7 Things Every Photog Needs During Their First Year

These 7 things are guaranteed to save you:

A) Time | B) Money | and C) A LOT of stress

I struggled with quite the learning curve my first year in business as a photographer.

I had to learn through many trials and errors. Finally I decided to sign up for a mentorship and thank goodness I did. It allowed me to learn so many things that ended up growing my business and made it easier for me to provide a better client experience.

So without further ado, these are the things that rock! I will probably continue to use them until the end of time. I swear!

1. Honeybook

  • This CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system has saved me time and time again. Ever double book because you use both your Google Calendar and a planner and accidentally write the two appointments in different locations? I have…. it sucked and was super unprofessional. Have trouble tracking your income and expenses? Me too! Have a hard time writing contracts and delivering them for easy signature? Yup! And finally, have you struggled figuring out an easy way for clients to pay you on time or put a deposit down? Look no further. You’ve now arrived at THE GREATEST website and business tool ever! Look at all the features it has! If you are interested in trying Honeybook out, they offer a trial period and if you use this link, you will receive 50% off your first year. You will not regret it. That’s a promise!
Photo Credit: Honeybook

2. Pic-Time

  • This is super embarrassing so no judging! My first few clients to ever hire me had their galleries delivered via Google Drive. I am not dissing the Drive by any means because I love everything Google. However, it is not ideal or professional to deliver galleries to a client this way. Enter, Pic-Time. This website is a life-saver. I now deliver the most beautiful galleries to my clients! They can even purchase prints, wall art, and albums directly from their personal gallery. Lastly, it is insanely affordable and worth every penny. What more could you ask for? Head over to Pic-Time and sign up.

3. Adobe Lightroom

  • I have always edited using Lightroom and it is the single greatest tool known to any photographer apart from Photoshop. I prefer Lightroom any day. You can do so much with this incredible tool. There is a ton of education out there that will help you learn the ins and outs of this program. It is worth the time put in to learn how to edit your photos like a pro. Adobe offers a monthly subscription to use this program.

4. Flothemes + WordPress

  • Designing a website that accurately represents you and your brand is important. Flothemes is a the best thing ever. It is an incredible site that provides bloggers with gorgeous website themes. The themes are set up to be used in combination with WordPress. They transform a simply designed website into what I consider a masterpiece and a total game changer to represent my brand.

5. Blog Stomp

  • One thing nobody tells you up front about your website is that you can not upload the full size images. They will make your site-host run incredibly slow. It can make things pretty inaccessible to your clients. The ease of use of simple things like your website can make or break whether or not a client will book you. BlogStomp makes it so that you can crop your images to a size that will allow your web pages to open and run smoothly without a huge delay. It also allows you to set up your blog post with your images formatted to be a well put together gallery. It does a ton of other things as well, but those are the main features I use, and my site would not function without it.

6. India Earl’s Educational Resources

  • This KWEEN is one of the main reasons I fell in love with photography and creating beautiful imagery. She is talented beyond her years, and she spends a lot of her time creating educational resources for new photogs. Had it not been for her, my first year as a photographer would have been TOUGH to say the least. She has tons of resources available, but my faves are:

7. Laurken Kendall’s Contract Sets

  • Laurken is another shining star and I admire her transparency, realism, and talent. I have learned so much from her, FO FREE, just because she posts so much on her IG answering her followers photography questions. She also made the best set of client contracts I’ve seen, and I have used them as a template to craft my own wedding contracts. These are worth the investment.


Comment your favorite Year 1 tips below!