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Em Knows Best


A list of the ways Em Pogo is right about things.

This isn't quite a place to check out yet, but it will be someday. Feel free to bookmark and come back later.

An incomplete list of my favorite things:


Táve. (use my referral link when you sign up for an extra free month) The most robust CRM out there; I've been a fan since before they starting looking modern and pretty. This is what keeps my business running and I could not function without it.

The Wedding School. I occasionally teach here; it's a great learning resource in spite of that. Click here to see a list of [some of] the classes/content I've taught or helped with.

CloudSpot. My new love in the gallery world, the backend is just as smart and modern and delightful as the beautiful client-facing galleries. Go get it. (Also they were cool enough to give me a link that will give you 20% off your subscription: http://bit.ly/emcloudspot)

Passion Planner. Yeah, it's a physical, paper planner, the kind you use with pens. I use the small, dated version; I adore crossing things off my to-do lists, the vertical weekly layout, the satisfying size/binding, and the super smooth paper. When my busy season ramps up this thing is what keeps me sane.


MagMod. I adore their products for their functionality and elegant UX design. I currently use the MagGrid, the MagSphere, and the MagGel system, along with the MagBox. In 2019 I was selected as a MagMod Ambassador, which basically means they love me back. 😍

(Confession: I have weird/funny nicknames for all of their products because I can never remember which Mag-Thing I'm using. The strangest one is probably "Hand Banana", which is an obscure reference to an ancient Adult Swim cartoon. If you ever see me teach: watch closely when I have to say the real name. You can practically see my brain grind to a halt while I search for the word.)

Sigma 24-35mm ƒ2 Art Lens. Check out my lengthy review at that link.

Clutch Hand Strap from Peak Design. Love this for my main camera body to reduce hand fatigue.

Universal Arca Mounting Plate. A plate like this is needed to use the above hand strap with Holdfast straps.

Holdfast MoneyMaker. Mine is the Bridle Leather in Chestnut; this style can take a bit to break in.

Field Pouch from Peak Design. I keep this little bag on a belt slung low over my hip. Best hip bag I've found for wedding days. (I spent a few minutes being crafty and replaced the velcro with magnets for a silent close.)

C8 CheetahStands. Auto-collapsing light stands. I have a ton of these and they're great.

Think Tank Airport Navigator. Top-loading rolling camera bag; incredibly underrated, indispensable to me on a wedding day. Love it so much I bought a second one for my assistant to use.

ƒ64 Light Stand Bag. Bought mine circa 2013 and it looks brand.freakin.new. Works great with the C8 CheetahStands; might be a bit short for taller stands.


Adobe InDesign. You should be using this for anything related to layout. Doing page layout in Photoshop is like eating soup with a fork. You COULD... or you could just use a spoon. InDesign is easy to learn. Learn it.

Photo Mechanic. I'm not sure how I managed before I starting using this, but it's one of the best investments I've ever made in my photo business. I use this to ingest raw files from cards, rename files sequentially, and most importantly: to cull weddings. It's a pretty utilitarian tool and may not seem as sexy as some software, but it's absolutely indispensable.

Grand Perspective. Visual tool for your Mac to identify why your hard drive space is vanishing– SO HELPFUL. You can buy this from the App Store if you're paranoid about 3rd party developers or you can download it from their website for free if you'd rather.

CopyClip. Perfect tiny tool to save multiple copy/paste items on your Mac; link is to the older version.

Mini Calendar. Do you remember "widgets"? I was always a big fan, and the demise of the widgets for Mac made me very sad, particularly because I no longer had access to a quick glance monthly calendar. Ideally I want this to sit in the side bar of the OS X notifications panel. That's what this app does, and it does it beautifully. Oh, and it's free.

Airtable. Free cloud-based databases? And they're pretty and flexible and shareable and you can make intake forms? And you can basically use them to do anything spreadsheets can do, but they're more flexible because they're databases? Yes please. (You want to use this even if you don't realize it yet.)

Speaking of Airtable, I made my ever-growing, crowd-sourced, photographers-need-new-Netflix-shows database using it. Speaking of which, please go add your favorite edit-binging shows (and bookmark this link for future reference/additions): https://www.pogophoto.com/tv

MacRumor's Buyer's Guide. This is invaluable if you're looking to buy any major Apple product (iPhone, iPad, any Mac computer, etc.) because it will tell you whether you should buy a product now or wait for a refresh if it's due to be released soon. They keep track of the lifespan of a product cycle for you. Always check.


Tripit. The easiest way to keep travel info sorted without having to copy/paste data from flight, hotel, ticket, car, etc. confirmation emails. (I've used the free version since 2012 and it's incredibly useful.) Signup is quick, setup is quick, and usage is super simple: you just forward your itinerary emails and it automatically files them for you. Access your trips via calendar subscription feed or through their reasonably good mobile app.

Stannis the Cat. My amazing cat. He's cranky. He has his own Instagram account. He won't follow back.

Iceland. The freakin' best place on earth. Don't muck it up by being a jerk if you visit.

NARS sheer lipstick in Gipsy. The best lipstick ever. The end.

Rothy's. Love these flats for when I want to be comfortable but still have to look like I tried to dress up a bit. (Yup, it's a referral link... $20 off last I checked.)

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. This stuff is what saves my lips when I travel. And when I'm home. It's perfection. (Have to give credit to Susan for this one.)

The Snack. Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced Granny Smith green apples, and Black Pepper Triscuits. This is now your favorite snack. You're welcome. (No link because it's just food, go buy it.)

SWITCHEL. Feeling terrible? My mom's home remedy is a Vermont tradition and it will make you feel better. Really. Make some and drink it.

Pain or tightness in your neck or shoulders? Stretch your lower back. YES. YOUR LOWER BACK. Even if it doesn't hurt at all. Why? Because everything's connected and tightness in your lower back can throw off the rest of your back and/or body. (I know lots of things but I'm not a doctor, so use your own best judgement and don't take my word for any of this stuff.) From personal experience: I thought I had messed up my shoulder badly enough to need cortisone injections. Constant irritated pain, bad enough that I had trouble sleeping for months. And then I got a deep tissue massage and turns out my lower back was super locked up. After that was loosened? Wow. Magic. Suddenly I wasn't in pain anymore. Weeeeird. (Except it's not weird. Start stretching more, things might surprise you.) This tip inspired by my sister Monica, who scoffed that her back didn't hurt and then discovered, golly, maybe it is tight after all. ❤️

This is still a temporary list so I can troll my friends for having to constantly admit that I'm right. Hi, friends! I love you too! I'll keep expanding it into a much bigger resource as I think of things to add. In the meantime, you don't have to remember this page's address. The link www.emknowsbest.com will take you right here.

Note: a few of these are affiliate or referral links. I never recommend stuff that I don't freakin' love, so might as well get a tiny kickback or bonus if you love it too. :-)

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