Andris Zenta is a professional photographer from Latvia who specializes in wedding photography.
In the beginning, please introduce us to your work.
I've been working as professional photographer and illustrator for the last five years and recently I started to focus my interest into wedding photography. It's a very exciting field, but at the same time, exhausting. In any case, it brings me satisfaction both career wise, as well as from a financial perspective.
How did you find out about Teamness?
After shooting a couple of weddings by myself, I decided that I need two assistants to help me, one as a second shooter and one to take care of auxiliary tasks, like preparing the equipment or moving things around to set up scenes, allowing me to focus on taking the photos.
With more than one participant in this kind of project, there was need for a project collaboration tool. Since it was my first assignment with a team I wanted to try a free tool to see how it goes and I ran across Teamness by searching on the web for a free collaboration tool for teams.
I'm very satisfied on how it went and now I'm also seeing the benefits of using project management tool even if you work alone. It helps keeping you organized.
How did you use Teamness for your project?
I used Teamness so far for this wedding project I described, in which I had two assistants helping me.
Wedding photography is one of the most difficult tasks for a photographer. Everything must be very well planned, because you don't get a second chance to shoot the event. Preparation is then the key and Teamness helped us with being prepared.
A lot of details need to be settled prior to the event, like for instance dressing code. It doesn't seem like a photography task, but even if you're not part of the event, you need to blend in. This was written down in a whiteboard in Teamness which I named "General checklist".
The wedding had two parts: a first part in the church with shootings outside afterward in a nearby park and a second part taking place at the party, inside a location. We checked the weather for the day with shooting outdoors and stored the results in Teamness.
Prior to the wedding all three of us did some location scouting. We went to the established places and put down ideas for shots. We then discussed them in Teamness using messages and agreed on shot lists which we saved as whiteboards. I also prepared groups of tasks for my assistants and watched the activity on the dashboard.
What are the roles of every participant and how do you use Teamness for them?
I was doing the main shooting and one of my assistant was taking photos with a wide lens, covering more general aspects. We had a script prepared that list all the actions we needed and for each action I assigned tasks for my second assistant, like making sure to gather every member of the family at a certain time.
I established tasks for my assistants, first for the scouting session in which we simulated a real shooting and then for the wedding itself. The various stages were marked with milestones, for instance I had a set of tasks assigned for different talks with the couple: settings expectations regarding how many shots they want, what things to have covered and also the agreement based on which I charged them.
I made the equipment list for each bag, as different messages in Teamness and assigned tasks for the assistants to take care of each.
Are there any particular features that you value the most?
I liked that we were able to assign tasks to different persons and comment on them, so we agreed easily on every aspect. Building together lists of things to pack and do in whiteboards and seeing what everyone added was neat.
What would you improve in Teamness?
I would like a more flexible way of managing the items tied to a milestone. I would also like to see a richer editing feature for messages, in the same way as for whiteboards for instance. This was very helpful for us to accentuate on various equipment. I will stay with Teamness for my future projects, including a portfolio website that I'm preparing to build at the moment.
Thank you very much for your time.