Top Business Tools for Photographers
I thought it would be helpful to share my top business tools for photographers that I use the most in my photography and editing business. I started out calling it my “top 10 business tools” but it ended up being a list of 13 because I just couldn’t stop myself. These are in no particular order, just things I definitely cannot run my business without and definitely make being a solopreneur a little easier! (Some of the links below may be affiliates.)
In this crazy world we live in, it is so important to make sure we are protected! I use a few different contracts in my business to protect not only myself but my clients as well. I get all of my contracts from The Contract Shop owned by Christina Scalera, a lawyer who gets us creatives (plus she is also an equestrian)! Here are the contracts I use for my business:
She also has pretty much any kind of contract or legal resource you need for any creative business so go check out her shop!
I use BlogStomp to prepare my images for every blog post! This software compresses my files so they load super fast and it allows me to combine multiple photos into one image, like side by side verticals. I don’t know how I survived without this awesome software!
This might seem obvious but I had to include it because I wouldn’t even have a business without these two programs! If you’re a student or teacher make sure you check out the discount plan.
This is another must-have for my business. DropBox makes it super easy to work on documents across different computers, grab a photo on my phone to post on social media, and transfer Lightroom catalogs to and from my editing clients. You can sign up for a free account with 2GB of storage. I use the DropBox Plus plan with 1TB of storage so I have plenty of room. Use this link to sign up and get 500MB of bonus space!
This is the accounting software I use to keep track of everything in my business, send invoices and run reports. As a bookkeeper, I wanted something that could do everything I need without the extra fluff that I’ll never use. The best part about it is that it is totally free! The only fees I pay are merchant fees when I send an invoice, but you’re going to pay that no matter how you get paid online. I love that they offer a bank payment option so if my clients pay through their bank instead of with a credit card the fee is only 1%. They also offer payroll services for a fee, but at this point in my business I don’t need that.
I don’t have much of a mailing list yet, but I plan on growing it over the next year. MailChimp is free (with paid options) and super easy to use to manage your mailing list. P.S. If you want to sign up for my list click here!
If you are like me…I am terrible at visualizing how my Instagram grid will look before I post a photo. I would always wonder how everyone else was getting perfectly curated grids! While mine still isn’t perfect, this app has definitely helped me. I can see what my grid will look like before I post a photo. It even allows you to load photos into the app and drag them around to see what it will look like. Plus is FREE!
8. PASS Plus
PASS is how I share galleries with my clients. It’s a simple and beautiful interface that allows clients to download, order prints and share their photos. You can set custom settings for each gallery and there is also the option for digital files to be purchased! Plus I love the Lightroom plugin that uploads photos straight from Lightroom to my client’s gallery.
We all know hard drives crash! I always want everything saved in more than one place for the dreaded day that something happens and I lose photos, documents, and files, the problem is remembering to do backups! That is why I love CrashPlan! It is automatic cloud backup. I don’t ever have to think about backing things up and it is an offsite backup, so if something crazy happened to my house and I lost my computers and external hard drives, I would have everything safely stored in the cloud. The only downside is it takes forever to do an initial backup (especially if you have DSL internet like me!) but after everything is uploaded, CrashPlan syncs automatically and updates or adds any new files so I don’t have to add another thing to my to-do list.
Last, but definitely not least, is Showit! I use Showit for my website and blog and I have seriously never had a platform easier to design a website on than this. Everything is drag and drop, no code needed! The design possibilities are endless.
Ok…ok…I know I said top 10 but I couldn’t leave out these last three.
I haven’t found a better company for business cards! Moo has so many great choices and you won’t find better quality! Get 20% off your first order with this link!
12. Photo Mechanic
If you aren’t using Photo Mechanic, this is one thing you HAVE to add to your photography business in 2018! It allows me to cull through images at amazing speeds and speeds up my workflow ten fold! I don’t know how it magically renders photos but this is a must-have tool for every photographer.
I just recently started using Dubsado in my business and it is a total game changer! It has everything from contact forms to embed on your website, to proposals, invoices, contracts and workflows. You can set up workflows for different types of sessions so you don’t leave out any part of your process for clients which will ensure a consistent client experience. It is so easy to send contracts and accept payments, send and receive questionnaires and sooo much more! Plus everything is totally customizable so it can match your brand and look pretty! It takes a little bit to get everything set up, but once it’s done your life will be changed! You can check it out with a free trial of 3 clients and then get 20% off using this link or this code catcrane when signing up.
Do you use something you love for your business that’s not on my list? Let me know below!