Highly Recommended
The Tools and Resources You Need to Succeed at Every Level with Your Photography

Welcome to my resource page, a curated list of crucial tools, services and companies that I use daily to run an efficient and profitable photography business. No question being a professional photographer is a tough job these days, and juggling the many necessary tasks can be a challenge. This list reveals the go-to resources that help me stay on top of everything from photo editing to marketing my brand and selling my images. I hope you find it useful.

This page may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we might make a small commission.

Get Your Gear

I live in Canada but I almost always shop with B&H Photo for my camera gear. International shipping is a breeze and I can pay all the taxes and duties upfront so there are no surprises – you can even pay with PayPal!

I use them for pretty much everything else: office supplies, home supplies, computer accessories and hard drives. Free shipping with an Amazon Prime account is a great way to do it and their deals are frequent and cheap

If B&H is out of stock, Adorama is also a great option for your cameras, lenses and photography accessories. They have excellent service and return policies, offer international shipping and the option to pre-pay taxes for many countries.

Moment is a newer store that has created a brilliant curated selection of products from all the best brands. Uniquely, they offer free international FedEx shipping on all order over $149, with free shipping in the USA on orders over $49.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to buy the gear that you need for a specific photographic project. LensRentals is the answer! Test expensive equipment before you buy it, or rent that dream 600mm lens for your once-in-a-lifetime African safari.

Best Camera Bags and Straps

Check my gear guide to see the specific models I’m currently using.

MindShift Gear is Think Tank Photo’s line of outdoor photo gear. If you spend most of your photographic time outside, you have to check these out. Spend more than $50 and get a free gift when you click through this link.

The best overall selection of camera bags on the market. Their roller bags are the rollers by which all other rollers are judged. Spend more than $50 and get a free gift when you click through this link.

Quick release camera straps and bags. I use their straps on every camera I own, and many other items as well such as binoculars and accessory bags.

Incredibly rugged bags for truly adventurous photographers. Shimoda’s Explore and Action-X backpacks are among the best. Use coupon ShutterMuse10 to save 10%.

Best Photo Editing Software

By design, RAW files require editing before they are ready. These are the tools that get me the results I need.

Luminar from Skylum Software (formerly Macphun) is currently my favourite photo editing software. Combining the RAW processing and editing features of Lightroom (+more) with the layer and masking features of Photoshop. Save 10% by using my special coupon on this page.

Incredibly powerful and fun to use HDR tool from Skylum Software (formerly Macphun) and Trey Ratcliff. I wasn’t a fan of HDR until this program came along! Save 10% by using my special coupon on this page.

The power of Lightroom Classic and Photoshop CC in the Creative Cloud Photography Bundle is hard to beat. I also love having Lightroom Mobile at my fingertips as a portable portfolio.

The Topaz plugins are a crucial part of my workflow. DeNoise AI is by far the best noise reduction plugin on the market. Combine this with Gigapixel AI and Sharpen AI to get the most from the Topaz suite. Use coupon shuttermuse to save 15%.

Build a New Portfolio Website

A portfolio website is a crucial tool for any photography business. You can choose to build that portfolio with a dedicated platform that was specifically designed for the purpose, or you can use WordPress if you want to have access to a broader range of marketing tools, blogging tools and customization options. These are my recommended portfolio platforms.

A Simple drag and drop portfolio builder that you can use to showcase work, deliver to clients and sell prints. I have a SmugMug site that I use as a print sales portal and for that usage I believe it’s the easiest option out there. Use the button below to start your 14-day trial and if you decide to proceed after that, they’ll give you a 20% discount.

If you have an extensive image collection that you want to sell for stock, or just create a huge browsable archive, Photoshelter would be my pick. Like SmugMug, you can also create beautiful portfolio sites with it, but in my opinion, this platform really shines when used for archive image sales. 30-day trial available.

Similar to SmugMug, Pixpa is an all-in-one solution for portfolios, print sales and client delivery. Their sites have a modern, minimalist feel that will suit some photographers’ aesthetic. Use the button below to get a 10% discount.

Best WordPress Hosting for Photographers

WordPress is an excellent option for building a photography portfolio website if you find the options too limited on dedicated portfolio platforms like those mentioned above. With WordPress, the sky is the limit when it comes to design or integration into 3rd party services. Although the WordPress software is free, you need to host the site somewhere.

Bluehost is reliable, affordable hosting and they have a one-click WordPress install so you’re up and running in 5 minutes. Get a free domain name and save 30% on hosting with the button below. This is a good starter host for WordPress beginners.

Kinsta is a premium managed WordPress host. They offer unparalleled customer support, and hosting your site with Kinsta will give it an instant speed boost due to their complex, WordPress-specific architecture. The best option for intermediate/expert WP users who really take their website seriously. Shutter Muse is hosted with Kinsta, as is my own portfolio website.

Best WordPress Plugins for Photographers

If you use WordPress, these are some of the best plugins that a photographer can use to show off their work and grow their business.

By far the most powerful gallery plugin for WordPress. Sell prints, create passworded client galleries, display your Instagram feed and even automatically sync photo collections from Lightroom to your website!

Building your email newsletter list is a crucial step towards a more successful photography business with more clients and more followers. I use Optinmonster on all my sites and it has been a game changer.

A faster website will rank higher in search engine results and keep visitors on your portfolio site for longer. WP Rocket is a caching plugin that speeds up your site in just a couple of clicks. I use it on all my sites!

Rank Math is a purpose built SEO plugin. It features a huge number of tools to help your photo business rank higher in search results, and even helps you track your exact ranking position for specific search terms in your local area.

Best WordPress Themes for Photographers

You’ll need a fast and fully featured theme for your WordPress photography site. These are the ones I have used for my own sites over the last decade.

Divi theme by Elegant Themes is one of the most popular themes in the world for good reason. No site can’t be built with Divi, such is the power of its easy-to-use visual builder. This is a great option for people who can’t afford to hire a website designer. My own portfolio and even this very website were built with Divi for over 6 years.

GeneratePress is an acclaimed multi-purpose WordPress theme that is built with performance in mind. Although I don’t recommend this theme for beginners, it’s capable of creating beautiful, fast portfolio sites in the hands of somebody with more WP experience. I use it on my own site.

GPP are one of the only companies producing WordPress themes specifically for photographers. They also make a plugin that allows you to sell stock photos directly on your own site. My first ever portfolio site was built with GPP and I have been recommending them ever since. Use the coupon code ShutterMuse to save 25% on their site.

Keep Your Photos Safe

All drives will fail at some point because they are mechanical devices, even solid state drives. If you don’t have a bulletproof backup system in place, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose everything. Take a second to imagine how you would feel if you suddenly lost every single photo you’ve ever taken…

Unlimited, automatic cloud backup. Backblaze runs quietly in the background on your Mac or PC to sync the contents of all your hard drives to the cloud.

Automate the cloning of drives, folder or files at specific times and dates, or after specific actions have been taken. It’s an integral part of my backup routine.

GPP are one of the only companies producing WordPress themes specifically for photographers. They also make a plugin that allows you to sell stock photos directly on your own site. My first ever portfolio site was built with GPP and I have been recommending them ever since. Use the coupon code ShutterMuse to save 25% on their site.

Divi theme by Elegant Themes is one of the most popular themes in the world for good reason. No site can’t be built with Divi, such is the power of its easy-to-use visual builder. This is a great option for people who can’t afford to hire a website designer. My own portfolio and even this very website were built with Divi for over 6 years.

Get Your Photo Business On Track

The simplest, fastest and most cost-effective way to get an amazing logo and watermark for your photography. Read about my experience with them here.

In-depth photography pricing calculator to help price everything from social media usage, to billboard campaigns. Use code SM0414 to get a 10% discount.

An efficient business is a profitable business. Photo Mechanic is the fastest way to ingest your images, sort them, keyword them and complete their metadata.

An email newsletter is one of the most important marketing tools for a photographer. I use ConvertKit to send tens of thousands of emails every month.

Dropbox is the standard for file sharing. They give you a generous amount of space for free, and recently launched a new file delivery service that is perfect for sending time-expiring download links to clients.

I don’t know where I’d be without this app.  Trello is an amazing organizational tool that allows you to easily segment your projects and collaborate with additional team members.

I think of Zapier as the gearbox within my business machine. With Zapier you can connect all your services to automate almost any task. It saves me hours of work a week.