Many of you are fully focused on your business these days, analyzing, enhancing, restructuring, rebranding, as well as looking into your financial situation, and perhaps cutting back on some subscriptions and costs that no longer seem relevant (like we advise in the 20+ business survival tips during quarantine article). Having this in mind, we decided to compile a list of recommended tools and software for photographers, which offer free trials, have a free version or a massive discount at sign up. While this may not seem a lot, every bit of help counts. Test these tools out, figure out new ways to optimize your work process and build that strong, solid foundation for your business that will help you get through this crisis.
If you’re looking for simple and elegant tools to power up your photography business from end to end – Pixieset can help you do just that. They offer beautiful client galleries that allow you to deliver photos, videos, gifs and png files, with a built-in print store to sell your work easily. They also have a powerful business manager through which you can book clients online, create and manage contracts, invoices, quotes and questionnaires. And of course, their website builder that comes with ready-made themes tailored to photographers and can be implemented with a few simple clicks. Pixieset really has everything a photographer needs to launch and grow their business.
Pricing: All Pixieset products are available via a free plan, with no time limit. You can register and start using Client Gallery, Studio Manager, Website and Store for free. Once your business grows and you need to unlock more options, that’s when you upgrade to a paid plan. Learn more at pixieset.com
The ultimate goal of any CRM system is to help you organize and optimize everything, from your booking process and contact forms, to client communication, contracts and payment reminders. Signing up for Honeybook is like hiring your own personal assistant, yet HoneyBook is more budget friendly and works around the clock.
Pricing: HoneyBook offers a free 7 days trial for all photographers and small businesses located in Canada and USA. Their plan starts at $34/month, and we have a 50% discount code for you. Claim it here.
For alternative CRM softwares, check this article.
In our recent post about 6 ways you can support your favorite photographers during the Covid-19 quarantine, we mention photo albums, and how your clients can support you by ordering one. Of course, the wording you’d send to them would sound more like “Hey, hope you are safe and doing great. I know how much you loved your wedding/family photo gallery. I was wondering if you’d want me to put together a photo album for you, as you finally have the time to pick through the images and participate in the layout designs” And of course you need amazing software to easily create beautiful, modern photo albums – Pixellu’s SmartAlbums can help you get the job done. Here’s how it works, yet you can always sign up for a free 14 days trial and see for yourself.
Another amazing tool created by the Pixellu team, which we absolutely adore, is SmartSlides. It allows you to create mesmerizing, fun, musical slideshows for your clients, as well as increase brand awareness and website traffic. We explain how to do it in our article on 4 reasons why you need to try SmartSlides.
Pricing: SmartAlbums offer a 14 days free trial. Their subscription starts at $9/month.SmartSlides offer a free trial that includes 3 slideshows (with a watermark). Regular prices start at $5/month.
Ever stumbled across a photography blog posts, with a unique layout design that enchants you into the story? Or perhaps you got wondering how long does it take the photographer to create those complex collages? Well, if you use a tool like Narrative, the task becomes super easy, fun and fast in execution. We talk more about Narrative and why you’ll love it, in this article, yet highly encourage you to sign up for their free trial and test this fun tool. 5-10 minutes in, and you won’t be able to look back and do blog posts the old way.
Pricing: There’s a free trial available for anyone who wants to try Narrative before committing to a subscription plan. The pricing plans start at $6/month and you can also benefit from 2 free months when you sign up, as the coupon code is right on their pricing page.
Note: Currently Narrative is available only for Mac users.
Another amazing tool that allows you to build custom looking blog posts, easy and fast, simply by drag and dropping images around, adjusting their size, crop, position, etc. BlogStomp is available for both, Mac and PC users.
Pricing: You can sign up for a free trial and play with their tool for as long as you want. At export you’ll get a watermark on your images with the trial version, that is removed with the paid version. BlogStomp is available for a one time fee of $49.
The beauty is that most of these are free and can tremendously benefit your business and workflow. Here are some of our favorite:
Google Analytics – track your website’s performance and traffic (Free)
Google Search Console – track your site’s indexing status and online visibility, fix issues (Free)
Google Docs – a solid alternative to Evernote, Paper Dropbox or Word Docs (Free)
Google Sheets– online spreadsheets (Free)
Google Forms – send surveys to your clients or partners to collect feedback or important information (Free)
Google My Business – great to have for SEO and online reviews. More info here, see point #15 (Free)
Google Hangouts– a solid alternative to Skype, Facebook, Zoom, Calendly, Whatsapp calls (Free)
Google Calendar – keep your schedule organized, set reminders and link it all to your email (Free)
Google Drive – cloud storage. First 15GB are Free, then you pay $1.99/month for 100GB. Here are other cloud storage alternatives, depending on your budget.
Gmail– email provider, Free if you use the gmail.com domain, or paid if you want a business company domain. We do recommend you to use G Suite as your email provider, instead of the options offered by your hosting company. Firstly, because with G Suite you have better delivery rates, secondly, it gets very messy and complex when you decided to change your hosting provider and your emails are tied to the old one.
A Flothemes plugin and a powerful design tool that allows you to create your own custom blocks and page sections, in an easy and fun way. You’re in full control of how everything looks on desktop and mobile. You start with a clean canvas, add elements such as images, videos, buttons, text and create completely unique and fresh layouts for your site. Anything from beautiful parallax sections, to autoplay background videos or impactful typography that can be used as a design element.You don’t need to know code, or have sophisticated design skills. The FlexBlock editor is very intuitive and visual:
Pricing: Free for all Flothemes clients, apart from Legacy users (themes launched before 2017). Paid options and pre-made templates for FlexBlocks are available inside Flexthemes.
We can not NOT love a product that has “Flo” in its name, right? Flodesk is an easy-to-use, intuitive, and beautifully designed email marketing solution for creatives. If you’ve been planning to start an emailing list, but never had the time to do it before – no more excuses now. If you do have a subscribers list, and use a tool like Mailchimp, MailerLite, ConvertKit, etc – no harm in checking out what’s new on the market! Especially when Flodesk offers a free 30 days trial, during which you can test out their stunning email templates, automated workflows, contact forms, analytics, pop-ups, etc.
If you’re a Flothemes user, here’s how you can integrate Flodesk into your website.
Pricing: Flodesk offers a free 30 days trial period. The subscription price is $38/month, yet we’ve got a 50% discount for you, which you can claim here.
Even though the quarantine is a good time to be more active online, engage with your followers, connect to new ones, nurture your prospects, etc – social media is a time thief. Hence, we recommend to have time slots during the day, planned specifically for checking messages, replying to comments, supporting other people’s content, etc. Planning a week’s posts beforehand can also help you stay organized and save time. Later is a cool tool that you can use to automatically post things on Instagram, check analytics, find mentions, etc.
Pricing: Free for individuals with 1 account who only need 30 posts per month scheduled. Paid plans start at $7.5/month and include 100 posts.
Have you ever felt stuck or ran short on posing ideas while working with a more shy, introverted client? We’ve all been there. Unscripted is a gold mine when it comes to posing inspiration. It’s an app that you can easily install on your phone and always have easy access to tons of resources, ideas, guides, even discounts on presets and various products for photographers.
Pricing: The app comes for Free with over 100 posing ideas and guides. You have the possibility to unlock all resources for $9.99/month.
A template-free, full suite of design solutions for photographers. You will find everything from an Album Builder, Wall Art Designer, Slideshows, Online Proofing, IPS Tools, and more.
Pricing: The Free trial never expires and offers the full functionality of the Fundy Designer software, apart from the ability to export. Once you test it out and are ready to invest, their plans start at $24/month.
One of the most intuitive and simple to use business apps for photographers. You can manage your leads, client base, bookings, contracts, invoices, workflows and so much more. You can customize your emails, contracts, forms, even ask for 1 to 1 assistance with setting up your Studio Ninja account.
Pricing: A free 30 days trial is available to test out all features. The paid plans start at $16.90/month.
This tool is all about reducing image file size (by up to 80%) without compromising the quality of your photos. Image file compression tools are a must for any photographer, if you want to keep your website loading fast, and not overpay for online storage (hosting, cloud, proofing, etc).
Pricing: JPEGmini is available to try for free. The trial version has a daily limit of images you can process. While the paid version will cost you only $59, and they currently offer 20% off to help photographers save during the Covid-19 crisis.
An easy to use online Png and Jpeg file compressor. It comes for free, yet you can upload up to 20 images at a time, that are not larger than 5 MB each. While the Pro version, allows you to upload more and heavier images as a batch. Also, WordPress users can install the TinyPng plugin directly to their website. It will optimize images automatically, as you upload them.
Pricing: Free version available. Pro version costs $25/year.
The ultimate tool you need to try for image culling, as it will speed up your process significantly. Don’t believe us? Hop on a free 30 days trial of Photomechanic to test it out yourself, then decide.
Pricing: Free 30 days trial available. The licensed version is available for $139.
A drag & drop form builder that we designed to help you create more custom and complex contact forms for your website. You can view submitted entries, get reminders about unread emails, enjoy multiple integration (Tave, ShootQ, Mailchimp, MailerLite, etc), add conditional logic to how users interact with your form, and so much more.
Pricing: Free for any WordPress user, with a Pro option available for $49/year.
Was this helpful? Are you excited to try any of the tools or software listed above? We hope you’ll use the lockdown time as an opportunity to learn, grow and recharge, physically and mentally. Hence, you need two more tools for that: Spotify (for the soul) and Headspace (for the mind).
Take care, dear friend!