- Types of Professional Photography Tools
- Professional Photography Tools - Saal Photo Portal
- Professional Photography Tools - Non-Destructive Editing
- Professional Photography Tools - Batch Editing
- Professional Photography Tools - Business Software
- Professional Photography Tools - Upgraded Equipment
- Keep Looking Up!
- Recommended Photography Gear
- The equipment we have
- The software we use
- A marketing solution.
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- Business Tips for Photographers for 2023
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- How Much does Professional Photography Cost?
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Most professional photographers I know started out in photography as a hobby, usually from a very young age. So the actual photography side of the job isn’t all that hard. Although, at times, we may need to learn some new technique or method, we enjoy that, because we love photography.
It’s the production workflows and business management stuff that we tend to seek out better solutions to make our jobs easier. Using professional photography tools aimed at simplifying a production workflow and knowing what business solutions to use allows you to continue having success at a job doing what you enjoy.
Let’s see what professional photography tools are out there that we can start using right away.
Table of Contents:
Types of Professional Photography Tools
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When discussing professional photography tools, we can separate the types into at least three categories:
In order of importance, I see the lists as being marketing, then software, and then equipment. As I list each of these professional photography tools, I’ll explain why I have them in that order.
Professional Photography Tools - Saal Photo Portal
Having a comprehensive, dependable, and easy-to-use marketing solution is a top priority for many professional photographers. Photo galleries where clients can order products directly are valuable professional photography tools.
I’m sure you’re aware how important e-commerce is to modern businesses, not just us as photographers. Having a commerce or marketing solution can give a working photographer more profit and easier ways to make the sale.
The Photo Portal from the premium photographic printing company Saal Digital is a case in point. I’m already using Saal Digital for their high-quality specialty prints and photo books (I have been particularly transfixed by the acrylic cover photo books in their presentation boxes - they are so beautiful!).
Saal Digital gives you professional photography tools that let you share your work with your clients and allows them to order directly at the prices you set up, so you control your profit margins. You can even create sets of products such as 10 prints, two posters, and one metal enlargement, all for one price.
Basically, you’re creating your own online photo store and the physical fulfillment of prints and other photography products is handled for you. It’s designed by you, personalized to your business, and has safety controls such as watermarks, copyright protection, and data encryption. What’s not to like?!
There are three levels of accounts for the Saal Digital Photo Portal, including a no-cost option. The no-cost account lets you design any number of galleries and add up to 5GB of image files. The Saal Cloud account is only $5.99 monthly and ups the storage to 200GB. Saal Prio at $9.99 a month increases storage to 1TB and adds free shipping for the physical products.
It’s like having an expert team working for you behind the scenes. All you need to do is create the images and promote yourself to get the clients. Your clients will enjoy the ease of ordering and receiving their photo items. As professional photography tools go, this portal is at the top of my list.
Professional Photography Tools - Non-Destructive Editing
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Now, on to my other picks of top professional photography tools. That first pick is enabling us to market and sell our images. The next two picks cover how we finish our images once we’ve captured them.
Post-processing is a necessary part of a professional photographer’s workflow. It’s not very often that a professional photographer will send a JPEG straight out of the camera (SOOC) to a paying client, some form of processing is beneficial.
The trick for anyone doing a large volume of photography processing is to simplify the workflow and limit how much file space we use. Non-destructive editing and batch editing are the professional photography tools wanted for this solution.
With non-destructive editing post-processing programs, such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, instead of changing the file information as you edit, requiring us to save the original file, the end file, and any in-between stages, the program saves a much smaller file of program instructions without changing the original file. This takes up less space and is much faster.
Professional Photography Tools - Batch Editing
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Speaking of speed, batch editing is one of my favorite and most used professional photography tools. It’s in the same type of post-processing program as the non-destructive editing listed above, Lightroom and similar programs.
Batch editing saves a professional photographer time by essentially automating our edits to apply to a large group of image files all at once, instead of us changing each file separately. We still do the edits ourselves, controlling our art, but then we apply those edits to each similar file we select.
This is an especially valuable tool for wedding, event, real estate, commercial advertising, and portrait photographers due to the volume of images involved in most of these gigs. It works for other photography styles, too, making it one of the more valuable professional photography tools.
Professional Photography Tools - Business Software
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A photographer can burn out quickly if they fail to run their photography business like a business. There are so many areas of running a modern business that require attention! Billing, insurance, taxes, licenses, and so on can all add up to a major headache if we think we can run a business merely by taking pictures.
Thankfully, just as with photography editing, we have many options for using business software as professional photography tools. Many software suites are offered on a subscription basis, allowing us access to the latest updated software for a reasonable monthly or yearly cost.
Another option is to farm out some necessary business tasks like bookkeeping to a service or a freelancer network. As an ongoing set up or as a one time job, this solution is preferred by some professionals in several fields, as well as by pro photographers.
Professional Photography Tools - Upgraded Equipment
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Now we come to what we may have first thought of when we saw the subject of professional photography tools, our actual camera gear. We can sometimes upgrade our professional capabilities with the right photography equipment.
As an example of what I mean is HDR photography, also known as bracket and merge. It’s a technique used by real estate photographers and anyone trying to create a final image of a scene with a wide dynamic range.
I can bracket with any camera that has a manual control mode. But on entry level cameras, this means changing the shutter speed or f-stop for each different exposure. Which can lend itself to errors such as forgetting which bracket step we’re doing.
Pro-style and other advanced camera bodies let you set up an entire batch of exposure brackets and the camera makes the changes automatically. You’re still completely in control, but the upgraded camera makes the process work better, simplifying the workflow.
A similar argument can be made for faster lenses, more powerful flash units, longer or wider zooms or prime lenses, larger capacity memory cards, more versatile tripods, and so on. If it is rugged enough to handle the extra usage a pro gives it and make possible better or easier methods or techniques, upgraded equipment counts as professional photography tools that can make your job easier.
Keep Looking Up!
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Breaking into professional photography can be intimidating and running an existing business can also be stressful. Keep a positive view of your business by using these professional photography tools.
Photography can be rewarding in many ways, including financially. Employing these tips will make it easier to make that profit margin while enjoying being a professional photographer.