Tools and Resources
The following is a collection of tools and resources I used to bring the Humans of Nelson project to life. Maybe you have an idea for a book, or a thing, that you want to bring to the world. The follow products come highly recommended and were very much an integral part of the success of the Humans of Nelson project.
An important disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I have personal experience with all of these companies and products and I recommend them not because of the small commission I receive, but because I think they will be helpful and useful. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you need them or think they will help you achieve your goals.
First, Build a Great Website
BlueHost (Domain Names and Web Hosting)
Got a great idea? Check to see if you can grab the domain name for it. When I thought of doing the Humans of Nelson, I immediately looked to see if I could grab the domain name and hosting to build my website.
SquareSpace (Website Builder)
The Humans of Nelson website was built using Squarespace. It's nice, right?! SquareSpace is known for it's beautiful templates, easy to use drag & drop interface, and built-in eCommerce tools. I use it to sell the book to my fans around the world. Don't be overwhelmed! Check out this tutorial I created that shows you how to build a website just like this one! Create a Gorgeous Website with SquareSpace.
ConvertKit (Email Marketing)
Premier email marketing software. If you already know you need to build an email list for your business - complete with opt-in incentives and killer autoresponders - then you have to check out Convert Kit. Mailchimp is a free alternative but not nearly as good IMO. I made the switch a year ago and couldn't be happier.
Other Cool Stuff
SmugMug (Photography Website Builder)
SmugMug is a photography centred website builder for pros and serious amateurs. I've used SmugMug for 10 years to run my photography wedding and portrait business. Use this link to save 20% when you sign up for your SmugMug account. And watch my free tutorial on how to build a gorgeous photography website with SmugMug. I've helped hundreds of people build their own photography website with SmugMug.
LastPass (Password Management)
LastPass allows me to never have to remember a password again. While at the same time, making sure I have Strong passwords for all the accounts I have online. Fantastic tool I don't know how I lived without. Highly recommended! Seamless integration between multiple computers and smart phones.
Digital Photography School (Become a Better Photographer)
I am a self-taught photographer. I've never taken a class. But I love to learn through eBooks. And there are some fantastic ones at DPS. In particular, check out Portraits: Making the Shot. If I can learn how to take a good portrait, then so can you!
Kickstarter (Crowdfund Your Great Idea)
I raised over $10,000 to launch the Humans of Nelson book. Without raising those funds I wouldn't have the cash to self-publish and print the book. This is my second successful crowdfunded campaign. Back in 2011, I raised $7,000 to build the Nelson Walking Audio Tour. Crowdfunding allows your fans to give you the capital you need to launch your idea into the world.
The Forest Design (Pro-Designer, Steven Cretney)
I have no idea how to design a book. Thank God Steven does! He came highly recommended when I was ready to get cracking on the book. Fantastic guy who does fantastic work. Whether you're in Nelson or across the globe, I highly recommend you give Steven a call if you need a design that makes your thing look gooooooood.
Camera gear is personal. When folks ask me what I recommend and which camera they should buy, I always say "Buy the most expensive camera you can afford, and the one that feels best in your hands." For me, that's the Olympus OM-D EM-5. And for my Humans of Nelson portraits, I almost exclusively used the Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens. Super sharp. And I loved the snap ring for quick manual focus. Brilliant!
Adobe Lightroom - Photo editing (and organizing) software that's an industry standard.
Google Docs - I use this free tool to brainstorm, to write, to organize, and to collaborate. And it does spreadsheets too.
Humans of New York - As Pablo Picasso once said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Thanks Brandon.