How To Keep Your Photography Business Online In The Post PC Era

I was sitting around my local coffee shop the other day waiting for a client and started to look around. Remember the days when everyone had a laptop? Not any more. As I sat there, I did notice a couple of laptops. But most people sat there with their mobile phones and tablets putting in a little work time while they met with clients or enjoyed their coffees. Me included.

Yep, I doubt it will take too much longer before those heavy laptops all but disappear. And sitting down to a desktop … they’ll be gone too before you know it. Why do you need something big, heavy and tethered to one location when you can move freely with mobile devices?

Creating a site that is optimized for mobile doesn’t just mean moving off a Flash platform. It means thinking a whole new way about the experience you wish to portray to your clients who are finding you via their mobile devices.

Yes, it may be a low percentage today. But that’s increasing every day. Stats are showing that mobile could be in the high majority in as little as two years. The last thing you want to be is the last photographer focusing in on why your old, archaic website doesn’t work. Here are some things to start considering now as you make your move.

It’s The Internet, Not Two Separate Tools

When mobile technology first made its appearance, many photographers had a major problem. Flash doesn’t work on iPhones or iPads, which means your Flash site isn’t viewable on those devices. While many photographers said “So what?”, to do so ignored a huge population that may be potential clients. Likewise, many retail store thought of their retail and online stores as two separate units. I remember trying to return something I purchased online to a local retail store in the early days of the Internet, and they simply couldn’t take the item back.

Today, many people think the same way when it comes to a website and a mobile website. They are two separate units – build one for traditional online users, and have another for mobile technology. Again, that’s the wrong way to think. A prospect is a prospect. Some will want limited information – your phone number for instance. Others will want to pour over your site and spend hours doing so. You don’t know who your visitors are and what they desire. So you should always be giving them the optimal experience, no matter where they access it from. One site; one purpose. [Read more…]

7 Ways To Use iBooks For Your Photography Business

One of the newest products released from Apple is the new iBooks Author application. iBooks Author allows anyone to create beautiful multi-touch books for iPad. And its not just the “book” concept that makes this exciting. With iBooks, you can incorporate a whole lot more than text – galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects and more. Which means you can bring your entire business to life that we couldn’t even dream about a few short months ago.

When iPad was first released, I attended a workshop on how best to use iPad. And even though there were several experts from Apple doing the presentation, the one thing they left open was the true purpose of an iPad. While it was developed with specific things in mind, the “brains” behind the iPad also knew that they really had no idea what direction iPad would take. With collective minds from all over the world developing apps to run on an iPad, the future is being rewritten every single day.

Start by taking a tour of the iBooks Author platform.

In many ways we are seeing that today as a consumer-driven iPad is quickly moving into the business space. Businesses and photographers are using it for everything from taking notes and communication platforms, to marketing and eventually replacing the need for hauling around heavy laptops.

With the release of iBooks Author, you can now take it one step further and incorporate a multimedia presentation into everything you do. Here are 7 ideas that will completely change the way you manage your business – and how people view you as a photographer and a business owner.

1. An interactive brochure

A brochure you can hand out is great. A brochure you can have people download to their iPad is revolutionary. Not only can you showcase your images in a unique way, you can also incorporate a viariety of other ideas into your brochures. How about a 2 minute interview with you? Or a video showing how you photograph at an event? If people can see what you do and learn from you, they are more likely to be inspired by you. [Read more…]

11 Apps That Will Become Your Every Day Favorites

Alarm Clock HD

With this free app, you can wake up to the things you love the most. With built in weather information, RSS and social media integration to sites like Facebook and Twitter, you’re now a moment away from finding out what will be happening today.

iMapMyWalk

This is the ultimate walk tracking app. Log your walks and it will automatically track your calories, current location, distance, pace and results. And if you like running, hiking, or cycling better, they have apps for that too.

Flipboard

Whether you carry your iPhone, iPod or iPad every day, Flipboard allows you to bring all your top news stories with you. Connect it up with all of your social accounts and read it in magazine format. Perfect for mornings out at the coffee shop waiting for clients.

[Read more…]

10 Holiday Apps You Just Gotta Try

Tis the season you’re trying to finish up last minute business items – and trying to handle all of your holiday plans too. Why do it alone? Check out these handy apps that can help you all through the season.

Packing

The Packing app is a great way to get organized when you’re heading out of town. Whether for the holidays in your hometown, or a wedding in a far away land, this app can be your friendly reminder as you remember things when you’re out and about.

Simple Soiree Party Planner

Planning an event? From a simple family dinner to a large networking event for your business, this handy app can keep you on track from beginning to end.

[Read more…]

A Guide To Optimizing Your Website For Mobile Use

How are your potential customers finding you online? Are they sitting down at their desktops, searching sites like Google? Or are they sitting in a coffee shop, searching from their mobile devices?

As the amount of mobile devices continues to grow, so does the need for mobile friendly websites. You can’t expect your graphically enhanced site to appear the same way on an iPhone or Android, and Flash sites simple don’t work. The last thing you want is your potential customer looking for you, and all that comes up is a “non-compatible” sign. That’s like saying, “I don’t want your business.”

Dig Deeper: Love Your iPod iPhone or iPad? Not with a Flash Website

But simply taking your existing website, and converting it into a mobile friendly site may not get you the results you are looking for. Searching on mobile devices is continuing to grow as technology improves, yet people aren’t searching in the same ways they do for conventional sites. Therefore its essential to think SEO for both your traditional sites, and for your mobile sites in slightly different ways.

Shorter Keywords

When a person sits down at a desktop computer, they have a full sized keyboard, and are usually dedicating a fair amount of time to find what they are looking for. They are willing to type out keyword searches again and again until they find what they are looking for, lengthening what they are searching for each time. Since mobile devices are used for more on-the-go functions, people aren’t as patient with their searching. With the smaller keyboards and smaller screens, people want to find what they are looking for in the quickest way possible. [Read more…]

Top Apps For A Wedding Photographer

Want to know the best thing about today’s technology? You can take it wherever you go.

Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer, and you’re fairly new to the industry. You still have those moments of panic the day of the wedding, standing there wondering what to do next. Now you don’t have to wonder. Just pull out your iPhone or iPad and in minutes you’ll have a slew of ideas right at your fingertips.

If you’re a wedding photographer, check out these wedding apps – perfect for taking in the field, or even using to grow your business throughout your hectic week.

Wedding Photographer Trainer

$3.99
Wedding Photographer Trainer is filled with tips, facts and images to spark your imagination. It offers images to help you with posing, and gives you tips on what to do – and on what not to do.

[Read more…]

How To Build Your Photography Portfolio With An iPad

One of the most important marketing tools a photographer can have is their portfolio. It may consist of a variety of printed images, either in loose or album format, online through your website or other portfolio tools, and increasingly by using your iPad with a portfolio app. If you’ve been looking for the perfect app to use on your iPad, here’s a list of some of the top iPad apps I’ve found that will get the job done in a beautiful way.

Are you using an iPad for your portfolio? What do you like about it? What’s missing?

And if you have any more recommendations that I missed, Feel free to comment below.

Portfolio

$14.99
Portfolio is a highly personalized and customizable app that allows you to do just about anything with your portfolio. You can brand it for your presentations, and even lock the interface with a PIN so your client won’t see tha management interface.

Foliobook

$9.99
Foliobook allows you to create your own magazine-like home page in an easy way. Use it horizontal or vertical, change around your presentation to fit your needs.

[Read more…]

What You Can Learn About Marketing From Steve Jobs

Last night I ate a quick dinner and ran out the door. It was my first night of a new meditation class, and I was excited to get there. In our house, dinner means “no technology”, so we hadn’t yet heard the news. But that all changed two minutes after I jumped in the car. It was everywhere. The world was now missing a visionary and a genius.

Whether you love Apple or not, there is no denying Steve Jobs was a true genius. He saw way into the future, and had the ability to create great products that people didn’t just want, they obsessed over. They were passionate about. It was almost at a cult like status.

Yep, in many ways we were passionate from afar. We bought computers way before they were cool. We were one of the first photographers to design a website. And we progressed into PC because, well, that’s what we did. Then we bought another computer. And another. And software. And more software. And somewhere along the way, we really wanted to switch to Apple. But with multiple computers at any given time – 7 was our highest of working computers that we actually used, and the amount of software it took to run them, it would have been more than an expensive venture for us to switch. So we jumped into Apple products with everything else, starting with iPods. Today I absolutely love my iPad, and you’d never get it away from me. [Read more…]

The Photographers Guide To Getting Things Done On The iPad

When I originally got the iPad a year ago, I knew I would love it. Yet I really had no idea how much use I would find in the apps available, and how I can take it anywhere and get things done.

I’ve given you tips on apps to use to work on your photographs, but with an iPad, its so much more.

Yesterday, I spent the day sitting in doctors’ offices with my mom. And with hours of time on my hands, I started using a variety of apps on my iPad, and started thinking about how easy it is to take your business everywhere.

Here are some apps

OverDrive

If you are a regular follower, you know I live at the library – I literally couldn’t afford my book habit if I didn’t rely on the library too. Now I don’t even have to make a weekly stop at the library – I simply open up the library on my iPad. With OverDrive, you have access to your library account from your iPad, and can browse through your local library’s ebook list. If it’s available, download it and start reading. If its “checked out”, reserve it and have access to it at a later date. [Read more…]

10 Last Minute Stocking Stuffers For iPhone Photographers

Looking for those last minute stocking stuffers for the photographer in your life? Or maybe you are just looking to pick up something for yourself. If you love your iPhone, you’re going to love some of these gadgets.

The pic.me iPhone Tripod Case

This simple pic.me iPhone Tripod Case is the perfect thing to bring along anywhere. It features two angle, one for recording, and one for viewing.

iPhone Tripod Holder

The iPhone Tripod Holder provides you with a snug holder for your iphone that provides you with the tools necessary to attach it to any tripod.

[Read more…]