TOP 10 Game changers in my professional photography career
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I’ve been in the photography game for a long time- 13 years to be exact. From weddings to funerals, boudoir to branding, newborn and even pets, I’ve shot it all. Trial and error was inevitable over the years, and I’m grateful for it. You get to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.
The industry is constantly shifting and evolving, and I’ve done so right along with it. Certain things remain the same, though, and in a world of ever-evolving equipment, accessories, and software, my staple items are my rock. I need things I can count on to make my job as easy, enjoyable, and efficient as possible. That being said, here are some must-haves from a photographer with 10+ years of experience.
Starting with the most recent and most significant change of the year:
1. IMAGEN AI-
I’ll be the first to say it- AI gets a bad wrap. I get it though, it’s new, unfamiliar, and powerful as hell. Witnessing first hand how drastically it’s changed my workload has definitely made me a believer. So, what is it? Imagen AI studies your editing style and creates a preset you can apply to your Lightroom catalogs! The software edits to your preferences in just seconds. I’m telling you, this has cut my turnaround time for larger galleries in HALF.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting the Imagen team this past month at The 2023 Portrait Masters conference, and they’ve been kind enough to give me a link to share with you for 1500 FREE edits, for you to test the software for yourself and see how you like it. Click here to give it a try!
It’s no secret that I’m team Godox all the way. I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences since partnering with them, but I would not endorse a brand whose products or services I didn’t truly love. I truly love Godox. All of their equipment is innovative, efficient, and made with the photographer in mind. From products like their collapsible textured backdrops to the Luxe Junior series flashes that slips right onto your camera but give you the power of a FULL SIZED FLASH! They make it all and they make it well. The AD200 flashes are a staple for my wedding photography, and the S60 Spotlight has quickly become a favorite in Lightworx Creative Studio. Use this link to shop Godox Lighting
3. FUNDY DESIGN SUITE
For as long as I can remember, I knew the vision for my art was not to be locked away in someone’s phone or laptop forever. I didn’t just want my images tucked away in some forgotten part of the internet. I wanted my work seen and felt in a way that did it justice. Fundy has been my holy grail for designing albums, prints, wall art, and so much more. My clients walk away with something tangible: a conversation piece, an heirloom, or at the very least, a beautiful piece of my legacy in their homes.
The design suite is as easy as plugging in your images and getting to work. You can share your design with clients that have the ability to comment and suggest changes, but never alter them. Up to three members of my team can join my licensed account, and can take over projects just as easily. This makes production a whole lot more efficient.
When you’re sporting thousands of dollars worth of gear, you need luggage you can trust. My Thinktank camera bag has been with me for over five years on the tiniest of planes, the rockiest of boat rides, through rain sand and mud. Whether I’m lugging it to a different island or halfway across the world I trust that my gear is safe and secure. It has dozens of compartments big enough for flashes, lenses and camera bodies and small enough for SD cards and extra batteries. My favorite feature is the space for my Macbook, which easily slides in there and eliminates the hassle of a separate bag just for my laptop.
5. BOSE NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES-
Let’s talk productivity. As a destination photographer, a lot of my admin work is done, well, everywhere. In the airport, on flights, in cafes, and even in taxis. I need concentration- I need to be in my element. My Bose noise canceling headphones have made that so much easier. I can work almost anywhere without the interruption of a crying baby or the hustle and bustle around me. That client call won’t have to be rescheduled, that email won’t have to wait until I get to the hotel, and I can still be present where I am.
6. DJI GIMBAL-
In the age of Tiktok, Instagram reels, and stories of every kind, constant video content is necessary. Throwing up a little ‘behind the scenes’ picture is okay every now and again but video is how you keep people entertained and engaged. The DJI gimbal has really improved the smoothness of my phone content. It even acts as a second pair of hands when there’s no one around to capture our corny tiktoks. The accompanying free app also has cool features like subject tracking and cinematic zoom, which takes cellphone videos to the next level.
Podcasts are my favorite thing to throw on when I’m culling/ editing, cooking, at the gym, or cooking. The insane amount of knowledge and inspiration I’ve acquired over the years from just halfway listening would blow your mind. I find it extremely helpful to hear other creative’s processes and take away what applies to you. Podcasts like Imagen’s ‘Workflows‘ have definitely been super helpful.
I’ve been with Pixifi for almost my entire career. I honestly don’t know how I’d be able to manage my clients and events without it. You can handle almost every aspect of your business from one secure hub. From designing custom email templates, to creating invoices and managing expenses, to customizing booking and landing pages, you will not need another CRM software. I’ve brought some of my closest colleagues on board, and I want you to hop on as well. To get 30 days free trial, Simply click this link .
Magamod gear is something that is always in my kit, wether in studio or on location at weddings. I can’t imagine creating the style of lighting I do without their magnetic modifiers. Silhouttes, Creative gels, diffusion, Magmod does it all with a click. I’m all about making my set ups and switching modifiers super easy. It’s quick, easy to carry on the go, and they’re always releasing new products that I’m always happy to play around with. How easy is it to snap on a gel, softbox, or grid in the blink of an eye? They also make super helpful and compact 24in octoboxes that I love to take for on location shoots. Take 5% off any purchase on MAGMOD website using code: LWP5
In my worklife, I’m a die hard Nikon girl. Some have their opinions on it, but I love the tech and it works for me and my studio. In my personal life though, I love Fuji. My personal baby is a Fuji X100F and they’ve recently upgraded to the X100V. Either way, their simulations (which are how they mimic their papers) are perfect straight out of camera, my favorite being the Velvia.
The vintage feel makes it the perfect ‘quirky’ accessory, and the small sleek design easily fits into any sized purse or clutch. I’ve been able to capture my friends family and loved ones in the same pro quality as I do my clients, without compromising my comfort on a day off.
Life as a Luxury destination photographer is no joke. ‘Inconvenienced’ would not be the word if I lost any of these top 10 game changers in my professional photography career. Destination weddings like Maggie & Kevin’s Other Side wedding would not be possible. Have you tried any of these products in your own professional life? Have I influenced you to try any? If you have any other questions, I’d love to hear from you! Click this link to schedule a call and let’s talk game changers.