The iPad can help your photography business. Here are 6 different ways you can use the iPad to help your photography business.
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You can load it with your own custom contract, pricing packages, and so much more. I use it for weddings but you can use it for model releases or whatever type of contract you’d like. Contract Maker Pro allows you to put in “placeholders” which hold places for variable data you want to include in your contract. After I put in all the Client/location information I then select what wedding package we had agreed upon. I simply just tap on which package and BOOM, it is loaded into the contract. I have even placed a “Custom Package” placeholder that allows me to manually set a price for client if we are order a la carte type packaging. Once all the information is set on the contract, what else is there left to do? SIGN IT, of course. I have a stylus for the iPad which the client uses to sign. Contract Maker Pro will then send an e-mail copy to the client and myself. No more wasting trees! Once you view the PDF file in your email, the iPad should highlight the date in blue. If you tap on it, it’ll give you an option to make an event in your iCal. This way you can see if on your iPhone/Mac if you have MobileMe. After the contract signing has taken place, we then move to payment. Which brings me to my next MUST HAVE iPad APP FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS….
Square allows you to accept credit card payments (MC, Visa, AMEX, and Discover) with ease. This is essential to any serious photographer. Most of the time brides are not going to carry much cash on them, and lets face it, checks are somewhat obsolete. I can guarantee you that they do not leave home without their credit/debit cards. I know what you are thinking, “How much does it cost?”. The best thing about square is that the fees are so small they blow all other bank merchant accounts out of the water! The card reader is FREE, they even pay for shipping. No, not FREE with an asterisk, but completely free. Each card swipe is 2.75% per transaction, and if you have to enter the card number manually then its just 3.5% + $.15 per transaction. You are able to have the funds deposited directly to your bank account of choice.
As you can see from the screen shot above, you can also preload it with your rates, and even preload it with your states tax rates. This is HUGE plus when it comes to filing taxes.
Why buy a $15 app when you have the photos folder for free? Well, because this app makes everything look so seamless. The thing I absolutely love about this is that you can customize its appearance to completely fit your business, giving the appearance of a custom app developed exclusively for you. You can upload your own business logo/banner and it makes it look so much more professional. When you upload images you can have different galleries set to host each of them. I have several different “Galleries” set up so to show potential clients. Before I hand over my iPad for the client to view, I choose which galleries I want them to be able to view. You cannot do that with the photo folder already preloaded on your iPad. You don’t want a bride to be viewing your family photos or travel photos, do you? I sure don’t.
*Watch a Tutorial on Here. This will give you a more visual hands on feel for it. At $15 this is an awesome way to display your various portfolios to prospective clients.*
Depending on what type of camera you are using, there are 2 different card readers available. My current body is a Nikon D300 which of course I use CF cards. The M.I.C reader works great for CF. What I do, is after I go through one CF card (usually 8GB at a time) I transfer the images onto my iPad, which gives me 32GB of storage! The iPad will upload JPEG & RAW files. I have about 5-8GB CF cards and 4-4GB CF cards. During the wedding dinner, while everyone is eating, I am transferring some of the files from my CF cards to the iPad. If I have gone through 2 cards, well then I transfer both of them. This minimizes your risk of losing data if a card crashes on you.
The Apple SD/Card Reader will do the same for SD card users, it also comes with a USB port to connect your camera to the iPad It has the same functions as the M.I.C card reader I just discuss.
For starters, even though this is a native iPhone app, it is awesome. I have it on my iPhone and iPad. Photographers Workflow lets you put your workflow down for every project whether it’s a wedding or a model shoot. I used to write all this down on a notepad, which looked so tacky now that I look back. You can set dates for each task in your workflow and of course sync that with your calendar.
You have read about this throughout this post which means that it is necessary to have. I cannot tell you how much easier this makes everything. Since I am an avid Apple user, this is a life saver. Having contacts, emails, documents, photos, and anything else readily available on any of my devices is seamless. At $100 a year, it is a bit hard to justify to some. I personally feel it is well worth it. If I added a contact or client into my iPad, I don’t even have to sync it to my computer or iPhone to extract that info. MobileMe automatically updates it with ease.
I edit my images in Adobe Lightroom 3, which is why you don’t see any photo editing apps on my iPad. I personally feel that editing images on an iPad just isn’t for me. You don’t get the precision you would on a desktop or laptop. If Lightroom comes out with an app that is exactly like the computer version, I would without a doubt give it a shot.
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