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Hello and welcome to the blog! Im Brooke and I am a self-made, self-taught photographer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My happiest days are spent serving others while chasing that glowy light. I’m so glad you’re here, enjoy viewing my latest work, and getting a little peek into my life!

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My Must-Have Tools For Running a Photography Business

Apr 26, 2020

If you’re a photographer (or a creative entrepreneur) who wants to turn that hobby into a new side-gig but not sure how to do so, you’re in the right place. Not too long ago I was in your shoes. Questions like what gear should I invest in? What online resources and software are the best? etc. used to freak me out. I’ve wasted countless hours trying various tools and attempting to learn the reigns of owning a business on my own. The worst part? I will never get that time back, and I had no one to guide me. I wanted so badly for someone to just give me a list of all the tools they used so I could take those said countless hours and use them to build my business further.

So, I’ve put together a list of everything I use to run my business from start to finish so you can be one step closer to running your creative business with confidence. With these exact tools I am about to share with you, I have been able to create this business from the ground up and since has allowed me to make the leap to full-time photographer. Without further ado, let’s get started!

My favorite tools: 

Showit is an amazing drag-and-drop software that I use to build, host, and manage my website and blog. Showit’s support team is unmatched and will help you build the website of your dreams. Click the title above to try it out for yourself.

·     HoneyBook 

HoneyBook is the client management system I use to send contracts, invoices, questionnaires, etc. Gone are the days of sending contracts and checks through the mail, waiting days for them to be received. HoneyBook allows you to still have that sense of a “paper trail” without the waiting. Stay organized and have all your legalities in one place with a strong client management system. Click on the title above to save 50% on your first year.

·     Tonic 

 Tonic is a website template store that helps convert visitors to clients. Tonic creates beautiful custom designs that plug into Showit and other web-designing platforms to make designing a website a breeze. Use Code: BROOKESENTME for 10% off ANY design in the TONIC collection.

·     Align Album Design 

Align Album Design is my favorite album designer that I have worked with. I use Align to create all my album spreads for my clients. The best part? Because of the amazing service over at Align, my clients get their galleries within weeks of their session or wedding. Just send Align the photos from your latest session or wedding, and they will have a full gallery of spreads ready for you to review in days. Click the title above to try it out. 

·     Pass Pluss gallery 

Pass Pluss gallery is what I use to deliver all of my galleries to my clients. Pass lets you personalize gallery layouts, set expiration timeframes, and even has a built-in online store your clients can order from. This online store is fulfilled through Pass, so you do not have to worry about any sales tax on your end – it is just 100% just extra revenue in your pocket. Click on the title above to get one month free.

·     PhotoMehanic 

Photo Mechanic is my favorite and the only way I will cull through a session anymore. I can’t believe I used to waste so much time in Lightroom waiting for the RAW images to load in the develop module. Say goodbye to the slow, agonizing wait times and say hello to culling an entire wedding in under an hour. I’m not joking! With Photo Mechanic I can quickly pick my favorites with ZERO lag time. And once I’m done selecting, I can simply drag and drop the selected images into Lightroom and begin my editing workflow. Click the title above to try PhotoMechanic.

·     Lightroom 

Adobe Lightroom is the editing software I use to edit all of my photos. If you’re interested in photography, I highly recommend Adobe’s free trial. Lightroom lets you organize, edit, and proof your images all within one software. Upload your favorite presets, brushes, and adjustment layers all to one place and it is stored forever through Adobe’s cloud system. Click the title above to try a free trial.

·     Blog Stomp 

Blog Stomp is the software I use to pair images and create layouts for my blog. Click the title above to try Blog Stomp.

·     Backblaze 

This software has saved my life! The best online-cloud storage I have ever used. With this software, I am able to sleep at night, knowing all of my sessions and weddings are securely backed up in case anything were to happen. With Backblaze, all your photos are stored online so if you were to ever lose your hard drive, something corrupted, or even worse – your gear was stolen… you can rest assure that Backblaze will send you a new hard drive with all of your old data, and you can even download specific images from their website. Trust me, you do not want to tell a bride all of her wedding photos are gone. Yikes! Click the title above to try Backblaze and get one month free.

There ya’ have it – all my tools, resources, and software I use every day to keep my photography business more about the photography and less about the headache of running a business. Drop a comment below with what tool you use in your business that has changed the game for you.

Check out this resource page HERE I made just for photographers that explain each of these resources and even more in detail!

** Brooke Elisabeth Photography is an affiliate for some of these resources. I only endorse resources that I actually use throughout my day-to-day business workflow. **

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@brookeelisabethphoto

Creator of love-filled mementos
Minneapolis wedding and portrait photographer