Time Management Strategies for eCommerce Photo Studios

Time Managment Strategies for Ecommerce Photo Studios

Time management is among the biggest challenges for an eCommerce photo studio. 

Keeping up with tight schedules, demanding shoots, and ever-changing product lines is a Herculean task.

And to top it all, in the end, we know the list of tasks never ends. It’s one thing after another, and we have to manage time for everything.

Is it an unsolvable problem? It is not.

This guide aims to share practical time management strategies tailored specifically for eCommerce studios. And we hope, by the end, you know exactly what reforms your team and studio need to have a productive and efficient eCommerce photo studio.

8 Time Management Strategies for Ecommerce Photo Studios

1. Track Time

Track Time (1)

In order to have an effective time management strategy, time tracking is necessary. Not just for freelancers but even within your team

Monitor the time spent on each task. Recruiting, assigning, shooting, post-production, etc. 

Once you have a good view of the process, you will be able to see the bottlenecks of your process.

These are the points where a lot of work comes to hold cause nothing can pass through without effective measures.

One example of this would be a delay in the retouching team. While the shoot goes smoothly, retouching takes much more time than needed.

Why? Maybe because the editing requires creating selection—which can be time-sensitive. 

Or tasks like cropping, margins, file renaming, and multiple-minute tasks that are bulk & monotonous are taking much of your team’s time.

While these tasks are important, they can easily be outsourced to professional eCommerce photo editing services. However, the issue will only be highlighted when you track time and optimize your process accordingly.

2. Set Date, Time & Communicate

Set Date, Time & Communicate

Picture this. Your eCommerce shoot is about to begin. Models are ready, products are lined up, but wait, where’s the photographer? Did someone make sure he was informed about the date and time?

A nightmare scenario for sure.

Setting a fixed date and time is one part. Communicating with the team is another important part.

Moreover, one of the most common issues in the modern world is the number of communication channels we have.

iMessage, Gmail, Slack, Teams, WhatsApp, Twitter, and the list goes on.

If you don’t choose one platform and bring everyone on to it, the chances of miscommunication surely rise.

It is among the best time management strategies for eCommerce photo studios to pick one channel of communication and deliver updates to everyone at once.

3. Assign a Producer

Assign a Producer

Producers are often the unsung heroes of an eCommerce shoot. And yes, getting a producer is a time management strategy for eCommerce photo studios.

A producer is responsible for ensuring things run smoothly during the shoot. That means they are responsible for all the slots you’ll need to book, maintaining schedules, and handling expected and unexpected hiccups along the way.

Moreover, the role of the producer is often beyond just team and time management. They are involved in budgeting, resource management, planning, and filling gaps in the workflow.

From logistics to quality oversight, a good producer will wear multiple hats and will help you ensure that shoots are executed productively and in the timely manner that you’d like.

4. Gather Requirements & Allocate Products

Gather Requirements & Allocate Products

An eCommerce studio can have a lot of things coming and going quite frequently. This can be for a marketing campaign, product launch, product photography, and other things.

If the requirements are not tracked properly, chaos is set to begin at some point. Solution? Product allocation, task assignment, and clear communication.

To ensure time management for eCommerce photo studios, it is advisable to make sure shoots are assigned through a single channel. Share your requirements, goals, and specifications.

Once this information is collected, the products can be allocated to a team, and the right resources can be dispatched accordingly. Additionally, because of a common, streamlined channel—studios can get the most productivity out of a studio.

Everyone knows their role, what they are set to achieve, and what are the requirements. All this can only be managed effectively when communication is happening from a single channel or point of contact.

5. Identify Overlaps

Identify Overlaps

In eCommerce photo studios, Overlaps refer to when multiple shoots, tasks, or team members are scheduled simultaneously or too closely together.

If the resources are managed or scheduled effectively, it can affect the productivity and outcomes of the shoot.

Keep an eagle eye on schedules to spot overlaps and alert the relevant parties.

If you have multiple shoots in a day, there may be overlaps when models are needed for different projects. Identifying these overlaps early allows you to adjust schedules to avoid conflicts.

Similarly, if a set needs to be modified or redecorated for different shoots, scheduling overlaps could result in chaos. Identifying overlaps helps ensure that set changes are completed smoothly.

6. Use Shared Checklists

Use Shared Checklists

Checklists are great. They are easy to access and help you know exactly what needs to be done.

But when you are working in a team, like in an eCommerce photo studio, a shared checklist would surely be way more effective than messages.

Tools like the Jira board can also be a great tool to create jobs, assign them to team members, and track progress in one place.

This would make sure everything is in order before each shoot.

Additionally, it would give you a clear overview of all the processes and become one of the effective time management strategies for eCommerce photo studios that you’d be using quite regularly.

7. Outsource & Automate

Outsource & Automate

An important part of time management strategies for eCommerce photo studios is understanding the value and sensitivity of time.

If something is taking a lot of your productive time, or if something costs you way more than the output—it’s always feasible to either automate or outsource it.

But when we say automation and outsourcing, you don’t have don’t always have to discard that team or process entirely.

Let’s share an example of PixelPhant here. We work with some of the leading eCommerce fashion retailers who are working with hundreds of brands and designers.

They process over three to five thousand images a day, and we work as their go-to photo editing and retouching service.

Yet, they still have a small team of retouchers in-house. This small team reviews our work, updates specifications, and fulfills some of the internal retouching work that marketing and other teams may require.

PixelPhant helps them get the bulk work done so they have enough time and resources for other teams and tasks that need in-house attendance and communication.

8. Use Style Guides

Use Style Guides

Style guides are an important part of the game. Consider it as a treasure map to the ultimate time management strategy.

This document has everything that a studio expects out of the model, photographer, set designer, stylist, and retouchers.

It includes clear information regarding how the model should look. The kind of lighting the brand wants is the length of the shadow, the intensity of retouching, and more.

Understanding and clearly communicating these requirements alone can save a lot of time and deliver amazing results in time management.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Managing Time in Ecommerce Studios

While we have gone to 8 best time management strategies for eCommerce photo studios, it’s important to know about pitfalls as well.

Not having a clear plan

A lack of planning can lead to disorganization and wasted time. It’s important to have a clear plan for each shoot, including scheduling, set design, and product allocation.

Poor communication

Communication is key in any team environment. Poor communication can lead to confusion, delays, and mistakes. Ensure that everyone involved in the shoot is aware of the schedule and their responsibilities.

You can use professional communication tools like Slack, Teams, Google Chat, or any platform that works for all your team members.

Inadequate preparation

Inadequate preparation can lead to delays and mistakes. Ensure that all necessary equipment is available and in good working condition before the shoot.

It would be highly advisable to have a schedule cleaning & maintenance in your studio schedule for all your equipment.

Not delegating tasks

Delegating tasks can help ensure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Assign specific tasks to individuals or teams and ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.

Final Words

In order to ensure any time management strategy works for your eCommerce photo studio, it is important that you focus on its execution.

For a quick wrap, track your time, find bottlenecks, and outsource the bulk work to get your team breathing space.

Share this article with your insights, and we’ll add them here with your reference. Believe it or not, time management is one of the leading queries of studios. Let’s share our learning together.