While we love to buy new fancy gear, it isn’t always the best investment for our business.
Having decent gear is important, don’t get us wrong!
But once you have the basics, the return on investment is bigger in other areas. No client cares if you use a sony A7 III or A7 IV. However they certainly do care about how you deliver images, your communication and your turnaround time. That’s why it should be a priority as a wedding photographer to invest in tools that make you look more professional and help you do your work faster + better.
Let’s start off with tools that help you archieve a better and faster workflow:
Culling Images 2x Faster
After every wedding, we used to import all of our images into Lighroom and started culling. If you use Lightroom you already know how frustrating this can be. It takes way too long for images to load, when you zoom in to check faces you have to wait, the catalog crashes etc.
We found a faster and better way to load and cull images that is actually FREE FOREVER!
It comes with super fast loading times, zooming in takes 0.002 seconds, a closeup panel for group photos, similar images grouped together and many more exciting features that make your life easier.
We are of course talking about Narrative Select. No matter what you use now, we bet Narrative Select is faster.
You can choose between a free plan offering you all the basic features and Narrative Select Pro. The Pro version has an image recognising AI built in that automatically detects closed eyes, kissing people, people looking down and out of focus shots.
The free version is already 2x faster than Lightroom. You don’t have to upgrade and can be a free user forever.
Try it yourself, it costs you nothing and will make your work faster.
Tool: Narrative Select
Cost: Free/Pro Version available
10% off if you ever upgrade to the pro version by using the button down below
Managing Your Tasks and Clients
As wedding photogs we have a lot of things on our table. When we first started, we had excel sheets and our google calendar. Looking back this was a total mess! In order to stay organized, make room in your head and not get burned out you need systems that help you automate tasks and keep track of tasks and clients.
And again, we found something that is free to use for this: ClickUp
With ClickUp, you can automate tasks, create projects and to do lists, keep track of your clients, manage attachments, documents and integrate everything with your favorite calendar. You can also send emails, set up goals and track them and create different workspaces. In short: You have everything you need in one place. We not only use this for our wedding business, we use it for everything.
There is a catch: It is not that easy to learn and figuring out how to tailor it to your business may take some time (for example you would have to create a task with custom fields and treat it not like a task but like a client).
Of course we will have a detailed youtube tutorial to explain how exactly you can use ClickUp as a wedding photog and set everything up perfectly. Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss it!
Cost: Limited free version available / 5$ a month
Tools That Level Up Your Branding and Communication
With these two tools mentioned above, you’ll save some hours every month! Why not use those new hours to level up your branding and client communication?
Here is a sad turth: Not the one with the best pictures wins. Why do some people get the most and highest paying clients while having below average images?
Because they understood one core principle: Being a wedding photog is 80% business and 20% taking pictures. In order to succeed, it is not enough to take great photos. Taking great photos is only the foundation. Being visible for clients, having fantastic branding and an efficient process is where it’s at.
To do this, you’ll need a few tools.
We know, it sometimes is a lot of struggle and we wanted to buy new gear instead too but trust us when we say: We not only got way more compliments for using the following tools than for anything else but also were able to double our prices. The ROI on these is insane!
Let’s get started with the most important one:
Building A Website That Converts
Your website is representing your business and almost always defines the first impression of your business.
If your website looks poorly made and cheap, it will attract the corresponding clients. If it has an outstanding design and looks jaw dropping, you’ll attract clients that have a higher budget and value design. And in turn, clients that value design are often more understanding and less demanding when it comes to the work you produce for them.
When we started our business, we used Wix to design our website. HUGE MISTAKE! In order to book clients, your website has to be optimized for search engines so clients can find you through google search (more on this in a future Blog).
While Wix has very poor SEO options, WordPress is the best option and if you want to have a more easy experience building your website we’d recommend Squarespace. These two are the builders you need, you will also need a design that sells.
For WordPress, we recommend Flothemes. They have a ton of customizable designs for photographers. Head over to their website to see examples. This website is built with Flothemes too btw!
For Squarespace, we recommend Squaremuse. They too offer stunning designs for photographers.
This investment is one of the most important but most overlooked ones. Don’t settle for a cheap site and design, you will regret it. Trust us, we know.
Create a Long Lasting Impression With Client Gifts
If you don’t have the cheapest prices in town you definitely want to stand out and leave a lasting impression on your clients. They should be happy and excited that they booked you and one way to archieve this is to send them a gift. You can either do this right after the booking process or after you delivered their images.
If you need some ideas, head over to our blog about Client Gifts That WON’T Break Your Bank!
Concentrate on not only what you deliver but how you do it
Besides having a great website, this tool is probably the biggest game changer if you want your business to appear as professional as possible.
If you ever delivered images via dropbox or google drive, stop immediately.
Use PicTime instead. It not only resizes your images automatically for web and print, offers a clean design, fast loading times and a Plugin to directly upload from Lightroom. It also can earn you passive income increasing your customer lifetime value!
With PicTime, you can sell prints and run marketing campaigns on autopilot. From the first minute we started using PicTime we loved it. You can try it for free and upgrade later if you want. Make sure to use the code “BITESANDTICKLES” for an additional free month.
Cost: Free subscription available, upgrades start at 17$/month
Use code BITESANDTICKLES for a free month if you upgrade.
If you live in germany, austria or switzerland, you might want to try using scrapbook instead as it offers a germany based printing lab meaning faster delivery and higher margins as well as a german customer support. It also has more designs to choose from.
Cost: Free trial available, 27€/month (considering higher margins for print sales this is still the better option if you are based in Germany, Austria or Switzerland)
One month free by using this link: