Once you start shooting professionally, whether full or part time, you quickly realize that actually shooting photos is the smallest chunck of time you’ll spend in a given day, week or month. The majority if your time is spent with organizational tasks, such as generating estimates and invoices, keeping track of clients and contacts and marketing.
If you don’t have a good workflow for these tasks, you’ll fall behind on your efficiency and get bogged down. The more successful you are, the more you need to be on top of your tasks, so good system is essential no matter how far along you are in your business.
I’ve struggled with efficiency at times, and throughout my career, I’ve tried a number of photography business software solutions to keep me on track. I always come back to fotoBiz and fotoQuote by Cradoc Software, though. These well thought out and affordable programs give you everything you need to manage a freelance photography business.
I’ve long been a fan of Cradoc applications. Back when I shot slides, I used Cradoc Captionwriter and I first used fotoQuote over 20 years ago while working at a small stock photo agency in Boston. I’m still using it today as part of the comprehensive program fotoBiz X.
No matter if you’re a full time or part time photographer, you need a good database for clients and contacts, creating estimates and invoices, pricing your photography, tracking sales, equipment, licenses and seeing what areas of your business are giving you the best return on your investments and time. In the past, I had a number of different types of forms, databases and spreadsheets scattered all over my computer; today, all of this stuff is in handled with one program: fotoBiz.
fotoBiz X is powerful photography business management software that does everything you need. It starts with contact management. After entering or importing your client details into the system, you can generate assignment estimates, stock quotes, invoices and over 100 other types of documents, forms, emails, letters and reports. You also have a section for prospective clients that where you keep track of your marketing efforts, and there’s even a section for stock production. This is where you can track exactly how much you put into, and get back from your photo shoots.
fotoBiz X also contains a large magazine database that shows you want certain publications charge for ad space. This can help you in your negotiation process, and it also provides basic contact information for each magazine. This can save you a huge amount of time over having to research each magazine if you’d like to submit photos or contact them for work.
Once you land a stock sale or an assignment, fotoBiz lets you easily create the proper invoice and license for that job. It keeps track of all of your open and closed invoices and lets you create reports and export the data for outside bookkeeping. There’s even a place to keep track of all of your equipment for insurance purposes. Also, fotoQuote Pro is built right into fotoBiz X.
From stock image sales and license tracking, pricing, release forms, an insurance list of all your gear, Quickbooks export, international currencies and a full activity log, fotoBiz is an indispensable tool for managing every single aspect of your photo business.
fotoQuote Pro is the definitive photography pricing guide and coaching system and it’s completely up-to-date with today’s stock photography markets, even with regards to online uses. There’s no other program like it.
Even if you only license an occasional photo to a client, the negotiating tips and pricing calculator will likely make the program pay for itself with just one or two sales.The latest version has over 86 new categories, including 30 web categories, and it even includes a section for pricing video.
fotoQuote also has a built-in assignment photography pricing coach, which helps you establish the right price, whether you’re shooting a small editorial job or a large budget project. With 38 coaching topics, fotoQuote gives you extremely helpful negotiating tips so you can approach any job with the right information.
As I mentioned above fotoQuote comes included in fotoBiz. It also comes as a standalone version if you already have a regular photo business software management system that works for you. Every working photographer should have a copy of fotoQuote.
No matter what level of shooter you are, if you want to earn money with photography, I highly recommend checking out these two programs. I think you’ll like what you see, they’re relatively inexpensive, and invaluable with regards to how much time, money and efficiency they’ll save you. They’re available for both Mac and Windows.
Years of research and work went into refining these programs. They address every single aspect that a photographer might face when dealing with clients or managing the day-to-day operations of running your business in an ever changing industry. Not only will these tools and templates let you streamline your business, you’ll just look more professional every time you reach out to a client.