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5 Important Tools for Photographers | San Francisco Family Photographer

Written By:

Maryam Salassi

Jul 6, 2020

From client management, to photo editing, to marketing, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes of a successful photography business. The hours that we photographers spend taking photos are just one piece of the photography business puzzle! It can be really time consuming (and let’s be honest, overwhelming) which is why it’s so important to find tools for photographers that can help make your life easier.

As a family and newborn photographer, I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love for my career. I legit LOVE my job and I know it’s a privilege to work in a field that is so fulfilling. But that doesn’t mean it’s all puppies and rainbows and everything is easy. Using these tools allows me to spend more time and energy on what I do best, and create a smooth and delightful experience for my clients.

Here are some of the tools and softwares that I depend on to run a smooth photography business.

Honeybook: Client management software for photographers

Honeybook isn’t only for photographers, but I love that it’s geared towards creative entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners. 

Honeybook is a client management relationship (CRM) software and a mega time-saver! It helps me keep my clients and projects organized (and when you have ADD that’s invaluable), creates a pretty seamless process from inquiry to delivery, and it’s really intuitive and easy to use. I’ve been with Honeybook since they were just starting out and they have added so many features in the meantime. They have excellent client support (hello live chat!), and are always open to feedback. 

Honeybook is kind of like a virtual assistant for your photography business. There’s a client portal, customizable brochures, contract templates and proposals, and time and expense tracking. I also really love that Honeybook can be integrated with other tools (like Gmail and Quickbooks), and can be used to schedule meetings and set up automated tasks. My client workflow is set up so all I have to do is hit approve and things pretty much run themselves. Instead of trying to remember to follow up with clients or chase after payments, my workflow does it for me. Boom!

As photographers, we work with many different clients over the years, and it’s so important to keep track and nurture those relationships. Honeybook makes it so much easier, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be saving so much time. Not super savvy? They also offer online training and support to help you get it all figured out and set up properly.

Pic-Time: Photo gallery tools for photographers

screenshot of a pic-time gallery

Let me tell you how much I love automated workflows….I LOVE AUTOMATED WORKFLOWS. Pic-Time isn’t just an online gallery system, they go above and beyond when it comes to their automated sales tools. Plus they are another company that excels at client support and quick response times. I’ve also witnessed them grow in the past few years and add so many new and interesting features that just make my life easier.

Not only are the Pic-Time galleries gorgeous, they’ve put a lot of time and effort into sourcing what products they offer. The shop section of each gallery shows clients what their photos would look like in each product so they can visualize what they want which makes it easier for them to make purchasing decisions. They can purchase, check out, and Pic-time takes care of everything down to charging sales tax if you choose (if you choose this option they send you a 1099 at the end of the year for taxes). Super easy! I don’t have to deal with keeping track of who has ordered what, placing orders with vendors, or collecting sales tax.

Galleries are customizable so you can allow for clients to download their photos, or purchase them, offer discounts on automated timelines, and more. They’re always listening to feedback on features and constantly adding new ones. 

Some other notable Pic-Time features: they offer Lightroom integration, pre-designed marketing templates, built in SEO, and online chat support (Pic-Time has amazing customer service!). Plus it’s a great way to create a portfolio of your work! Try it out and use code XBYMS5 to get a month free.

Backblaze: Cloud storage for photographers

A photographer’s worst nightmare? Losing your work. I can’t tell you how many photographers I know who’ve had a hard drive go bad! I haven’t had this happen (knock on wood) but I also don’t want to tempt fate so I’ve invested in a cloud backup system. With Backblaze, you’ll have tons of space to backup your hard drive to a secure cloud. They can also help you locate your lost or stolen computer, and have a harddrive with your data shipped straight to your door. Backblaze runs in the background and you can even set what times it runs the backup so it doesn’t slow down your internet (I personally have it run overnight).

This one is pretty simple, but I cannot express its importance enough! Having somewhere secure to backup your hard drive should be a priority on your list of tools for photographers.

Flodesk: Email marketing tools for photographers

what my flodesk dashboard looks like

We’ve already talked about the importance of nurturing your client relationships. Newsletters are another great tool for photography businesses who want to keep in touch with clients and stay top of mind. When I first started my newsletter I used a certain very popular company but I quickly got frustrated because the newsletters didn’t look great. I wanted something pretty and easy to read so I was SUPER excited when I heard about Flodesk. They are still in beta but they’ve already gone above and beyond what I’ve been expecting, and my newsletter game has been taken up a notch. 

Flodesk is an email marketing tool that photography businesses can use to reach clients. The templates make it easy to create professional, customized newsletters. The program is quite intuitive to use, and gathers insights that you can review later to see how your newsletter performed.

You know how much I love workflows and automations and guess what? Flodesk has them too—again, a huge time saver! You can have a welcome email sent out as soon as someone signs up for your newsletter, or set up a slow drip email series if you wanted. 

Whether you have a special offer to advertise, tips to share, or simply want to remind your clients about your family photography sessions, Flodesk can make it happen!

Greetabl: Personalized gifts for photography clients

a gif of a greetabl box opening and the gift coming out

Last but not least, we have Greetabl. When I work with families, I really love getting to know them and spending time with them. Since my love language is gifts I was looking for a way to treat those clients after our sessions. Greetabl is another tool that isn’t solely for photographers, but what better way to shower your clients with love than with a cute gift that’s wrapped in packaging personalized with the photos you took?!

It’s an easy but memorable way to stay in touch with your clients and keep those relationships alive. I personally have a Greetabl Pro account which lets me customize the box print, gives me free shipping, a one-day turnaround, and I earn $1 for every $10 spent that can be used to send more Greetabls! We all want our clients to feel special and this is a quick and easy way to do that.

Don’t want to sign up for a Pro account? No worries! Here’s how to send your own Greetabl: First, you select one of their super cute box designs. Next, select a gift of your choice (they have plenty of small gifts to choose from, all under $50—some are just a few bucks! I personally like to send a photo holder or a yummy treat!). Lastly, add your personalized photos and message, and send! The thing about Greetabls that is really great for photographers is they always include 3 photos in their box templates. This is a GREAT way to remind your clients of the fantastic photos you made for them, and I guarantee those small prints will make it up on the fridge for a constant reminder of your awesomeness.

Planoly + Tailwind: Bonus Tools For Social Media Management

I thought I was done but I wanted to pop these two tools in at the last minute because they save me so much time!

For Instagram, I use Planoly to schedule posts and sometimes stories. I love being able to see what my feed will look like and rearranging if needed, plus it’s so much easier to be able to upload and work directly from my computer instead of my phone.

For Pinterest, I’ve been using Tailwind to schedule pins and repin work from other places as well. They take the guess work out of when to pin by having time slots preselected, and the Pinterest algorithm loves consistency.

I hope these tools for photographers help you streamline your workflow, save time, and scale your business! Check out my blog for more photography tips and inspiration. 

*Please note: this blog post includes affiliate links that benefit my through either free months or cash referrals. I personally use all of these tools for photographers and find them invaluable in my work.*

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