by Gavin Stoker Published 01/10/2012
Software may not be as 'sexy' as the latest and greatest multimegapixel camera body and award-winning glass, but in the digital age it's an equally essential part of any pro photographer's kit.
So much so that it's easy for it to be rapidly absorbed into your workflow and taken for granted. However, as with the hardware, there are technical advances happening all the time, so it's worth keeping abreast of the latest iterations of those applications that may not only up your game professionally, but save you time and money into the bargain.
Here at Professional Imagemaker we realise that you're busy people.
So we've done the hard work for you and surveyed the most up-todate software including some lesser known gems for boosting your business - either in helping you arrive at a final edited image quicker, or in running the day-to-day stuff so you can concentrate instead on taking pictures and making money.
This award-winning photography studio software now has a new incarnation in Version 4 for both its Pro and Lite packages, but the essentials remain the same: namely that database software Foto SF from SF Digital takes care of the numerous everyday tasks that are part and parcel of running any successful photography business. These include issuing reminders, invoicing, email marketing, keeping track of your clients and even helping out with VAT returns. It's pitched at any homeor studio-based photographer - whether you're involved in the business of shooting weddings, portraits, commercial work or events.
Further good news is that the new Foto SF v4 is claimed to be 60% faster than its predecessor. Now users can track the status of an enquiry or job from sending the quotation right up to delivery and completion, or benefit from a bird's eye view of their business courtesy of the new fast and streamlined chart reports, which offer a graphical overview.
Uzair Kharawala, creator of Foto SF, explains: "We've been working extremely hard on v4 for almost two years. We've listened to our customers' demands and needs, and have included some brand new powerful features which we believe makes running a photography business a breeze. Now you can easily manage tasks, share information effortlessly with your team and produce eye-catching charts. We know our existing users are going to love v4".
Download the free trial version and try it today. Imagemaker readers can save £20 when entering the promo code 'pi20' at the checkout cart.
One long-term user of Foto SF is wedding and portrait photographer Martyn Greswolde (www.greswolde.com). "Most photographers aren't that great at paperwork and back-end stuff - we start doing photography because we think we can just take pictures - and then we realise that it's about a tenth of the job. I knew there must be an easier way than spending a month at the end of the year trying to sort out my documents for a tax return, and tried a lot of little bits of software that turned out to be a waste of time before giving Foto SF a go."
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