The Most Helpful & Effective Tools to Elevate your Business – and Live a Better Life.
With 2020 being our second year in business and being one of the craziest years in history, we managed to turn our photography company into a six-figure business within 1 year. It took a lot of time, dedication, and passion for what we do, but it wasn’t impossible. So today I wanted to share with you our top 10 business tools for photographers.
These tools not only helped us reach our financial goals, but also helped us grow immensely as people, create a better work-life balance, and live a life with more freedom. After all, that’s the point of life, right? To live to the fullest!
From SEO Courses to CRM software and editing programs, I’m giving you a list of everything that helped us get where we are, and continue to grow today and for the next how many more years we do what we do.
Before you keep reading, let me tell you that this is not a list of the “most affordable” business courses and softwares out there. These are investments. And when your couples are investing so much in you to capture their day, it only makes sense that you’ll measure no efforts to invest in yourself as well, right? Alright, now let’s dive into this!
1. Kyle Goldie’s Mastermind Course
This had to be #1. Kyle Goldie’s course has changed our lives. I started the year of 2020 diving into his Elevate Mastermind Course, learning about SEO (in a simple, effective as heck way), redesigning our website, and more. I honestly don’t know what a pandemic year would’ve looked like to us if I hadn’t gotten this course right at the beginning of the year and changed my mindset completely.
By the fall of 2020, I had joined his 90-Day Accelerator Program and it exceeded all of my expectations. Kyle is a “no-fluff” business coach. He is there to tell you how it is, to give you clarity, and to keep things as simple as possible.
I’ve signed up for nearly every single service Kyle offers, and I hope you do the same.
- 90-Day Accelerator Program – by far, my #1 recommendation. 100% online and it includes the mastermind course, plus some of the most essential “done for you” services that you need to have a thriving business – without running any ads.
- Elevate Mastermind Course – the first course I purchased from Kyle, and one month into it, I knew I had made a really smart investment. From SEO to website design and mindset, this course will help you elevate your business – in every aspect.
- Done For You SEO Research – this service was part of the 90-day accelerator program and probably one of the most valuable things you could do for your business. SEO Research takes a LOT of time, and Kyle offers to do it ALL for you.
- Website Audit – another service included in the 90-day accelerator program, Kyle will go through every aspect of your website and point anything and everything that needs improving. The goal is to have a beautiful website that converts into bookings, and it’s exactly what he’ll teach you to do.
2. Website Templates for ShowIt Users
If you want to have a gorgeous website that converts into bookings, but you don’t want to spend weeks or months designing it, I HIGHLY recommend that you just purchase a template. Website design is no joke, and as photographers, we often try to do everything ourselves. However, there are people out there that are specialists in the field and have templates designed to make your life easy, and your website amazing. Here are my personal favorites:
- Mount Baker Template by Kyle Goldie – perfect for elopement and adventurous photographers!
- Laguna Template by Kyle Goldie – colorful and vibrant website for photographers.
- Chicago Template by Kyle Goldie – clean and modern website for high-end photographers.
- Bordeaux Template by Kyle Goldie – minimalist website for photographers looking for a clean look.
- Hartford Template by Kyle Goldie – for photographers with multiple types of clients.
3. 17 Hats – Customer Relationship Management
CRM or Customer Relationship Management is something that I did not know we needed. In fact, it’s something every business needs. You might’ve heard other names like Honeybook and Dubsado. 17 Hats is not as “cute looking” as some of the other CRMs out there. However, it is simple, effective, and inexpensive. It has everything you need to run your business smoothly and spend less time looking at a computer screen.
I have a couple of discounts available, such as buy one year get the next one free, and 6 years for $750 (that’s only $125 a year)! Check out 17 Hats HERE!
4. Wandering Weddings
If you’re an elopement photographer, videographer, florist, makeup artist, and etc, and you’re looking for one of the best elopement directories out there – well, look no further. Wandering Weddings is a beautiful directory dedicated to helping couples find their elopement vendors around the world.
As I write right now, Wandering Weddings has over 1,000 organic views a day and it just keeps growing. And you know what’s better? Every person that lands in Wandering Weddings are already thinking of eloping, so you’ll get inquiries from adventurous couples!
Click on the badge below to check out our profile and browse through the website!
5. Creative Live
Creative Live is a 100% online extensive list of classes taught by the best people in the market. You’ll have people like Roberto Valenzuela teaching you his best lighting techniques, Jasmine Star sharing her branding expertise, and more!
For just $150 a year (that’s $12.50/month!) you get access to knowledge that’s taught by some of the most successful people in your market/industry. It’s honestly one of the best tools for photographers that just want to GROW and keep growing.
6. Canva Pro
If you haven’t heard of Canva yet, you truly don’t know what you’re missing out on. Canva is the only all-in-one design platform, ideal for creative professionals like you and me! And the best part is – it’s SUPER easy to use! Much easier than Photoshop, for example.
I’ve used Canva to create Elopement Guides for our couples, Pricing Guides, Helpful Articles, and more. Check out some examples below:
7. Capture One
Although most photographers use Lightroom, it just didn’t click with us. After having a conversation with one of the best photographers in the industry, Roberto Valenzuela, we were quickly convinced to start learning Capture One, and let me tell you: it was one of the best decisions we made!
In fact, Capture One allows you to do so much more than Lightroom, and we find it much easier to organize, cull, and edit through our photos. In our opinion, the whole program makes a lot more sense than Lightroom.
8. Adobe Programs
As mentioned above, although we use Capture One to edit, we often use Photoshop to remove unwanted subjects from pictures. In addition to that, we also use it to blend more than two images together. It’s the BEST program for that kind of editing process.
We also use Premiere Pro to edit all of our videos and there isn’t a better program out there for video editing.
9. KEH – Used Camera Equipment
KEH is one of the most RELIABLE shops when it comes to purchasing used products, which is especially important when we talk about such expensive equipment like camera bodies and lenses.
Cameras and lenses, even the used ones, cost thousands of dollars. It’s an investment. And you want to make sure your investment won’t come with a crazy defect, right? Well, KEH is the best place for that! We personally don’t buy used cameras anymore, but we did when we were just starting. If you’re in the beginning of your photography journey, or this is just a hobby for you, KEH is the perfect place to shop and not spend an arm and a leg!
Lastly, what I consider to be the best website host and designing platform out there. We started our business with Squarespace, and it was alright. But it got to a point that every single template was way too limited.
ShowIt is the opposite of that! There’s so much freedom to just drag and drop and create the website that you’ve been dreaming of. I actually enjoyed designing our website, which was something I did not look forward to in the past. As a bonus, their customer service is pretty amazing too!
That’s a wrap!
The reason I wrote this article is that I know I wish I had come across a list like this when we were just starting! Tools like these helped us grow into the business we wanted to be. And when I say this, I’m not just talking about a higher income. I’m talking about developing a work-life balance and having the freedom to live life to the fullest, while still loving our jobs and staying passionate about what we do.
I hope this list of business tools for photographers was super helpful. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
We are Stephan & Adriana, California Elopement Photographers based in Fresno & Yosemite. We are in love with adventure and the outdoors, with discovering new places and having new experiences.
Click here to get to know us a little more!
Wow, this is SO helpful! I’ve been running my photography business for 12 years and there were lots of things here that I’d never heard of! Definitely bookmarking this! Thanks, Stephan & Adriana!
These are such great resources and love that you’ve taken the time to really detail everything! This is such a useful post, especially for newer photographers who are in need of learning about different business tools!
Thanks Lauren 🙂
This was such a helpful list! I am building my business and will absolutely be diving into some of these resources. Thanks!
Great to hear, hope these help you too!
Ooooh I love all of these tips! Such great business tools. I am gonna have to look into Capture One, I’m intrigued!
we LOVE Capture One!!!
So full of great info and ways to improve your photography business! Can’t wait to utilize these options! Going to have to check out Showit and Canva!
Showit is the best! And Canva is much easier than photoshop lol, I use it ALL THE TIME!
These are fantastic tips! Investing in your business with a reputable business coach is never a bad idea. I’m so happy to see you two succeeding in creating work life balance!
Thank you David!!!
Your tips and tip things are incredible! I am definitely going to look into some of these that I’ve never heard of! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome! Hope it helps 🙂
Love this! Such helpful resources!
This is SO helpful! I’m always wanting to learn more about how other photographers run their business, and I’m going to check out Kyle Goldie’s course!! Thanks for the resource.
Wow, this is such useful info! I’m always willing to learn more about how other photographers run their businesses, so I’m going to have to check out Kyle Goldie’s course!! Thanks for this.
It was one of the best investments we made in 2 years.
This is a great list, thanks for sharing! Definitely going to go check out a few of these.
Loving this guide! So helpful, there are a few things on here I haven’t heard of and will most definitely be checking out now! Thank you!
This is so helpful! There are a few things on here I haven’t heard of and will most definitely be checking out now! Thank you!
This has been absolutely helpful and eye opening. I have been really wanting to up my SEO. Thanks for the helpful tips!
HOLY EVERYTHING! Yes this list is Incredible. I cannot explain how much having CRM like 17 hats or tave helped my business. Wandering weddings is also an incredible elopement directory to be a part of. Some solid tools on here!
Great resource! can’t wait to come back and read through it all and discover all of the great links! Thanks!
So much great info here! I use different versions of almost everything you talked about, so it’s so cool to see that there are a ton of ways to do this wonderful and fulfilling job!
Definitely loving this cohesive list of things to help follow photographers with their businesses! Some of these I’m familiar with, but will absolutely be checking out others!
couldnt function in business without most of these! Most specifially, Adobe products!