In this day and age, photographers are always looking for ways to use new tech to improve workflows, manage clients, show off their work, and — of course — take pictures. One of the best tools out there for photographers, which actually gets very little praise in general, are tablets. Android or iOS, it does not matter — we have five useful ways for photographers to augment their work using a tablet.
Likely one of the most common uses for a tablet as a photographer is to use it as a way to showcase or display their portfolio — be that at a client meeting, in a booth at a bridal show, or just sitting for coffee at the corner café.
There are a ton of apps out there specifically for showcasing a portfolio on a tablet and while they offer some specific functionality to make that process easier and more enjoyable, they are not really required. Simply setting up a special image gallery with your tablet’s built-in operating system works well enough.
Not only is it more appealing to swipe through a portfolio for a potential client, especially in a public place, but it is also easier because you do not need to carry a heavy laptop.
This one may surprise some of you, but if you have been to an expo of any kind, you have likely seen companies with stations set up to collect leads — emails, names, etc. The idea here is the same, except instead of setting up laptops or computers, you have a lead-capture form set up on your tablet.
If you meet someone at a booth, or out in the world, you can just hand them your tablet and they can fill out the information you want. You could do this simply by setting up a form on your website and having your tablet connected to it in a browser, or there are also specialized apps, like one from ShootProof, which allow you to capture leads on your tablet without having to do so through the browser.
Since phones and tablets share the same OS setups, those same camera control apps that you use on your phone can be used to control your tablet’s camera. The advantage here is that it does not take your phone out of commission while you are shooting. It also has a larger screen so it may be easier for you to see what you are shooting. This can be especially useful if you are shooting details where looking at a small phone screen would make it difficult.
This can also be a great way to view images on a screen larger than your phone or camera’s LCD right after a shoot. You can even have someone connected and view the images you are taking. This can be great when you have a client with specific needs.
This one sort of goes with Lead Capture, but utilizing your tablet to manage your clients — contact, project details, your shoot calendar, emails, etc — can be another great help, lessening the situations where you need to bring or pull out your laptop.
You can manage your clients with various apps or if you utilize a management service like 17hats, many of them have apps that you can install on your phone or tablet that let you access their systems. This one is always helpful on shoot days, allowing you to quickly recheck shoot details without needing to jump on a computer or ask the client for information they have already given you.
Processing and Editing
This one is another obvious one, but with improvements in the hardware and capabilities of OS software for tablets, the idea of using one to process your images is something that could appeal to many photographers who are trying to spend less time at a desk in front of a computer. Adobe Systems’ latest updates to Lightroom on mobile, as well as Apple’s updates bringing RAW to iOS means you can literally import your images from your shoot onto your computer, sync it with your tablet, and then begin to cull and edit the session from your couch, porch, or the park up the street.
The point is, you are no longer required to spend all your processing time at your desk like so many photographers dread doing. Now you can do a majority of it from your tablet.
There is always more
These five ways to utilize a tablet to augment your photography are just scratching the surface, nailing a few of the key and most common uses. We encourage you, if you own a tablet, to do some research and look into additional ways that you could be putting your tablet to use to help your photography.