Inspired by Amanda Mustard’s list of helpful tools I compiled my own list of things that make my life easier as a freelance photojournalist.
For some items I found referral links that you can use to get discounts and send rewards to me.
200 SIM Card tray eject pins – If Marie Kondo asked me what brings me the most happiness this year it would be this box. Many times when I get to a border I need to switch sim cards and I always lose these SIM eject pins. Now I have spread these pins everywhere around my luggage and keychain and I will always be able to find one.
TransferWise (referral link) – I get paid, and pay, in a lot of currencies. With TransferWise I don’t have fees when clients transfer to my account. I also get a good rate and easily convert money between USD, GBP, EUR and more obscure currancies.
Things – An app for Mac and iPhone that allows me to quickly record ToDos, brainstorm larger projects, and plan out my day before everything goes pearshaped. It’s designed to be part of the Getting Things Done ecosystem and appears to be working for me.
Visible – The cheapest data in the US. It costs $25 a month for unlimited internet that can be tethered for transmitting photos on the road. When traveling abroad a lot I use Google Fi – Google Fi is another service that is flexible and predictable around the world. $20 a month plus $10 per GB of data in 200+ countries. Often it is cheaper to buy a local SIM for longterm data. But, with Google Fi I have one steady number for editors to reach me at and an easy backup wherever I go. Now that Google Fi has an eSIM I can use it alongside a local SIM while traveling.
Hiveage – We all need a system for creating and tracking invoices. Mine used to be a Google Docs template and a spreadsheet, it worked. But I find that once Hiveage is set up it takes a lot less time, and with their iPhone app I can quickly send an invoice while in a cab. Unfortunately they raised their rates recently.
Capture One – I have lived in Photoshop since version 5, but I just canceled my Adobe membership and switched to Capture One. Basically because the retouching looks more subtle when I use it. I can’t explain why but I prefer the colors and how it hides the halos produced by dodging and burning.
Wacom Intuos – Toning photos becomes physically painful, especially dodging and burning on a trackpad. A Wacom makes it slightly less painful, and after a few weeks of fiddling has become an extension of my hand. Get the bluetooth version so you can lean back.
Backblaze (referral link)- I finally have an offsite backup system for my 14TB archive for $50 a year. It took a year to upload everything, but now it is easy to keep it all up to date. Get the year extension so that you don’t have to plug in hard drives every month or turn off backups while traveling away from your archive.
Linode (referral link)- I’ve hosted websites on DreamHost for a long time, but switched to Linode with OpenLiteSpeed installed and WordPress as my CMS. It took a significant amount of time to set up and tweak, but my website is much faster.
Risk Map – While working in Egypt and the Middle East I have a deep network of news and contacts that keep me informed. While traveling in Western Africa I was a neophyte again but Risk Map helped me get an idea of risks on the ground.