So for today’s #BLOGtober post I thought I’d try to be a bit more helpful and share some of the online photography resources I have come to rely on. In no particular order, these are my top ten favourite resources:
This one is pretty obvious and I’m not even close to using it to it’s full potential but without the wizardry of AdobeCC I’d struggle to process my RAW files as quickly as I do and they would take ages to be ready for my customers. There are other free editing software packages out there but I’ve not found anything that comes close to what you can do on Photoshop or Lightroom. I use Photoshop mostly and while I do minimal editing compared to what’s possible on this software, I also use it to design leaflets, fliers and social media posts.
What’s more, Adobe have some brilliant videos and tutorials to help you learn new techniques and get the best out of your subscription. I love it!
Next up, it’s Squijoo.com. Yep, a crazy name but one you remember. I came across it via Facebook and I got a little addicted. Partly because I learned a lot very quickly using their templates and designs to smarten up my marketing.
They have just about everything you can think of – backdrops, overlays, business card designs, advertising boards and even logo designs. You can subscribe for less than £10 a month to download your templates. Follow them on Facebook to see their latest updates and things they have to offer. Plus they regularly ask for feedback and ideas so you have the chance to request designs.
Online photography tutorials and classes. Perfect for the travelling photographer who struggles to commit to be in the same place for an extended period of time. The classes are well priced and if you’re lucky, the stream a lot of them for free at the time of the class. It is based in America so you need to be prepared for some late nights or early mornings if you want to catch these classes.
I’ve subscribed to a few of them and enjoyed them all. My wishlist for their courses continues to grow.
This has been really helpful for me. As a UK photography business I was looking for advice and help to make sure my business was functioning properly and adhering to regulations. By being an SWPP member I uphold their code of conduct and rules.
I also benefit from their conferences, monthly competitions (of which I’ve won 3rd place in once already!) and I’m soon to tap in to their Mentoring Programme to keep pushing myself and my work.
I actually use 500px for my wildlife work more than my portrait work. This is mostly because the images on 500px can lead to sales and I don’t sell my portrait work to anyone other than the people in the photo (and with permission, their families).
The site itself is really useful for both inspiration and getting feedback on your work. There are regular competitions and photo “quests” to challenge you and I could spend hours looking through the incredible talent from around the world. Some of the images are mind-blowing.
I love Phlearn! I’ve only used their free video tutorials for Photoshop but I’ve probably learned more through them than the photography class I took a few years ago. Simple and effective videos which are really well presented. I can’t wait to dig a little deeper and see what else they have to offer. I know you can subscribe for more support but at the moment, I’m getting tonnes of help just from the basics since I don’t do a lot of image manipulation anyway.
E-marketing. It’s a MUST for businesses and something that I’ve yet to master. I started off quite well but it fell by the wayside and is something I will be resurrecting soon.
Mail Chimp makes emailing your customers so much easier! There’s a little bit of a learning curve at first but it’s by no means a steep one. Definitely worth having a look at the free plan to make your emails that bit more polished.
If you’ve never used Pinterest, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? It’s an amazing resource for finding blogs, tutorials and inspiration. I have different boards to help spark my creativity and share ideas with fellow entrepreneurs. A word of warning though – you can very easily get sucked in and before you know it, you’ve pinned thousands of ideas which you’ll never come back to. I used to spend hours on it when insomnia hit but now I’m better at regulating my time and I only go on it when I’m looking for something specific.
Ok, I know I said I was sharing my favourite online resources but as far as marketing goes, I’ve loved Moo.com. The quality of the business cards and fliers is brilliant. I’ve also used them for products like gift vouchers and postcards. The reason? A little something they call Printfinity. The ability to print lots of different images in one order. This has been so helpful for starting out so I can sample projects and ideas instead of spending lots on hundreds of prints.
And finally, the 365project.org. It’s really good for expanding your technical ability and a photo-a-day project will challenge most photographers to stay creative and keep moving. The community on 365project are generally great though be prepared, if you ask for honest feedback, you’ll get it! There are challenges to take part in as you see fit and of course, there are the “Popular” and “Trending” pages which are always nice to be on. Definitely worth a look for both amateurs and professionals.
So there you have them! My favourite resources at the moment. I imagine this will change in the future but so far, these have been the most useful for me. Have I missed anything obvious? Can you recommend anything else? I’d love to know what you think! x