Simplifying Photography Business Management: The Iris Works Story

Iris Works
Photo Credited to Iris Works

In the world of photography, it’s often the final image that captures our attention. We admire the composition, the lighting, and the subject, but rarely do we consider the intricate web of tasks that lead to that single, perfect shot. This is where Iris Works, a transformative photography business management software, steps into the frame. Under the visionary leadership of Meredith Gradle, Iris Works has not only simplified but revolutionized how photographers manage their businesses.

Meredith Gradle, the CEO of Iris Works, is an entrepreneur with a profound love for photography. She also possesses a deep understanding of the challenges photographers face when managing their business operations. Her journey to redefine photography business management began when she realized photographers needed a tool to streamline their operations, allowing them to concentrate on their art.

Iris Works is an all-encompassing photography business management software that streamlines every aspect of a photographer’s workflow, from client management and scheduling to invoicing and contract signing. The premise behind Iris Works is straightforward: it does everything outside of capturing the images.

Meredith’s personal experience underscores the necessity for Iris Works. Before embracing this transformative software, she occasionally invoiced clients and infrequently sent contracts, leading to uncomfortable discussions about finances. Her business operations relied heavily on Post-it notes with names and due dates, a system that had its limitations.

Iris Works
Photo Credited to Iris Works

The turning point came when a repeat client requested a newborn session. Meredith neglected to send the client the vital prep information and, instead, casually mentioned at the end of the session that their images would be ready in one week. Miscommunication led to client dissatisfaction and severed ties.

Recognizing her need for an efficient system, Meredith embarked on extensive research, trying every available software. However, most systems were overly complex and failed to cater to the creative minds at the core of the photography industry.

Thus, the idea for Iris Works was born—a simple, straightforward system designed to make photographers’ lives easier, more efficient, and better organized.

Setting Iris Works Apart

In a world of complexity, Iris Works stands out for its simplicity. Recognizing that photographers need to focus on their craft, Meredith and her team have prioritized simplicity in every feature and enhancement they’ve added over the past eight years.

Challenges and Growth

Meredith’s journey as a non-technical founder in the software industry posed significant challenges, both personally and professionally. It required adapting to a new and demanding role, all while raising a family and pursuing her dream.

Perhaps the most significant challenge was embracing her identity as a non-technical founder. Meredith candidly acknowledges that taking a ‘fake it until you make it’ approach proved less efficient than asking questions, being curious, and openly acknowledging what she did not know. Surrounding herself with a team of experts was instrumental in overcoming this challenge.

Motivation Through Recognition

Meredith’s leadership philosophy revolves around consistent positive feedback. While leaders often provide constructive criticism, Meredith emphasizes the importance of praising her team members. Having experienced the impact of criticism-only feedback, she understands its effects on morale and productivity. Meredith recognizes that her success depends on her team, and she consistently celebrates their contributions.

Pivotal Moments and Decisions

In 2018, Iris Works made a pivotal decision to develop an online booking feature for photographers. This decision defied industry expectations, as others believed it would be too complex. Despite challenges, Iris Works successfully released its booking platform, significantly increasing customer adoption, trials, and subscribers. This achievement provided the company with a significant boost in momentum and energy for future growth.

AI on the Horizon

The technology and software industry is closely watching the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). While AI’s impact on the software field is well-documented, its integration into the photography industry is expected to be more cautious due to the industry’s traditional approach. Iris Works is monitoring AI’s evolution and exploring its potential quietly in the coming months and years.

In conclusion, Iris Works, under the visionary leadership of Meredith Gradle, has redefined how photographers manage their businesses. Its simplicity and transformative impact have made it an indispensable tool for photographers seeking to streamline their operations and focus on their craft. As the photography and technology landscapes continue to evolve, Iris Works remains committed to providing solutions that empower photographers to succeed.

If you’re a photographer, Iris Works has an active blog with industry tips, guest pieces, best practices and feature information. Check out their free questionnaires to ask your clients before a shoot. From boudoir, to newborn, maternity, and more, they have a questionnaire that any photographer can use.

Iris Works provides you with the tools you need to effectively run and grow your business in an all-in-one program that’s intuitive and easy-to-use. Start your free 14-day trial. 

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