streamlined. Organization is definitely key to a well balanced life.

What things have you implemented within your business that has given you more balance? What keeps you organized? What are the items you can't live without?

LAUNCH GIVEAWAY

It's Giveaway Time!

Launch Giveaway - Ali Mac Photography

In honor of the new brand and website launch, I'm giving away a few awesome items.

A gorgeous HN Illustrations print. All of her fashion illustrations are to-die-for. Seriously, go look at her Instagram page and you definitely won't be disappointed.

A subscription to the Elle & Company library where there is no shortage of pretty to adorn your walls. There is also a planner that keeps my life so organized, I don't know where I would be without it.

Last but not least...A FREE SESSION! Family, mommy & me, engagement...I'm ready, let's do it!

To enter:

  1. Follow Ali Mac Photography on Instagram and like the giveaway image.
  2. Like my Facebook page.
  3. For extra entries repost and #amplaunchgiveaway, tag a friend, comment and/or share.

// All winners will be chosen at random and will be announced on 4/8.//

All winners will be contacted through email for delivery of prizes. The free session will be at a location of my choosing and all images will be delivered in an online gallery. The session is 1-2 hours and a $350 value. If you win the free session and you are not in the South Florida area, I have an awesome replacement prize in mind.

GOOD LUCK!!!

LAUNCH DAY!!!

It's here, it's here, it's finally here! It's launch day! After months upon months of dreaming of what my brand could be, and where it could go, it's finally here! I finally get to share with you my dream brought to life. The absolute genius behind the new brand and website is Lauren of Elle and Company. In just 2 weeks Lauren took a Pinterest board, turned it into a brand board and from there a full brand design with website! Every day was like Christmas, with a new piece of the branding and website coming together. The best part...with every step there are visuals. Lauren created the brand that I knew I wanted, but gave me a brand that I now know I can't live without!  

In the future, I will be talking about my experience with branding (or rebranding) and everything in between. I'll be touching on a few topics that really hit home for me. When do you know you're ready for branding? Have you outgrown your current branding? What does branding (or rebranding) mean for me and my business? If you can think of any more topics, just let me know. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and please enjoy wandering around the website. Let me know what you think!

Ali Mac Photography Branding Board. Brand and website designed by Elle & Company

If you are looking for branding or rebranding, look no further than Lauren at Elle and Company. I cannot encourage you enough to take a glance at her beautiful portfolio and amazing & informative blog. Her process is one-of-a-kind with her sole focus being you for 2 weeks and no one else. I promise, it makes you feel extra special.