One thing that I’ve found particularly remarkable over the past few years, is just how many different pieces of software we use to run our business, that we weren’t using just a few years ago. I love finding software that makes my job either more efficient, more enjoyable or opens up new possibilities. Here is a pick of my favourites.

  1. Capture One – I’ve been using this as my main editing software for over a year now and I absolutely love it. It has revolutionised my workflow and reignited my enthusiasm for post-production and a feeling of it’s importance in the photographic process. I think it’s use of layers is particularly brilliant and the way that it is so very customisable. I have to be honest, it isn’t as intuitive as the other big player in the market, Adobe Lightroom, however I think it’s more powerful and so much more enjoyable and rewarding to use. I’ve also seen its features improve dramatically over the past 12 months with recent updates and would never go back.
  2. Light Blue Software – We implemented this into the business 4 years ago and are heavily reliant on it now for our administrative work flow. The way that it co-ordinates our quoting, diary management, workflow and invoices is invaluable.
  3. Photo Mechanic – I can’t believe I didn’t know about this piece of software until recently it. It makes the process of narrowing down a shoot of many hundreds of frames to a fraction of them, a cinch! It is super quick and a real time saver. A truly cracking program that doesn’t do very much, but what it does, it does extremely well.
  4. Quick Books Online – Ok, so this one sounds a bit dull, but I have to admit that I’ve always loved the figures and I do get excited about how easy Quick Books makes the accounting and book-keeping side of the business. Having used Excel spreadsheets for many years, it’s a very different way of working, but the investment in learning how to use it, definitely pays dividends.
  5. Word Press – I’ve dabbled with WP many times over the years but have only recently been using it to actually build (rather than just maintain someone else’s build) my website. I love that it’s open source but has so many devoted contributors and so many different levels of depth, depending on how technical you want to go. That professionals and amateurs alike can use it, is testament to how amazing a piece of software it really is. (I can call it software right?)
  6. One Password – How on earth did I end up with 300 different passwords? My life really is not that complicated but I guess that’s why passwords always stressed me out but rarely do now. I think this is a no brainer for anyone running a business – we have too much to think about and too much at stake to be risking password failure in it’s various forms.
  7. iCal – it’s got to be said. Been using it for years. Made my old paper diary redundant. Synchronises with Light Blue and wife. Never lets me down.
  8. Adobe Photoshop – We don’t use it anywhere near as much as we used to (Capture One does 95% of the job of post-production for us) but it’s still the king when it comes to working on individual images and the ultimate of control. And it’s 30 years old next month! That’s amazing. I have to be honest when it first came out, I didn’t see the point. Oops.
  9. Mail Butler – Got to tame the email! The number of times I send an email and seconds later realise I’ve stuffed up either forgetting to attach something or copy someone in or NOT copy someone in. Saved my bacon numerous times and also great at helping with a zero inbox, balanced email life.
  10. Shoot Proof – I wish I’d thought of this business before they did. What a great platform for delivering your images to clients. It allows clients to order prints and to download individual high resolution images, as well as view a convenient gallery including on my mobile devices and looks great too.

These really are the most significant tools in my business these days besides my camera equipment and computers, and incredibly only 3 of them played any role in my business just 5 years ago. (Photoshop, iCal and Word Press)