Man, I remember when I first started out and my head was spinning around with all the programs, gear, time management subscriptions, and pretty much the million things I thought I needed. Truth be told, as I enter my 4th official year shooting weddings (what!!) I have found a little more groove in my system.. & few programs/pieces that I absolutely could not live without. So this is for the newbies out there! This is not gear related, because lets be real, you need alllll the lenses.. Just kidding, I still only shoot with 3...
- Photo Mechanic - Worth. Every. Single. Penny. So if you're shooting RAW you know your images are HUGE and most computers struggle with rendering & loading those files. This is where PM comes in. It's like the magical mystical unicorn of photo loading. I used to despise culling. I hated it. I mean, I still dislike it but PM cut down my culling time from roughly 2 hours to maybe 45 minutes.. I don't know about you but sign me up...Again & again & again!
- External Hard Drives/Time Machine Backup - Why? Work exclusively on them. I beg you. Automatically put all your images onto an external verses your computer hard drive. Those images.. You know the huge ones? They'll fill up that terabyte HD faster then it takes me to eat a doughnut. I learned this the hard way & was almost (on multiple occasions) about to toss my precious $2K laptop in the dishwasher.. Or use it as a very chic expensive drink coaster.
- Blog Stomp - I know my main source of growth is referrals & sharing images. How do people see those images?! Well by your meticulously planned out, beautifully spread, detail sharing blog of course! Having a strong blog presence (well.. for the most part! I have blogged EVERY single wedding I shot though) has been such a beneficial thing for my business. My clients are able to share a link with images I've prepped and planned to beautifully display their wedding! Blog Stomp took me from prepping a post for 3 hours to 15 minutes.. I'm not kidding. I almost drove myself to their corporate office and kissed everyone on the mouth.
- WINE - Bonus Round - Ding Ding Ding- Girrrrl (or dude, sorry) you'll need it. 5 years in and I still have those nights where I pop a cork, put on a rom-con, and cry my little eyes out. It's an amazing journey full of awesomeness but there are days of pity, feeling inadequate, and feeling like tossing in the towel and moving to Colorado (No? Just me? Ha!). But I firmly believe those days relight your fire. So let them embers smolder because in the morning you'll be hotter and brighter then before... I've really got to stop writing posts at midnight... Great analogy, Cait.
- Boomerang - One More - I'm sorry, I can't help myself - Chances are if you're in the beginning stages of your business you're juggling a full time job on top of chasing the dream. I did this for 3 years and nearly died (Kidding, you got this!!). I worked long days and into the wee hours of the morning. Gmail just launched Boomerang which has been amazing. Working at 1:30AM & don't want your clients phone binging while they're sleeping?! Schedule your email to send at a specific time! What! This means I can reply to emails late at night without interrupting a sleeping couple! Win-Win. This is when living in 2016 is my favorite... Oh, best part?! FREE. Yes.. Go buy yourself another bottle of wine.
Are there any programs out there that you can't live without?! Spill the beans!