My Top Tools for Mobile Photography - Early 2018
I've been pretty well MIA lately, and for that I'm sorry. To make up for it, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite iOS apps that help me keep up with mobile photography, writing, hashtags, and all that fun. Check it out.
IFTTT - I've been an IFTTT user for a number of years, and for one simple reason: it makes my life easier. IFTTT is an app that aims to automate many of the mundane tasks in your life, as well as some of the things you'd rather not even think about. Want a text message each morning with the forecast? No problem, IFTTT has that capability. Want to track how much time your spending in the studio, it's just a few clicks away. But, probably the most applicable for today's social media integrated photographer is the ability to post photos automatically, and natively, from a single post, often from Instagram. I've personally used this integration often in the course of my social media career. I have the app set to send Instagram posts to Twitter - again, as native images - to 500px, and to my Facebook business page. Each image comes out as the standard low-res file that Instagram compresses, but I haven't found a need to have higher resolution images posted to any of the aforementioned networks anyway.
Focalmark - Now, I'll admit that this tool is a little more of a recent addition to my photography tool belt, but it's quickly proven to be a powerful tool. Focalmark is a robust hashtag generator for Instagram that has cut my hashtag research in half. Prior to utilizing the app, I would spend hours reviewing some of the top hashtags and posts to see what was performing and what was upcoming. Since downloading Focalmark, I've been able to reestablish that time back to photography, which is much preferred. FocalMark asks for a few key areas to highlight, such as Style, Location, and Camera, and it searches Instagram for the highest performing hashtags. The app doesn't require that you use all key areas, which is great. I will note that I have found that some of the Style selections are limiting, but work well overall.
Lightroom Mobile - If you read my blog with regularity, you'll remember the issues I had with Lightroom mobile when I first purchased my iPhone 8Plus. The issues are an ongoing dilemma for me, which is why I no longer use the app for its camera. Despite that downfall, I use the app exclusively for editing on the go. I've tried to use a number of the other apps. For instance, I was an early user of Snapseed, Enlight, and Darkroom. Nevertheless, I still find myself coming back to the familiar foundation that Lightroom has laid out. If I shoot something with my iPhone, you can almost guarantee that it was edited with Lightroom Mobile.
iA Writer - I'll admit that I'm a little too obsessed with this app. In fact, this entire blog post was written in iA Writer, which was then copied and pasted to my blog. For those who are not into plain text writers, it's time to give it a look. Basically, it's a writing platform that strips away many of the unnecessary extras and gives you a single writing platform where one can focus all of their effort on writing. Now, back to why I love it... I'm not 100% sure. I just love writing in the app. It's quick, lite, and easy to manage my collections. As crazy as it may seem, iA Writer is one of the biggest reasons I decided to buy a new MacBook Pro rather than one of the Windows machines. The iCloud integration allows me to start something on my phone and pick it up on my computer. Revolutionary? No, not for a long shot. But it works and I'm smitten.
MapAPic - I found this app a while ago and have been using it off and on over the course of the last year. The app is built to allow photographer - or really anyone - to save locations with GPS data and add images to remind yourself why you liked the area in the first place. I've used it in the past while trying to pitch ideas to potential models and people participating in shoots. It has it's quirks, sure, but it helps me keep track of where my favorite backdrops are and helps me tell my clients.
Things - When I'm not writing random thoughts in iA Writer, I'm probably thinking about new projects, and that's the perfect use for Things. Things is an excellent app for keeping track of your grocery lists, honey-do lists, and even project needs. I create projects and create tasks under them to keep track of my progress. It's helped me stay on track and helps me to hold myself accountable.