There are a few apps that my business could not run without. In honor of National Entrepreneurship Week, I want to share those with you, if you’re starting a photography business of your own.
This is what I edit photos with. Some photographers still take every single individual image into Photoshop and I could not imagine taking that kind of time to edit a full wedding gallery. (Those are the photographers that take 2 months to a year to deliver wedding galleries and I vow to never make my clients wait that long.) More than that, taking every image individually into Photoshop will lead to inconsistent edits for your clients from image to image. Lightroom allows you to sync edits within different portions of the day, so everything has a cohesive look. It also creates layers while you’re editing, instead of changing the original file. That means the original file you shot, straight out of camera, isn’t changed – you’re simply creating a second copy with the edits after you export it. Lightroom also allows you to easily mark favorites for sharing to social media. So, if you’re new to photography and haven’t heard of Lightroom yet, you should definitely check it out! There is also a mobile version of it so you can edit iPhone images while out of the office.
This app allows me to cull weddings and sessions in record time. Culling is the process of picking favorites from the session to deliver to the client. By picking the favorites in Photo Mechanic, I’m only taking the deliverable images into Lightroom, so it runs faster. Photo Mechanic is crazy fast at showing you the JPEG previews. Using this program easily cut my time spent culling sessions and weddings by half. They have a free 30-day trial and I promise you it will save you time and is 100% worth the investment!
If you’re getting into photography as a business, you definitely want to share your work. I share portrait sessions and weddings on my blog, Facebook Page, and Instagram (@MylahRenae). However, if I try to upload a full resolution image to the blog, it’ll slow the blog down and people wouldn’t stay on the page to wait for it to load. To share images on the blog, I drag my favorites into Blog Stomp and resize them to 800 pixels with one simple click. It’s the fastest way I’ve found to do so and it allows me to pair two images into one jpeg, so you can see two vertical images side by side. Facebook prefers images to be 2048 pixels, so Blog Stomp has different settings you can use to resize for different needs and you get to set the size. It also allows you to add a watermark, if you want, which I use when sharing to Facebook. It even integrates with WordPress and Facebook, so you can post to those platforms from BlogStomp. I don’t take advantage of that feature, but it is available. They have a similar product, AlbumStomp, for designing wedding albums that is super helpful!
I’m writing this blog post using WordPress. It is probably the best blogging platform available. While some people think that blogging may be dead, I’m still doing it because it is a permanent space that I have full control over. You don’t own your social media pages. Those posts on social media won’t get found with Google, but your blog posts will. You can add plugins to your WordPress blog to help you with such things as SEO and emailing your blog subscribers new content. I shared why I think blogging for your creative business is a great idea and you can find it by clicking that link. You can even build your full website with WordPress and your business needs a website to look credible.
While you can use WordPress to build a website, I use Showit and I have since I started this business in 2012. It is so user friendly and you can do absolutely ANYTHING with your website design. I love that I can add portfolio images as I shoot them, as opposed to paying a tech guy $50 an hour to add two images to my website. If you’re brand new to it, you may want to buy a website template and change it to match your brand colors and be in your own voice. I’ve used Showit to design another business owner’s blog and a wedding planner’s website. It’s really great to be able to take full control of how you’re presenting your business to the world!
This is actually an app that I’m trying to be better at using more consistently. Planoly allows you to schedule posts to Instagram, which is important to stay top of mind to clients and to be found by new clients in a space that they’re visiting: social media. Planoly allows you to add images, along with caption text, and schedule them to be posted to Instagram. It sends a reminder to your phone when it’s time to post, so you don’t forget. You can see what your Instagram grid will look like with the pictures that you want to use before you post. That’s helpful so you don’t have two heavy (read: dark) images side by side if you have a light and airy style. By scheduling posts, you’re not trying to come up with a caption or stuck wondering what to post in the moment. You can also celebrate social holidays coming up (like National Love Your Pet Day this week) or anniversary of your clients or important personal dates to you and your family. To me, you need to show up consistently on social media if you’re going to use the platform and Planoly helps you to do that. If you’re interested in learning more about how to use Instagram for your creative business, click that link to read some of my tips.
These two platforms are used to match your photography work with inspiration blogs. You upload a gallery, tag the vendors, and can easily track where each event is in the submission process. You only have to create a gallery once and can resubmit it, if you need to or just want to see it featured in multiple (non-exclusive) publications. It’s also a great way to share only the best of the best images from each wedding with vendors. I use both platforms to submit weddings to different blogs, as most blogs are only on one or the other. There are some inspiration blogs that require you to submit through their own submission process, but these two platforms will allow you to submit to quite a few. Some of our biggest features have come from using these, including being published in Austin Wedding Day Magazine, Rustic Wedding Chic, and Destination I Do. Most of my brides enjoy seeing their wedding published. It lets them know that they DID have a beautiful day and is being served up as inspiration to future brides planning their own wedding. Being published adds to your own credibility as a photographer and builds trust with your clients. It also puts your work in front of the larger audience of the blog or magazine that has published your images.
I hope you found this post helpful! I’m Mylah Renae and I’m an Austin wedding photographer serving the Texas Hill Country and worldwide since 2012. One of my favorite things when I’m not photographing joyful couples is helping other business owners. If you have a question that I could help you with, please feel free to email me! The answer might end up as a blog post!
– Mylah Renae