Best apps for photographers

Apps can help you schedule photo shoots, edit on the go, and more. We surveyed professional photographers to curate a list of the best photography apps. Find out what made the cut.

Today, there are a seemingly endless amount of apps that can make your life or job easier. For photographers, there are so many to choose from that it can be difficult to filter (pun intended) the good from the bad.

To help you, we’ve polled hundreds of professional photographers, asking them, “What are the 3 photography apps you can’t live without?”

These are their responses.

Best apps for photographers: Winner’s circle

Among the respondents, there were two clear-cut favorites—both products made by Adobe—that most every photographer included in their top 3. They are:

Adobe Photoshop

What started as an award-winning photo editing software for computers has evolved significantly over the years. The desktop photo editing app is just as indispensable as ever, allowing you to transform, retouch, or reimagine your photos. In addition to receiving regular updates, it has also introduced a fleet of mobile apps, including:

  • Photoshop Express – A free app for image editing and collage making – for iOS and Android and works on phones and tablets.
  • Photoshop for iPad – Brings key features for retouching, editing, compositing, and more.

Adobe Lightroom

Although it shares some features with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom has editing capabilities and a range of features that allow you to import, organize, and manage your photo library. It comes with step-by-step tutorials and all the tools you need to curate your best shots. According to Adobe:

“You can think of Lightroom as your starting point for post-processing. Unlike Photoshop, which caters to a variety of creative disciplines, Lightroom is specifically built to efficiently handle a professional photographer’s workflow, from photo management to finishing touches.”

Best apps for photographers: Runners up

In addition to the Adobe suite of photo editing software, there were three other apps that our photographers universally loved, including:

Unfold

Is a story editor that comes with 300+ award winning story templates. This allows you to create incredible collage layouts for Instagram and other social media posts in order to market your business. With it, you can easily display your images across all social media platforms. Because of the resounding praise, it has received the iOS app store “Editor’s Choice” designation.

PhotoPills

Is a photography planning app that helps you plan your shots ahead of time, so that you’re ready when the moment comes. This is especially useful for timelapses, astrophotography, and landscapes. The astronomical event planner charts the movements of the sun, moon, and stars, helping you select the perfect location and time for your photoshoot.

Instagram

It should go without saying, but few apps are as important for promoting your small business and building a community as Instagram. The photo sharing social media site is the premier networking and advertising platform, particularly for photographers. Use Instagram stories to showcase your work and give followers a behind-the-scenes look at what it means to be a professional photographer.

VSCO

One of the more popular photography mobile apps in use today, VSCO helps you create photos, discover new artists, and connect with others. It provides hundreds of presets, advanced photo and video editing tools, and tons of filters. While there is some debate as to whether ‘professional’ photographers use VSCO for editing their work, many photographers who primarily shoot on mobile use the VSCO presets and tweak lighting and color.

Dropbox

Dropbox is used by countless professionals for a variety of jobs. For photographers, it’s an easy cloud storage platform that makes it simple to share proofs with clients.

Apps for photographers you may not have heard of (yet)

We received quite a few responses about apps that may not be as ubiquitous but are still beloved by professional photographers. They include:

SunCalc

A reliable online application with an interactive map that displays sun movement and phases during the day. This helps you plan ahead to capture the perfect lighting for any photoshoot. Pair this with your go-to weather app and never miss that perfect sunset shot.

Lumos 

Another sun and moon tracker, it can accurately predict the position of the sun or moon no matter where you are or what time it is. This can be great for a stunning night shot or positioning your subjects perfectly in the frame.

Shootproof

Is an online gallery by photographers for photographers to showcase their work and host clients’ memories. With it, you can perform several business-related activities, including schedule social media posts, handle contracts and invoicing, or sell prints of your photos.

Later

Later markets itself as the world’s most popular Instagram marketing platform. It helps you plan social posts to Instagram and Facebook, create automatic publishing schedules, and analyze your performance metrics. Find and share the right content, drive traffic, and track sales.

Easy Release

An iOS- and Android-based application that helps photographers make digital releases from their mobile device. It’s the easiest way to collect all the data and signatures for photo release forms you need while out in the field. Files can be saved as a PDF or JPEG and then automatically uploaded to the cloud.

Calendly

This scheduling app is popular outside the photography industry. With it, you can find the perfect meeting time or allow clients to book consultations. It integrates with your calendar and then allows each party to set their availability, thus eliminating the phone tag merry-go-round.

Thimble

Every time you walk onto a shoot or into a client’s home, you expose your business to risk, particularly when interacting with third parties. As a photographer starting out you may not have a consistent schedule (yet). That’s why we created on-demand photographer’s insurance that works when you do. Pay for liability insurance by the hour, day, week, or month. One photographer shared this (and we didn’t even ask about insurance!),

“It is flexible and immediate insurance I can use in an unpredictable industry where short notice is commonplace.” – Thimble customer

Use these apps & grow your photography business

These days, there are a variety of digital tools that can help you do your job better. Whether it’s editing your photos, planning for a shoot, or protecting yourself from the inherent risks of the industry, our photographers strongly recommend that you research the apps discussed here today and then try them for yourself.

At Thimble, our mission is not only to provide you with the confidence you need to do your job to its fullest, we also want to surround you with a wealth of tools and information you need to succeed.

Hopefully these apps will help elevate your prowess as a photographer!

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.

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