Kaysha Weiner Photographer »

Over the years I’ve learned that my happiness relies on working smarter, not harder. This is a lesson I am constantly re-learning as I navigate the waters of self employment. One of the many things that have made my life easier is creating systems and utilizing resources to help save me time.

Today I wanted to share 6 of my favorite business tools to help you in your job, passion project, or maybe just in life. The best part is these aren’t all specifically related to being a photographer, and none will break the bank.

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Tave

I have been using Tave since the start of my business, and it has helped me organize everything from client information to contracts. I believe having some sort of management software is invaluable for any business. I think of it as my home base, as I can always check in there to see what needs to be done. The best part is most tasks can be automatized which means I can spend my time focusing on other parts of my business and life.

Boomerang for Gmail

Ever wish you could be reminded to follow up with an email in a week, or schedule emails to be sent the following day? Well ladies and gents, I’m about to rock your world! Boomerang does this and so much more. I love to work late into the night, but I don’t always want to be sending emails at midnight. Boomerang has helped me stay on top of email communication, on my terms.

Canned Responses for Gmail

If you find yourself sending the same emails again and again, canned responses will be your new best friend. This Gmail lab is free and will save you SO MUCH TIME! You can save responses for commonly asked questions, new inquires, the possibilities are endless!

Audible

With my busy schedule I find it very challenging to find the time to sit down and read a book. That was until Audible! Now whenever I’m in the car driving to a shoot or wedding I can listening to a new business book, or murder mystery (my guilty pleasure). This has really helped expand my horizons, and I find I’m more productive while editing and listening to audio books – score!

Passion Planner

I looooovvveeee planners, they are my kryptonite and every year I would buy a new one from a completely different designer. That was until I found my Passion Planner. This is the first planner I’ve owed that really feels like mine. It’s flexible enough to be used by all sorts of people; but the real gold is in the goal setting weaved throughout each day, week, and month. It helps keep my goals and dreams in the front of my mind, exactly where it should be.

MileIQ

This is a fairly new addition to my favorite business tools, but boy has it been a game changer. I used to record my mileage at the end of each month, but it was one of those tasks that I dreaded doing. Now with the MileIQ app it tracks all my drives from my iPhone. All I have to do is open the app and swipe left for personal, and right for business trips. Easy as that!

I would love to hear from you, what are your favorite tools or hacks that have made your business or life easier?

Last weekend when all of Southern California was covered in clouds we found a bright spot in Santa Barbara. Actually more like an ommggg can this day get any more beautiful, kind of bright spot!

Jen picked a stunning location for their engagement shoot at the Douglas Family Preserve. This oceanside nature center was an absolute dream, and so were Jen and Brian. Sometimes I have to pinch myself things come together so perfectly, making for one very happy photographer!

Spend a few minutes with Jen and Brian and it’s clear these two have an unshakable connection. They have this ease about them, plus they are adorable together, making my job very easy and a whole lot of fun!

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Since February is all about love, and Valentines Day is right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to explore a few non-cheesy ways to make your wedding day more romantic. Over the years I’ve seen it all, from releasing doves to horse drawn carriages. Although, those can be amazing moments, I’m a big fan of adding more romance to your day with simple yet effective additions. These are just a few of my favorite ways to increase the romance.

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Incorporate Sentimental Elements

Maybe you picked your wedding venue because it happens to be the spot you got engaged. Or maybe you plan to wear your grandmothers veil. By choosing to incorporate sentimental touches throughout your wedding day, you’re honoring the past, present, and future of your lives together. The possibilities are endless, so start brainstorming way to make your wedding more sentimental.

Exchange Letters

What better way to start your wedding day than opening a heartfelt letter or card? This is a great opportunity to reflect of your relationship, your hopes for the future, and your excitement to marry your best friend. Many people also choose to exchange gifts, but a thoughtful letter is always a good idea in my book.

Involve Your Family and Friends

A wedding day isn’t just about the joining of two people, but also their family and friends. Consider incorporating one or two traditions to involves everyone. A ring warming ceremony, or couples dance during the reception can be a simple but effective way to include your guests in the romance.

Write Your Own Vows

Nothing says I love you more than choosing to write your own wedding vows. By recounting stories, sharing your hopes and dreams, and making promises to one another you are personalizing your vows and sharing more about your relationship with your guests.

Consider a First Look

I’ve written about this before (the pros and cons of a first look), and choosing to do a first look is a very personal decision. But if your open to the idea, I highly recommend it! It allows for a rare moment of alone time with you and your soon to be spouse, on an otherwise busy and sometimes hectic day. You can even exchange gifts or notes to each other during this time, or just bask in the excitement and joy of the day.

Dinner By Candle Light

We all know that candle light screams romance, so why not include that in your wedding reception? This is an inexpensive and impactful way to create an ambulance of love and closeness. This works wonders regardless of your location, both indoor and outdoor receptions can benefit greatly from a few candles!

Now I would love to hear from you, what are you planning to make your wedding day extra romantic? Are you already planning on incorporating some of the above suggestions? Stay turned for more wedding day tips and tricks, and more of the amazing styled shoot above with The Joy Parade, Rebelle Fleurs and many more!

Most people get a little worried when overcast skies and rain are forecasted on the day of their shoot, not Valerie and Jake! These two were all smiles for their modern Malibu engagement. Being from Seattle, Valerie was especially thrilled for a bit of inclement weather. This was such a refreshing change for me, and I just love how these two came to life in front of my camera.

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  • Rachelle - So pretty!! Love the soft light and pastels.

This is the time of year I look back on the previous year. Before charging forward I like to examine what worked, what I can improve on, and decide on my goals for the New Year. After doing this for the last few weeks, I needed a break.

So I thought it was the perfect time for a behind the scenes look at my 2015 wedding season. Last summer was one of the hottest summers I can remember. This meant lots of water, short dresses, and let’s be honest, there really was no point in wearing your hair down.

Looking back, I have learned a few very important things. I wrap my camera strap around my shoulder but rarely actually use it,, people love me on the dance floor, and my second shooters never miss a moment (especially when I’m doing something weird).

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The moment you realize someone is taking a picture of you, taking a picture.

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Enjoying a glass of water, or waiting for the enemy the attack?

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Posing while shooting, I got this!

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For the record, the laying down photo was not my idea! lol

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Seriously surprised I didn’t fall in the water! #winning

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Things always get a little weird on the dance floor…

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3 of my brides in one photo, love this sooo much!!

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Always laughing at myself!

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  • Rachelle - Love it! Looks like you have fun no matter where you are especially on the dance floor. ;) Keep up the great work!!