This is a list of 8 crucial tools that I use daily to help me run my wedding photography business as productive and efficient as possible. So many fellow photographer friends, myself included, didn’t have a clue how to run a business when we first started. We assumed that hey! we have a passion and we’re getting pretty good at it, so that’s all that matters, right?! Well, wrong. Taking photos is just a small fraction of what goes into successfully running your photography business. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes.
In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite tools to make business life easier:
1. QuickBooks: this accounting software is a lifesaver. Seriously, I hardly even have to think about taxes because this does so much for me—tracks my miles driven for work, inputs every transaction on my business credit card, tracks my earnings, gives me an overview of my profit and loss, etc. Plus, I can send invoices that let my customers pay through bank transfer or with credit card at lower transfer fees than any other payment service I’ve found. So, yeah, it’s a winner! Use this link to get 50% of your first 6 months.
2. Pic-Time: what I use to deliver galleries. It’s simple, beautifully laid out, and it makes selling prints easy. I’ve tried other gallery delivery sites like Pixieset, but Pic-time is my favorite. Use code B5K7HU at checkout to get an extra free month on a paid subscription.
3. Unscripted App (for Apple and Android phones): an app to help you direct and pose clients. If you are somewhat new to photography this app is amazingggg. It gives you a slew of pose suggestions as well as prompts to tell your clients so you can get some of the best, natural and fun looking, images. Even if you’re a seasoned pro, this app can help you get out of creative ruts and get your juices flowing for new ideas. There is a free version but the paid version is so worth it. They are constantly updating and imputing new poses and prompts, and you can create a custom cheat sheet for each of your upcoming photoshoots where you can input details, notes, goals for the session, and poses and prompts you have in mind for the specific client. They are even adding questionnaires, contracts, and invoices to the mix soon! I am so excited to see this app grow! Use code Isabelle10 at checkout to receive $10 off a yearly subscription.
4. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop: the be-all-end-all of editing software. This is a no brainer for professional photographers, but I thought I’d add it anyway and throw in my favorite preset to use in Lightroom which is… Mastin Labs Presets and in particular, the Portra Pushed pack! Not going to lie, I put off purchasing presets for a long time, but it really makes my editing workflow so easy.
5. Google Calendar: what I use to keep track of everything going on in my business: like when I have phone calls, photoshoots, travel, meetings, etc. I love having a physical calendar where I write in my schedule, but an online digital version is an essential backup. And the best part? I send myself push notifications and email reminders so I am always on time and never forget anything.
7. Capital One Banking: it can be important legally, but it’s also just super helpful to yourself, to separate your business from your personal finances. I have been a loyal customer to Capital One since I became an adult, and as soon as I started taking my photography full-time, I immediately created a new, separate checking account and applied for a credit card. These new accounts, I use both solely for business purposes. Use this link to sign up for a Capital One credit card.
8. A website, Instagram account, and Facebook page: these are a given, but it is so important to be present online when you become a business. Social media is a great way to interact with potential clients and it’s totally free marketing (unless you pay for ads, of course, but that’s another topic). And having a website is crucial, in my opinion. It gives you credibility and lets you really tell people about who you are and what your business provides. Plus, there is no better way to get leads than from a contact form that you’ve completely customized to ask the questions that will help you best connect and serve your clients.
Do you have a business tool you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I generate a small affiliate income from some of these tools if you decide to use them following my links or discounts codes :)