Whether you are just starting out in your wedding photography journey or you have been running a business for a few years, I hope these photography business resources can provide you with some helpful tips! When I was first starting out I had so many questions about how everything on the backend worked and can honestly say had no idea that certain types of products even existed ( I just had no idea what to be searching for). In this list below, I will not only share which programs I use specifically, but I will share the other industry standard options out there so you can find ones that fit your photography business best! Besides products, I’ll also share with you the mentors I have learned from, my favorite wedding photography podcasts that I find so helpful, and lots more!
Disclaimer: In full transparency, if you decide to go through one of the personal links I’ve posted from the programs or apps I use I will get a small commission for it when you use my discount! I only share products I personally use on a daily basis that I have found real value in.
Photography Business Resources: Client Management Systems
I have found CRMS or customer relationship management systems to be so incredibly helpful. Personally, I recommend trying each of the free trials to see which photography client management system you like the best! When I first started with Dubsado, but didn’t find it as easy to navigate inside the portal so I switched to Honeybook and I’ve been super happy! Basically Honeybook collects each inquiry I get on my website, I’m able to store all my client’s wedding info, send invoices, contracts, get paid, and keep track of my yearly revenue. Gone are the years of physically printing out and sending contracts to clients, writing out all my expenses and income in a binder, and manually trying to keep track of dozens of clients a year.
A few things to made me switch over to Honeybook was that they will personally input your packages and contracts into the system once you purchase a plan. I was spending so much time trying to do this with Dubsado on my own, that when I joined Honeybook and passed along around 15 documents for them to put into their system, all my packages and contracts were done within a few days- huge time saver!
Another cool feature is that they have an “Opportunities” tab in the pipeline options so I’m able to post second shooting jobs there, model calls, styled shoots, etc. or pick up a second shooting or associate shooting job from someone else’s post. Lastly, for me another huge thing that set them apart was during the start of the pandemic they actually teamed up with lawyer Paige Griffith and gave everyone a free clause regarding COVID to put in all our contracts.
Repeat after me. “After reading this post I will never cull photos in Lightroom ever again”. I am begging you, if you are to spend any money at all on a photography program or app, Photo Mechanic will save you so much time! This app is definitely my top photography business resource. I want to cry thinking of the years I spent, spending hours going through the photos I took one by one in Lightroom and narrowing it down to my favorites to then edit.
It takes so long in Lightroom for an image to pop up, go into focus, and then move onto the next one whereas in Photo Mechanic I can click through photos at lightning speed and then just drag the ones I’ve tagged into Lightroom after the fact. Culling one session in Lightroom could take 4 hours, while culling the same session in Photo Mechanic would take me a half hour. I still thank the photographer that told me about this program constantly so just try their 30 day free trial and then if you love it purchase Photo Mechanic’s one time licensing fee!
JPEG Mini is a photo reduction tool that minimizes the size of your photos without losing quality. You just drag and drop your photos into JPEG mini and it creates a new copy. This tool is helpful for wedding photographers so galleries aren’t taking up a huge amount of space on yours or your client’s hard drives. Also, if you get an error message when trying to create a pin on Pinterest and it says your file size is too big- this program solves that problem!
Top tip- although JPEG MINI is great for storage purposes it is better to use the Short Pixel WordPress plugin for any images on your website. Short Pixel will optimize and compress your images which greatly helps with website speed!
Wedding Photography Courses:
I am all about furthering photography education and learning from the best of the best. When I was first starting out I found Jasmine Star’s 31 hour Creative Live Wedding Experience Course to be extremely helpful in learning the ropes of the wedding photography industry and how to build your business.
If you are looking to shoot weddings in the great outdoors, then adventure elopements might be a better avenue for you! I completed Maddie Mae of Adventure Instead’s Adventure Elopement Academy and can definitely say she creates a perfect blueprint if you are looking to attract more adventurous couples for elopements. Besides the wonderful Maddie Mae, you can also view The Foxes and The Hearnes for more inspiration!
Wedding Photography Contracts
One of the most important things you can do for your photography business is make sure you are legally backed if anything were to ever go wrong with a client or at a venue. I have purchased contracts before from The LawTog and The Legal Paige. Each site includes contracts for: Model Release Forms, Wedding Contracts, Event Contracts, Print Releases, etc (but the Legal Paige is the only lawyer with contracts for adventure sessions, adventure styled shoots, and adventure elopements since you need to be covered more bringing clients into the backcountry)
Get Discounted Parking When You Have A Session In The City
This one will help you whenever you have a shoot in the city! Boston’s parking garages can sometimes be close to $20 an hour (which can add up quickly whether you have an engagement shoot or a wedding). Whether I’m working or not I always use Park Whiz or Spot Hero to save money on parking. You just type in the address of where you’re going, hit search, and then it shows you all the garages around and the discounted rates. A garage that might cost $25/hr if you were to just drive up might be $10 for the day by just going in the app.
Lots of times even if I book just a few hours it will upgrade me to 24hrs for free. You can also send clients these links if they are traveling into the city as well! I’d also suggest plugging in the same address on Park Wiz (You’ll receive $5 off your first booking by clicking the my link) and on Spot Hero’s app because sometimes depending on your city one can be cheaper than the other.
Wedding & Elopement Photography Directories:
Directories are great because they are another way to get your name out to potential clients when they are going to the same hub to search for all their wedding vendors in a centralized area. I’m listed as a vendor on Wandering Weddings which is the number one elopement blog for all adventurous couples. You can find me under the Massachusetts tab, but you can also pay extra if you’d like to be listed in other areas! If you are interested in becoming a vendor you can use my referral url here to get 10% off.
How to learn SEO for your photography business:
You can have the prettiest photos in your portfolio, but if you don’t have good SEO (Search Engine Optimization-aka how people find you on google) prospective clients will have a really hard time finding your site organically. I’ve done audits with Corey and Dylan of Fuel Your Photos and bought their course. I highly recommend listening to their podcast SEO for Photographers and joining their free Facebook group Fuel Your Photos | SEO for Photographer.
For keyword research while writing blog posts you can look into Keywords Everywhere, Moz, Ahrefs, and SEM Rush
Free Photography Facebook Groups:
Besides the free Facebook group Fuel Your Photos | SEO for Photographers, I’d also recommend joining Ben Hartley’s Six Figure Photography Mastermind, Weddings & Wanderlust for those adventure elopement photographers, and Robert Hill’s Work Less Make More Facebook group. I found these communities to be super helpful when I needed a question answered starting out!
Photography Business Resources: Podcasts
I have become a huge podcast enthusiast and can’t recommend these enough if you are looking to become a wedding photographer (or a creative entrepreneur).
Beautiful Wedding Photography Flat Lays
If you’ve ever seen beautifully styled detail shots taken at a wedding on a neutral backdrop they are what’s called flat lays. Sometimes you don’t always will the lottery with backdrops within a getting ready space so these styling surfaces do the trick! The following companies below are very popular if you’d like to get more involved in this styling art form.
Let’s Talk Finances:
I didn’t study business in college so I’ve taken it upon myself to read various financial books, articles and podcasts. If you are looking to start with the basics I suggest reading “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz, “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together” by Erin Lowry, and The Budgetnista podcast.
It’s Time To Buy Camera Gear:
So you’ve done your research, rented a few cameras, and now you’d like to make a purchase- where do you buy camera gear? You can find your local camera shops or purchase online through B&H photo or Adorama.
When it comes to editing, a lot of photographers use what’s called Presets. Editing styles typically can be grouped into the categories bright & airy, true to color/vibrant, and dark and moody. Once you figure out your style you can customize the purchased presets to create the exact look you want. This helps with batch editing photos!
Photography Business Resources: Website Domains & Builders
Let’s talk about website domains! For wedding photographers looking to start a new site as of January 2021 the two most popular hosts for a website include Cloudways and Siteground. These can help with speed, performance, and overall create a “home” for your website.
Once you get that squared away and you want to build a site on WordPress for example then you can select a website themes (since I don’t know any coding). I love how my site turned out and it was create using Flothemes!
Photography Business Resources: Instagram Scheduling Apps
If you are wondering how all the coloring is consistent within my Instagram feed, I can assure you it is not by magic! I don’t use these apps to automatically schedule my posts (there are plans for that) but I do use their free options to upload and rearrange photos within my feed to see how they look as well as write the captions in ahead of time. I personally use Preview and Planoly, but other popular scheduling apps are Hootsuite and Later. Most of them include features such as automatic posts, stories, hashtag research, the best times to post based on your audience, etc.
Photography Business Resources: Top Photography Workshops Around The World
I am all about continuing education and building connections with photographers so I’d love to attend some of these photography conferences and workshops in the future. Here are well known conferences worth checking out!
Best Photography Bag For Destination Wedding Photographers:
I was referred to Think Tank by another photographer and it’s probably my favorite item in my equipment list. As a destination wedding photographer I’ve used my rolling Think Tank Airport International V3 carry-on suitcase for every wedding I’ve shot since starting out and have never had any trouble flying internationally with size restrictions. I was referred to it by another photographer and love that it easily holds all my gear (and fits into international hotel lockers when traveling abroad). It holds my two camera bodies, 4 lenses, 4 flashes, laptop, memory cards, and batteries with its customizable sections and ample pocket space. You can check out all the amazing products at Think Tank here.
Photography Communities In Your Area:
I highly recommend networking with local photographers especially if you hire second shooters for weddings! You can typically find them on Facebook groups if you type in your city name (example-New England Wedding Photographers) and then attend their in person meetups.
I love getting together with the Rising Tide Society’s Tuesdays Together group in Boston in order to get to know other small business owners and creatives in the wedding industry. You can find one of their global chapters here to see which one is closest to you!
In additional, if you happen to live near Boston and want to expand your networking community I recommend joining the following groups and cowering spaces!
The Collective Co (South Shore Coworking Space for women)
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my favorite photography business resources! You can see my latest blog posts by clicking here. Comment below if you found this guide helpful or tell me your favorite resource I listed.