Top 5 Must Have Business Apps

1.  Planoly
     I have to tell you, when it comes to Planoly I am totally late to the game but it has completely transformed my approach to social media.  I envision that someday I will be super on top of this and let the app do all the work for me, but for now the aspects that I do use are so so worth it.  Planoly allows me to preschedule content so that I can have Instagram posts ready even when I am not actively on social media, maybe on vacation or having a busier than usual week.  It lays out my current feed for me and lets me see how new images will pair with my current posts.  It also analyzes the interactions for me, letting me know which images are liked the most or receive the most comments based on week/month/year.

2.  Magic Hour
     A photographers best friend!  The Magic Hour app lets me know just when that gorgeous golden hour that we love so much is going to happen!  I only have the free version of Magic Hour so I am only able to check the “Magic Hour” for the current location I am in.  But I find that it is more than efficient for my needs.  Essentially it will let you know the hour of sunset, broken into 3 distinct times: when it begins, when it is directly at the horizon and when it ends.  For me personally here on the east coast where many locations are surrounded by nature of some sort, I find that if I begin a session approximately one hour before the “begins” time I have just the right amount of glowy light!  We typically lose that glow behind all of the trees by the time it hits “sunset”.  Knowing this allows me to make adjustments to my session start times based on location, if we will be traveling to more than one spot, if the is a fairly cloudy day, if there will be an outfit change, etc.

3.  Canva
     Canva is a fun little app that allows me to create quick and easy graphics!  I use this mostly for Instagram stories, advertisements and Instagram posts with quotes.  It’s another free app with a ton of options for graphics, images, fonts and design layouts.    

4.Canon Camera Connect
    Those of you who have the Canon 5D Mark IV, this app is so so so beneficial.  I use to only use this app to share images directly from my camera to my phone, edit the image using the VSCO app and then post a preview from the wedding day!  Like most of the apps I have shared, there is so much more to them then the basic features I find myself using.  When I saw a fellow photographer talk about how she uses the Canon Camera Connect app to take her own headshots!  So I gave it a try last year and I am so beyond pleased with the results!  There is a live preview mode right through the app, which essentially allows you to see exactly what the camera is seeing.  And just like taking a picture with your phone, you just tap directly on your phone screen where you want the camera to focus and press the “shutter button” on your camera!   I think I’m going to do a little more of a tutorial of this because it is just so useful especially for those of us who don’t have someone to regularly do new headshots without formally carving out time with someone else!

5. Dark Sky
        A natural light, outdoor photographers dream app!  Dark Sky is described as “the most accurate source of weather information. With down-to-the-minute forecasts, you’ll know exactly when the rain will start or stop, right where you’re standing. It’s almost like magic.”  I find this app so crucial on wedding days when the weather doesn’t seem to be in our favor.  It lets me check for pockets of no rain so that I can capture some pictures outside on an otherwise rainy day!


6.  VSCO
     This is the app I choose to use to edit cell phone images, or when I transfer images directly from my camera to my cell phone after a session or wedding day.  I find this easier to make tweaks to exposure, contrast, temperature, skin tones, saturation, highlights/shadows compared to Instagram.  Nothing major, although they do have preset “filters” and such.

7.  Voxer
     After starting as a VA with Amanda Hedgepeth Photography, this app became invaluable to the efficiency of what we do.  Voxer reminds me of a walky talky.  It allows us to send little voice blurbs to each other and saves them right in their own little voice message folder.  It so much easier to communicate this way when we are both on different schedules rather than having to wait for someone to be available to call or wait to respond to an email or text.  And because it’s a completely different app, it doesn’t get lost in endless text messages of the day.

8.  WhenToPost
With the ever changing algorithms associated with social media, engagement and interaction on posts is so crucial to our businesses.  It’s the only way for others to see our content and it allows the internet to essentially be told that what we are sharing is relevant!
   I only have the free version and this little app is so helpful.  It will show me the best times to post based on the engagement of previous content.  So for me personally, on weekdays I see the most interaction when I post around 7:45am and 9:15pm.  When I work on prescheduling posts through Planoly, I know to have them set around this time frame!   

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