5 THINGS THAT EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD HAVE:
1. Creative Cloud – Photographers Plan
Every photographer should have some form of editing software, and something to organize their files within. Some can say Gimp can work, or Corel software, but there is a reason why Adobe is the industry standard. It is the best! You can get Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC both for$9.99/Month, or get the entire suite as a student for only $19.99/Month! Some may argue that having the stand-alone version is better, but to be quite honest, you are paying the price of two cups of coffee per month for your editing and organization arsenal, that is always updated to the newest version. Just pay up. Seriously.
2. Shootproof - Online Galleries W/Print Sales
This is my secret weapon. There are many like it, but this one is mine. HAHA. There are many options for galleries all over the web, but the reason why I love Shootproof is how easy and simple it is to add photos, setup the gallery, set your print pricing for your lab of choice, and then bam! DONE. The best thing is that when you put up the gallery, each order will go through you, and can be drop shipped to the customer’s door. That means the sister who lives in California who couldn’t make the Indiana wedding, now gets a chance to buy prints from her brothers wedding. They choose what they want, pay for it, the lab ships it to their door, and you get paid. It really is the most lucrative tool, outside of image editing on this list.
3. 17Hats – Management Software Suite
Everyone who wants to run a legit business will need a management software. Something that is an all-in-one professional suite. 17Hats I feel is very cost effective for what they bring to the table. Setup contracts, invoicing, questionnaires, workflows, and bookkeeping. It even integrates with Shootproof so it automatically adds to your bookkeeping! Talk about GENIUS! It tracks every email from your clients and organizes it efficiently. While their mobile app leave some to be desired, I have found that you can get what you need in person, in order to solidify a lead for your next job. Sending invoicing and contracts is a breeze, and it is all organized within every project that you setup with your clients. Right now, they have a great freelance LITE option for $17/Month. That is a STEAL!
4. MileCatcher – Mileage Deduction Tracker
I recently found this app, and I am stoked! While most who have apps like this use MileIQ, you have to pay for their services monthly, but what you pay for with MileIQ, you get for free with MileCatcher. The app is free, and the use is free. I drive for a couple days, then open the app and choose if the drive is personal or business. It’s simple; it gives you a map and shows your route. It’s very easy to setup, and even easier to use. I cannot say enough about this awesome tool! Miles, and gas are some of the many deductions you can use on your taxes at the end of every year. Why not use a simple app to keep track rather than use receipts and handwriting your mileage. The stone-age is over!
5. Amazon Cloud – Cloud Storage
I recently did a Blog Post HERE, about this awesome service/application. Now that Amazon Cloud is an annual fee of $59.99/Year, with unlimited storage, this is the only cloud storage I ever recommend. The fact that you can upload unlimited raw files, it is a steal for photographers! I use the desktop uploaded, and when I am finished at a shoot, I drop my cards to a folder on my computer, then start uploading to Amazon Cloud and to my Lightroom Catalog at the same time. This is the perfect way to make sure you work is backed up in numerous places. See my blog post about The Triple Existence.
BONUS: Squarespace – Website Host/Designer
When the cost of starting your business comes into play, paying someone to code a website and develop your brand can be VERY costly. It’s a good thing we have Squarespace to help us out with very modern but simple, professional templates to host your business website, to showcase your work, and gain new clients. Nothing looks better to a new client than a professional webpage that works both mobile and on a desktop. Squarespace templates automatically do this for you, so no matter how you are viewed by your future clients, it will be in the best way. For $9.99/Month, you will get your website, along with a domain that is free. If you have the time to setup your website yourself, this is the way to go. Enjoy!