My top 10 must-haves for running my small photography business | Behind the Scenes

I love reading posts about how other creatives run their businesses and what things they like to use. Today, I thought I'd share my top 10 must-haves for running my photography business.

  1. My camera + lenses. I currently use a Canon T3i/600D and my 50 mm f/1.8 lens. The 50mm stays on my camera 95% of the time and it's my favorite for portraits because of the lovely bokeh it makes.
  2. Adobe Lightroom 5. My favorite editing program hands-down. I used to use Photoshop Elements, and still do occasionally, but Lightroom is so much faster and cuts my editing time way down.
  3. Google drive + Gmail. I store client contracts and other documents on google drive so I can easily access them and email them to clients. I love Gmail's  labels and categories, which help me organize my inbox. (Pro-tip: I'm a big believer in inbox zero.)
  4. Wave Apps. Wave is a free online accounting system and I use it to create invoices, keep track of payment dates, and general bookkeeping.
  5. Pixieset online photo galleries. I mostly deliver photos to my clients via USB drive but there are occasions when doing an online gallery is more convenient (like out of town clients or mini sessions). I can also offer prints and digital photos through the gallery, which is useful when my clients' family members want to order their own prints or digitals.
  6. My iPad. I use it to check my business and personal email and for listening to podcasts, Pandora, Coffitivity, or watching Netflix while I work.
  7. Squarespace - my website/blog host. I love love love Squarespace. From their clean + minimalist site templates to how easy it is to customize and use their websites, it's the perfect way to have a professional site or blog.
  8. My big white binder. I bought one of those generic 2" white binders from the office supply store and I use it to organize my client contracts, blog editorial calendars, client meeting notes, and other various business papers.
  9. Instagram. Yes, I'm including a social media platform in my list of business running must-haves. I'm working on a series of blog posts on why Instagram is my favorite form social media and how it's been such a great thing for my business. I use it for connecting  with clients, photographers, local businesses/creatives, and it's a great place for finding inspiration.
  10. Lotion and lip balm. I can't go anywhere without them. For everyday, I love oatmeal lotion, but when I want something with a fragrance I love philosophy's falling in love. As for lip balm, I have to be careful of which kind I use so right now I'm liking both the Say Yes to Coconut Naturally Smooth Lip Balm and Maybelline's Baby Lips Dr. Rescue.

If you run a blog/business, what are some of your top must-haves?