Photography is the art of capturing a subject and presenting it in the best possible way. Wheather you use your own website or social media to present your work and attract more clients, these resources will help you choose the best tools for the job. The job is no longer going out and shooting, it has evolved to include marketing, web site creation, editing, invoicing, and fulfillment. In other words, you are a serious business owner who loves what you do! Do you?
The problem is we like the shooting and editing part. The rest? not so much! That is where this guide comes in. It is a list of tools and resources that we found useful while operating our own website and photography business. So that you can focus more on creating photography and less on other chores of running a photography business/site.
Starting a Photography Site
In this day and age, having your own space on the internet is a no-brainer. You want a space that you call your own and refer your customers. The task of becoming a webmaster or a blogger may scare you but with these tools, you will be up and running in no time!
- Buy your domain – We recommend Namecheap.com
- Create your own Photoblog – We recommend Photoblog.com, especially if you want to start blogging hassle free. No hosting, no domains, you just sign up and start blogging.
- Create your own blog/site with custom domain – We recommend WordPress as a CMS (content management system)
- Hosting your WordPress blog – We recommend WPEngine (Tip: if you already have a WordPress blog, use their speed test tool to check how it performs)
- Check your chances – Use this website checklist to make sure you have completed most of the tasks before launch
Creating Your First Post
Now that the technical aspects are taken care of, let’s focus on tools that can help you start your first post
- Use Grammarly extension for automatically check your typos and grammar mistakes as you type them into your blog.
- Keep your sentences short and readable. Run them through Hemingway App . It can help you ” write with power and clarity by highlighting adverbs, passive voice, and dull, complicated words.”
- Your readers are visual creatures, use lots of photos and infographics. Not all the photos need to be taken by you. Use Unsplash for free photos.
- Nothing explains things like a good old screenshot. We recommend Awesome Screenshot.
Editing Photos & Making Visual Content
- Photo editing software (for install) – We recommend Lightroom and Photoshop by Adobe (both paid software). If you can not afford to pay a monthly fee to Adobe creative suite, you can try picmonkey.
- Photoshop tutorials – 30 Photoshop tips by Smashing magazine.
- Graphic design – As your blog/business grows, you may find yourself needing graphic design services. These may include banner designs, brochure designs, business cards…etc. We recommend using a professional outsourcing company like Konsus.
- Compress photos for faster page load times. This is important for both your readers and SEO
- FreeConvert.com – This is a free file converter that is useful for converting image files. You can do conversions such as JPG to PNG, JPG to PDF, NEF to JPG, CRW to JPG, CR2 to JPG
- Combine your photos to make a collage. We recommend PhotoJoiner’s collage maker or Canva
- Make an animation of your best photos using Gifmekr.net’s Gif Maker. You can create animations from your photos or with YouTube video.
- Create a photo gallery to showcase your best work. As photographers, we want our clients to be able to easily browse through our work. Here is a great list of WordPress photo gallery plugins that you can use.
- Want to create beautiful landing pages? We recommend LeadPages.net, their custom build templates are great if you want a landing page for your photography ebook or client sign-up pages.
Social Media Tools & Tutorials
- We recommend Buffer for all your social media scheduling and management needs
- Create a banner – We recommend Bannersnack, they have great templates and support animated banners.
- If you want to learn about social media research Socialmedia Examiner produce the best content on this topic.
- Instagram captions tutorial – Donna Moritz is a social media guru that we’ve learned a lot from. This Instagram caption post is a must-read for photographers.
- We recommend Trello for organizing your content or any other large-scale projects. It can be a simple to-do list or a full-fledged site management tool
This list is being continually updated as we find more tools that make our life easier as photographers and business owners. Do you have a tool that you find useful? Please leave a comment or contact us to let us know why it is helpful. Happy shooting!