OCTOBER 09, 2012
By Henry Anderson
The dream of becoming a professional photographer is one filled with ideas of exciting clients, creative freedom and endless artistic possibilities. Rarely does that dream include laborious paperwork tasks, diligent contract negotiations with a client, tax filings or invoicing, yet that’s what a lot of photographers end up spending a majority of their time doing.
Just a few years ago studio photographers had to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for database developers who would create custom (or at least semi-custom) solutions to track their businesses operating tasks. Programs like FileMaker or Microsoft Access were used to track clients and jobs, despite the sometimes clumsy or tedious steps needed just to generate an invoice or follow up on an e-mail. If a studio’s database developer went out of business, they were often stuck without the ability to make changes to documents or fix the inevitable bugs that crop up.
Luckily the Internet has allowed specialized tools to be developed in markets that were otherwise too small for large software companies to focus their attention on, and a host of custom solutions are now offered with affordable (and scalable) pricing and support that’s always available. And with the data being generated by online apps living in the cloud, there’s less fear that a lost or stolen computer will mean the end of a studio’s ability to conduct business.
The following is a breakdown of our favorite studio-management tools available to photographers today ….