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Today, I am sharing my favorite software and apps that help me run Studio 29 Photography + House Fur smoothly.
I am a firm believer in working smarter not harder and I stress this every time I host a class or teach a mentor session. One of the ways to work smarter is to find tools that can help speed up, delegate + communicate, or even automate some daily tasks in your business!
I just want to stress that I am not compensated in any way to share these products and I am just sharing my experience in hopes that it will help others streamline their photography workflow. I am only recommending these specific resources that I literally use every day as part of my workflow! I never could be running my business as well as I do today without these helpful resources.
Tools I Use to Work Smarter Not Harder
YOAST Plugin for my WordPress Blog – Helps me optimize my blog posts! This software helps me choose key words, add alternative text to images, and insert meta data. It is fast and easy to use and takes nearly seconds to add the additional information to your blog posts to boost your SEO.
Photo Mechanic – I use Photo Mechanic to quickly cull my images. I love it because there is no lag or load time. You can simply drop your RAW files in, create sub folders, star images, and then dump the rest. This software dramatically decreased my editing time by practically 50%! With this workflow I am able to deliver a wedding in as quick as 48 hours after the wedding! In my professional opinion if you have some extra money to invest in your business, definitely purchase Photo Mechanic.
Adobe Lightroom – After culling my images in Photo Mechanic I drop all of my starred images into Lightroom. If it is a wedding, I separate them into sub folders depending on the time of day and location so that all the images within a specific folder have the same white balance and camera settings to that it makes it a quicker editing process. I created my own Preset and I use it on all of my images. If you are looking for photography editing presets for your images, I would recommend VSCO. After my images are perfected (I check my exposure, straighten my horizon lines, darken my blacks, and add split toning) then I export them into jpgs. You just cannot ask for a better way to edit, export, and sort your photos!
Adobe Photoshop – I use Photoshop to make any corrections that I am unable to do quickly/precisely enough in Lightroom. Sometimes removing unwanted people, exit signs, or distractions is too time consuming and Lightroom so I bring my images into PS to speed up the process. Photoshop make nearly reduces additional editing time to a minimum.
Blogstomp – After an entire gallery is edited and delivered to the client I blog it. I try to update the Studio 29 Blog at least once or more times a week, but depending on how many sessions I have to shoot or edit that week sometimes slows my blog posting frequency. To resize my images for quicker load time and create collages + diptics I use a software called Blogstomp. Blogstomp gets my images web-ready for Facebook, my blog, and pinterest. You can even add watermarks and rename your files so that they are set for your SEO.
Indesign – I use adobe Indesign to create my pricing guide and engagement session guide for my clients. Indesign enabled me to beautifully outlay all the nitty-gritty details of what goes into my wedding services, answers FAQs, and showcases our work in a easily emailed PDF for our clients. If you struggle with Indesign, there are hundreds of pricing guide templates you could purchase online and then create into your own.
Evernote – Evernote is my lifesaver. I have everything from my editing to-do list to an outline of my weekly income, to random thoughts I had on the drive home. I love Evernote because it syncs all of my documents and notes to my laptop, desktop, and phone and I can access all of my files simply by logging into the website if I am on someone else’s device. Evernote is also great because I can share documents with Caleb and he can add to them.
MileIQ I remember the days when I used to have a little spiral pad of paper in car and I would have to write down the the date, current miles, new miles, where I went and what I did every single time I got in my car for work. But, thanks to MileIQ all I have to do is swipe left or right, it is literally as easy as that!
Flexibits Fantasical Calendar – This calendar syncs immediately from my phone to my desktop. It tracks my appointments, syncs to my gmail, sends alerts to my phone and computers and iWatch and even gives me estimated drive time.
BackBlaze – I signed up for BackBlaze about 3 years ago and I honestly am sleeping better. I used other cloud based backup systems in the past but nothing has been as easy and reliable and as cost effective as Backblaze.
Zenfolio – Zenfolio is just the greatest! They have amazing customer service and their platform is extremely easy to navigate. Zenfolio enables me to backup, share, deliver, display, and print photos for my clients. I can create custom links for each client’s gallery and with the business membership my photo uploads are unlimited. I’ve been using Zenfolio since 2010 and I have absolutely no complaints.
And that’s it! All of these programs I use do require a little learning time and some do have a membership fee, but the payoff will definitely be worth it when you are simplifying or automating specific tasks that used to waste precious hours of your workday.
Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below you may have about these programs and/or how I use them.