Having the original iPad, I saw the huge potential of using it for my business. The screen is beautiful for showing your work, playing movies and games, or even using the most everyday items like the calendar. I believe using the touch surface of the iPad is how we were meant to do simple tasks on the computer, such as surfing the web or looking at photos. Using a touch surface is quick and natural. The portability also can’t be beat. You can easily bring it to client meetings without lugging your laptop around. And with the release of the iPad 2, you can connect to your clients in even more ways.
Meeting with your clients, they can experience something unique with the iPad, while keeping your business organized, cutting down on the use of paper and eliminating the need to carry a portfolio full of prints. I wanted to highlight some of the many functions that the iPad can perform. Let’s start with the most basic use for photographers: Showing your work.
While using the Photos app that comes pre-installed on the iPad is fine, it has some serious limitations. The app does not let you customize the interface and you can’t reorganize the albums and images inside the app. So what app steps up to the plate? Portfolio for iPad does. Developed by a photographer, this app does everything you need to keep your images on your iPad. This app lets you add your logo and favorite color to make it appear that the app is made by your business. Whats even greater is that you can load this app up with images, and it hardly uses any memory. I can put an entire wedding in this app by downloading the images from my Dropbox, and it doesn’t even make a dent in my memory. It’s a must have for showing your work.
So you have convinced your potential client that you’re the best thing since sliced bread and they want to book you. Great, whip out the SignMyPad app to pull up your contract.
In this app you can fill in the blanks with you clients pedigree info. What’s great, is that when you want to add your John Hancock, a large box pulls up on the bottom, and you and your client can put your signatures in. When your done, save it, print it with an app like Print n Share, or email a copy to your client. All on the spot. This is also where the 3G version of the iPad comes in handy. No matter where you are, you can email the contract without finding wireless internet.
OK, the contract is signed and all you have to is collect the fee or deposit, and you are officially booked. Obviously you can still accept cash and check, but in this age of technology, a lot of people use credit and debit cards almost exclusively. Wow your clients with the Square app.
You have to sign up for Square, but when you do, they send you a free credit card reader that inserts into your headphone jack. As soon as you hook up your business checking account to Square, you can easily accept credit cards wherever you are. Again, 3G works best here, but if you are near Wi-Fi, you can run cards with your iPad. Square is customizable as well. You can design packages with all the needed details, and all you have to do is touch that packages and swipe a card. The app also has an option to email your client a copy of the receipt, which looks really professional. Very great app.
When you get back home or to the office, fire up the Analytics HD to check your website’s stats.
Just input your Google Analytics account, and view your stats and graphs, right from the iPad.
A couple more notable apps:
GoodReader for iPad is a must. This app can read just about any kind of document you can throw at it. It’s great for keeping those important documents with you at all times.
FaceTime or Skype is useful for video conferencing. If your client is out of town or out of state, video conferencing can be useful to speak with them face to face or show them any kind of products you have.
The “new for iPad” iMovie is a great way to make a professional looking slideshow by combining your photos, videos, and music.
There are several cool and useful accessories that you can buy for your iPad that can be specifically used by photographers. The Camera Connection Kit that came out with the first iPad is a great way to instantly view your images from the field. Just insert your SD card or USB cord, and transfer your images from you camera onto your iPad with out ever touching a computer.
Another nice accessory is the new HDMI adapter. If you want to show your clients your work on a bigger screen, just connect your iPad to any HDTV via a HDMI cord and seamless mirroring takes place. What you see and do and the iPad, also shows on the TV.
And if you have a hard time typing on the on-screen keyboard, just pick up the iPad dock keyboard. When not in use and plugged into the power adapter, the iPad will charge. But when you want to compose and email or blog post, this thing feels great.
I feel the iPad, along with it’s 65,000+ Apps, can be endless in enhancing the client experience. Playing with it on your off-time is a blast too. Of course, there are thousands of ways people can use the iPad for their business, but I wanted to highlight some of the ideas that an iPad can make a photographers business more efficient by keeping everything in one place. . Get one; you won’t regret it!
And thanks to my beautiful wife for being my hand model