10 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Photographers
Being a professional photographer means you will likely wear many hats in your entrepreneurial role as a business owner. From accountant to photo editor, office manager, and marketer, keeping up with these tasks can get overwhelming. Fortunately, several mobile apps can make our lives much more manageable for today’s expense tracking, sun-seeking, and money-making photographer. So I’ve put together a list of 10 mobile apps photographers should have to be more productive and elevate their photography business to the next level.
1. Social Media
Recommended: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. We use social media every day in our personal lives, and as photographers, we can significantly benefit from the use of social media in our photography business. From promoting our businesses to connecting with clients and networking with other professionals, social media gives you a platform to speak and reach your audience.
I love using social media to gain inspiration and keep up with industry trends. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are not only excellent resources for our clients to get ideas from, but we can also use them as creatives for our inspiration. Using Facebook groups from the mobile app, for example, is a great way to stay connected and network with other professionals when we are out and about. Additionally, Pinterest is great for creating vision boards of photography ideas you love.
2. Payment Processors
Recommended: PayPal, Square
As much passion and love we may have for our craft as photographers, love doesn’t pay the bills. We have to collect money from our clients somehow, and what better way to do that than with efficient mobile apps.
Payment processing apps like PayPal and Square help us process credit cards easily and quickly, making it more convenient for clients and entrepreneurs. I’m mainly a big fan of the PayPal mobile app because it allows you to send and request money and quickly see your transactions and activity. Additionally, both PayPal and Square mobile apps will enable you to swipe credit cards in person.
3. CRM System
Recommended: 17 Hats, Sprout Studio
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are an essential daily tool for professional photographers. These systems allow us to capture client leads and set up workflows, bookings, and automation. We use our CRM systems every single day, throughout the day.
17 Hats is our CRM system of choice for our business because it’s very user-friendly and has a beautiful and straightforward aesthetic. I love that I can access all of our client information from the 17 Hats mobile app. There are various other helpful CRM tools available. Some of the more popular ones include Shoot Q, Tave Studio, and Sprout Studio.
4. Sun Tracking apps
Recommended: Sun Seeker, Magic Hour
You know that moment when you're photographing a portrait session, and you are out at the perfect time, with the light hitting your subject at just the right angle and intensity? You don't have to depend on luck or guesswork to make this moment a reality.
Sun tracking apps, like Sun Seeker, use a built-in compass system that allows you to calculate precisely what time the sun will be at a particular time of the day. These apps will inform you what time the sun will rise and set and track the angle of the sun. These apps even give you the exact time frame of the widely sought-after “magic hour.”
5. Photo Editor
Recommended: Lightroom, Snapseed, Pixlr
Most photographers spend more time editing photos than they spend behind the camera or running their business. When you can’t be behind your laptop or desktop screen, some fantastic photo editing apps allow you to edit your images on the go.
The Adobe Lightroom mobile app for editing is my personal favorite. I use Lightroom to process all of my images and find that for simplicity, productivity, and capability, Lightroom gets the job done, and their mobile app is no different.
6. Camera Apps
Recommended: Nikon, Canon, Sony
Depending on the camera you use, the corresponding app can be ultra-useful. For example, I use Sony’s camera app for its remarkable features like live preview and because it easily creates multiple exposure images.
With the lens compensation feature of the Sony camera app, users can manually select correction values for peripheral lens shading, chromatic aberration, and distortion. Nikon and Canon have comparable apps and features for their camera systems.
7. Camera Control
Recommended: CamRanger, Smart Remote Control
Apps that allow you to be your photographer by letting you control your shutter, for example, can come in handy. Say you want to take a creative shoot with a super slow shutter speed. Even the slightest shift of the hand to release the shutter can cause a very blurry image from the shake. Camera control apps allow you to operate your camera from your phone remotely.
With camera control apps like CamRanger, you can set up your camera on a tripod and take your self-portraits or perhaps even record your own instructional or informational videos for your clients. These apps also allow you to focus your camera, release the shutter, or start recording, all from your mobile phone.
8. Image Storage
Recommended: Dropbox, Google Drive
Cloud-based storage is an excellent resource for photographers because it allows you to have your images, videos, audiobooks, downloads, and documents with you. These apps are beneficial to me when I am traveling.
With Google Drive, I can save images I may want to share, access, or download later and have them easily accessible on my phone. Cloud-based storage also keeps your images safe from being accidentally lost or deleted since they are stored remotely.
9. Track expenses, Millage tracking
Recommended: Expensify, Mile IQ
As business owners, photographers can significantly benefit from having mobile apps that make it easier to keep track of their day-to-day business expenses.
Expensify allows you to record expenses on the fly. This app allows its users to record and report costs based on clients or projects, so you can always look back on past projects and track money flow. In addition, apps like Mile IQ help users track vehicle mileage and gas costs. This data can then easily be used when tax season rolls around.
Recommended: Gmail, Outlook
Constant contact with your clients and leads is super important and valuable. I love the Gmail app's immediate notification you receive when an email comes in. Sometimes a quick reply can mean the difference between booking a client and losing them to a competitor.