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Besides your computers & monitors for showing & selling the images you create…is the all important payment system!!!! We need to get paid for all our hard work right? There are many portable payment systems out there. There is one that is very popular because of their catchy name, but I would highly recommend using Paypal. Paypal (we all have an account right?) has a program called “Paypal Here”. It’s their portable web based payment or POS system. We have used it for over 10 years and it has never failed us! We use their phone app and the USB swiper they provide and we are in business anywhere there is one bar of signal! We have three swipers and you can login from any smart phone or tablet and begin taking payments. The customer service is good and the system never goes down! There is that very popular system with a catchy name I will not mention that you may be tempted to use. Do your research if you are considering going with them, their customer service is terrible and in their contract states how they can hold your funds up to 90 days if you take in over a certain amount of sales… read the fine print before you sign up for any POS system.
If you want reliable service, and competitive fees, sign up today for Paypal Here: https://www.paypal.com/signup-pph&hs=login
For Horse shows, horse back day-rides and any location selling you may do, there is only one software program to use…ACDSee. It helps you organize, show, sell and burn CD’s at breakneck speed! In Flash’s How to sell at horse shows .. he goes into a lot of detail about show software. Through trial and error, we landed on this, the best most customizable showing and selling software on the market today! And it’s so reasonable. You will not be able to do this business the way we describe and make 95% of all your show, ranch or portrait money before you go home- without it! You can purchase it here- just a one time license : Get ACDSee Pro Ultimate here!
Cloud based Photoshop and Lightroom subscriptions
If you play your cards right and also read Flash’s article on “how to turn a small horse show into a trough full of Money!!!!” You will quickly understand that portraits booked and acquired at the show are the other very lucrative part of this business. Sure you can survive living show to show, but custom equine portrait sessions add value and income and variety to this business. For these high dollar portrait sessions, often resulting in large metal or canvas print orders and fancy albums, your images must be polished and absolutely perfect! You will need to use Photoshop and Lightroom to finish off and prepare your work for printing. No matter what kind of photography you do in addition to horses, skills in these two software programs are a must. Get both for only $10 per month- you can’t beat it! Sign up for Lightroom and Photoshop Cloud service here!
Dropbox for Storage
If you haven’t yet built your website and you need a quick place to upload photos and share them, dropbox is a valuable cloud based tool. You can send a link to share images for the client to download. They can also share the link with family or friends and you only have to upload the images one time. Instead of burning a photo CD, I upload to dropbox and let the clients share and download at their leisure. It’s pretty easy, even for the not so web savvy client with a simple set of directions sent in your invite to view photos email generated by Dropbox. They have business plans starting at only $10 per month.
Websites-wordpress and wix
To do this business, the business of Equine or Horse Photography, you must have a website. No… not a Facebook page, a website. Ok, if you are just starting out, get a “business facebook page”, that is separate from your personal page. Then work on a real website. Your site can be simple and professional and best off you can build it yourself in one of the popular programs like WordPress (best in our opinion), Wix, (also easy to use) or the like. Coming soon- see our simple equine photography horse website tutorial -Coming soon! You can also search for a youtube or text tutorial from wordpress on building a simple site. In a week you can have a site up and running. Get your domain first- we like GoDaddy.com. Do a search, pick a domain- not too long, not too cute, not too abbreviated. Then build your site with WordPress or Wix.
Hosting account- Green Geeks-the best!
Before you build your site, you will need a hosting account, this is who will have your website on their network. If there is a problem, you will need someone to call or chat with to fix it. There are many popular hosts out there but not all hosts are created equal. We went through 5 hosting companies before landing on Greengeeks. They are more of a medium sized company and compared to Bluehost, hostmonster and all the others that spend gobs on advertising but not much on customer service, skip them and go straight to Greengeeks! In 7 years of using this company they have gone down 1 time. I mean ONCE in seven years! Customer service…. Amazing. They get back to you in a timely manner once you have put in a support ticket. I have talked to their tech dept to resolve issues or simply worked it out over email. Either way I have never been disappointed with a support call and have never run into an issue that they didn’t help me with. Sign up here and be blown away by this hosting company!Get the best hosting with Green Geeks HERE!
All in One Photography Websites
If you are not up for building your own website from scratch, you can use several different photography sites that are pre-built for showing and selling images. One we used and really liked is called “SmugMug”. SmugMug is designed to show and sell
images with an easy online ordering system for the customer. We used this back in 2008 when we first started doing shows before building our own websites. You can customize your site by adding your logo and you may even be able to have a blind domain name by now, you can still be abcHorsephotography.com/smugmug or something like that. You set your own prices and size offerings. You can create galleries and if you just wanted to sell all of your horse shows online, you can use this online website to do it. It worked really well. You can sign up here, it’s pretty reasonable for the year considering all you get. Create Stunning Photo Websites with SmugMug – Try it Free!
Flicker is a great additional tool to your own website or a stand alone site to show and sell work online. Flicker has an easy way to upload sets of images, ie rider #42 and then her 20 images filed under Tucson Dressage Show April 21, 2016. You can sell prints, choose your own sizes and prices. It’s less expensive than SmugMug but also a simpler, less complex interface. I have a flickr account because I can import a slideshow to post on my wordpress site with their simple code. If I wanted to put up a few riders that didn’t see their pictures because they had a late event, I can make a horse show page and just post the Flicker slideshows I created and import the code onto my page. This saves me from having to create a slideshow for each rider in WordPress which isn’t as fast. The FLickr slideshow looks really good too. So Flicker is another tool that is really handy for this horse business. You can check them out here: http://www.flicker.com
Having a great relationship with a photography lab can be a real asset to your business. We have used BayPhoto in Northern California for 12+ years. Before that, I used Prolab in Seattle for 13 years until they went out of business. Having a great lab offers you peace of mind, knowing the prints are going to look great when they are ordered online and drop shipped directly to the client. Bayphoto has no affiliate program but I can vouch for their great customer service and fast turn around and of course, high quality prints. Give them a try if you need a solid pro-lab to handle your print orders from your equine portraits and horse shows. http://www.bayphoto.com
That about covers what you will need to do this amazing and fun business, Horse Photography! We sincerely hope this resource guide helps you put together your business and saves you lots of time and money, buying the wrong things! As above we disclosed that some of the links we have provided are affiliate links where we make a small commission when you purchase from those links. You are under no obligation to buy from us and this page or others, but we so appreciate it if you do! Don’t forget to check out our other resource pages: Take me to the other Resource articles!
Cheers and Thanks!
~River & Clay~