Táve + Gmail | Email integration with a little magic

Sending email with Táve + Google’s Gmail makes keeping track of your conversations with clients to a whole new level.

We just launched email integration with Google’s Gmail. A whole new way to interact with email in Táve.

  • Replies & Threading – Replies from you clients import back into Táve and are grouped together in threads
  • CC/BCC – You can now CC or BCC anyone on a message.
  • Auto-Import – Emails from known contacts are automatically imported and assigned to the right job.
  • ‘Import to Táve’ Gmail Label – Use this Gmail label to get any message that isn’t auto-imported into Táve.
  • Read/Unread status sync – Read a message in Táve, it gets marked as read in Gmail and vice versa.

Read more about all Táve + Gmail features here.

​Ready to get started? Get set up with Táve + Gmail

Frequently Asked Questions

We really think you’re gonna love this! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Team Táve


If You Want To Eat, You Need A Business Plan

Business plans are crucial to creative entrepreneur success.

Somebody get this kid a business plan, stat!

When it comes to profits and losses, creative success and business acumen often collide.

Photographers start their own business to practice their craft, as do other creative entrepreneurs. They want to develop their talents unfettered by a boss who holds creative control. Stylists, videographers and wedding planners have a vision they want to share with the world to make it a better, more beautiful place. They want to tell a story by manipulating sensory elements as only a gifted artist can.

Creative talents are valuable commodities on the open market. Very few people have the skill, the talent, and the desire to execute creative projects, but everyone wants their home or event to make a significant impact. Most people are willing to pay for creativity, and some people will pay quite a lot. Going into business should be a lucrative venture for creative professionals as well as a means to feed their souls.

No problem, if only your soul needs to eat. If you want to put food on your table in a very literal sense, you need more than your abundant talent. High demand for your services does not automatically equate to high profits. A well-thought out and concrete business plan has to be part of your recipe for success.

Doesn’t Planning Detract From Creativity?

Business and creative fields do tend to run opposite one another. Business planning requires all the hard edges, clear definition and statistics that creative professionals want to rebel against. Most people who are talented with music or arts are not as well versed in finance. More importantly, they don’t usually enjoy being bounded by the rules of supply and demand or other rigid mathematical concepts.

Creativity and planning go hand in hand for creative small business owners

Creativity cannot flourish without the proper resources, and in your business profit provides the resources to continue to practice your craft. To truly profit in your business, you need a business plan. In this way, planning does not detract from creativity. It actually facilitates it.

You must actualize, not just visualize, a business plan because:

  • A well-written business plan can secure funding for your venture, for launching a new product or service, or for a special project.
  • A business plan helps you effectively communicate your objectives to employees, partners and customers. It even helps you remember your specific business and financial goals and why and how you expect to achieve them.
  • A carefully researched business plan helps you set pricing for your goods and services. It shows you how much you need to charge to be profitable and which products to offer.
  • A business plan helps you pinpoint your target audience and decide how to attract their attention. It can help you align your offerings with what people in your target market are looking for.

In many creative fields, you begin a project without a clear idea of what the finished product will look like. Business can be similar in that your focus and markets can change, and the business plan can be amended. A business plan is essential, however, because it can show you if the project you are about to embark on has any profitability. A project without profit is a hobby, and that’s okay, too. A business plan just helps clear up your expectations.

Business Management for Creative Professionals

You need a business plan to succeed in your creative venture, but it does not need to be complicated. Writing a business plan is really just putting your ideas down on paper and adding a little research to back them up. You should organize your plan into these sections:

  • Executive Summary — This section comes first, but you might write it last. It is a short overview of your business and what you expect to accomplish. No need to go into great detail. The details will come later in the plan.
  • Company Overview — This is where you describe the physical and legal entity of your company. Talk about your location, type of facility and if it is owned or rented. Also, describe the corporate structure. For a small start-up, this could be just you as the owner of the company and maybe a part-time employee. Mention how your company is incorporated (C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, DBA, etc.) and any immediate plans to grow the corporate structure with management levels, investors or additional employees.
  • Products and Services — Sometimes this is a stumbling block for creative businesses because you are, well, creative. Even before you begin doing business, you need to define your offerings. As a photographer, for example, will you do portraits, events, nature photography or something else? You can do more than one thing, but the parameters should be defined. Will the end product be a framed picture, composite prints or digital files?
  • Target Market — Describe your customer base. Who are they, what are they like, how old and well educated are they? It is important to limit your market so you can target your product and services to them specifically. It sounds counterintuitive to break down the buying public into just one niche that you will sell to, but it will increase your sales to be focused. This part of your business plan may require some research into buying habits.
  • Marketing Plan — How will you find that target market you pinpointed in the previous section? Where do they hang out? What advertising mediums reach them? What do they respond to? You will have to do some research to answer these questions and make a plan for convincing your target audience to buy your products and services.
  • Financial Plan — This might be where you really lose interest in writing your business plan, but it must get done. The financial part of your business plan covers the dollars and cents of what you have, what you need, and what you can expect to have. This section lays out what it costs you to run your business, from overhead costs like rent to the costs of materials or travel expenses. Also, calculate what it will cost to provide our service or product to a customer, then consider what you could charge for that. With that information, you can project how many sales you need to make to cover your overhead and operating expenses.

As long as your business plan thoroughly covers these topics, it is sufficient. There is no need to use business jargon you do not feel comfortable with. Lay out the plan in plain language, so you and anyone else who reads it can understand easily.

You will need to revisit your business plan at least four times a year to keep it up to date. A business plan is a living document that should change as your business changes. When you expand into new markets or add different services, your business plan should reflect those changes.

Making a Plan to Business Plan

Starting, or growing, your business can be an exciting time. There are many tasks you need to complete, and some of them are extremely enjoyable. Choosing a business name or developing a new product line taps into your creative core. Even something as basic as arranging furniture in your office may stimulate your visual senses and energy your creativity.

For all of the other tasks, like arguing with suppliers, making cold-calls to get sales, or applying for a business loan, you need to just trudge through. Writing your business plan falls into this category. To incentivize the process, break it down into smaller steps and schedule each step. Plan to complete one step each day and surround it by much more enjoyable tasks on your schedule.

Here are some tips to making easy work of your business plan:

  • Write the parts you know, first. Describing your business, especially if you are already doing business, should be easy. Get those details down, and you will no longer be staring at a blank screen.
  • Leave blanks and fill in details later. As you are writing your description, if you do not remember the type of incorporation you filed or the square footage of your new studio, leave a blank and move on. You can look this up later and come back and fill in the blanks.
  • Save the Executive Summary for last. This is just a brief introduction to your plan. It will be easier to write when the rest of the plan is finished.
  • Research your competitors. Although your products and services will be uniquely endowed with your flare, there are others in the market with similar offers. Visit them, research them online and get to know how they do business. Buy some of their products and experience them from the customer’s point of view. The insight you gain will be extremely helpful.
  • Be realistic about projected costs and revenue. Whenever possible research the exact cost of materials. Remember to allow for shipping and labor costs, as well. Figure in your time at a reasonable rate. The more accurate your projections are, the better your business plan will be.
  • When describing your products and services, think about them from the customer’s point of view. What problem are you solving or need are you filling for them? This perspective will help you design products and services that sell well.
  • Consider how you will differentiate your business in the marketplace. Ask yourself what would make a customer buy from you rather than my competitor. Highlight those differences in your business plan to keep them fresh in your mind. You should use those factors to design your marketing and attract investors.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. No one expects you to know everything you need to write a good business plan. You may be a creative professional who is distinguished for your work in a certain medium or niche market, but that doesn’t make you a business expert. Talk to the experts about financing, marketing and other business topics.

As a hairdresser, you would not expect your clients to be able to cut their own hair. Only with your guidance and tutelage would they even style it correctly. Get the professional guidance you need to write and execute a solid business plan.

Business Plan Execution

Writing your business plan will teach you more about your business than you could otherwise hope to learn. It gives you a sense of the key elements that are important to a successful business. Reading your business plan will show you how to maximize profits and scale your business.

Most creative businesses rely on the owner or principal’s touch to develop their identity and maintain quality and uniqueness. If you are a DJ, you can hire other DJ’s to work parties when you get extra bookings, but they cannot deliver your personal touch. To stay true to your branding, you have to be involved in music selection, programming and other aspects of the service delivery.

What becomes essential, then, for creative professionals to grow their businesses and increase profits is a way to handle business operations while you are the creative, the personality of the business. Someone still needs to answer the phone, schedule appointments and order supplies while you are interacting with customers and being the face of the business.

If operational functions do not continue, your business will close. Your business needs to do things like send out invoices to survive. But the more time you spend behind the scenes on administrative tasks, the less you can offer to customers and the fewer customers you can serve.

When you spend most of your day on paperwork, your creative energy can get depressed. You could hire people to handle these administrative functions, but for small businesses that can be expensive. Using consultants to do billing, booking, and payroll can save some money, but it means these essential tasks are further removed from your control.

The Answer Is Táve

The best way for creative professionals to execute a solid business plan is using a software application that is designed specifically to handle business functions for a creative business. Táve is one software application that manages multiple functions including automated billing, online booking, client management, online payment, lead tracking, reminder emails and more. Táve offers business management for creative professionals, so you can spend a majority of your time being creative.

Tave is the perfect cms for creative small business owners

The recipe for success in a creative business, or any business, includes a business plan. A solid business plan will increase your chances of making enough money to put food on your table. Executing your business plan efficiently can further increase the profitability of your creative business. You can use your business plan to apply for funding or grant opportunities and as a communication tool for describing your business to potential investors and employees.

Efficient execution of your business plan involves finding a solution for managing business functions and creative work at the same time, while spending a majority of your own time serving customers. Táve handles all of the business functions for a creative business in one software application.

To learn more about this business management software designed by creative professionals for creatives, sign up for a free 30-day trial today.

Embracing The Fear Of Failure


Fear can be a normal, natural part of life.

You may have a fear of snakes, and that’s great, because it keeps you from getting into a confrontation with a poisonous one.

You may have a fear of heights — that’s no problem, because it keeps you safe from dangerous cliffs.

You may have a fear of losing your kids in a crowd. Well, that just means you get to hold onto them extra tightly.

It’s when fear starts to become crippling that it becomes a problem. If fear keeps you from reaching for greater heights, you need to examine what’s holding you back.

Are you scared of failing? It’s a common worry, and one that nearly everyone has dealt with in their lifetime.

However, if a fear of failing in your small-business dream is stopping you from taking action, it’s time to address those fears and turn them into something positive and proactive.

Read on for three tips on how you can start actually embracing the fear of failure and begin taking steps to move beyond it — and help your business thrive.

Each one of us here at Táve has learned these lessons through experience. We encourage you to stop being held hostage by fear, and start taking steps to become open to failure — and see how it can actually help move your business dreams forward

1. Acknowledge Your Past Mistakes

Failure can be painful and embarrassing, but it can also be refining and empowering.

Sometimes, fear arises from the past.

If you’re a small small-business owner, you’ve likely taken risks in chasing down your vision. Some of you (like us!) have quit day jobs, lived from paycheck to paycheck and been turned down by clients. You have to have a thick skin to continue to put yourself out there day after day. We don’t have to tell you that quickly gets exhausting and painful.

One reason people become hesitant to pursue small-business goals — such as charging more money for their services or hiring new employees — is because they’ve faced similar crossroads in the past and got burned by them. Maybe clients stopped using your services when you raised prices, or you ended up having to lay off that new employee to cut costs.

That does suck — but it’s not a reason to stop taking risks.

Block out some time, days if you need to, and really think through what went right and what truly went wrong the last time. What could you have done differently? What should you do the same?

The point is when you look at your mistakes as a lesson, rather than an embarrassment, a scolding or a warning, you’ll start to feel less constrained by fear. You’ll actually start to feel empowered with new data to make more accurate decisions and do something better the next time.

2. Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone

Trying new things actually helps our brains deal with adversity.

If fear has kept you from pushing harder in your business, whether that means playing it safe with advertising or not going after a potentially life-changing assignment, then perhaps you need to take risks in other areas of your life first. Why? To show you that failing might not be such a tragedy after all.

When you try new things, your brain experiences how exhilarating and rewarding risk-taking can be. Try something you have always dreamed of but never thought you could accomplish, such as:

  • Training for a marathon
  • Writing & publishing a short story
  • Visiting another country

Any of these things can change your life, even if the end result isn’t quite what you had hoped for.

If, say, you train for that marathon but hit the wall 20 miles into the race and have to bail out, you may learn a valuable lesson — trying is the result in itself, and failing is worth the risk.

Consider the new healthy habits you’ve brought into your life, the personal discipline you’ve unlocked, the amazing experience of running through the crowds and how empowered you felt to be able to run even that far.

You may not have met your goal, but you’ve achieved something incredible nonetheless. It’s the trying — not the failing — that defines you.

3. Figure Out How Failure Could Help Your Business

Studying our failures can bring new insights into success.

Obviously, no one wants to fail.

An old English proverb, attributed to dozens of great people since the 1830s, goes something like this: “He who never makes mistakes, never makes anything.”

If you want your business to get better, you have to put yourself out there.

Entrepreneurs thrive on big ideas. Putting them into practice can lift your business from struggling to thriving, but you have to muster the confidence needed to implement and follow through on those ideas.

Think about your business objectively:

  • What elements could help it perform better?
  • What are you missing?
  • Where are your strengths?

Then consider what is holding you back from focusing on the things that could help you get to the next level, and address them proactively.

Is it money (or, let’s be honest, the lack thereof?) Look into loans. Is it time? Spend a week and take a time audit, you’ll be amazed at how much time is spent on non-productive activities. Is it raw skills? While there are phenomenal online classes and tutorials, no one ever learned by not doing. Get out there and do!

Better Business Management for Creative Professionals

Here at Táve, we often see creative entrepreneurs who use our customer management software struggle to have the faith and confidence to embrace fear in their businesses.

We’re here to tell you that risk is worth it.

Whether you have a wedding photography business, you’re a DJ or you do makeup, your business can’t take the necessary next step unless you allow yourself the space to fail.

Does that mean you will trip sometimes? Perhaps. Does it mean you will make gains in the end? Yes, almost always.

Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Seize control of your professional destiny by embracing a bold new way of doing business and achieving goals you only imagined could be possible.

If you need help getting organized as you strive to reach those exciting new goals, try a free 30-day trial of our software. It can assist you in becoming more organized and efficient, so you can really challenge yourself. Contact us today to learn more.

The Keys to Staying Ahead During the Wedding Photography Busy Season

Image by TNK Photo

Image by TNK Photo

The wedding photography busy season is a thrilling part of the year for you as a photographer. You get to do what you love and work with clients who are perfect for your business. Unfortunately, it can also be a stressful time, especially with piling tasks and increasing demands. And even with an endless to-do list, weddings to shoot, and products to fulfill, you still have a photography business to run. We reached out to ShootDotEdit, no stranger to the struggles you face (especially when it comes to your post production workflow), to gain insights into how to stay ahead this wedding photography busy season.

As a wedding photography color correction company, we see it all when it comes to the busy season. And in addition to helping professional photographers with their photo editing needs, we also provide resources to create a streamlined workflow. To help you stay ahead this busy season, we’ve put together a quick list to get you started.

1. Assess Your Workload

One of the first steps to take is to look at the tasks you have on your plate. From those tasks, create a list of the ones with upcoming deadlines. Those are the tasks which require immediate action to help you stay on track. A large part of catching up is making sure you avoid falling behind on any deadlines that will set you back even further. Once you understand the situation you are in, it is time to devise a plan to get out.

With the list you created, identify the specific task that needs to be completed to check it off the list. Make sure you always prioritize your crucial deadlines and note if others are involved with the process. If you know you have an album that needs to be sent to a client within a certain timeframe, make sure you also list out the steps it takes to create the album. Some parts of the process may take longer than others and may require you to work with an outside source, so you must prioritize those, as well.

2. Set Short and Long-Term Goals

As you create lists for the tasks you need to complete, it may become overwhelming to look at everything that needs to happen over the next few weeks. To avoid stress, make sure to break your tasks down into more manageable portions. Keep your goals measurable and realistic to help you see the progress made and to eliminate feeling overwhelmed.

Your long-term goal will be the end goal. It is what you want to accomplish this year, whether that means you increase your bookings, have happier clients, or grow your business in a manner you may not have before. As you create short-term goals, think about smaller items you can accomplish now to help you reach your end goal.

As a tip, create incentives for yourself once your goals are accomplished. For instance, if you reach one of your goals, treat yourself to a new purchase or a nice weekend away. Incentives help you stay focused and keep your stress low.

3. Stay in Contact with Clients

If you are behind on tasks, especially ones that affect your clients, make sure to keep them up to date. One way to do this is to be realistic. Make sure that any revised timetable you give your clients is accurate so you deliver on your promise. If your turnaround times are later than your clients expected, find ways to give them an extra “thank you” for their patience. Try a gift credit for prints, extra album pages for free, or a favorite print you frame and send to them. Help keep the experience positive, even if the process takes a little longer than usual.

Image by TNK Photo

Image by TNK Photo

4. Outsource Time-Consuming Tasks

In your wedding photography business, there are a few common areas that create bottlenecks (editing, album design, print sales, blogging – just to name a few). These tasks can be easily addressed and fixed for faster turnaround times with the help of a specialist.

Whether you hire someone to help you with album design or team up with a wedding photography editing specialist, avoid pushing aside help when you find yourself behind. It can be tempting to think you can dig yourself out when you are buried in deadlines, and it is easy to put off finding a partner to help because you feel overwhelmed. The sooner you can start working with partners to get back on track, the better. When you get a plan in place for areas of your business that slow you down now, it will keep your business running smoothly as you breathe a sigh of relief at the end of the busy season.

Once you catch up with your workload, go back and improve upon your processes. You might decide to partner with a specialist or use a new app to help you lighten the load. Always be thinking of what the next step can be since it will help you and your business continue to grow. Find out additional ways to speed up your workflow and stay ahead during the busy wedding photography business with our Guide: 27 Simple Hacks to Transform your Wedding Photography Business!


ShootDotEdit is the first choice color correction and post-production solution for the pro wedding photographer, and everything they shoot. They provide turnaround time as fast as 48 hours. ShootDotEdit Customers now receive Extra, a complimentary gallery hosting and storage service designed to sell more prints for you with zero commissions.

Tax time is over—here are 3 ways to make it better starting now

Tax time is frustrating and scary for lots of people, especially if you’re self-employed or have a side-hustle—but it doesn’t have to be. We spoke to our friends over at TimberTax.co about how to prepare for tax season throughout the year so it goes smoothly.

Here are the three main scenarios and how to avoid them next year: owing money on tax day, you extended your return, and feeling frustrated.

Problem #1: You owed at tax time
Solution: Pay quarterly estimates

If you owed money, that may be ok. Theoretically, you got a low-interest loan from the government. The problem is if you didn’t set aside the cash to cover the payment when you filed your return or extension.

Here’s how to avoid owing, or at least avoid being surprised: pay your quarterly estimates. These are due in April, June, September and January for each quarter for both federal and state income tax. The amount you pay should be roughly based on last year to avoid late payment penalties or interest. If your income is dramatically higher or lower than the previous year, you may want to engage a tax accountant to help calculate how much to pay or expect to pay. You can tell how much you made based on your quarterly Profit & Loss report in Táve. Compare this to the prior quarter or the same quarter in the prior year. If it’s drastically different, you may want to run it by your CPA.

If your income and situation is the same from the prior year, you can use the vouchers provided in your previous year’s filing. Be sure to pay both the state and federal income tax. You may also be subject to city income tax if you live in NYC, for example.

The other issue with owing money at tax time is penalties. It’s important to remember that the income tax system in the US is a pay-as-you-go system. This means you should pay in as you earn each quarter. Not filing on time can also add penalties. Make sure you file on time or extend by the original due date in order to avoid late filing payments.

Problem #2: You didn’t file on time
Solution: Get organized

Did you extend your return? Generally, that’s no problem. If you have multiple K-1s or have a complicated tax return, it’s nice to get additional time to file the return. That said, if you extended because you waited until the last minute or didn’t have your files organized, then now is the time to start getting things organized for next year.

Are you staying up on your bookkeeping? Do you have a bookkeeping system? Google docs can easily get out of hand and disorganized. Consider software tools like Táve. Keeping track of income and expenses in Táve not only helps you keep on top of bookkeeping, it helps you know the financial health of your business at any time enabling you to make informed financial business decisions.

Deciding whether to hire a bookkeeper as well is another decision. Either way, do what you need to in order to stay on top of your revenues and expenses in case you need to apply for a loan, rent an office (or apartment if it’s your only source of income), or file your taxes.

Make sure you save all your bank and credit card statements too. Setting up Filethis or Hubdoc are good options. Otherwise, diligently downloading and saving in Google drive or Dropbox are ideal solutions. Táve helps with that paper trail by allowing you to upload receipts when you record your expenses.

Luke Frye, CPA and Anne Chan, EA

Problem #3: You’re confused and stressed
Solution: Consult a professional

Being self employed, you’re probably the type of person who is quite self-reliant. When does it make sense to hire outside help? It depends on your level of comfort, but generally, you should find a CPA or tax professional when you feel frustrated or overwhelmed.

A good pro will be able to talk you through your situation and empower you to make decisions. It’s not always necessary to engage someone to file your taxes or do your books, but if you’re consistently behind or feel like you’re paying too much, it might be time to find someone you can relate to.

Just like a doctor, finding an accountant with good bedside manner is important. You should feel comfortable discussing your situation to enable you and your tax advisor to make intelligent financial plans and achieve your goals.

To review, if you owed money, filed late, or felt overwhelmed by tax time, you now have 3 ways to combat those issues. Make sure you’re paying your quarterly estimates to the IRS and your state if they have an income tax. Set up and stay on track with a system to keep your books and records organized. Find a trusted advisor, preferably a referral, who can talk you through your situation. It’s best to work with someone who has experience in your industry.

Timber Tax is a web-based tax service for freelancers with expertise working with photographers. Timber knows the ins and outs of sales tax, state tax, and federal income tax so you can stay behind the camera and in business. Book a call today for a free consultation with a CPA. Mention Táve to get 10% off your tax filing for next year.

8 Email Templates Every Wedding Photographer Needs

Why should I use email templates in my business?

As you continue to grow your business and book new clients, you also receive an increase in your workload and tasks that must be completed. One of the tasks that takes much of your time is email communication. We partnered with wedding photo editing company ShootDotEdit to bring you 49 Email Templates to save you time and speed up your workflow. Below, they share the top 8 email templates you need for your wedding photography business.

Often times, much of your communication with clients happens through email. Because so many of the emails you send are the same (or similar) between clients, email templates are a perfect solution to help you speed up the process and make only minimal changes each and every time. Our free email templates are available to make that area of your wedding workflow simple. Here is a list of the 8 most important to implement into your business first.

1. New Inquiry Automated Response

Since a client can reach out to you by email at any time, it can be helpful to have an automated response that lets them know you will be in contact. This template can include your regular business hours and turnaround time for when you will respond to the initial inquiry.

Táve allows you to build an easy automation to automatically send this template out to new leads. Check out Táve’s installable template that you can add to your account to get it up and running.

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

2. Detailed Inquiry Response

After the automated response to new inquiries, you can use a template that gives your potential clients a bit more information about you. With the detailed inquiry template ready, all you would need to do is include the dates you’d be available.

3. Meeting Confirmation

When sitting down with a client, there is a specific location where you desire the meeting to take place. Client meetings can range from pre-booking to post-booking or anything necessary to help educate your clients. Using an email template which is simple is key at this point of the process, as you want your client to find the location and not be confused by too many directions.

4. Contract Details

Once your client has decided to book you for their wedding day, a contract finalizes your agreement and the process. Since dealing with the money aspect of booking can be a bit awkward, creating an email which informs your clients you are excited to work with them helps you ease into the rest of the details.

5. Post-Booking Package

After your client has booked you and signed the contract, the next priority is to inform them of what you can offer to them in regard to products. The post-booking package email lets your clients know all of the awesome things you can do with their wedding photos. If you offer more than one package, split this into three separate emails. You can use the same template, just update the additional offers you include in each package.

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

6. Vendor Referral

As a wedding photographer, you likely have vendors you work with on a regular occasion, or ones you love to work with in your area. An email to your clients about vendor referrals can share more about the vendors you work with and how they can help your client with their wedding day. This template will share with clients that you have recommendations for them, so they know you are there to assist them through every step of the way.

7. Wedding Questionnaire

One of the top ways to ensure you prepare for the wedding day, a wedding questionnaire is a simple way to communicate with them. This template can let your clients know that you would love for them to fill it out, and that you would like to schedule a phone call to discuss it. You can also use this email to send a friendly reminder to them about any remaining balances due before the wedding day.

8. Image Release

When the wedding day is over and you have your images back from a wedding photo editing service, they are ready for your clients. Sometimes, it can be nice to just send them a short email, especially since you have been emailing them so often. Include a link to their photos from your image gallery within the email so they can simply click on it and view your beautiful work.

Email templates which are already created to send to clients can help you decrease your workflow time tremendously. Take advantage of the other 41 templates we offer in our Email Templates for Wedding Photographers , made in conjunction with ShootDotEdit!

ShootDotEdit is the first choice color correction and post production solution for the pro wedding photographer, and everything they shoot. They provide turnaround time as fast as 48 hours. ShootDotEdit customers now receive Extra, a complimentary gallery hosting and storage service designed to sell more prints for you with zero commissions.

Behind the Scenes: Infrastructure Upgrade

A little backstory

We have been using Amazon Web Services Platform since we moved from our own servers back in 2011.  It has come a long way since then including adding Virtual Private Cloud, a number of new instance types, Aurora, CodeDeploy, and a plethora of other services (most of which we do not have a use for right now).  Prior to November 2016, the public marketing site (what sits on tave.com root domain) and the application (manager and client access) were all in the same code base sitting on top of ElasticBeanstalk in EC2-classic, along with Memcached on ElastiCache and MySQL on top of RDS.  ElasticBeanstalk handled our provisioning and deployment and overall it served us well.

November 2016 Updates

One of the reasons we have been holding off on doing any more upgrades to our existing infrastructure was because we really wanted to move it into Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud to be able to take advantage of its better networking security, the latest instance types which were only available to VPC and Aurora (also only available to VPC setups).  We also wanted to break apart the public website from the application codebase for a while and when we redid the marketing site on top of WordPress, we finally had enough reasoning to go ahead and make the split.  In doing so, some infrastructure changes had to happen.  Since the new WordPress-based site would need its own set of servers that are completely segregated from the application on the tave.com root domain (where the application also sits), we had to introduce a layer 7 proxy to be able to parse the incoming URL and route to the appropriate server pool.  For example anything in /app goes to the application pool whereas anything on / or /blog goes to the public site pool.  AWS has a service that can do this called Application Load Balancer (aka ALB, ELBv2), but there are some huge caveats.  The biggest one is you can’t route anything to outside the VPC that the ALB sits in and since the application pool was still in Ec2-classic, we had to create this proxy server pool.

So back in November, in an effort to take the first step of moving us into a VPC and off of EC2-classic, we created the proxy server pool along with the public site pool and its database all with in VPC on top of CloudFormation. We didn’t need any downtime for this since we just updated the DNS entry to point to the new proxy pool inside the VPC and the proxies routed to the existing application pool when necessary.

April 2017 Upgrades

In doing the updates back in November, we soon became concerned with the size of the CloudFormation template file for what represents such a small portion of our overall infrastructure.  We have a public site pool, application pool, schedule tasks server, and a worker pool (runs tasks behind the scenes like automations, calendar feed fetching and generation, etc.).  In addition to that, we wanted to break out the worker pool into 3 separate pools: 1 for email sending, 1 for the calendar feed generation and fetching and the last pool for everything else.  This template file was already becoming unwieldy and all it had was the core VPC networking, the proxy pool and the public site pool.  We wanted to rethink this before adding the application pools (app servers, workers, and scheduled tasks server).  So we started looking at provisioning tools out there like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, etc to see if they could provide what we were looking for — a structured way of composing templates in a hierarchical manner.  We ended up just sticking with CloudFormation for a couple reasons (which I won’t go into here), but this time we decided to write a quick node script that pre-parses the templates and uploads them to s3 along with replacing the stack references with those uploaded destinations.  So we went from 1 monolithic template file to 7 template files:

  • The VPC core networking which references the stacks below
  • Bastion server layer
  • Proxy layer
  • Public site layer
  • Application Layer (1 for app itself and 1 for the background worker task queue servers)
  • Generic Instance Pool template that the others reference

This took it from 1 stack to 14 stacks which break down like so:

  • Parent stack that has the core VPC networking and references the other stacks.
  • Bastion stack that sets up networking for the bastion server and its child stack for the instance pool.
  • Proxy stack that sets up networking for the proxy servers and its child stack for the load balancer and instance pool.
  • Public site stack that sets up networking for the marketing site and its child stack for the load balancer and instance pool.
  • Application stack which sets up networking for the application web servers along with load balancer, worker servers and the worker queue servers.

Since we created everything (except for Database and Cache servers) in CloudFormation, we didn’t need ElasticBeanstalk anymore. This allowed us to combine our 7 layers (which each had their own way of deploying), into a common and consistent deployment process on CodeDeploy.  Finally, now everything will be in a VPC.

We had been holding off on doing any more reserved purchases until we were ready to move everything inside the VPC.  This is why we were just band-aiding things as they would come up.  We knew our database was becoming overloaded at times, so we figured we would just upgrade everything at once (mostly because we hate taking downtime).

Database Upgrade

The core of our data storage sits on MySQL RDS using their Multi-AZ setup.  We want to take advantage of a number of advantages that Aurora has to offer, so we are migrating to that.  Along with this, we are increasing the instance size by about 8 fold.  This should provide much quicker reads and writes and give a better experience overall.  Aurora’s replication is also MUCH faster than MySQL’s so adding additional read slaves as necessary becomes trivial.

Application Webserver Upgrade

We are taking advantage of the newer c4 instance types that are available now which are slightly faster than what we have in production currently.  On top of that we doubled the size of the app webserver pool.  So not only are there faster servers there, there are about twice as many. We generally don’t use automatic autoscaling since to “get it right” requires lots of tedious testing that we honestly don’t have time for.  So we scale horizontally manually when we see page load times increasing — everything is already in place for this.

Worker Pool Upgrade

Some of the slow downs for some of the background tasks were due to some workers taking over the CPU resources of the instance and therefore reducing the amount of CPU resources for other (and sometimes more critical) workers like sending email.   We decided it would be best to distribute these workers into separate pools so that they won’t affect the more critical background tasks.   Instead of one common pool of workers, we are going to start with 3 separate pools: email,  calendar generators and remote calendar fetchers and the rest of the workers.  With this change, we are also doubling the total number of instances in the worker pool.  More importantly here was that we implemented the ability to break out individual workers into their own pools which allows us to move other more CPU or memory intensive workers to their own pool so they don’t affect other workers.

Standby Site Upgrade

Standby was moved into a VPC as well in the us-west-2 region.  We increased the database instance size there and doubled the capacity of the app server pool.

Public Site Upgrade

Since we like things being similar in our infrastructure, we also went ahead and migrated the WordPress database that the public site uses to Aurora.  Along with this change, we are doubling the capacity of that pool as well.  We also moved over the blog from the support site to the public site infrastructure.  The old support.tave.com is now hosted on Intercom’s Help Center.


With all these changes we are finally fully within a VPC and page loads and general app usage should feel quicker.  Of course, if you have any questions about our infrastructure or why we chose one thing over another, feel free to message us in app and we’ll be happy to share!

Infrastructure Upgrade and Maintenance Window *** COMPLETED ***

Over the past few months, the Táve community has grown at a steady clip. New businesses and new users are discovering how Táve can drastically save them time and make them more money. With that growth, we’ve noticed that the current infrastructure (underlying structure of our systems) hasn’t quite kept up. Page loads haven’t been as snappy as we want them to be.

We’ve spent a month or so working on building a new infrastructure that we hope will drastically increase the speed of the app. In order to transition to the new infrastructure, we will be scheduling a brief maintenance window where the app will not be available.

We always want to provide the best experience for our users and use the latest technologies available which is why the new infrastructure utilizes some of the latest services from Amazon Cloud Platform.

When is this happening?

So we are going to take a quick maintenance window downtime for about an hour (although we are expecting it to be much less than this) on:

UTC/GMT: Sunday, April 9th at 4:15am – 5:15am

Eastern Daylight Time: Sunday, April 9th at 12:15am – 1:15am

Pacific Daylight Time: Saturday, April 8th at 9:15pm – 10:15pm

Australian Eastern Time: Sunday, April 9th at 2:15pm – 3:15pm

The maintenance window has been rescheduled to the following time:

UTC/GMT: Tuesday, April 11th at 10:15am – 11:15am

Eastern Daylight Time: Tuesday, April 11th at 6:15am – 7:15am

Pacific Daylight Time: Tuesday, April 11th at 3:15am – 4:15am

Australian Eastern Time: Tuesday, April 11th at 8:15pm – 9:15pm

This maintenance event was completed successfully. Thank you for your patience!

What is affected?

The Táve Studio Manager application and client access will be affected during this brief maintenance period.

Want to know more?

For the tech-savvy users, you can read more here about all the changes that we’re making.


4 Tips for Getting Organized This Year

Managing a business is no easy feat and can quickly become overwhelming. One key to being successful is to ensure you have organizational tools in place to help you keep your priorities on track. To assist you with this, we reached out to ShootDotEdit, who helps professional photographers streamline their wedding photography business by taking post production off their plate.

When you decided to go into business, what was it about a photography career that enticed you? For many, it’s because they love shooting and creating memorable images for clients. But did you know that only about 12% of your time is actually spent on shooting? The remaining 88% of your time is spent on marketing, accounting, sales, networking, and more. And even though you started your business to fulfill your passion of photography, you actually signed up to be a business person for most of the time!

For you to focus on the things you love to do in your business, you must maintain organization and free yourself from the tasks that hold you back. Below, we have 4 tips to share that will help you get organized in your business this year.

1. Create a System for Email Communication

Since up to 30% of your work week is dedicated to organizing and sending emails in your inbox, it’s imperative you create a system for email communication. When your communication techniques are organized, it becomes easier for you to reach out to potential clients and business partners. Each morning, filter through your inbox, and prioritize and delegate the emails you have to others on your team.

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Another way to create a system for your email communication is to use templated emails, like these 49 customizable templates for wedding photographers, created in conjunction with Táve! When you use email templates, you no longer have to write out messages every time you need to communicate with a client or vendor (which will save you hours each year).

2. Write, Upload, and Schedule in Advance

Both social media and your blog are platforms you must stay active on to connect with current and future clients. To maintain consistency, you must post on social media and your blog regularly. Rather than writing blog posts, Tweets, and Facebook posts right before you want to post them, create time in your schedule to write them for the month.

From there, schedule each in advance using programs such as WordPress or Hootsuite. When you schedule in advance, you will not need to worry about remembering to actively post each day at the right time. Your stress will lower, and you can plan out exactly what you want to share on each social platform in advance.

3. Outsource Non-Profit Generating Tasks

While it may seem easier to do everything on your own since you know your business best, it’s challenging to achieve your goals while doing so. It can be challenging to let go of areas of your business, but to stay organized and grow, you must outsource tasks that do not generate additional profit for your business. These are tasks like color correction, billing and accounting, and album and website design.

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

For example, ShootDotEdit helps you with your wedding photo editing needs, Táve assists you with managing and organizing your business, and Fotoskribe implements advanced SEO techniques on your images and blog. When you trust others with tasks in your business that do not increase your profit, you can spend that time on other areas that require your immediate attention.

4. Maintain an Organized Calendar

Although it’s a simple tool, a calendar will be your best friend to help you maintain organization in your business. Having a visual of all your shoots and clients will be a lifesaver when you are trying to figure out when you can squeeze in some time for coffee to nurture a vendor relationship. Use a calendar that is easily accessible and syncs to your phone and computer, so you always have the most updated schedule. The last thing you want to do is double-book yourself for a wedding!

Tip: You can also use a content calendar to stay organized with your upcoming blog posts, social media, and email campaigns. The calendar will give you clear insight into what you have scheduled, so you consistently share your images and resources.

By keeping your business organized, you will be able to focus on areas of your business that you want to optimize and grow. For additional ways to organize and grow your business, download our Guide, How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business!

New Feature | Contact Relationships

​You can now link contacts so that they are related and become even more connected!

Linking contacts lets you have quick access to any related contacts when using any of the people dropdowns throughout the system.

You can create the relationship from the job worksheet or directly on a contact’s Address Book profile.

Once connected, any related contact will appear in the contact dropdown used in quotes, email, event attendees and more.

Event Attendees

If you’ve already added one parent as the main contact for a job, but you know their family will be attending the same event, you can quickly add them as attendees since they are connected via relationships.

Employee/Employer Relationship

One great use for contact relationships is creating employer/employee connections.

The example below uses Stanford University as the employer. Once Stanford is added to a job, I have quick access to email any of Stanford’s employees. Below is the people picker used when composing an email.

Address Book Column

If you’d like to quickly see related contacts in your Address Book, simply add the ‘Related Contacts’ column to your list and save your changes.

Relationship Types

You can create new relationship types in Settings › Relationship Types. Each type has a gender neutral, masculine and feminine form. If you select a masculine or feminine form when setting a contact’s relationship, it also sets their gender.

As always, reach out to us at Support if you have any questions!