The tools, photography equipment, software and workflow that I use to create my work isn’t a closely guarded secret – I’m an open book! Here, I’ll talk you through what’s in my camera bag, and how I create and edit my work digitally, and I’ll help you to avoid the temptation of online purchases – your financial nemesis – by focusing on what’s essential! Don’t worry, we will resist the dark forces of software and hardware must-haves together, as a team. Ready?
“Switching to Sony” has become something of a photographer’s meme in recent years, because of how drastically Sony has improved its offering in the photography marketplace. And, yes, I joined that bandwagon in autumn 2018, cheating on my old friend Nikon for the first time with a Sony. Within a month I’d replaced all my gear with Sony camera bodies and lenses, and I haven’t regretted it once.
Sony has a cash-back campaign a few times a year, including Black Friday/Cyber Monday, where you’ll get 100€ or more back from each piece of equipment you buy. It’s a great deal, and if you’re thinking of making the big switch, then you won’t want to miss it! Of course, if you want to get an even more special deal, or if you want to trade in your old equipment and buy Sony, then JAS Camera Store provides some magic with cameras and lenses and Studiovarustamo with lights!
My mechanical darlings are sitting in a Magnum Filson Harvey messenger bag and when I go off road, then in Gitzo Adventury 30L backpack. Sony A9 and A7III cameras are hanging around my neck on Phatstraps and during events I use a custom made Holdfast Money Maker, which always gets plenty of comments from drunk boys in weddings.
Do you feel like you need-need-need any of the above? Well, there’s a lot of ducks you should have nicely in a row – in my opinion! – before you go spending big on new goodies. Ask yourself these questions:
These are essentials in my humble view. If your answer to any of the above is no, then you should concentrate your efforts there before spending on anything else. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
In addition to making sure your priorities are in order, it’s also sensible to make sure that everything you have is working for you. If you’ve been a photographer for any length of time, you’ll probably have started to accumulate gear that you no longer use. Old bags, lenses, cameras – if it’s not contributing to your business and you’re not making use of it, then it’s taking up space, it’s gathering dust, and it’s costing you money. Instead, sell on this old equipment and bolster your budget for upgrades. Or, take the opportunity to give it away, and free up your storage space whilst giving back to the community. Either way, get rid of the stuff sitting on your shelves – and be happy with less.
As a professional photographer, one of your goals is to save time. This means investing in better tools – and fortunately these days, we’re extremely well catered for. Here’s a look at some of the software and tools that I use to create work and to manage my workflow.
Studio Ninja is powerful studio management software that’s designed specifically for photographers. If you have more than 30 sessions a year, it’s worth the investment. It saves time, it saves leads that might have slipped through the net, and it helps you to provide excellent customer service. Once you set it up, you can get your communication working with a simple click – and if you use the promo code AOCY340LJR0M78 at studioninja.com, you’ll save AUD $5 each month off your subscription!
Pic-Time is a game-changer for client gallery hosting. Whoever you’re currently using, forget loyalty and make the switch – you won’t regret it! I’ve used a few providers over the course of my career as a newborn and family photographer – but hands down, the best has been Pic-Time. It has a shop incorporated in each client’s gallery, which means your clients are able to order prints and products directly from their own gallery without you so much as lifting a finger. It’s paid for itself and then some, time and time again. If you use the promo code TENG5K then we both get a free month!
This is a fantastic tool for downloading selected images from your camera. Photomechanic allows you to select the raw files you want to download, and leave the rest on the memory card. Incredibly fast, and it saves you time, computing power and storage space. It’s super easy to use.
Dotphoton Raw allows you to resize raw files and save space without any loss of quality. Again, means less computing power consumption, less time to handle the files in editing, and less storage space required. Win, win, win!
What Dotphoton Raw does for raw files, JPEGmini does for jpeg files – it sizes them down whilst maintaining image quality, once again freeing up storage space. But it also delivers files at sizes that your customers will appreciate and be able to use, send and store more easily. An essential tool for quickly resizing images for various formats and outputs.
As you may know, I offer loads of online education for photographers. You can have a browse of all of my courses here – everyone from professionals to hobbyists to doting parents can learn something from my courses! I spend a lot of time making sure that they deliver as much practical value as possible, and they’re focused on all aspects of photography workflow, so no matter what you want to learn more of, there’s a good chance I’ve got you covered.