There are certain tools which just cannot be dispensed with when it comes to photography. I’m not talking about something as obvious as a camera, but more the tools which will help you to do your job better and make more money from it. If you are serious about photography, these are the tools which you absolutely cannot do without. Give them a try and you will see just how much of a difference they can make!
If you are a photographer trying to build a business, that probably means that you also have a blog. Whether for that purpose, or just to organise your shoot inspiration and schedules, Trello is invaluable. You can make lists, add links and pictures, put together different boards, and even add stickers to your notes to make them stand out. Personally, I use it to keep all of my different blogs and projects on schedule, listing everything by month, as well as keeping future ideas in one place.
Growing your business these days normally means you have to focus on social media too. Buffer will help you to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you can plan days and weeks in advance. You can set the times and days that you want posts to go out and easily add them to your queue - and they will even offer 25 recommendations every day that you can easily repost. This is what I use to ensure that I have a post going out every day on my Facebook page.
Maybe this one comes across as a bit obvious, but there are so many amateur photographers who either do not have Photoshop or do not know how to use it properly. Colour correction, contrast control, cropping, and simple blemish removal are all tools that portrait photographers absolutely must have at their disposal at a minimum. If you need help, there are plenty of tutorials online, so there is no excuse for not doing post-production properly.
Actions are a great way to get more out of Photoshop, and can revolutionise your post production. Whether you set up your own shortcuts to add your normal processes, or download them from the various vendors who will create fantastic effects, they are a very big part of upgrading your Photoshop experience to pro. With my various actions in place, I can spend roughly 15 seconds on each photo when I’m working on an event. Then I batch process simple actions like adding my copyright information, merging layers, resizing for web, and so on. I can walk away or get on with something else while the batching is completing, allowing me to work through a huge amount of images with speed. This is absolutely essential if you want to go to the next level with Photoshop.
Putting up your own website is great and will help you showcase your work, but you need to network as well. With a profile on sites like Model Mayhem and StarNow, you will see huge opportunities: you can put up a wider number of images, allowing you to expand on your website portfolio; you can find creatives to collaborate with; you can put out casting calls; you can respond to jobs; and you can gather feedback from others in a similar field. This is invaluable, and could seriously help you to grow your career. If you are not on one of these sites when you are first starting out, do not expect a huge amount of models to trust or want to work with you.