welcome to the


Jewel Images


Software & Your Sanity: What Do You REALLY need?


I’ll never forget the day I deeply regretted upgrading my mac operating system.

You know how your computer loves to take control of your life and auto update everything for you? Yeah…it did that… an obsessed, fearless, honey badger going after a midnight meal. Nasty!

All seemed well in the beginning. Smooth as silk, right? NO.

The hidden attack was coming, waiting to frustrate me to no end. I went to open my printing RIP software (mind you it’s a $1000 piece of software) and what do you know? That lovely little “error box” pops up on my screen. “This version is not compatible with your operating system. Please upgrade.” WTF?

Ok, fine, I need to upgrade. Whatevs. I can deal. Well, it had been several years since I upgraded. I was working on an old version. Like 5 versions ago, old. That’s OLD in tech talk. Like medieval “knights of the round table” old.

Hey, what can I say? I was broke, and it worked. Why pay more for features I didn’t need? I think you know where this is going. That thinking put a $1000 hole in my pocket. To upgrade, I had to re-purchase the entire software all over again.

At the time I wanted to KILL that company, but really it was my fault. Software is part of the cost of doing business. Most software is flat out overhead, meaning you have to pay for it whether you have clients or not. It’s a monthly expense you pay, with or without a great client sale that month. But some software actually MAKES you money. Lots of money. And that’s when its cost doesn’t really matter in my book.

So lets’ talk about software. What do you need? And what can you gloss over with a “pink bubblegum” chapstick? Saying, no thanks! This weeks episode is all about software necessities, and efficiency – giving you the best for your needs at the most cost effective price. Before we get started I’d like to thank a few software company’s who have been there for me since the beginning – making my business life easier and my nest egg bigger.

ProSelect Sales software is the powerhouse when it comes to in-person sales. I’ve been with the company since I started and this software has made me multi-millions of dollars in Portrait Sales over the course of 13 years. It’s robust, visual, client interactive, easy to use, thorough and time-saving. Did I mention time-saving? I can have a client’s order ready to upload to the my printer less than 30 minutes after the client leaves their IPS appointment. How? High-Res Production, my friend. ProSelect Pro’s hi-tech compatibility with Photoshop makes creating orders as easy as running a Photoshop Action.

I’d also like to thank Shootproof, my go-to online delivery software for digital files. Shootproof’s user interface is easy for me AND for my clients to navigate. I can set print pricing, products, gallery access and more, making digital delivery to clients seamless and easy. Integration with 17hats makes this even easier, allowing me to track everything with my clients. Thanks Shootproof, you’ve made the digital department of my business thrive.

Okay let’s get into it!

I’m going to categorize software into three main areas: Creative, Marketing, What you need for Day-to-Day operations of your business, and optional stuff that are just kind of “nice to haves.

Creative: Editing Photos

  • Photoshop or Lightroom
  • Capture NX-Nikon
  • Editing Add Ons: Actions, PlugIns, Presets
  • Video: Filmora 9, I-movie or Adobe Premiere

Day to Day Operations:

  • 17 hats(CRM)
  • Quickbooks(accounting)
  • ROES (lab)
  • Shootproof (digital delivery)
  • ProSelect (sales)
  • Zoom
  • Back Up Solution – Online or IN-House (carbon copy Cloner, Synology)
  • Clean My Mac-Virus Protection


  • Website software/provider
  • Email Service Provider
  • Social Media Planning
  • Graphic Design (Canva or Photoshop)


  • ON-one perfect resize
  • Canva
  • Slack
  • Click Up
  • Corel Painter
  • Screenflow
  • Printing RIP Software
  • Virus Protection

Running a photography business is a a smorgasbord of technical know-how; but, the industry is also overloaded with companies trying to offer you the latest and greatest pitch on the next great time-saving software. Really, you only need a few things. I’m all about buying the best and most efficient software for the right price. Sometimes it’s worth it to pick the solution that’s a little more pricey. Why? It’s better, it saves you time, it’s been around and stands the test of time. It’s reliable, and you know it’s what you’ll need long-term.

The worst thing to do is buy cheap, and then have the nightmare of moving over to the more expensive software with a steep learning curve later, only because you were trying to cut corners in the beginning.

Buy once, and buy right. You will never regret that choice.


Comments Off on Software & Your Sanity: What Do You REALLY need?

share this post on




top BUSINESS posts on
the blog

read the post


Ready to Dive In?

read the post

what products
should i carry?

read the post

add to your library.