My Favorite Programs to Use for Photography and Design

As a photographer and graphic designer, I have a lot of programs that I have to know how to use, and use frequently. There are some that I don’t particularly like working in, and then there are others that I absolutely love. Below I’ll share some of my absolute favorite programs!

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Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is probably my most used program. This is where I design all of my logos and branding for different clients. Its also my very favorite program to work in. Its incredibly versatile in what you can design in it. Illustrator is used for vector based graphics, which are graphics that can be scaled to any size and remain perfect in appearance, without pixelation. If you are looking to learn any sort of design, I highly recommend learning about Illustrator. Here are some amazing resources to learn all about Illustrator:

Adobe Lightroom

For about 99% of my editing, I use Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is such an incredibly useful editing program. My favorite thing about Lightroom is the ability to sync all of my editing from one image to the rest of the images in a set. The ability to use presets as well is super helpful, as it allows the images from each session to look consistent in color, white balance, exposure, etc. Presets also help my work look consistent from session to session.


Oh boy. Where do I even begin to tell about how amazing Blogstomp is? This program makes my blogging so so much easier. This program creates collages of images with hardly any work at all. It also automatically resizes images that are perfect for your website. For a one time payment of about $50, you can get this program and totally change the way that you blog. I went from spending at least an hour on each blog post, writing and adding images, to about 10-15 minutes, because the work for my images was already done for me and all I have to do now is upload each image/collage of images. Check out Blogtomp HERE.

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This program is a little more unconventional for a lot of designers, but I have quickly grown to love it. Procreate is an app for the iPad that you can use to make pretty much any piece of artwork that you want. Although I love Illustrator, Procreate is great because I can draw everything by hand, instead of using a mouse or trying to learn how to use a drawing tablet (still on my list of things to learn, BTW). Procreate can be found in the app store for about a one time $10 purchase. Check out more on Procreate HERE.


Canva is a great website for creating social media graphics. You can choose from a ton of different templates, all sized for what you need them for. You can create Pinterest graphics, Instagram story or feed graphics, Facebook covers, Twitter posts, business cards, YouTube channel art, Etsy shop covers, etc. You can choose to design your own from scratch, or you can use one of their pre-made designs. You can change colors, fonts, and images to match your branding and be consistent through all of your social media and website presence. Canva has a free and a paid option. I currently use the free version, and it works perfectly for what I need it for. Click here to find out more about Canva.

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Planoly is another favorite program of mine. This handy app/website is used for scheduling out your Instagram posts. They’ve also just added scheduling for Facebook posts! Planoly will automatically post to Instagram/Facebook for you. So all you’ve got to do is upload your images, write out your captions, add your hashtags/geotags/account tags, and schedule it for a specific day and time, and Planoly will do the rest for you. This app has been a lifesaver for me as a busy mom. I went from spending all day on my phone and posting to Instagram, to spending an hour or so a week creating posts and scheduling them out so I never had to remember to do it. Planoly also has a free and a paid version. The free version allows you to schedule out 28 posts a month and automatically post them to Instagram. The paid version will allow unlimited posts for both Instagram and Facebook. Planoly also has a great app for creating Instagram story graphics. You can add pictures, text, etc. and change colors and fonts to match your branding. Information on Planoly can be found HERE.

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I would love to hear more about some of your favorite programs or apps that you use to make your life and business easier! Leave me a comment below telling me which ones you love!