February 1, 2022
YEP. This is a whole freakin’ blog dedicated to my favorite things + apps for my photography business. And YES I’m adding in affiliate codes through the whole dang thing. BUT if you didn’t know this about me already – I would NEVER promote something I didn’t truly like using. So below I’ll fill you in on what I love about each of these programs (and what I don’t!) plus a link or code to get you a discount if you decide to dive in. As always – my social media door is always open! – so feel free to comment, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or send see a DM via the ‘gram. I got you.
HERE. WE. GO. 🙂
CLIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:
If you don’t have one – GET ONE. This is a huge time suck at the beginning to set up AND a learning curve (all the client management systems are) BUT SO WORTH IT. I literally click “2022 workflow” after I set a time + date with my clients and out goes automated emails, contract, questionnaire, welcome guide, style guide, invoices, reminders, everything!
WOOHOOS: SO pretty and aesthetically pleasing. Clean interface.
WOES: Scheduling is in beta and bulky. No app. (I just make a bookmark on my iPhone)
BOOKING MINI SESSIONS:
I just started using this system this year and I love it! SO EASY TO USE. If you don’t do minis may not be as useful but if you just want a system that people can book, do a questionnaire, invoice + payment and sign a contract it’s great!
WOOHOOS: Easy to use, great extra features like a free linking form, could replace a client management system
WOES: Less robust features – but seriously it’s a goodie.
Also just started getting on the e-mail list train! Because hellooooo the ‘gram algorithm sucks. I had been using mailchimp the past few years and despite it being free ninety freeeee it just wasn’t pretty. I didn’t like the interface. I didn’t like how e-mails looked.
WOOHOOS: So pretty. Easy to use. Great interface. Pre-made designs are great.
WOES: It’s spendy when other programs are free.
SESSION INSPIRATION + PlANNING:
I was fortunate enough to get this program for lifetime on a Black Friday one of the first years they launched! It is an app where you can go in save favorite poses + prompts to look at during a session. Think an organized, curated Pinterest on steroids for photographers. You could use it as your client management system too as it has a ton of features. I also use the sunset/sunrise/blue hour portion as well. Plus they keep updating and coming out with new features: browse locations, education/resources, camera settings, managing photo sessions, pre-made contracts, etc.
WOOHOOS: They are awesome about updating features and adding in new poses. I usually just have 5-6 for a session as a reference or something I’ve never tried before!
WOES: I tried the client management system for a month or so and it just wasn’t as robust and automated as I needed! BUT I know they will get there!
Use code: maggierech for $20 off!
YOU GUYS. If you don’t do it already – keep track of your shit. Seriously! I spend TEN MINUTES at the end of the year preparing my business taxes for my accountant. I used Quickbooks in the past and while it is GREAT it was more than I needed for my business and between the different types they didn’t cover everything I needed. I usually just log in 1-2xmonth and categorize my expenses and make notes on my mileage if it was for business (and why) or personal. Easy peazy.
WOOHOOS: Easy to use. Tracks mileage. Links to your bank to track spending. (I use a business credit card that I ONLY use for business expenses!). I input income manually. I can also make my own categories for expenses. You can always check your profit/loss and your estimated taxes. 🙂
WOES: Seriously none!
THE PRETTIEST HATS:
Gigi + Pip
UGH. Where to begin guys. Gigi + Pip has the PRETTIEST hats for your whole family. While I DO admit they are more spendy than the regular hat – they are so worth it!
WOOHOOS: Sizes according to YOUR head and some with ability to adjust. Accessories to add to personalize your hat. They are incredible quality – and really up level any outfit. Whether a long flow dress or jeans and a tee. Great styles for all seasons!
WOES: More expensive (but worth it!) and they’re addictive. lol
THE BEST PRINTS:
I’ve been using Artifact Uprising for years to print out personal photos and gift prints to clients. So far – despite trying a LOT of printers – nothing matches the look and feel of their print packs. Thick linen textured paper with a matte finish – PLUS I love the look of their white border.
WOOHOOS: Pretty. Great price. Feels SO good in your hands. Quick shipping. Easy system to upload images.
WOES: Shipping is spendy. Wish they had larger sizes for print pack options!
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE:
ALSO new to me this year is Acorn! Since leaving my job in healthcare I’ve been terrible about saving for the future. Between 2 pregnancies that turned into 2 toddlers life got busy and I had been avoiding putting away enough money! BUT Acorn has been a great start this year! I opened both a retirement and investment account and I love being able to log right in and see where I’m at as well as linking to my account!
WOOHOOS: User friendly, lots of financial options, cool features like “round up” option to put your spare change into investing
WOES: I know so little about finances that I need to learn! But so far I’m loving the platform
This all being said! I KNOW I still don’t use all these programs to the MAX of their features BUT they’ve all helped me streamline systems for my business and better serve my clients, automate repeated tasks, and grow my business. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!