As a photographer you can end up wearing 20 billion different hats trying to juggle all the roles in your business. It’s not sustainable to be busy 24/7, so I’m always looking for ways to make my workflow more streamlined and not waste time on things that could be done in a more efficient way. This year I discovered a bunch of apps(or websites) that helped me do just that, so I’m telling you about them too so we can all get back to doing what we love more: taking photos.
Dubsado(https://www.dubsado.com/?c=kimakrigg). Dubsado is an absolute game changer! Handle contracts, invoicing, workflow, payment schedules, email templates, questionnaires, and much much more all in one. It takes a bit of time to set everything up, but once you do it’s smooth sailing. They give you a free trial for up to 3 clients with NO time limit so you can really program it to your liking and implement it to see how much easier it makes your life. So much time gets spent in the inbox telling people the same info over and over, so make your life easier and write up some email templates telling your clients everything they need to know. Type it once, schedule it into your workflow, and never have to worry again that you missed out on sending important information. Taking payments has never been easier, as you can integrate your invoices with Stripe, and if they forget a payment you can automatically send them a reminder(cause I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more awkward than having to send a ‘ummm you forgot to pay me’ email. You can create workflows you implement often, and just set it and forget it to send out all the emails you need to to each and every client without lifting a finger. I could go on and on, but you get my drift. Absolutely worth every penny, and if that hasn’t convinced you sign up through the link above to get 20% off your first month!
Planoly(https://www.planoly.com/referral/kimakriggweddings): The more you can batch your work, the more time you have time for other things! Studies have proven that we’re more effective when we start working on one thing, and stay working on that thing without swapping around to other tasks. Instagram isn’t going anywhere, and having a presence there is super important and how most of my clients find me! I like to dedicate 15-20 mins everyday to engaging with other accounts, replying to comments, etc. When you batch your posts you never have to worry about what you’re going to post day to day, and you can view what your grid will look like beforehand to make sure things look cohesive! Instagram is fun, but it needs to have a strategy so you’re not just haphazardly posting things whenever you feel like it or remember to! Also Planoly gives you some great analytics, you can save hashtag sets(because who else always loses them in your phone notes!? MEEEE), and just streamline your process entirely!
Photos take up huge amounts of space, and this program totally takes care of that. It magically resizes your finished JPEGS by reducing file size as much as possible without reducing quality at all. Makes your blogs and web pages run faster, download times are improved for clients, you save space on your hard drive, it’s win win for everyone.
This app has basically become my brain. You can search your notes, add photos to them, organize them by catalogues. I organize mine by To-do lists, Blog post ideas, shoot ideas, random thoughts, Instagram caption ideas. You can sync up accounts and notes with other users, and just keeps it all streamlined and is more user friendly than the iPhone Notes app.
I don’t have enough words for how much I love Photo Mechanic. It’s turned me into a photo culling machine, it loads images much faster than Lightroom or Bridge. You can see really easily if you have multiples of the same photo, can organize them by rating, and export to multiple places at the same time(great for backing up to two seperate drives). It has super simple resizing and sorting as well.
Lightroom and Photoshop
This is kind of a given, but I do 90% of my editing in Lightroom and use Photoshop for additional colour grading sometimes, and dodging and burning and skin editing, and removing distracting items depending on the project.
I have tried multiple ways of delivering files to clients and Pic-Time wins every time. Beautifully designed, creates gorgeous looking galleries, is customizable with your own branding, and you can link it to drop-shipping print shops so clients can organize their own prints at prices and labs you set and choose. It offers options to run campaigns for coupons, is extremely affordable, and I use it as an additional backup system for shoots. Gallery delivery is just as important as the photos in my opinion, and seeing them delivered like this does them so much more justice than just linking to a Dropbox folder.