Here are 5 ways you can use your iPhone as a multi-purposed tool to keep you prepared, organized, and inspired, before, during, and after photo shoots:
1. Build a reference library of cool locations
A shoot I did with Ry at a cool warehouse location I scouted a few weeks before.
When you’re out and about, always be on the look out for cool places that would be great locations for photo shoots: An abandoned warehouse, a great patch of long grass, a gnarled old tree on a hill top, a stark modern apartment building etc. Snap a couple shots of the location from different angles and file it in an album for future reference.
After a while, you will start to build up an excellent reference library of locations that you can pull up to show a client or model or yourself. It will save you a lot of time scouting for locations and also help you generate ideas in the early planning stages of a shoot.
2. Shoot your gear & set-ups
Every time you shoot, take a picture of your gear and any lighting set-ups you used for a photo shoot. Like at a recent shoot I used a new piece of gear: The Ray Flash. I’ll always remember when and where I used this gear because I have a photo of it.
I also find it really helpful to keep track of lighting set-ups that work and ones that don’t, especially when you are using some DIY set-ups. Sometimes the $5 Ikea curtain works great, sometimes not so much. I usually review my stobe & DIY set-ups after a shoot to try to find ways of improving the setup to achieve better results.
3. Share your set-ups with other photographers
DIY Ikea curtain diffuser we used for a shoot with drummer Jesse Godin.
It’s also nice to share your set-up with other photographers, like Strobist does.
If you are a photo blogger or share your photos on flickr, consider writing a little blurb about your set-up or show a picture. You’ll learn a lot from doing this exercises and you’ll get to start a discourse with other photographers and gain from their knowledge.
I am trying to do more of that on flickr and on my blog. I’m even getting into the habit quickly posting shots of my set-ups while I’m on location to TwitPic and Twitter using the iPhone App, Tweetie.
4. Make an album of reference photos
Album of reference shots I used for this shoot with musician Kylee Epp.
When you are planning for a shoot, gather a bunch of reference shots that inspire you. Look for shots with cool lighting, composition, model’s positioning, interesting location or just an intangible je ne sais quoi that gets your creative juices flowing! After you have gathered a good group of shots, make an album of these photos on your iPhone.
When you are on location, you can easily pull up these shots to show the model, client or help remind yourself what look you are going for.
This works with other types of photography, not just for fashion & portrait photography. If you are a landscape photographer trying to get that perfect shot of Oxbow Bend, then do an image search on flickr for “Oxbow Bend”. You will find a plethora of images. Having those images at your fingertips when you are on location will help you find the best angle or lighting situation. It may also inspire you to break out from the crowd and find your own unique shot.
5. Carry your portfolio in the palm of your hand with Klick
You never know where you are going to run into your next client. They may end up sitting next to on a plane or you may bump into them on the street. Imagine if you had your photography portfolio in the palm of your hand? Here’s how you do it:
- Get together 20 of your best shots,
- make a set for these photos on Flickr,
- download an awesome Flickr iPhone app called Klick
And voila! Instant access to your photography portfolio wherever you go. It’s also good to have your portfolio album in Camera roll as well for times when you don’t have access to wi-fi.