Resources for Photography Business

I thought it would be helpful to create a list of resources for photographers.  I will update this page as I encounter useful items. 

Building Websites

  • SquareSpace.com is an easy to use platform for building a website that includes a blog, portfolio and store. No coding is required and the templates are easy to customize. 
  • WordPress.org is a website platform with a lot of flexibility. There are great themes available for photographers and the possibilities are endless. If you choose WordPress I recommend also getting Pro Photo as your WordPress theme (purchasing Pro Photo with this link will give you 10% off) and using HostGator.com hosting. You can also register a custom domain name using either HostGator.com or GoDaddy.com.
  • Show It Fast is a good platform if you want a flash based website, again no coding required and easy to customize. 

Client Viewing

  • Zenfolio.com could fall under Websites and Client Viewing categories because it offers everything a photographer might need: website, blog, client viewing and ordering, etc. 
  • Square Space Portfolio App, available in the iTunes app store, lets you take your portfolio on the go on your iPhone or iPad. This is a great way to spark conversations and develop relationships with potential clients. Instead of handing them a business card and hoping they visit your website later, you can show them your work and they will be hooked. 

Online Booking

  • Bookm from Millers Lab  allows you to manage your studio schedule, collect payments and book clients from your website. 
  • StudioLead.com is a great tool to manage incoming leads and bookings. You place a simple form on your website in place of your contact form and when someone contacts you their information is placed right in StudioLead. You can then add notes, more info, and manage tasks related to working with them.  
  • ShootQ.com is a studio management system that allows clients to book and sign contracts online. It also organizes tasks and has other helpful goodies.  

Tools

  • Google Drive is a free solution to manage/create all of your documents online. Using a cloud based system like this will allow you to have everything safe in case anything happened to your computer.
  • Google's Gmail is an email solution that allows you to connect a branded email (like info@yourwebsite.com to it but still have all of the features of Gmail.
  • XMind is a mind mapping software that lets you get all of your ideas out of your head. I use this for business planning, to find solutions to problems and when brainstorming just about everything. 

Email Marketing

  • Mad Mimi is a very easy to use and simple tool for collecting and managing an email list. This is what I am currently using and switched to after using Mail Chimp. I find that Mad Mimi provides more flexibility and is overall less complicated yet still powerful. They offer a free account with up to 2,500 contacts.
  • Mail Chimp  is also a great option for email lists. I find they would be great for a photographer who is managing clients and potential client lists. I have multiple lists and a more complicated set up since I cater to a variety of customers, so I opted to switch to Mad Mimi. They offer a free account for up to 2,500 contacts as well. 

Professional Labs

  • Millers Lab is AH-mazing. They offer FREE Fedex next day shipping, boutique packaging, and so many great products. When you sign up they send you sample prints with your own images for free as well. They have a lot of tools like an online booking system and other goodies to keep things running smoothly.

Social Media

  • HootSuite.com  is a free tool you can use to manage all of your social media accounts in one place and you can schedule posts/status updates which is great for vacations and appearing as if you are in touch. 

Gear

  • BorrowLenses.com is an online service where you can rent lenses and a lot of other stuff. It is a great resource if you want to experiment with a new lens before buying it or if your gear goes to repair and you have a shoot.  

Music

  • The Music Bed has a huge selection of music that can be used used in slideshows and as background music to various things we create as photographers. 
  • Triple Scoop Music is another resource for music for things like slideshows, business commericals, etc.  

Online Marketing

  • Google Keyword Tool is an online tool that you can use to determine how many people are searching google for keywords related to your business. For example, you can see search counts for terms like "los angeles photographer".  
  • Google Adwords is a way to pay to get list for important search terms before you are ranked for them naturally. In addition, Yahoo Search MarketingBing Ads, and Facebook Advertising are helpful as well. 
  • Search Engine Optimization helps your website rank in search engines naturally. You can learn more about this topic on SEOmoz or Search Engine Land.  

Finances

  • Certified Financial Planner: Jackie is a flat fee financial planner that can help you organize your goals for investments, retirement, etc. Find her at Guide My Finances. I've used her financial planning services and highly recommend her. 

Branding

  • The Wardrobe Code: Branding yourself through fashion. After all, your personal style contributes to how clients view your brand and business. 

Legal

  • TheLawtog.com is a good resource for legal information specifically for photographers, run by the lovely Rachel Brenke who is a photographer and lawyer.  

Interesting Books

This section could go on forever. I am currently working on a list of my favorites and will post them here as I can. They will be related to business or photography.

  • Purple Cow by Seth Godin is a inspiring book that you should read to learn why it is important to stand out and be different. This is incredibly important for photographers.  
  • Rework by Jason Fried is a business book that motivates.
  • Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. 
  • Die Empty by Todd Henry. 
  • Simpler: Declutter Your Life and Focus on What's Most Important by Mike Burns
  • Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  • More coming soon! 

 

Things change; see a broken link? Please let me know