get to know me more!

i'm a wedding and portrait photographer in kansas city!

I fell in love with creating a space for people to be themselves several years ago. Since then I have photographed so many people who care about each other deeply and I love sharing their stories with anyone who will listen.

Hey, I'm Tay!

10 Must Have Tools for Photographers

Establishing a workflow sucks.

It’s a fact. There’s so much trial and error and paying for things you may never use simply so you can maybe stumble upon something that really works.

Here’s the great thing.

My first couple years as a legal, established business? I threw so much money at different programs and apps and tools that I’ve got my workflow down pat & if I’m in a crunch… I can deliver a wedding in under a week and a portrait session in less than 24 hours. Seriously. I wrote a blog post about it!

Here’s 10 tools that help me the most as a wedding and boudoir photographer.

(updated to what I use now in December 2018!)

  1. Photo Mechanic (1 license $150)- Ever wish it didn’t take 575, 600 minutes for your RAW files to load in Lightroom so that you could cull quickly and move on with your life? Photo Mechanic is your perfect alternative for this. It displays your files as high res jpeg files so that you can quickly sort through, see if something’s out of focus and THEN move them to Lightroom. It’s an extra step but it’s one that saves you HOURS in the long run. Here’s a couple of video tutorials I’ve looked at to help out: 1/2

  2. DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!

2.  Adobe Lightroom Classic CC/Adobe Photoshop CC – Lightroom is what I use to do all of my “simple edits”. I use different presets depending on the situation but my favorites are: SOULMATE Presets, Cascade Presets, & Mastin Labs Presets. All of these presets I’ve found also work well with the skin of POC. Once I’m done with my overall color edits, I move them into Photoshop for any skin smoothing, heavy duty object removal, etc.

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES.

 10 Tools for Photographers - Lightroom

10 Tools for Photographers – Lightroom

 3. Blogstomp ($49 single user, $89 studio pack)- The most tedious part of blogging for me was always getting everything the proper width, making appealing collages, & being able to do this quickly. Blogstomp does ALL of that for me. In the screenshot below you’ll see that the images you put in load on the left, you choose which ones you want and they appear in the center. On the right you’ll see all of the possible combinations and collage types. You can shuffle the photos, move them manually, or press “enter” and you’re done! Easy right? They also offer Album and Proofing solutions, but I cannot speak to how useful those are personally.

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!

 10 Tools for Photographers - Blogstomp

10 Tools for Photographers – Blogstomp

Honorable Mention: Narrative It’s currently only for Mac and is in the semi-early stages. In theory it’s a great software and I’m excited for it to grow (especially since I invested in a year with it on Black Friday), but currently I don’t rely on it. There’s built in SEO features and the ability to publish blog posts directly from their software. It’s too buggy for me right now, but I know other people use it and love it.

4. JPegMini Pro ($99)- You drag and drop your files into the software and it reduces your image size without compromising any of the quality. Perfect for making your images load faster online, taking up less space on your hard drive, and sending smaller files to your clients. I threw some random photos in here just to show you what the screen looks like. You’ll see up top the lifetime amount of space I’ve saved, it’ll show you what photos were skipped if they were already too small, and then you’ll see how much space it saved you during your current session. 100% worth the money when you’re a high volume photographer, especially. I actually have a Lightroom plugin that uses jpeg mini upon export. I then use blogstomp. I THEN run it back through jpegmini for the best optimization.

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!

 Top Tools for Photographers - JpegMini

Top Tools for Photographers – JpegMini

5. Dubsado($25/month or $250/year) – Oh how I love Dubsado. Let me count the ways. Dubsado is a client management tool that has saved my life. Before I forget, use this link: https://www.dubsado.com/?c=heytay or my code ‘heytay’ for 20% off! Dubsado allows you to keep all of your payments, contracts, etc. in one place. You can use paypal, stripe or square to collect payments as well. They’re constantly improving and adding features. Recently they have added a built-in scheduler. (Think Calendly, Acuity, etc.)

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!(YOU CAN USE CREATE 3 “JOBS” FOR FREE)

 Top Tools for Photographers - Dubsado

Top Tools for Photographers – Dubsado

Alternatives: HoneyBook,17HatsTavéSprout Studio

6. Mile IQ ($5.99/month or $60/year OR 40 free drives/month)- Mile IQ is a great time saver. No need to keep a list in your car of where you’re going and how many miles you went to get there. Mile IQ is an app for your phone that automatically tracks your drives. At the end you categorize what’s for business and what’s for pleasure. It then makes it easy for you to hand over to a CPA for mileage deduction!

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!

 Top Tools for Photographers - Mile IQ

Top Tools for Photographers – Mile IQ

7. Pic-Time (free option of 20gb/month, but they get 15% of your commission. Options to upgrade from here) – Pic-Time is how I deliver my galleries to clients. After being a die hard Pixieset user for years, I made the transition for a couple of reasons. Mostly, you get more space for your photos for less money. It allows me to house my clients photos for longer (forever, if you want. There are limited storage options). Click here to see all of my public galleries and get an idea for how the galleries work.

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!

 Top Tools for Photographers - Pic-Time

Top Tools for Photographers – Pic-Time

Alternatives: Pixieset,Shootproof,PassCloudSpot

8. Smart Albums ($299 one-time fee) – Hate designing albums? I’ve got a cure for that too! Smart Albums is an investment (I bought this and most items on Black Friday for a steal), but it’s so simple. You load all of your photos and place them in the book. You can choose from a million different album companies and sizes. Afterward, you can choose your layout & upload from there. It also comes with the ability for web proofing where your client can provide feedback and view their album online. This feature is $13/month or you can purchase per album.

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!14-DAY TRIAL AVAILABLE AT LINK

 Top 10 Tools for Photographers

Top 10 Tools for Photographers

Alternatives: Fundy, AlbumStomp

9. Squarespace / WordPress with Flothemes($18/annually or $26/monthly for business) / ($279 per theme with discounts after purchasing one) – Squarespace for my boudoir brand is exactly what I need. It’s simple, easy to design, and displays my images in a clean, crisp way. I did some extra customization in Photoshop with some CSS to make things work. The website you’re on now is Flothemes with WordPress. It’s a little more guided, you can still use CSS but with WordPress you are able to have more customization options through plugins. It can be difficult to keep up to date, but I love the look and feel of it.

Below is a screenshot of my boudoir brand, Hey Boudie

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES/NO!

 Top Tools for Photographers - Squarespace

Top Tools for Photographers – Squarespace

Alternatives: WeeblyWixShowitWordPress w/ ProPhoto

10. SmartSlides (Plans range annually from $8/month to $32/month)– One of my favorite things to do, that sets me apart from my competitors, is put together a slideshow in the first week of their wedding. It gets them excited to see their images and is a fun way to share the fun of the day with friends and family! Smartslides makes it super easy with their huge library of royalty free music and different layouts.

DOES IT OFFER A FREE TRIAL? YES!

 Top Tools for Photographers

Top Tools for Photographers

Alternatives: WaveXero

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- ellen & Dru Johnston

I can't recommend Tayanna highly enough. Not only were our pictures beautiful, but also she was an incredibly wonderful person to work with. She responds to emails quickly, and was flexible and organized. On our wedding day, it was awesome to have her around: she was fun and positive, and made bridal party pics and family pics actually fun and enjoyable. She's the best.

"She's the best."

- BEBE & ryan Thompson

I am absolutely blessed to have chosen Tay for my elopement, both as a photographer and an ordained minister. It was an intimate ceremony and something so special that I will never forget. The ceremony and photos took place in the very cold snow, because I love snow! Tay was a champ making sure I got the best possible images that would bring back memories of this day forever! I have already had many people tell me that they were some of the best wedding photos they’ve ever seen! 😊 if you’re planning on eloping or need photos for your big wedding, Tay is your girl!

"Tay is your girl!"

jordan & eric dalbey

Tayanna is amazing! Her pictures are beautiful, she listens to exactly what you are looking for, helps you come up with a timeline for your big day and makes you feel comfortable having your picture taken. She was recommended to me by 2 friends whose wedding pictures I loved and after meeting with her I knew she was the one to capture our wedding day. Now I'm recommending her to you! Hire her. You'll be so happy you did!

"Hire her."

kind words