Hey guys! welcome back to my channel. This week I’m going to be sharing with you my most-used business tools and resources. So these are apps or programs that I have either downloaded or purchased that help me run my business that save me so much time, and really I don’t know what I would do without most of them because they really help me to keep things rolling and make sure that I don’t have any lose ends with payments and contracts and clients and all that goes into wedding photography.
So let’s dive in! the first resource that I want to share with you guys today is Dropbox. So I use dropbox for a secondary backup after I’ve already used an external hard drive for all of my wedding files. I really like dropbox because it is cloud-based, so it’s not contingent upon anything physical that I have in front of me and its going to be backed up reguardless of what happens to my hard drives and my computers. I also like it because they have an app- and that allows me to go ahead and and pull any picture that I want (that I’ve ever backed up) and put it on Instagram or use it in some other part of my social media sharing and that just makes it so much easier to share after I have backed up my images.
The second app that I use in my business is one called Mile IQ. And this basically just tracks all of my milage that I can report at the end of the year to my accountant. So, for tax write-offs, you want to be tracking your milage. I used to try to track this with just an old school notebook and I would always forget and I was really missing a lot of write-offs. I was probably losing a bunch of money because I wasn’t keeping track of it very well, and then I would just end up skipping it so this has saved me so much time and money probably because now all of my drives are automatically tracked and all I have to do is classify them as personal or business, and it sends me a year-end report and says “hey! you drive this many miles for business. Here’s your write off” It makes doing taxes so much easier – so I highly recommend it.
Another program that I use that I just recently got into- and it took me a very long time to decide on is what my client management software was going to look like. I do use Honeybook. Now honeybook is where I send my brochures, automatic emails, proposals, get contracts signed, and invoices, so it’s really everything! And that’s what I wanted for my software to manage my clients. And it took me a really long time, like I said, to make this decision, because there are a lot of programs out there – but I did end up on honeybook and I do really like it so far. I feel that having everything all together is so important and also they have an app so I can just pull things up on the app and see if my clients signed the contract – when is that payment due- it just keeps everything in one place which is crucial when you’re dealing with 30 weddings a year or so, and you don’t want to lose track of everything.
The next app that I want to share with you guys is the mail chimp app – so I do have a mailing list and every single week I share with you guys tips and tricks and education for free through my mailing list. And right now, the mailing list provider that I use is mail chimp. one of my favorite features right now about mail chimp is that they have an app so I can go on my phone and make sure that the campaign did send and I can also see stats on the campaign. I can see how many of you guys opened it, and that kind of thing so it’s really really neat. Ok so jumping more to computer programs and things I use like crazy to process my images. #1 would have to be Photo Mechanic. Photo mechanic is this insane processing software that works really well with RAW files. So what I do is I throw everything when I get home from a wedding into photo mechanic so that I can decide what is going to make the cut and what isn’t.
And the best part about this is there is absolutely no load-time. So there’s no buffer where at first you can’t see it and then it becomes sharp like if you’ve ever culled in lightroom. You should stop culling in lightroom it is not meant for culling so that is something that I have implemented and has saved me hours and hours for every single wedding so who knows over the past few years how many days of my time it has saved me, but it makes culling thousands of images a breeze. I can mark the images, star the images, do whatever I need to do, and then only pull the picks into lightroom, so it’s a HUGE time saver. If you blog at all and you blog your images – or your blog serves a little like a portfolio for you – you need blogstomp. Blogstomp is an incredible effective software for pairing images, creating collages, and also renaming and resizing your images, so you can do so much with blog stomp and I’ve had it for years and years.
I love that you don’t have to pay every single month, it’s a one-time fee, and you’re done. Cause I’m all about not having monthly overheads that are insane! My go-to album design software is Fundy Designer. Fundy is very intuitive, it’s a super easy-to-use software that helps me to design albums quickly and beautifully, and that my clients can proof very easily as well. It has integration with pretty much ever major album company out there – I’m pretty sure- everybody that I’ve ever tried to print through they have had an affiliation with. You can send directly, or download and upload yourself, whatever your system is, they have options so i’m very impressed with fundy and that’s who I recommend for album design.
For galleries, the software that I use is Pixieset. It’s a beautiful deliver of your images especially since that is how I’m delivering my final weddings to my clients so this is their first experience of their pictures. I want it to be beautiful, I want it to be intuitive, I want them to feel like they can relive the day. There are lots of options! I really like pixieset. They can order prints. they can favorite their images, and they can share them very easily. And then I don’t have to fulfill the orders. They go through a lab, and it makes it really easy for me as a photographer to provide prints to my clients if that’s what they want, and I don’t have to spend a while filling out and order form, going online, shipping it, packaging it, all of it. I don’t have to do any of it. I can focus on my clients, I can focus on marketing, or areas that I do love or even spending time with my family stead of ordering lots of prints and dealing with the back-end of those kinds of things.
Thanks so much for watching! I hope that you guys learned a lot today and that you learned about some new apps or programs that might help you run your photography business more efficiently. If you want to hop on my mailing list, or see any of the programs that I talked about today, it’s all going to be linked in the information section. I’ll see you guys next time, bye! .
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