THE TOP TOOLS I USE TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO

As photographers, I don’t think we should underestimate the tools that help us be efficient and professional when it comes to running a business no matter if it’s a side hustle for you or full-time business. Let me take you on a tour of the tools and equipment that have been carefully chosen over my 20+ years in the photography industry, each serving a crucial role in enhancing my workflow and ensuring top-notch results. From monitors to software and camera gear, let’s dive into the essentials that make my studio tick.

  1. Eizo Monitor: All the pro’s use this photo editing monitor
    • My go-to monitor for quality control.
    • While not as visually striking as Mac screens, Eizo monitors excel in color reproduction.
    • Ideal for high-end retouching, print production, and working with intricate details.
    • Matte surface eliminates reflections, providing a true view of image details so you don’t over or under-edit your images
    • Larger color gamut compared to standard monitors.
    • Long-lasting and designed with photographers in mind.
  2. Wacom Tablet: A Digital Artist’s Best Friend
    • Replaced traditional mice to combat overuse soreness in palms and wrists.
    • Takes some time to adapt, but the electronic pen on a tablet mimics pen and paper.
    • Prevents overuse injuries and allows for precise control in editing.
    • A worthwhile investment for increased speed and efficiency.
  3. Adobe Lightroom: Batch editing and folder management
    • Used for nearly 20 years, Lightroom is my primary photo management software.
    • Efficiently manages catalouges, bulk edits, retouching, and color correction.
    • Essential for organizing image libraries and streamlining workflows.
    • Teaches a Lightroom course to share insights and tips with fellow photographers.
  4. Xero: Streamlining Invoicing and Quotes
    • Invoicing and quoting software for efficient business transactions.
    • Simplifies financial tracking, profit and loss statements, and client payments.
    • A valuable tool for managing business finances and achieving financial goals.
  5. WeTransfer: Free Image Delivery for Clients
    • A free file transfer service for quick and easy image delivery to clients.
    • User-friendly, though lacking in tracking capabilities.
    • An alternative to paid services like Dropbox, providing simplicity and accessibility.
  6. Studio Ninja: Elevating Client Management
    • Client management software with built-in workflows and questionnaires.
    • Efficiently handles inquiries, client contacts, and payments.
    • Boosts professionalism and customer experience.
  7. Shoot Proof: Elegant Client Galleries
    • A platform for delivering client galleries with a beautiful interface.
    • Enables clients to view, select, and download images seamlessly.
    • Offers a professional client experience and a convenient way for clients to select images
  8. Elinchrom Lights: Illuminating Creativity
    • Elinchrom lights, both studio and portable, provide reliable lighting solutions.
    • Portable Quadra Ranger kit ideal for on-location shoots without access to mains power.
    • Transitioned to umbrella softboxes for enhanced portability.
  9. Lowepro Roller and Lens Pouch: Efficient Camera Gear Transportation
    • Lowepro Roller serves as a convenient and organized camera bag solution it can store everything and save you from carrying heavy stuff on your shoulder or back.
    • Lens pouch for nimble shoots, reducing fatigue during on-location work.
    • Emphasizes the importance of ergonomics in camera bag selection.
  10. Let’s talk about Hard drives
    I have purchased many hard drives over time, and I’m currently using a system that is strong and reliable. Firstly, to save internal storage space on my computer, I use an external SSD (Solid State Drive), which means it’s fast at reading and writing data. So, if you work with large file sizes like I do or run Lightroom catalogs, you need computer gear to support that heavy workload. I connect the SSD to my computer for all my editing work that’s ‘live’ as in, I’ll be accessing it for the current year or next 2-3 years. In addition to this SSD, I have what’s called a NAS (Network Attached Storage) network drive. This is completely different from the SSD. The NAS is designed to be a network drive, with two hard drive bays inside, but you can buy a housing with 4 drives or more. It’s designed so that one drive backs up the other drive automatically. They mirror each other so if one drive fails you have an exact back up. It’s not designed to be as fast at reading and writing as the SSD because it’s job is more for storage purposes. NAS drives are standalone devices connected to a network router or switch, allowing multiple users or devices to access the stored data simultaneously. Think of you NAS as the archives or your back up drive. I have though used this instead of an SSD in the past and it works just fine as your ‘live’ working drive as well and the benefit to that is you can access the files outside of your studio if you want to set that up.

Here are my referal links I’d love you to use if you consider signing up to either of these platforms:

​A snippet of what it looks like inside Shoot Proof customer gallery.

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