So I thought I would put together a list of the apps that I find helpful with some of my behind the scenes planning and setup. Mind you this is not a list of apps that I will use to for photo editing, but what helps me prepare before, during and/or help out after the photoshoot is done.
You might have seen a lot of lists that say: Top ## Android Photography Apps. And then you get a list of Apps that allow you to destroy your photos by adding really bad effects, stickers or make really bad HDR. No, this is not that kind of list. This is about workflow, function and making our lives as professional photographers a bit easier. All of these apps have at some point or another help me create some of the photos that you see in my portfolio.
This list includes apps that can help you find the best light to shoot in, organizing, RAW file conversion, control your camera, location scout, remote desktop access and even a small trick for how to track your expenses. I use these on both my Android phone and/or tablet. These are in no particular order at least for now. I might come back later and add/remove apps as I change my game plan. And, to come back to add examples of how and when I used it. So, let’s get going!
This little app is a giant. It will help you find the sun and the direction of the sun at any time. If you plan a shoot outdoors you understand how valuable a tool like this is. And since I am from Miami it helps me know where the shades are so I can hide from the Miami sun! Without a doubt this one is a must have. It also comes in with some cool Widgets that allow you to track sunrise and sunset at all times. The map view with the sun and moon trajectory is the key here. You can tell where the sun will come up from and in what directions will the shadows be cast. I used this app to know exactly where the sun will set in this photo shoot I did for a Chevrolet Silverado. This is a great app that I have found myself using more often than not. Another notable feature is the alarm system. You can set alarms with an amount of time before or after certain events. It is without a doubt worth checking out!
You probably already have this in your phone but if you don’t. Why don’t you? Get all your documents in here and always have access to it! You download the Desktop Google Drive, set it up in your computer and make sure that all your estimates and documents are here and you can use your android phone or tablet to access them. Same thing goes on for your shoot list, check list and anything else you need in writing. You can use this app store your photos as well. Basically, this is just an easy way to access all of the files that you might need while on location. Use it wisely!
f you do a lot of car photography you probably have ran into the problem of finding your client at the location that you selected. This really goes for any outdoor photo shoots. This app helps in that front. You can use this app to share your location with anyone that you wish. I have used this in the past with clients that for some reason couldn’t find where I was. The app allows you to share your location for a specific amount of time. You can share your location for 15 minutes… or 2 hours. The choice is yours. The end user doesn’t have to have an app to see your location either. They can see it by accessing a link. This way they know how to get to you! I could also see how this would come in handy for a large group of people in a very big location. The amount of ways that you can use this is huge.
Ah, this one has it all. I use it with my Android tablet. And it lets me control just about everything in the Camera. Just connect it to your Camera using a USB cable to your Android Tablet and now you have full control of your camera. Great for long exposures, and able to change any setting in your camera. Want to shoot a longer exposure but you don’t want to touch the camera? You got it. I use this for almost all of my night photography, most recently when I shoot the TG1, which is a custom one off car build for the Gumball Rally back in 2013. You can access your Live View and you can Tap to focus. Timelapse to create videos (I been meaning to do a Timelapse of one off our awesome Miami Sunsets) and more things that I don’t even know what to do with. Get the free version to see if it is compatible with your Android + Camera combo.
I shoot RAW. No matter what it is but that doesn’t allow me for a lot of flexibility on the field. And, I can’t always just take my desktop or a big laptop everywhere I go. This small app will allow to read and convert your RAW files into JPG. Once you have a JPG. Well, your options are pretty much open up. You can forward a quick preview to a client over email without having to leave the location. You can even use some mobile photo apps to spice up the photo a bit before you bring it into photoshop. This is how I created the Iron Man photo. While waiting on a car to be ready we shot and I edited the photo on location. All with RAW Decoder to read my massive files and then using Snapseed to make the photo pop.
Snapseed is a fun little app. You can have quite a bit success using this for quick edits. It allows you to do some very fine tunning and localized editing but you can also get wild with it. This is not meant to replace photoshop but to use on the go and post photos to your social networks that aren’t just straight out of the camera. I find this app to keep me very satisfied. It might not be able to do cloning, and you can’t really save settings to use on later images. But that’s ok! That’s what Photoshop is for. Use this app for what it is. A fun and fast mobile photo app.
So, instead of taking your whole clunky desktop this could be a good alternative. Remote access your computer, that’s what I am talking about! This might be the one I use the most. This app and Google Drive and you got yourself a very powerful combination. I used this a lot. I can upload the RAW files using Google Drive, and have them ready on my desktop computer. Fire up Lightroom, and edit away. You can even open Photoshop and work on your files. If you do end up using this I recommend getting a stylus for touch screen. The sliders in lightroom are a total nightmare if you try with your fat finger. Ok, they might not be fat but the sliders are really small. Get yourself a stylus. You will thank me!
Wordpress app is great if your website is created with WordPress. It will allow you to edit your pages using your Android. You can now post blogs, photos, upload videos, check out your stats. Finishing off an event? Well, you can blog about it. Fire up RAW Decoder, select one or two of the best images that don’t need any heavy editing, bring them into Snapseed and make some adjustment and upload them using WordPress. That little set up probably takes you less than 30 minutes to do and you haven’t even left the location. It’s simple to use and fast.
Face it! You all have Facebook. Ok, maybe not all of you.. but the vast majority. I created a Page for my photography and what kind of blog post would it be if I don’t link to it?
Now, I would like to respond to my fans as quickly as possible. So, this app allows you to do just that and post as the page. You can upload pictures, post statuses and be able to keep track of your page while you are on the go.
I did say I was going to give you a small tip about expenses. I don’t know about you but I am a creative person and as such, the last thing I like to do is keep track of papers, specially receipts, I used to put them in my wallet… just to throw them out a few months later because you couldn’t read anything anymore. Well, that’s not the case anymore. This is not really a expense app and it might not even be the best way of doing this. This is the way that works for me. I created a extra email in my domain for the expenses. I then take pictures of the receipts of all my expenses and email them from my cellphone. There, you don’t need to carry more papers. You have the date of all the receipts and you can even sort by what kind of expense it is by using the subject line.
Do you have any Android apps that help you get your photography groove on?