5 Ways for Photographers to use an iPad to Jumpstart their Business

5 Ways for Photographers to use an iPad to Jumpstart their Business

5 ways to use an iPad for photography-600.jpg

1. Editing On-the-Go

The iPad is never going to replace a desktop computer for photo editing. However, it does come in handy when you are looking to quickly edit a few pictures. I recently traveled home for the holidays. My parents wanted a picture for their Christmas card. I was able to quickly take a picture on my Canon 5d MarkII. Then I connected my camera directly into the iPad using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. The kit allowed me to download any of the pictures from my camera to my iPad. Apple makes this whole process very easy and seamless.

Once the pictures are on your iPad, there are lots of great apps you can use to edit your photos. I encourage you to download a number of apps and figure out which ones work best for you and your style.

Here are a few of my favorite iPad apps for photo editing:

  • PS Express – Allows you to do basic editing like crop, contrast, sharpen, and add borders.
  • Filterstorm – This is probably my favorite photo editing app. It allows for more advanced editing like adding text, canvas size, editing the curves, redeye, and it even allows for layers.
  • PhotoFX – If you are looking to just add a quick effect (glamour, faded, film, etc.) to your picture, this is the app for you.

2. Client Viewing

The iPad has great screen resolution and a wide viewing angle (meaning you can have multiple people looking at it from different angles and they can all see the same thing). This makes the iPad perfect for client viewings!

Here are a few ways to display your images on the iPad for your clients:

  • Built-In Photo Slideshow – Create an album with your client’s pictures on the iPad. Then, click the slideshow button – yes, it is that simple!
  • Smugmug – Smugmug is an online image hosting service for photographers that allows photographers to sell their images. Since I use this service and my photos are already uploaded to Sumgmug this is my preferred way to display images. Smugmug also has a slideshow feature.

3. Accepting Payments

Say goodbye to the, “I don’t have any cash” excuse! The iPad allows you to take payments using tools like Square. It is free to get an account and a credit card reader from Square. They do charge a small fee to use the service, but in my mind, the convenience is with the price!

4. Handy Tools

Since the iPad connects to the internet, there are a lot of tools and apps you can use that relate to your business.

Here are a few tools that I use:

  • White noise app – I love using the WhiteNoise Light app during my newborn sessions.
  • Music – I use Pandora for all non-newborn sessions.
  • Weather – You can check the weather and sunrise/sunset easily using The Weather Channel for iPad app.
  • Appointments – Use the integrated calendar to say on top of all your bookings.
  • Learning – You can subscribe to photography magazines, purchase photography books digitally, or just follow your favorite blogs.

5. Marketing

Where would your business be if you didn’t market it?!

The iPad has lots of tools to help photographers with marketing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Twitter – The Twitter iPad app takes Twitter to the next level!
  • Facebook – The Facebook iPad app allows you to quickly and easily add pictures and messages to your Facebook Fan page.
  • Flickr – The Flickr iPad app lets you easily upload pictures to your Flickr account.
  • WordPress – Update your blog in real time using the WordPress iPad app.

The iPad is so versatile I’m sure that there are more uses for the iPad in photography that I didn’t cover. Leave a comment below with your favorite use!

This blog post is brought to you by KristeenMarie Photography. Be sure to check her out on Facebook. Kristeen is an Indianapolis, IN Photographer who loves ice tea, the color purple, technology, and small children. She loves many things in life – though there are not many that she loves more than photography. She loves life and wants to capture every bit of it using her camera.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Steve Hopkins July 28, 2012 05:19 am

    How about model release apps for iPad, iPhone etc?
    what / which are top rated?

  • Miami Wedding Photographer April 14, 2012 10:29 am

    I have been suing it for showing my photos to clients. However, I always take my apple with me with a larger screen. Size still does matter. Still IPAD is a great tool for us photographers!

  • Penny February 11, 2012 05:25 am

    There is an iPad app: PhotoRaw to handle Raw files and I use Snapseed to edit but I have no idea how many files it will handle. I am about to go on a trip to Bhutan and will take 2000plus photos so will play it safe and take my MacBook Air loaded with Aperture, plus an external hard drive, for organizing, editing and backup. My iPad will go along though for reading books, email etc while on the plane.

  • Ben Whitney - Charlotte Wedding Photographer February 5, 2012 03:55 pm

    I haven't taken the plunge and purchased an Ipad yet. Your information has really helped in my decision. Thank you.

  • Mandy February 4, 2012 03:16 am

    All I need now is an ipad....

    Dave - Apple has historically launched a new product on Steve Job's birthday 24th Feb.... they might do the same this year?

  • Barb February 4, 2012 12:42 am

    I have an ASUS tablet. I like that you can buy a docking station which also gives you a full keyboard (for updating your blog on the go) and also has an sd card slot and 2 usb slots. So easy to save my pics from my CF card or my camera. Android op system. tethers directly to my computer once i am home and voila' my photos transfer right over. Love it. and it comes with an Office program so .docs too! price with the docking station is around$600. I don't take my laptop at all anymore.

  • dave February 3, 2012 06:14 pm

    Andy and Dan, I have been contemplating the iPad also but am going to wait to the iPad 3 is announced. It should be relatively soon. Hopefully with the popularity increasing in the tablet market, the price of the next iPad will come down a little. But even if it doesn't, you know as soon as you decide and buy something, the new iPad will be announced and you'll want it. That's usually my luck.

    Also, Philip, saw a woman at my son's soccer game using her iPad to record video. She looked pretty funny holding up this big (compared to a camera) gadget. I guess it works though.

  • Industrial Photographer February 3, 2012 11:40 am

    Yes, I have an iPad2 that has greatly enhanced by ability to showcase the photographs to the prospective clients. I generally transfer the best of the photographs and then display it to the clients in form of slide show.

  • Julie H. Ferguson February 3, 2012 09:17 am

    @Philip I Jackson: So happy to hear I can back-up on my iPad!!

    When I upload my images from my camera to my iPad, they end up in Photostream. How do I get them transferred to Camera Roll? Please email the answer to info[at]beaconlit.com. Thx hugely!

  • Zack February 3, 2012 07:59 am

    I wouldn't bother with proper post processing on an iPad myself; simply not enough grunt or versatility to achieve usable results so I'd just have to do it all over again on the computer. However, if you're an Aperture user there is a great app called Pixelsync www.pixelsyncapp.com which allows you to view, rate, tag and rename photos etc on the go and then sync these back to Aperture. Works great. No affiliation. The Photographers Ephemeris is also an amazing application.

  • Philip L Jackson February 3, 2012 07:51 am

    Hi - I use my iPad...

    1. As a backup device and currently have 4473 files in 38Gb of storage (mix of .cr2 and .jpg formats). The earliest dates back a couple of months.

    2. A way of having a quick view of my days efforts.

    I have never tried editing any on the device, prefering to us traditional PC and big screen.

    I have noticed that 1000 of these have replicated via the iCloud onto my iPhone - this is probably where the number 1000 comes from?

    On a recent trip to New Zealand/Australia I was quite surprised to see a number of people actually use the iPad as a replacement for the camera.

    Best Wishes

    Philip L Jackson

  • Charles February 3, 2012 07:41 am

    @julie: if you leave the photos in the "Photostream (iOS 5)" they will be purged after 30 days. Pix that you save to the "Camera Roll" will remain and be synced to iPhoto (if you have a Mac) when you next sync the iPad.

  • Charlotte McLaughlin February 3, 2012 06:00 am

    I can't seem to find the WhiteNoise Light app.

  • Brett9917 February 3, 2012 04:52 am

    For those of you that use Lightroom, Photosmith is a great little app. While you can't do any actual editing to the pic, you can rate it, flag it, enter keywords etc. When you connect it to your computer all those adjustments will be loaded into Lightroom when you import them.

  • Julie H. Ferguson February 1, 2012 03:58 am

    @Amy, thanks. I am only trying to use my iPad and iCloud as a back-up for images when I'm on the road. I edit on my desktop once I get back.
    I'm still attempting to find out if an iPad will store more than 1000 pix and NOT purge them after 30 days. Does anyone know for sure?

  • timgray February 1, 2012 02:31 am

    Editing on the go, really? Has the author even tried this? You CANT edit a full res RAW photo on the ipad, maybe a 5MP compressed jpg, but not for anything but maybe posting to facebook.

    As for awesome scheduling tools, I use SecondShootr on my iphone. works far better for a photographer that does events or other photography.

    What I wish I could do with the ipad, snap the photo and show it instantly to the client in a studio session at full resolution. Nothing can do that yet so I stick with the PC and a 32" monitor.

  • Amy January 31, 2012 05:53 pm

    I love my iPad and all the photography apps I have. The downside I've noticed though is that any editing done to a photo reduces the megapixels from about 12 to 3. Big downside on my end because I'd like to be able to print my edited picture larger than a 5x7 without it looking bad.

    Other apps I use though to transfer pictures from one device to another is 'Dropbox'. Prior to Dropbox I used 'Media Transfer' which transfers your pics wirelessly.

    @Julie, the iPad is not meant to handle your entire workload of 2,000+ photo's. It is more of an idea to help you view and edit a few while your out. I would still leave all your major work flow with your primary computer/laptop.

  • Bharat Justa January 31, 2012 02:18 pm

    I don't have an iPad but I do all these things on my 2 year old Symbian S60 V5 smartphone.
    Here are a few apps that will work on all touchscreen Symbian devices, moreover the USB-OTG feature in Symbian is very useable-
    This app. gives you full control over your camera settings and has a better image quality than default camera app.
    2)Default Image Editor
    The Nokia image editor in Symbian^3 covers the basics and also provides many more advanced effects.
    3) Infrared
    It's a basic RGB mixer

    Most of the images in my blog have been edited on a Nokia 5233 using default image editor. http://thisisbjaysblog.blogspot.com/

  • Jei Ng January 31, 2012 12:37 pm

    EyeFI SD card enables wireless transmission to the ipad from the Camera you could always try that XD.

  • Rachel G January 31, 2012 11:39 am

    Eye-Fi cards! The screen on my T3i isn't quite big enough to get a good look at the shot, so I throw an Eye-Fi card in my camera, and sync the wireless network to my iPad... and seconds later every shot is transferred as it's taken! I can go back and make adjustments on the fly without having to constantly zoom in on the LCD. Works great to check on the focus and how the composition actually looks "full size"... best part is it creates its own wi-fi connection, so you can use it in the middle of nowhere and it works perfectly! Love it!

  • Matt martin January 31, 2012 10:36 am

    You can shoot tethered in either jpeg or raw using the Eye-Fi x2 pro sd card. I used it on a shoot last week and it worked great.

  • ccting January 31, 2012 10:31 am

    My Galaxy Tab Plus just get stolen.. so.. I have to forget about these application ;(

  • Adrian Durand January 31, 2012 09:42 am

    There is an useful app......light meter!

  • Jamie A. MacDonald January 31, 2012 09:38 am

    I second John King's recommendation above for Easy Release.

    I used to use it solely for Getty images, but now use it for ALL my sessions. That way if I do end up submitting it to Getty I already have a release handy.

  • Grace January 31, 2012 09:33 am

    But that camera connection kit only works for SD cards. How did you connect your compact flash with this kit? Also, before, you can connect your CF reader with those kits, however, since IOS version 4.2 (I think) it doesn't let you read it anymore. So I'm very interested to know how you managed to find a way to do this as I killed myself googling last week on how to do this....I could have really used it for the wedding I did over the weekend...

  • Kenton Anderson January 31, 2012 09:08 am

    Thanks for the helpful insights. I have been wanting an Ipad for awhile now. I saw a few uses here for it that I hadn't thought of before. for example, white noise during newborn sessions. I'll just have to wait until they announce the Ipad 3 now. Should be soon!

  • Chris January 31, 2012 08:28 am

    Peter, yes, US only for Square at the moment. I'm watching them closely!

  • Julie H. Ferguson January 31, 2012 07:47 am

    Dan Scheirer: I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion my hi-end netbook is far better if you're a serious, traveling photographer.
    I'm looking forward to hearing others' viewpoints/answers on my comment above.

  • Dan Scheirer January 31, 2012 06:04 am

    I'm trying to decide between an iPad and a high end netbook. Apart from the cool factor of the iPad, I feel like you have more options/tools available with a real computer. Any opinions?

  • Andy January 31, 2012 05:41 am

    I love gadgets, and I've been trying to justify the expense of an iPad for a while now. :p This really hasn't convinced me though.

    The lack of payments outside the US sucks bad.

    And editing on a tablet? pah! They're not there yet.

  • Jai Catalano January 31, 2012 05:20 am

    It is also good for blogging. I find I have been blogging so much lately that I might need an ipad in between photography. Thanks for the reminders on the other uses too.

  • Julie H. Ferguson January 31, 2012 04:59 am

    I have questions:
    1) Once I've loaded all my images onto my iPad, how do I get them onto my computer? I don't have iTunes on my desktop - it will not load and no one can fix it, so I can't get iCloud.
    2) When I'm traveling I take more than 1000 pix, so the Photostream on iPad can't take the rest. Is this true?
    3) Is it true that after 30 days the images on iCloud are removed?

    My goal is to take only my iPad when working on the road (I'm a travel writer). But I need to back up all my images which sometimes total about 2000 on a 3 week trip.

  • Amir January 31, 2012 04:46 am

    Is there anyting like square for uk markets. I have not find anything like square.

  • Les January 31, 2012 04:05 am

    Darren: you totally need to try SnapSeed.

    Great article --- Thanks!

  • THE aSTIG @ CustomPinoyRides.com January 31, 2012 04:04 am

    Now I'm really tempted to get an iPad. I was always wondering if I needed to get one. So far I bring my laptop for location shoots.

    I do Car and Motorsports Photography for http://CustomPinoyRides.com

    Now if the iPad can shoot tethered, it will really justify my purchase. So can I shoot tethered to the iPad?

  • Bob January 31, 2012 03:01 am

    The Motorola Xoom will do all of these things and more - plus it has the ability to use micro sdhc cards. All at a price that is half that of a comparable Ipad. Just a thought!

  • John King January 31, 2012 02:27 am

    How about model releases? the iPad is perfect for that. Easy Release is the most popular ($9.99). Not only does it eliminate the paper, I like that you can snap a picture of your model and their id and add it as an attachment to the release. While you can use a paper release and snap a picture of the model and id or photocopy the id, it becomes a multiple step process involving paper.

    Also the iPad is great for keeping track of expenses if you are a location shooter, be also even if you are a studio shooter. I use Xpense Tracker. I like its simple UI and it allows you to take a photo of your receipt so you don't have to keep the paper receipt. I use to try to keep track on my iPhone, but would not do it regularly and therefore lost track of some expenses. For some reason it feels more comfortable doing it on my iPad. I don't know if it is the "new toy" factor or the bigger screen, but I find myself actually enjoying keeping track of my expenses. Hope it lasts.

  • Peter January 31, 2012 01:04 am

    Accepting payment

    Is Square only available in the USA

  • raghavendra January 31, 2012 12:59 am

    Tools used for photography editing in ipad is welcomed.
    Many apps are starting to come for photography.


  • Edie Howe January 31, 2012 12:42 am

    Another tool for the iPad-- The Photographer's Ephemeris. It's a great tool designed specifically for landscape photographers, and available in the app store.

    No, not a paid ad, I'm a very happy user of this program.

    Some other apps I've come to enjoy:

    Those are good even if you have a 1st generation iPad, but even better with a camera on board.

    All the best,