Today I’m sharing details about my favorite business and workflow resources, as well as equipment I use when I photograph weddings; these are the tools that facilitate the day-to-day operations of Anna Delores Photography.
This post contains some affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. BUT, the opinions contained in this post are my own and I only recommend products I genuinely believe in and use in my own business.
Christina Scalera (a lawyer, of course) offers a variety of contract templates for creative entrepreneurs in The Contract Shop; obviously the photography section is of most interest to me! The Photographer Bundle is an excellent value if you need all the basics, or keep it simple with just the wedding photography contract (an absolute MUST, if COVID-19 has taught us nothing else).
I’ve been using Sprout Studio as my studio management suite since they launched in 2015, and I never looked back. I think I log in every single day, and I LOVE it. The interface is clean and modern, customized to match my brand, and the Sprout team is constantly working to improve and launch features. I keep track of all my clients’ contracts, package information, payments, wedding day details, album design drafts (with built-in client feedback capabilities), and more. I also LOVE that Sprout Studio offers complete automation, so e-mails, invoices, and questionnaires are sent automatically based on custom workflows I’ve built from scratch (though Sprout also offers templates you can use to get started).
I used to cull images in Lightroom and it took FOR-EV-ER, so whenever I encounter another photographer who still does, I insist they invest in Photo Mechanic. It is the single greatest tool that has expedited my workflow, and when it comes to my post-wedding editing, the only program I rely on more heavily is Lightroom itself. Photo Mechanic has saved me countless hours with quick photo preview loading and an efficient interface. I’d be lost without it and I can’t recommended it strongly enough!
This is where I do all of my photo editing! I have customized presets and it’s the standard for efficient editing of a large collection of photos (like wedding collections!). I used the Classic CC version.
Blogstomp is the application I used to resize all the images on my website and blog. It reduces the resolution to make them more suitable for web viewing, and I can dictate the dimensions as appropriate for my blog posts.
This is another resizing application; I actually use it in conjunction with Blogstomp to further reduce the size of images I’m uploading to my website in order to avoid slow loading times. It’s also a great tool for compressing image file size without compromising on quality; it’s a little hard to believe, TBH, but it’s true! JPEG Mini is a incredible application for saving space on hard drives and websites alike.
The social media scheduling application Later is a huge time-saver (and saves me from getting too caught up in the scroll of Instagram on a work day). I can schedule weeks (or even months) of social media content at a time, and it even suggests the best times to post on Instagram. The newest feature Later has introduced is the ability to add hashtags as the first comment at the same time as auto-publishing.
The other social media scheduling app I use is Tailwind; while it offers integration with other social media tools, I use it for scheduling Pinterest posts. Just like Later, it suggests the best time to post images on Pinterest and spreads them out in order to optimize exposure to followers. You can schedule a single image to multiple boards if desired, and you can also “loupe” your top-performing pins on repeat.
This is the client gallery host I use for wedding, engagement, and elopement galleries for brides and grooms. Pic-Time is great because it offers an affordable option for unlimited storage, which I LOVE because if I can avoid ever deleting a client gallery, that’s my preference. The other big benefit of Pic-Time is that it integrates with top photo labs (like Bay Photo and Richard Photo Lab) for automated print fulfillment, as well as album printing companies if clients prefer to DIY their own wedding album design. You can enter code “GYWNL6” for a free month!
BONUS: my favorite lenses!
While I started my career shooting on Canon lenses, I’ve transitioned into a full lineup of prime Sigma Art lenses. The two I use most commonly are 24mm 1.4 and 50mm 1.4 (I could honestly shoot almost an entire wedding day on a 50mm lens, but need to reach for the 24mm when I just can’t back up anymore, or the 135mm when I need to get closer without being intrusive). I prefer Sigma because they are lighter weight and the image focus and sharpness are unmatched. Many Canon enthusiasts would argue with me, but it’s just my preference! I used both and Sigma wins for me, every time.