It’s really easy for us to get lost in technology and lose sight of what really matters, which is building a solid business and giving our clients the best possible experience. There are some pretty stellar tools out there that can help us achieve both of those things, and I’m going to save you the time of digging through the app store and wasting money on things that don’t really matter. Here are 10 apps that every photographer should know about that will actually help you grow your business and wow your clients. Do you need to use all 10 of these? Nope. Just use the ones that apply to your genre and your style. If you’re not sure how one of these can help you, post a question in the comments below and I’m happy to help!
I will note that I’m not including any social media apps like Instagram or Facebook. I’m assuming you already have those, and if not that’s great too. Limiting the amount of time you spend on there is probably for the better.
Ok, seriously. How cool is this? You can take any of your photos and animate them in just a few minutes and then export a file that is already optimized for whatever social media platform you want to post on. Platograph is reeeeaaaaalllly easy to use and you can do some pretty amazing things with it. It adds life to your photos and really takes them to the next level. They are more eye-catching and it looks like you spent tons of time and money to do it, but you didn’t. That’s a win. Here a couple of mine that I posted to Instagram. Just click play!
There isn’t an android version, but another comparable app is Loopsie
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Does your photography make someone feel something? We have a special gift to share and we can completely change how someone sees themself. It's the most rewarding part of my job. Showing someone the awesomeness that I see in them. @luma.jaguarakaharlow.the.clown . . . . . . @canonusa @sigmalenses @animoto @stickyalbums #creative #creativephotography #offcameraflash #offcameralighting #photographyclass #pursuitofportraits #photographyworkshop #unportraits #unportrait #photogsunite! #photogsunite #sanjosephotographer #sanfranciscophotographer #bayareaphotographer #conceptuaphotography #conceptualart #fire #firedance #firedancer #fireeater #firegoddess #firesword #animated #platograph
Are you tired of posting photos on instagram and having to crop them? I HATE having to crop my photos. That’s why I love this app. Just choose your photo on your phone and you can add any color negative space around your image to make a square without having to crop it or bring it in to Photoshop to add canvas around the image. Plus, it has an export option to send it right into Instagram. It will save you a bunch of time and you won’t have to crop your photos any more.
This one has nothing to do with photos, but if you are making money from your photography, this app will log all of your miles for tax purposes. It tracks your trip every time you drive somewhere and saves it. All you have to do is swipe each trip left for ‘personal’ or right for ‘business’ and it logs all of your miles driven. This makes tracking your miles insanely easy. It’s all automatic. And this app is approved by the IRS (here in the USA) so when you submit your miles driven during tax season, you don’t have to worry about it being legitimate.
4.Geotag Photos Pro
Have you ever been driving around and found a killer new location for a future shoot? And then you forget where it is before you can shoot there? Yeah. Me too. That’s why this app is so good. You can log all of your favorite spots to shoot with GPS coordinates
5. Dark Sky Finder
If you like to photograph the night sky, you know how hard it is to find places away from city lights where you can take long exposures without having the glow of civilization interfere. This app will tell you exactly where to go to avoid the city lights.
6. Photographer’s Tools Pro
This is the Swiss Army knife of photog apps. It has a calculator for hyperfocal distance (for landscape photographers), blue and golden hour times, sunrise and sunset times, moonrise times, an ND filter calculator, and a neutral grey card.
7. Scene Scout
Whether you are traveling to a new city, or looking for new places to shoot in your own town, this app is a database of locations for photographers. You can find cool spots and geotag them for future use or search their database for locations that other photogs have shared. It’s really handy when you need just the right kind of place but don’t know of anything off hand.
8. Easy Release
Do you ever photograph people or things? Well, you need to get releases if you ever want to use those for advertising or promotional purposes. That includes sticking them on your website gallery. As long as you have a smart phone or tablet with you, Easy Release has got your back. You can create and fill out model releases right in the app and then email them to everyone involved. The releases are approved by Getty Images and Istockphoto.
This is a mobile lighting diagram creator. If you are on location and find a new lighting setup, you can create the diagram right there and save it for future use. You can also go in and save lighting setups so you have them in your back pocket (or front, depending on where you keep your phone…) when you’re out at a shoot. This is really handy when you’re learning about using flash.
10. The Posing App
One of the things I tell all of my students and coaching clients is to sketch out poses you see and keep them as reference for your shoots. It’s waaaay better than keeping actual photos as reference because you don’t want your clients to compare themselves to the models in the photos. This app saves you the time and of sketching out and logging all of the poses. It’s a really easy way to never run out of posing options on a wide variety of shoots. This is 100% worth the $1.99.
Mike is the Tim Burton of photography. He tells powerful, imaginative stories with cinematic photography. He specializes in dramatic, film-noir style boudoir and epic cinematic portraits. He's also the creative force behind Photogs Unite! which focuses on learning from professionals outside the photography industry to learn marketing, sales, branding, and everything else you need to know to build a thriving photography business. And burritos are the key to his happiness.