Oh what I WISH I would have known a year ago, when I decided to go full time in my wedding photography business. I mean, let's be real, starting a business is no joke, and a majority of learning is through trial and error. There's so many aspects of a photography business that you don't know until you are in it. When I started, I had no clue about pretty much everything. My thoughts ranged from "Wait you can borrow lenses!?" to "I'm never blogging because it takes so freaking long." and the classic "Does everyone cull as slow as me?" Had someone just handed me a list of programs, apps and tools that would increase my efficiency and make my life better, I would have appreciated it. So friends, I want to do that for you. Without further ado, here are 10 tools I use in my photography business that I wish I knew about when I started:
Before I found Pixieset, I delivered wedding photos to clients via a combo of my website and a dropbox plugin. But my clients could only download one image at a time. I look back, and I want to slap myself. Who wants to sit there forever downloading their huge wedding gallery ONE IMAGE AT A TIME. Nobody got time for that... So when I found Pixieset I was forever grateful. It has made my client delivery process streamlined, and it looks super professional! It's a photo delivery program that is affordable, clean looking, and simply amazing. I cannot recommend it enough!
Scheduling my Instagram grid has NEVER been so easy. UNUM is an app on your phone (THAT'S FREE) that lets you schedule and plan your instagram posts. What I love about this app is that you see what your current grid looks like, but then you can play around with photos you want to post in the future, to see how they will look together on your grid. You can write your captions right there in UNUM, and when you're ready hit post! It will take you right to Instagram with your photo and caption ready to go. It doesn't post to Instagram for you, but I don't think theres many apps out there that do that anyway.
3) Borrow Lenses
When you're just starting out and growing your photography business, you probably don't have all the fancy lenses you ideally want. I found BorrowLenses.com by searching how to do just that.. borrow lenses. I love this company because they make the process simple and easy. You pick the lens or piece of equipment you want, tell them how long you want it, and choose how it's delivered. I like that you have options on whether you want it delivered to your home, to a UPS location, or you can even authorise someone else to pick it up for you if you're busy! They also tend to have a lot of season deals and discounts so keep an eye out for those!
With Publitas you can create dreamy online catalog's that are SO easy to view online. All you have to do is upload a pdf, and Publitas turns it into a catalog that you can send to clients or embed on your website. I use this particularly to send my pricing guides to clients with just a link! Before I discovered Publitas, I was resorting to attaching huge PDF files to my emails, and it was obnoxious.
HOLY guacamole, when I found Blogstomp I literally cried tears of joy. Blogging suddenly became easy and doable. It no longer took 5 million painstaking hours to put portrait photos together in Photoshop. Blogstomp is so easy and amazing, you'd think it was too good to be true. You drag and drop photos to create beautiful blog photo collages. And it's ridiculously cheap. If you're a blogger or photographer, GET IT. You can thank me later.
6) Ink Cards
People love getting thoughtful cards, and Ink Cards is literally the easiest way to send them! This is a great way to send clients a thank you card after they book you or after their session or wedding. You do it all through the app on your phone, and wham!... thoughtful card...sent. ;) Super easy!
Hello organization! I'm the kind of person who has a million tabs open, and gets distracted sooo easily. So Asana has made it easy to get organised and categorise my to-do list. If you have anyone on your team or working for you, Asana is also great for communicating with everyone! For me, this program has helped me organize and streamline my workflow a ton.
In Digisigner you can turn your contracts into online documents that clients can e-sign. Say goodbye to printing, faxing, and mailing. Clients can literally fill in the blanks and sign the contract digitally. Then when they are done, Digisigner notifies you. Brilliant. Having clients sign contracts is so simple now. I love it!
Guys. Culling used to take me hours and hours. And Photomechanic is so awesome, it made me realize I was approaching culling from the totally wrong perspective. I was taking all the photos I took from a wedding or session, and slowly deleting all the bad ones until I finally narrowed it down to my final ones. HELLO, that sounds exhausting just reading that. Instead of focusing on deleting the bad, in Photomechanic you can tag ONLY the ones you LOVE. Then you immediately can filter them so you only see the ones you choose. Culling that way has made it so much faster to narrow my sessions and weddings down to the best of the best in record time.
Full disclosure. I just heard about this program a few days, so I'm literally sharing this with you as I'm freaking out about it myself! Jpegmini is a great program that helps size down your photos for your website. You probably don't like it when you have to wait for a website's page to load because the photos are taking too long, so potentially clients aren't going to dig your site loading slowly either. ;) JPEGMini will help your website load faster because your photos will be smaller in size while keeping the same quality!
I hope these 10 tools help you get your time back, and work smarter, not harder. The great thing about these 10 programs is that all of them are either free or affordable. Whether you're just starting out in photography, or have been at it a few years, my goal is to share what I've learned and help you as much as I can. If any of these programs helped you simplify and streamline your business please share below in the comments! Or if you know of other awesome, efficiency-enhancing programs that rock that I didn't mention, tell us below as well!
Now go out there and kill it, you brilliant creative entrepreneur. you.
Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.