You've got a well-trained staff, the best camera gear on the market, and a client list that's chomping at the bit for your images. The next step in managing your appointments, images, and marketing efforts is upgrading or shopping around for the software that will help you keep your workflow in check. Read on to see some of the newest software solutions, as well as photographer testimonials that speak to how they've implemented these solutions into their workflows. For additional information on each company's software, check out the individual websites.
Category: Image Editing, Image Management, Processing, Slideshow, Workflow
ACDSee Pro 2 puts a new level of control and convenience into photographers' hands, featuring next-generation workflow management and raw processing functionality. The updated version of this "one-stop" software package for viewing, processing, editing, cataloging, publishing, and archiving digital images is rich with features. The capabilities of ACDSee Pro 2 leverages the power of today's DSLRs and supports an expanding variety of raw-format files.
"The Channel Mixer, and the fact that it's available for batch processing, will save a ton of time creating B&W proofs to show a client after a portrait or wedding session. This item alone is worth far more than the price of the software in time savings, even over other batch-conversion processes I've tried in the past."-Norman J. Wilson
Category: Image Editing
Photoshop CS3 is a major upgrade, offering new innovations in editing power. You can now perfect your images with nondestructive filters and powerful color-correction and healing tools. You can create sophisticated composites more easily than ever with tools for automatically aligning and blending layers, making quick selections, and more.
Photoshop Lightroom is the photographer's essential toolbox, providing one easy application for managing, adjusting, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs so you can spend less time in front of the computer and more time behind the lens. Photoshop Lightroom includes a wealth of innovative features that streamline digital photography workflows.
Album Design Software
Category: Image Editing, Image Management, Slideshow, Workflow
Album DS is advanced album creation software for PC and Macintosh. Version 5.0 adds Album Easy effects, the ability to load most Photoshop actions as Album DS buttons, and more. Album DS 5.0 comes with 1,000 templates that are automatically resizable to any album format and aspect ratio and can be used for flush-mount and matted albums from any manufacturer. Templates are flippable and searchable, and easy to customize. Also included are tons of sloppy borders, masks, fades, edge effects, frames, and clip art.
"I've checked out a lot of album design software programs, and nothing comes close to the power of Album DS. What I like best about it is that it is used directly with Photoshop. I don't have to jump from one program to another-all the power of Photoshop is there. Not only can I easily modify the templates, I can also create my own templates, add my own action sets, masks, etc. This is brilliantly designed software!"-Tashia
Category: Image Editing
Exposure 2 is the feature-packed, new version of Alien Skin Software's Photoshop plug-in that gives digital photographs the look and feel of film. Whether you're a fashion or wedding photographer, a designer, or art director, Exposure 2 gives you one-click access to the broadest range of film stock and special effects settings available anywhere. Exposure 2 features settings for push and cross processing, vastly improved infrared simulation, and sophisticated color to black-and-white conversion.
"Exposure captures every film I want with digital ease."-Max Ferguson
Category: Image Management
Aperture set the standard for professional photo management applications. Flexible photo management options let you store images wherever you'd like. New features include XMP metadata export, an advanced Color Adjustment tool, and a new Edge Sharpen tool; metadata presets that automatically add such critical data as copyright, credit, and captions; new options for the Loupe; and adjustment presets. Aperture 1.5 provides raw support for over 70 camera models from leading manufacturers.
"Aperture has become as essential to me as my camera, lens, and tripod. At the end of a day's shoot, it's so easy to find photos in my Aperture library and use amazing tools like the Light Table to quickly piece something together and figure out what I need to make the story complete."-Steve Winter
Auto FX Software
Category: Image Editing, Slideshow
Founded in 1994, Auto FX Software has grown to be one of the largest developers of visual imaging and web design software for both Macintosh and Windows platforms. The company's software (which includes Photo/Graphic Edges 6.0, Mystical Lighting, Mystical Tint Tone & Color, AutoEye 2.0, DreamSuite Series, Xtivity, and Pixtivity) works as a stand-alone solution and as a plug-in for graphic programs including Adobe Photoshop, Corel Photo-Paint, and Paint Shop Pro.
Category: Image Management, Workflow
If you're tired of babysitting your computer while downloading your images, check out Backupandburn Software. Simply put your memory card or cards into your reader, type in a name, put in a blank DVD, and click "begin." Images will be renamed and renumbered, sorted by time, copied to two different hard drives, and then burned to a CD/DVD. The software is available for Windows, with a Mac version to come.
"Backupandburn saves my staff hours and hours of time. In about 60 seconds, they're able to run the software and tell it to put all the images from an entire wedding together into one folder and burn a DVD. It does all the work while they do something else."-Hanson Fong