iphone

App Arsenal: iOS Apps for Photographers

Hey everybody!

Today, I'm going to be listing some of my favorite apps that I use on my iPhone for editing, scheduling posts, and doing anything photo-related. Some of these apps will be paid or require in-app purchases (like most apps these days). But fret not! I will include some freebies in here as well. Let's jump into it!

VSCO

Starting out with the obvious, VSCO is probably the most popular app for photographers that share their photos online. VSCO is an editing application that has a bunch of built-in presets to emulate the look of film. There's also modes for editing such as contrast, cropping, highlights/shadows, and more. They've also recently added "recipes" which let you save your edits in the app and apply them to multiple photos so you can be consistent. VSCO has a community of photographers that share their photos in a blog-like format, much like Instagram. The community is so talented and it's a great place to get some inspiration for future shoots and edits. The app does offer different packs of presets that you can purchase. I've purchased a few, but I usually only use 1-2 different presets to make sure my content looks similar. (If you're a fan of the presets on the mobile app, VSCO offers Lightroom versions of them for $59.) 

Download VSCO

Google Images

Google Images

RNI Films

A great alternative/addition to have to your editing arsenal is an app called RNIFIlms. Much like VSCO, this is an editing app with a crazy amount of film-emulating presets. I've just recently discovered this app and I liked the presets so much that I bought them for Lightroom ($59 for the Lite version, $122 for a Pro version). There's so many to choose from, like Instant Film, B&W, and Slide. RNI also has in-app purchases but they give you so many starters that I haven't found it necessary to buy more. It's also super easy to export right to Instagram from the app.

Download RNIFilms

Google Images

Google Images

Pocket Light Meter

This app saved my life during college. When you go into photography, you start with learning film with manual cameras. Manual cameras, like medium format at 4x5, don't have light meters built in, so most classes require you to buy a light meter. These can range from $100-$300. However, you can avoid this cost by downloading the free Light Meter app. It uses your phone camera to test the white balance and give you the correct settings for your camera. You choose the ISO that your film has set and it does the work for you to calculate the shutter speed and aperture. It does have some bugs, like freezing, and there are ads, but it's much more convenient to spend no money than dish out $100 for something you'll only use for a little while!

Download Pocket Light Meter

Glitché

Glitché is one of my favorite photography apps to make abstract edits in. It gives you a ton of options to make your photo as trippy as you want. There are many different modes, such as Scan, Invert, VHS, and more. The app is $0.99, but you do have to pay additional money in order to use the full functions of the app. You can also make GIFs in this app with different effects and there are a lot of exporting options. This app has become super popular. Artists such as Gorillaz and Run the Jewels have used the app for album artwork, as well as Kim Kardashian for promoting her own app. Overall, it's a fun addition to your phone!

Download Glitche

Google Images

Google Images

Dropbox

This doesn't seem photography related, but Dropbox is the primary way I get the photos from my DSLR to my phone. I can use the wi-fi function of my camera to get RAW images over, but sometimes I want to edit them in Lightroom first and then export them to my phone. That's where Dropbox comes in. The app makes it super easy for me to save images on my Desktop and open them onto my phone. I can make all my Lightroom edits and export a smaller file version of the photo so that my phone storage doesn't get bombarded with RAW images. Dropbox gives you 1GB for free to use and I rarely run out of room. If I do, I just get rid of older images that I won't be sharing to social media anymore. It's a life-saver!

Download Dropbox iOS

Fragment

Fragment is another abstract editing app for iOS. However, this one is completely unique. Fragment is a collaging tool that let's you choose different shapes and it mirrors your photo onto itself. It's very hard to explain but the app is so interesting. It does offer in-app purchases, but I haven't used many of them because they give you so much to work with in the beginning. It combines graphic design with photography and I love that about it. Honestly, this one is one that you have to play with for yourself to understand, so I highly recommend downloading it!

Download Fragment

Google Images

Google Images

So there you have it! My favorite iOS photography apps. Do you have any favorites that I didn't list here? Let me know in the comments below and I'll see you all next week!

Step Up Your Instagram Game

Instagram is one of the main ways to get your work out there into the world, but that also means that everyone does it.

Big hashtags on Instagram have millions of photos in their feed and that means your post will be buried in with all types of content. To get your work or brand out there, you need to be strategic. I’m going to show you what I do on Instagram and while this is completely subjective and unique to every person, it will give you a baseline of what you need to do with all your social media accounts. 

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Keep On Posting!

Because almost everyone and their mother is on social media, that means there are billions of posts floating out there. The best thing to do is POST, POST, POST! Posting on any social media platform is the key way to receive engagement. However, this doesn’t mean post every hour of every day. If there’s one thing that gets people annoyed, it’s seeing their feeds full of the same thing. Posting too often is an easy way to get unfollowed or unfriended. Personally, I post 2-3 times a day on Instagram. Try to avoid posting before 12PM and after 9PM because this is when online traffic is slow and your post won’t show up on the feed of people who check in-between these times. Neglecting your Instagram or any account will lead to people unfollowing you because avid social media users remove inactive accounts from their feed. 

Stay Consistent

Consistency all around is key to getting followers, keeping followers, and having a beautiful feed. The routine is like this: someone sees your profile, they click on the profile, they follow you. If someone looks at your profile and sees a mess of colors and images, they won’t follow you. Use 1-2 filters consistently so that your feed looks clean and flows nicely. If you’re like me and don’t like your feed looking too similar, find clever ways to break up your feed without making it completely random. For my photography, I post 3 color images and then 3 black and white images. This way, my feed looks consistent but I’m still staying true to my aesthetic. Keep a steady schedule of when you post and stick to it. Followers will know when you’re going to post and it’ll keep them engaged.

Show Your Personality

People are following you because they want to get to know you! Have a good balance of personal posts and business posts. Most accounts that strictly post their work and nothing else seem cold and distant when a new person looks at their profile. If you have too many personal posts, people won’t see you as a brand or a business. Despite what people say, selfies are okay and I encourage them! I like to see the face behind the business and it makes a person seem more friendly. For freelancers, people want to know who they are hiring and what they look like. When captioning a post, don’t be afraid to add your own flair. Show people who you are because your photos won’t always do your personality justice.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags… so millennial. They work, though! Once I started posting with hashtags, my engagement and follower account rose dramatically. I personally don’t look through hashtags, but many people and potential clients do. Try to find hashtags that fit to your aesthetic and work. Don’t use a food hashtag when you post a picture of a car. Common sense! DEFINITELY don’t use follow hashtags, such as #follow4follow. You’ll get ghost followers, which I’ll explain in a bit. Do your research and find feature accounts that don’t spam your own feed or promote their account manager’s own work. These feature accounts don’t feature people without a ridiculous amount of followers and honestly, it won’t benefit you much. PhotoShelter posted a great guide to photography hashtags, check it out here.

Check Your Analytics

If you don’t know, Google has a website called Google Analytics, which is used to monitor website data and give business owners insights into who visits their website and what links they click. Unfortunately, this doesn’t transfer over to social media accounts. Instagram released an update with analytics for your account, but I don’t find them that accurate and they don’t update as often as I’d like them to. Don’t worry, though, there’s a ton of apps for that! Get an app that gives you detailed analytics into your account so you can see which posts are working and which aren’t. My favorite type of app for Instagram is one that lets you see who's following you and who isn’t following you back. This is great to know when you get the most annoying type of follower: the ghost follower. The ghost follower is an account that follows you strictly so you’ll follow them back and then they unfollow you the next day. These profiles SUCK. Once you follow too many of these, it throws off your following/follower ratio, which leads to a dry-spell in follower count. The app that I use is Instagram Cleaner. It let’s you filter accounts that you follow and you can see which accounts don’t follow you back. It’s an easy way to avoid ghost followers!

Lastly.. Give Instagram Stories A Try

I know, I was skeptical of them, too! I don't like that every social media platform is trying to mimic each other, but this change to Instagram can actually benefit you. Snapchat makes it really hard for users to find you and watch your content, but Instagram is much easier and user-friendly. I recently started using the new Stories feature and the engagement I get from it is 3 times more than what I get on Snapchat. Not only is the engagement higher, but your Instagram followers get to know more about you and you can connect with them on a more personal level than your posts do. It's a great tool to use and I highly recommend using it!

If you keep your Instagram account consistent and beautiful, you’ll get followers in no time. Here are some of my favorite Instagrammers that I believe have great feeds and content: Lena, Nesrin, Brian, Alison, and SamDon’t get discouraged when you can’t get over a hump when it comes to followers. Instagram is changing quicker than ever, thanks to its new Facebook ownership, so keep up to date with the newest updates to the app and plan different strategies each time it changes. Overall, if you keep posting quality content, you’ll get noticed.

Get your social media freak on and start building your Instagram!