4 Programs Your Photography Business Needs + Discount Codes

4 Programs Your Photography Business Needs to Incorporate

No matter what business or industry you're in, we're all using a variation of applications, programs and software in order to execute our daily tasks and to run our businesses. Below are 4 programs I couldn't imagine running my photography business without.

  1. Adobe Creative Cloud

  2. Dubsado

  3. PhotoShelter

  4. QuickBooks

Adobe Creative Cloud

This is a bit of a no brainer to any creative out there. For me Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign are my go-tos. From color correcting and image toning in Lightroom Classic, to retouching and fine tuning in Photoshop, to Pinterest layouts, photo briefs and other design concepts in InDesign.

Does anyone else remember when we used to have to buy Photoshop off a disc? Really dating myself here. You'd have to purchase Photoshop CS on a disc and install it onto you desktop then purchase the latest CS versions the same way. Luckily in the day of "the cloud" there is a cloud based subscription service that allows you to purchase any program individually or in a bundle that automatically update as they continue to evolve the programs

I LOVE Adobe. I really would not be able to run the creative side of my business without these programs.


I recently added Dubsado into my repertoire as I was looking to streamline and automate my client's experience and simplify my workflow. I was tired of rewriting the same emails over and over, copying and pasting templates, filling in the blanks, manually sending over my packages via PDF, contracts that had to be printed to sign...

With custom intake forms on my website, clients are now instantly added into my system the moment they hit the submit button, added into the proper lead category which then triggers the appropriate lead capture!

Detail view of Dubsado Projects after Client submits an online form

Whether they are looking to book a headshot session, commercial photo shoot or graduation session they are organized into a workflow that executes each step I have in place. From sending proposals, welcome emails, questionnaires, contracts, invoices, online proofing, image delivery to annual followups!

What's great is that while the process is automated, I still have full control to customize or adjust any correspondence that goes out as every client is unique in their own way and the last thing I want to do is come off as a robot.

Backend view of Lead Capture Workflows

If you're unsure if Dubsado is right for you, test it out! Instead of the traditional 7 or 14 day trial that limits your ability to really get into the nitty gritty, the "Dubsado trial has no time limit!...While you are on a trial, you will only be able to add three clients to your account."

This was huge for me! I used my personal email as well as a friends to create mock clients and I was able to play around, build out the workflows and test the process ensuring this program was the best route for me.

"Dubsado helps your business stay in motion. Build relationships, schedule appointments, and create workflows to streamline your projects from start to finish."

Ready to give it a try? Enter "thisphotogirl" into the Coupon/Referral Code when signing up for 20% off your first month or year!


PhotoShelter was introduced to me in 2009 as a way to store all my images online with the ability to send out assets to clients electronically or access any image as needed from anywhere as well as my first portfolio style website.

While PhotoShelter still offers beautiful portfolio style websites for photographers, I primarily utilize PhotoShelter as my online archive, a photo proofing portal for my clients, online storage of client galleries and image delivery.

After a photo shoot with a client, I upload their culled images into a private gallery where they can login and select and submit their favorites to be delivered. After the retouching process, I then upload their final assets to second gallery link for them to download. PhotoShelter makes it easy to to password protect the images, offer your client various sizes to download as well as printing options.


Let's be honest, as creatives the last thing we want to do is worry about anything accounting! We just want to be able to do what we love every day.

Insert QuickBooks.

QuickBooks has been one of the smartest business softwares I have invested in. It connects to my business bank accounts and helps me easily sort and track all business expenses, tracks mileage, sends estimates and invoices, tracks sales tax, collects payment, pays contractors and generates all types of reports to see where I'm at financially. Not to mention year end filling has never been so easy!

With a plan to fit any size business, I recommend all working professionals to utilize this software.