for photographers

May 24, 2022

5 Essential Tools For Running My Photography Business

About 75% of my work time is spent behind the scenes, so I’ve compiled this list of 5 essential tools for running my photography business efficiently.

These tools help me cover strategy-planning and goal alignment, project management, client workflow, financial management, and delivering photos with ease and beauty. I use each one weekly (some daily!) to keep me organized, efficient, and ultimately, working less while doing more.

The 5 essential tools I use for running my photography business:

1. Vistaly

This is a new tool that will change the way companies operate, including solopreneurs. Vistaly helps me record my thoughts and track my ideas to make sure that I’m working on things that are actually aligned with my greater vision. It’s essentially like a map that allows me to make creative idea explosions into a measurable strategy so I can work on what matters and say confident ‘no’s’ to what doesn’t.

Click here to request early access and let them know you came from me! The team is small and eager to help get you started!

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2. Trello

While Vistaly helps determine the vision, Trello helps execute it. This is where I keep on track of my weekly tasks related to marketing, business operations, and detailed steps within my greater client workflow. I’ve changed my approach to Trello many times over the years, but the simplicity and clarity of my current approach keeps me accountable for doing the things I say I want or need to do (even when they’re annoying).

My checklists, Duty Day card, and due date rotation system takes the guesswork and planning out of recurring projects so I can be more efficient when I get to work.

**A full Trello run-down will be coming soon!

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3. Sprout Studio

Sprout Studio saves my life and makes me legit.

It’s the most comprehensive yet intuitive platform I’ve tried and helps me organize everything from leads, booking, delivery and sales with a beautiful client interface and easy-to-navigate backend.

If CRMs seem completely overwhelming to you, the customer support staff and training materials are so good at helping with setup and using the features. The reporting tool in Sprout is also so key for stats like monthly income, booking rate, and lead tracking. Knowing these numbers helps me make more informed decisions about what’s working and what’s not.

(Use this link to get 20% off your subscription to Sprout Studio after your trial and we’ll both get an extra ‘thank you in discount form!)

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4. Wave

I started using Wave for payroll when I hired Autumn as my first studio manager, but have since downgraded to the basic plan which works great for my needs. I am now able to pay her as my contract editor from afar while also keeping exact records of financial profit/loss.

Wave makes it easy to turn around clear, sorted data to my CPA at tax time and is simple enough to keep a pulse on my finances without a ton of extra features.

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5. Smartslides

The slideshow is the part of my process that truly helps elevate my clients’ viewing experience.

Every other piece of the client experience is set up through Sprout, but Smartslides allows me to apply beat-matched, heart-warming, and royalty-free music to custom slideshows for my clients – and that’s a game-changer.

This is the first way my clients engage with their final images, so a seamless, beautiful interface is key. I’ve found so many songs that perfectly fit my style and really set the tone for clients to see their hearts on display through their photos.

Click below to play a slideshow from documentary-style birthday shoot I made with Smartslides.

That’s my round-up of 5 essential tools I use weekly to run my photography business!

Each one helps me work smarter and have more joy for the actual creating part I love most. Making systems with these tools takes a good bit of creativity, too, though! It might seem complicated at first, but when you can approach the pain points of your business with a creative spirit PLUS the ultimate goal of more freedom and higher service combined… I meeean, seems worth it, right?

If you need someone to process with or someone to take you through the steps of creating systems and workflows that will bring your vision into reality – I’m your girl!

Schedule a call with me – our first 30-minute chat is always free – and we can dive into getting you unstuck and working with purpose from a place of joy.

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