My Favorite Gear and Services
After ten years as a photographer, I feel like I’ve tried just about every tool and piece of gear marketed to us photographers. Here are all my favorite products and services that I’ve not just tested but implemented in my own business.
This page contains affiliate links, which means that I receive a small kickback if you purchase anything from my links. I only recommend products and services that I have spent my own money on and used in my own business.
What’s in my camera bag?
For my first five years in business as a photographer, I was a loyal Canon photographer. Then on a cold location scouting hike in January 2018, I slipped on ice and dropped one of my cameras into a creek. A cracked lens and frozen-from-the-inside-out body later, I decided that this was the sign I’d been looking for. Mirrorless cameras were just starting to become “a thing,” and I was intrigued by the smaller size and lighter weight.
I sold off all my Canon gear, and bought a new Fuji mirrorless setup for the same price. While I started with two camera bodies (the old X-T2s) and three lenses, my gear bag has grown quite a bit since then. The gear below is everything that I currently use in my business.
Fujinon XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR (amazon)
Fujinon XF90mmF2 R LM WR (amazon)
Fujinon XF50mmF1.0 R WR (amazon)
Fujinon XF23mmF2 R WR (amazon)
Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R (amazon)
Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 R WR (amazon)
Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR (amazon)
Flash & Flash Accessories
My husband Justin works in IT, and has helped me put together a pretty badass backup storage system. Watch this space for a post about how I backup my photos coming soon!
As an elopement photographer, my gear bag consists of much more than just camera gear. Check out my favorite backpacks, headlamps, hiking boots, and adventure gear for more.
My Favorite Business Tools & Services
These are all of the tools, software, and subscription services that I am currently using to run my business.
My website is built on WordPress using the Kadence WP theme + blocks. It’s by far the easiest builder I’ve worked with in the 20 years since I built my first WP site, and it doesn’t hurt that Kadence is really easy to optimize for page speed!
Fast web hosting is key to a fast website. If you’re still hosting your website on GoDaddy or Blue Host, it’s time to look into an alternative—and I happen to think Cloudways is the best option. Cloudways makes it super easy to migrate a WP site from another host, and the staging site feature is invaluable.
I use a couple of different paid plugins to optimize my site for speed, and my caching plugin WP Rocket is the most important of them. If you care about speed & technical scores, it’s well worth the annual fee.
Perfmatters is so cheap that it barely feels like a paid plugin, but it offers some speed and optimization features that WP Rocket is missing, so I like using both in combination for the best results.
If you’re already using Yoast, there’s no reason to switch SEO plugins, but if you’re starting from scratch with optimizing a Wordpress website I’d recommend SEO Press over Yoast.
Image optimization is especially important for us photographers. The ShortPixel plugin runs in the background of my site without me doing a thing after installing and setting it up.
Táve is my CRM, but it’s so much more than a customer relationship management tool. I use Táve to send contracts and invoices, automated emails and questionnaires, keep track of my workflow, track my leads, and a hundred other things that help me save time in my business. If you sign up using my link, you’ll get a free 60 day trial instead of the regular 30 days.
Do you have a hard time getting calls scheduled with your leads? Would you like more structured business hours, and not missing dinner because you’re on a video call? You need Calendly.
Todoist runs my entire life. It’s a free web- and app-based to do list manager, that lets you split tasks into projects, add notes, set deadlines and reminders, and everything you need to stay on track.
Tailwind is the program I use to automate my Pinterest strategy, to where it drives over a thousand visitors a month directly to my website. You can sign up for a free plan, although I use their paid plan to get the best results.
I could not run my business without Adobe. I edit all my photos in Lightroom, and often pull them into Photoshop as well for more advanced edits. Lately I’ve also started using Firefly to create illustrations! If you somehow don’t already have an Adobe plan, you get 30% off your first 12 months by using my link.
Pic-Time is miles ahead of the competition when it comes to client galleries. Not only are they well designed, but their built-in automations and email campaigns make selling prints easier than ever. You get one month free if you use my code: YJ4QFN
Imagine AI is changing the game when it comes to speeding up the editing process. It does a great job of applying my preset and adjusting exposure, contrast, white balance, and more. I still go through every photo to make adjustments, but it’s saving me hours per gallery for $0.05/photo. If you sign up using my referral link, you receive an extra 500 free image credits (1500 total).
I’ve tried using AI culling, but it’s just nowhere close to good enough at picking out the best moments yet. Culling in Photo Mechanic is plenty fast enough on its own—I can always get through a full gallery in under the 1h3m of folklore.
Everyone should be using the JPEGmini Lightroom plugin, because it saves tons of hard drive space without any visible difference on photos (printed or digital).