Must-Have Apps for Photographers in 2020
Whether you're a full-time photog, a part-time shooter or an iPhone owner looking for some new ways to boost your photo-taking skills, these are some of my favorite apps (and some sweet deals and discounts for you). From editing to posing to boosting social media presence, these apps have helped me up my game right from my smartphone! Here are the keys to the kingdom - all the little secret weapons that I wish I'd known about the first day I picked up a camera (or iPhone camera).
Enjoy, and as always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me!
If you've dipped into photography much, you've probably been exposed to Lightroom. Lightroom Mobile is a little bit, well, lighter version of the desktop platform we all know and LOVE. The app is free to download, and you can roll your existing Lightroom presets into the app OR download/create presets right in the app. My favorite Lightroom mobile presets are these:
I use all seven (eight if you count B&W), and although they are vastly different, with a few tweaks it's not hard to keep a consistent style.
You can get a lot of mileage out of Lightroom even without presets, just to brighten, sharpen, adjust and color correct your images!
I know, I know. The "VSCO girl" trend is annoying. But if you find Lightroom to be a bit much, VSCO has some similar options and is free to download with in-app purchases available. The user interface is very simple, and the app comes with several preset packs included. Most of the VSCO presets are warm toned, and give your photos a retro/grunge look that speaks to those of us longing for some good ol' days.
The pro to VSCO is that you don't HAVE to use it's social media function in order to edit your photos with some powerful sliders and beautiful color toned presets.
The cons to VSCO is that we are tired of hearing people say "VSCO" like it's a real word, and it HAS a social media function.
I'm not salty.
This FREE app works with Instagram (and Facebook, for a price) and lets you arrange and schedule your social media posts in advance! I use Planoly to plot out all of my social media posts for the week - meaning, I have a consistent view of my curated grid AND I get my life back. I get a notification when something has posted, and I don't have to remember to keep engaging my audience. The free version offers 30 posts per month AND has a desktop platform as well as an app. This means I can upload photos from my computer and get them ready to post on Instagram.
Command is an app that I use in tandem with Planoly, to find out WHEN to schedule my posts based on when MY followers are online and most engaged. Command also has a feature that tells me what hashtags related to my post I should add, and I can just copy and paste them into Planoly. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Command also lets me know when I've gained or lost followers so I can track my Instagram trends. It's free to download and trial, and the paid version is one of the few subscriptions that I keep in my budget.
Unfold is specifically for Instagram stories - It's a way to create an Instagram story highlight that showcases your photos!
Unfold is a free download with paid options (aren't they all, though) and is VERY VERY user friendly. Like, I love it. It's so easy a caveman could do it, and so quick to learn that it didn't exhaust even MY short attention span.
I literally JUST learned about Canva, and I already love it. Canva is a free app, with desktop and mobile versions, that allows you to create graphics. You know those little quizzes everybody has been screenshotting on instagram and populating with their favorite emoji/gif?
MADE WITH CANVA. That's right. Canva is AWESOME for logos, story highlight covers, etc. I'm still figuring it out but I really, really love it. You can get a Canva credit from my link here.
Alright, I'm telling you my secret, guys. Unscripted is the BEST. It is my swiss army knife in the arsenal of tools at my disposal. I have the paid lifetime version, and it was worth every penny. You can get $20 off your lifetime subscription by using my referral code, KPP.
I wish I had this app when I first started shooting - It has everything from sun tracking, session planning and questionnaires to HUNDREDS of poses for every situation. You can track weather, look up locations... and have access to online communities and workshops.
Not only does Unscripted have TONS of inspo images from photogs around the world (like Pinterest on steroids), but they're categorized, and you can click on a pose to find PROMPTS that help you evoke real emotion from your subjects.
This app is a GAME CHANGER. I use it for every session, and it's saved me from awkward moments and given me so much more confidence in posing. My clients love being guided without being posed, and having prompts to follow through on rather than just standing there. You won't regret using this app.
I'm super busy. And if I'm ever NOT busy, I lose my mind and take up a new hobby. Suffice it to say, I'm TERRIBLE at remembering to send out birthday cards, thank you cards, or anything that requires me to sit still for more than three minutes to write up.
INK has literally saved my life on this front. With INK, I open the app on my phone, design a card (with my clients photo, how thoughtful am I), SIGN THE CARD and send the card to their address without ever having to hunt for a stamp.
Lifechanging. AND it's personalized with their photo so they can hang it on their fridge and think of me fondly every time they see it. I use INK for thank-you cards to couples and families, as well as anniversary cards and birthday cards. I think it costs like a dollar a card or three dollars a card (I really have no idea, I bought credits to send cards and it seemed reasonable) and you can try it for free by sending your first card at my link here. I love INK because I WANT to be thoughtful and I DO love my clients and this app helps me accomplish that.
so there you have it.
These are the tools I wish I'd had YEARS ago when I first started as a photographer - I would've saved myself some hassle and heartache for sure. If you found these tips helpful, I'd love to hear from you! What tools have been lifesavers for you? Let's connect! Find me on Instagram, Facebook, or contact me here.
Don't forget to use my referral code KPP for $20 off a lifetime subscription to Unscripted!