How do professional photographers keep everything organized? Between the appointments, advertising, social media sharing, and accounting there is so much to keep track of. Luckily we’ve compiled a list of the best photography apps out there to keep you organized AND provide you with helpful information when planning your shoots.
What apps do professional photographers use?
This answer isn’t straightforward since there are so many different types of photographers. There are very few best photography apps that apply to all photographers. Most phone apps are created to solve problems specific to certain kinds of photographers (more on that below). These apps are the ones we believe are useful for all photographers.
This app is the king of keeping track of your appointments. Google chrome integrates into all kinds of other software, including Cole’s Classroom very own client management system: Hey Ned. Enter your client’s photo shoot details into Google Calendar and schedule a notification to alert you before your appointment time starts. Make sure to enter your photo shoot location into Google Calendar because it integrates seamlessly with Google Maps. With the press of a single button, you’ll have directions read out loud to you as you drive to your next appointment. Bonus: you can keep track of all your personal appointments here too.
This makes the list of best photography apps because it helps the chances of recovering your gear should it be stolen. How does it work? It searches the web for the serial numbers of all registered stolen gear. Should someone upload a photo with the stolen serial number, the info is sent to Lenstag where it will be used to try to recover the equipment. This free service can also be used by photographers looking to buy used equipment. By searching for the serial number of the used equipment prior to buying, photographers can avoid paying for stolen equipment. Anyone can notify lenstag if they discover stolen equipment for sale.
Pocket Light Meter (iPhone only)
Unfortunately there is no android app that matches the ease of use as this iPhone app but we had to share anyways. Pocket light meter app uses your phone camera to analyze the light coming from the scene you plan on taking a shot of. It allows you to lock in certain settings like aperture and ISO and the app will then tell you which shutter speed to use to get a certain part of your scene properly exposed. You get to choose which settings to lock in place and which setting gets calculated.
DSLRs have a built in light meter as well, so there is great value in getting familiar with your camera’s light meter to help you properly expose your subjects. You can purchase light meter gadgets which measure the amount of light falling on your subject. This differs from phone apps and DSLRs which measure how much light is bouncing off your subject.
What are the best photo editing apps?
There are thousands of photo editing apps out on the web, luckily we have an article dedicated entirely to the best photography apps for editing.
Which is the best app for photography?
We love any app that solves problems for photographers! We’ve done all the research These are the best photography apps for specific types of photographers
Portrait, Street, & Stock Photographers: Easy Release
This is one of the few best photography apps we reviewed that is not free. This app allows you to get model release forms signed on your smartphone while out in the field. No need to worry about carrying stacks of paper with you to get permission from a subject to take and share their photo with the world. This app uses industry standard release forms in 17 languages and even includes property release forms. You choose to have the app email you the signed forms or save them in a cloud based service like dropbox.
While we always advocate for requiring clients to sign contracts prior to booking and attending shoots, there might be circumstances where this is not possible. Check out 5 reasons why you need to be sending a contract to clients.
Portrait Photographers: Posing App
For photographers that run out of ideas or sometimes forget their posing homework, this app is a must have. The poses are categorized into multiple age groups and genders. Each pose features a hand drawn illustration and description. The app even comes with some photography tips. The app will cost you a few dollars, but you choose if it’s worth it.
Alternatively, while prepping for your photo session, take photos of the poses you want to do on your camera memory card. You can discreetly check the poses on your DSLR rather than pulling out your phone during the session. Not all shots need to be super posed, sometimes a more natural look can be more appealing.
Landscape Photographers: Hyperfocal Pro
The single biggest goal a landscape photographer has is getting the entire photo properly in focus. Hyperfocal Pro is a nifty little app that allows you to enter your camera model, the lens focal length, and how far away your subject is from the camera. The app then tells you the depth of focus. It tells you the distance from your camera when items first come into focus and how far away from your camera items are no longer in focus. Depending on which settings you use, there is no far limit where items are no longer in focus. In other words it gives the “closest distance at which the lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity acceptably sharp”
This app isn’t only for landscape photographers. A portrait photographer can also use this to make sure they use the right settings on their camera to make sure a large group of people are all in focus.
Outdoor Photographers: Golden Hour
This free app tells you sunrise and sunset times so you can set your shoot time accordingly. It gives you all the times in a day that might come in handy: golden hour & blue hour in morning and evening, daylight duration, sunrise and sunset. It even has a fantastic map view to show you which direction the sunlight will be coming from at each point in the day. You can even select which location you would like to view this information for.
Golden Hour makes the best photography apps list because the free app lets you choose which day of the year you want the information for. You no longer need to location scout just to see where the sun is at a certain time of day.
Outdoor Photographers: Weather App
There are so many options! NOAA Hi Def Radar, Weather Underground, and The Weather Network are all reliable. Look for one with cloud radar to help you determine whether to expect sunshine or cloud cover during your sessions. While you might be willing to work in any type of weather, we must think of our client’s comfort during our sessions. We must be ready to reschedule our sessions if the weather calls for it. How your client remembers feeling during the session will change their perception of the photos you took.
Astrophotographers & Aurora Photographers: Dark Skies
This is among the best photography apps for astrophotographers because it calculates how long an exposure you need to get that perfect starry shot. The calculated exposure time will be enough to avoid star trails. Simply enter your camera model and focal length of your lens and the app does the calculation for you.
Aurora Photographers: My Aurora Forecast – Aurora Alerts Northern Lights
For those obsessed with stunning northern lights photos, this app is a must have. Set your location in the app and it will tell you the likelihood of seeing Aurora for the upcoming days. This app shows the forecasted cloud cover for tonight, which will help you choose whether to venture outdoors or not.
As photographers we have enough on our plates that any app that makes our lives easier is worth checking out. These best photography apps can provide us with the right information at the right time. Do you think we missed a good app? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!