Nov 28, 2013

5 Great Apps That Can Help Improve Your Photography Business

There is this rumour going around that we photographers have a tendency to be a pretty busy breed. Apparently we tend to live and breathe our craft leaving little room in our lives for anything else. Anything that can help make the less creative aspects of our career a little bit less distracting is always a welcome addition so today I am going to share how I use the following five apps to streamline my workflow so that I can spend more time looking through a lens. Let us know what the best apps around are for your everyday needs.

PhotoBuddy (iPhone)

Price: $1.99

PhotoBuddy is one of those little gems of an app that gifts you with a ton of useful tools at a nice low price. PhotoBuddy is a tool to help you quickly make photography related calculations that can help you better manage a shoot or use your camera.

PhotoBuddy specifically has 3 primary tools:

Sun & Moon: This nifty little tool allows you to quickly and easily calculate precise sunrise and sunset times and more importantly it helps you calculate the actual window of time that you can expect to experience that magical period of perfect light.

Exposure: A somewhat less useful tool for more experienced photographers this little doohickey helps you calculate exposure adjustments quickly and easily.

DoF: While we all tend to have a vague idea of how the depth of field behaves at a certain f-stop on a certain lens this fantastic little calculator helps you quickly calculate the precise depth of field for virtually any lens.

In addition to the above PhotoBuddy also has calculators to help you figure out diffraction, flash power, angle of view, bracketing, distance, color temperature, bulb mode, bellows length and it also has a built in video slate that can be used in a pinch.

GPS Pal (iPhone and Android)

Price: Free

GPS Pal is a fantastic app created by Columbia as a freebie to build their outdoor clothing brand. It is a tool designed for hikers to track their hike progress while also documenting interesting things the come across along the trail.

Simply put: GPS Pal is a GPS tracker that maps your movement and allows you to log notes, images, and videos as you go.

What a great app for hikers! Right? But what about Photographers? Most of us don’t spend our days lost in the wild chasing landscapes. This app is incredibly useful for any location photographer. I’d say it is the world’s most handy tool to help make location scouting easy. The ability to track the path of everywhere you scouted and take notes/images/video along the way allows you to easily document the various locations.

Trello (Browser, iPhone, iPad, and Android)

Price: Free

I have bounced around using different todo/scheduling/project management apps for years and never really found any of them to work well within my workflow.

Trello, for one reason or another, was different, an art director colleague of mine showed it to me and now I use it obsessively. I think what truly makes Trello magical is that it is so absolutely simple to use while still having a ton of depth as needed. It allows you to meld the workflow of the tool to meet the needs of what is most useful to you.

I have come to use Trello to track virtually all my administrative and creative tasks. Whether it is listing clients feedback, planning my gear purchasing roadmap, or even collaborating with a client to craft a moodboard for a shoot. Trello has become an invaluable tool that gifts me the freedom of time through efficiency on a daily basis.

AwesomeNote+ (iPhone, iPad, Galaxy Note)

Price: $3.99

There are a lot of note taking apps out there. In fact I use several of them for various reasons but I find AwesomeNote+ is simply the most elegant tool for writing. I am writing this post right now using it.

I find AwesomeNote+ so handy because it syncs nicely to Google Drive which means I can come up with ideas as they come to me on my phone, then I can write about them comfortably using my iPad, which then gets all synced to Google Drive for super easy access on a computer when it comes time for me to turn that text into a post on a webpage.

Wave (Browser based)

Price: Free

I think it is probably fairly universal that we as photographers aren’t terribly fond of managing the money side of our business. Wave, for me, was one of those special moments where I realized a magical genie in the cloud could handle half my financial headache automatically without me even thinking about it.

Basically what Wave does is it tracks all your digital expense so you can do your bookkeeping without having to manually enter expenses. You can also use wave to view your financial trends, send invoices, accept digital payment and also to evaluate your profitability.


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    Bradford A. Ciecko

    Missing also is Focalware and Release Me. Focalware is a similar app to Focal Buddy in that it calculates sunrise/set Moonrise/set times but goes into its exact position at any time on any day in any year. I use this religiously to scout locations, for a wedding I’ll be doing next October, I already know what time I need to be at my specific location and which direction to face the couple. I love it. Only downfall is it’s only for iPhone/iPod touch–iOS essentially. I use an Android phone and I couldn’t find anything as intuitive and/or cohesive.
    Release Me is an app by Joey L. and is for model releases. It is also only for iOS, a bummer for me running Android (I should just switch back to iPhone cause iPod touch is only WiFi–sigh… You snap a picture with your phone, put in their personal info and any shoot details and they sign with their finger. A PDF is mailed to them and you for printing and nothing can be augmented without their signature again. It’s pretty rad and takes care of carrying around paper and filling while in the field or on location–it’s one less thing to keep track of since your phone is already with you more likely than not.

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    Robert Macklyn

    In a photography business no doubt photo apps makes sense in a better way, but certain tools are there which keep importance in the business segment, like the accounts management tool keep utmost importance in the move for a better end result all the way ahead. Being an entrepreneur I have deployed the expense reporting tool from Replicon () that has make a significant difference in the move for a better saving. I think so in photography business as well the same work out profitably.

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    Achileas Liras

    Really Interesting list! I am currently looking for a tool to organize my everyday tasks and that list really helps! I am testing Comidor at the moment, which is not listed here but I will totally take a look at your suggestions! Thanks a lot!