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Photographers have a complicated relationship with Instagram. It’s easily villainized as part of the democratization of image making and thus the reduction of the market for professional photographers. That said, we also secretly relish in the filters that give you a cross-processed effect without having to slave away in the dark room for hours. Just snap an image of your Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary and voila! Many photographers actually use Instagram very creatively, and there are undoubtedly ways to stand out among the millions of #selfies and photos of food. That said, Instagram itself isn’t really even made for photographers but for people who want to take nice photographs easily.

There are dozens of apps that will help make the professional photographer’s life easier as well, from instant model releases to on demand light meters. Here’s a list of 10 apps that every photographer will love:

1. Easy Release Model Release App

Ever take the perfect photo and suddenly realize you don’t have a model release to get permission to publically sell that photo? Have you ever hastily written an impromptu release on a napkin, all the while realizing that this note probably wouldn’t actually be considered in a court of law? This app allows you to create branded templates for model releases with your logo and personal information. Then, the model can sign directly on your screen, simplifying the process of carrying around paper copies of model releases with you everywhere you go.

2. Pocket Light Meter

This app allows you to measure the exposure for your shot based on the spot that you’d like properly exposed. This is particularly helpful if you are shooting film, as it will keep you from wasting frames bracketing. It can also save you storage space on your memory cards if you’ve got a big day of shooting ahead of you.

3. ioShutterCam

This app allows you to make stop-action films on your iPhone quickly and easily. Not necessarily the most professionally relevant for a photographer, but entertaining nonetheless. This app can create fun behind-the-scenes “footage” for social media or a blog. Have your assistant download it and shoot some scenes in their down time.

4. pro HDR

This app does exactly what it sounds like it would do: makes HDR photography simple! Take one photo with your iPhone and it will create the multiple exposures for you and layer them. You can then edit by cropping, filtering, adjusting the brightness/contrast, and more. This is a great way to put Instagram photos to shame, especially for landscapes and travel photos.

5. Photoforge 2

Often dubbed “Photoshop for your phone,” this app gives you serious editing power all on your phone. Use layers, curves, and other advanced tools to enhance your iPhone photography. Again, this is a great tool to add a little extra oomph to your behind-the-scenes shots and are great for a photographer’s social media presence.

6. Top Camera

Another, more advanced photography app, this app enables you to zoom digitally, and includes features like stabilization, HDR, and a timer.

7. Adobe Photoshop Touch

As the name implies, this app is the actual Photoshop for your phone. Although some users find the interface disorienting, as all of the tools are not in the same place as they would be in the desktop version of Photoshop, having that much editing power in your pocket is impressive and useful for on-the-fly photo revisions.

8. mobileAgent

For many photographers, the photography part is the fun part of their job which means that the business end can quickly fall into a state of dishevelment. MobileAgent keeps tabs on your invoices and makes sure that you never forget to bill for a shoot or session again. You can create a branded invoice and send it to the client before even leaving the shoot.

9. Expensify

Being your own boss is great, right? Until tax season rolls around and you suddenly are digging through thousands of receipts trying to decide whether or not you can expense two Taco Bell meals in the same day (or maybe that’s just me…). Expensify lets you quickly organize your expenses, keeping track of what is billable to client and what isn’t. Plus, when you have to fill out your taxes at the end of the year, the app’s interface will be much more inviting to look at than a shoe box of assorted receipts held together by rubber bands and paper clips.

10. Invoice2go Plus

Another great app for managing your finances, this app will make it much easier for you to send out professional invoices from your phone.

Megan Youngblood

Megan Youngblood is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer with roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes about art, technology, all things counter-culture, and the occasional auto-biographical musing. Her writing has appeared at Hyperallergic, The Creators Project, Stocktown, Bowery Boogie, and, of course, here. For more on Megan, check out her website or follow her on Twitter.


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