Running a photography business is HARD WORK. Especially when you’re just get started; you are learning how to work your camera in manual mode, how to pose people, how to light your subject, how to edit, how to backup your photos, how to run a business, how to do your own bookkeeping, how to create marketing graphics, how to price yourself, how to pay yourself, and the list goes on and on. That’s why I decided to compile a list of what I found to be the best photography business tools.
After years running a photography business all by myself, I’ve made lots of mistakes, and I’ve learned a few things by trial and error. But, I believe entrepreneurs should always be learning and growing. If you’d like a peek inside some of the resources that brought me to where I am today, I’ve listed a few of my favorites below. My business wouldn’t be where it is today without them.
Please note that some links are affiliate links where I earn commission if you purchase. However, I only share products and resources that I truly wholeheartedly recommend.
What’s in my camera bag? I always carry my regular camera and my backup camera. My mirrorless is my go-to, but I still love my full frame DSLR that I got years ago. I also still use lots of my full-frame lenses on my mirrorless camera with the help of a lens adapter.
- My Main Camera (Mirrorless) – Nikon Z 6ii Mirrorless Camera
- My Backup Camera (Full Frame) – Nikon D750 DSLR
- Lens Adapter (for using your regular lenses with your mirrorless camera)
Best Mirrorless Lenses for everything
Best Full Frame Lenes
Camera Strap – C Coiro Dual Camera Harness
Speaker (I clip it to my camera bag and take it to every shoot with me) – EBODA Portable Speaker
Camera Bag – Endurax Waterproof Camera Backpack
Reflector – Neewer 43″ 5 in 1 Foldable Reflector
Editing is like the cherry on top of a good photo. I’ve wasted lots of time and money on presets and special effects that I thought I would love, but didn’t work well with my photos, or needed a ton of tweaking after applying them. All presets need a bit of tweaking, but I’ve found the ones below to need the least effort and give results similar to my artistic vision.
I’ve also cut my culling time in half (or more) using PhotoMechanic.
Culling Software – PhotoMechanic
Portrait and Wedding Presets – Archipeligo Presets
Boudoir Presets – Embrace Presets
Let’s be honest, I’m a hot mess 99% of the time. My business only stays afloat because I keep myself organized. I use multiple organizational tools for different purposes. Client workflows are organized in my CRM (client relationship management), whereas client meetings are organized in Calendly. I organize my projects (like creating new guides and marketing projects) in Asana, and project files are organized in Google Drive. I’m also a ‘write it down’ kind of person so I love the goal setting tools in the Full Focus Planner.
CRM (20% off with my referral link)- Honeybook
Note Taking App – Evernote
Project Management – Asana
Daily Planner – Full Focus Planner
File Organization – Google Drive
Client Scheduling – Calendly
Running a photography business is about 20% photography and 80% business. For the most part, each business aspect requires a different resource. Below are some of the business tools that I use daily in my business.
Gallery and Print Sales – Pic-Time (use code DHMHUK for one free month)
Album Creation – Album Stomp
Email Marketing – ConvertKit
Contracts – The Law Tog
Website Design – Z Squared Studio
Website Platform – ShowIt (use my link for one free month)
Graphics Creation – Canva
Facebook and Instagram Scheduling – Sked Social
Pinterest Scheduling – Tailwind (use my link for $15 credit)
Education I love
I am a FIRM believer in investing in your education. I am constantly learning and growing. I’ve found some education with a lot of fluff, but the photography education listed below is worth it’s weight in gold.
SEO Education – SEO is FUN
Boudoir Education – The Art of Emotion: Stripped Down
Boudoir Education – Kara Marie Education
Elopement and Wedding Workshop – Let’s Go Workshop
Elopement Education – Adventure Instead Academy
Boudoir Pricing – Alex Loveland
Podcasts I love
Maybe it’s because I’m over 30, but I love a good podcast. I’ve found some really useful information and motivation from these podcasts.
Hello CEO with Alora Rachelle
Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher
The Six Figure Photography Podcast with Ben Hartley
Make Your Break with Jai Long
The High Rollers Podcast with Jenn Bruno Smith
In It with Lindsey Plevyak
Books I love
Ok, so I’m more of an audiobook gal. Running a business and a household leaves little time for reading. However, I highly suggest you dig into the following books whether you read them or listen to them. There are some great ones on business, money, manifestation, and just being a badass woman.
Get rich lucky bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller
Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas
Girl, Wash your face by Rachel Hollis
Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I hope you found this resource list to be helpful. If you can think of any other helpful resources that I missed, please comment below! I’m always looking for ways to improve and simplify my process!