6 Must-Have iPhone Apps for Professional Photographers

6 Must-Have iPhone Apps for Professional Photographers

If you’re looking for a roundup of the best apps for filters/composite images/HDR/etc., then you’ve come to the wrong post. These are the iPhones apps (and even some cross-over for you Android users!) that professional photographers are using either to prep for the day of a shoot – with a DSLR camera, mind you – or to help run their businesses more efficiently.

The list includes everything from tools to help determine the best light throughout the day, to organizing your model releases, to keeping track of your tax deductions. Need to know when the sun is setting on that one street corner in London? There’s an app for that. How about setting auto triggers to your DSLR? Yep…there’s an app for that. See our top picks below.

Helios Sun Position Calculator – $29.99

Forget trying to guess the best time of day to get perfect natural light – this app uses your iDevice’s internal GPS and compass to predict the path of the sun throughout the day wherever you might be shooting. The app’s software has a database of over 30,000 locations worldwide, so you can enter a shoot prepared. You can even email yourself or your client a day plan of the sun’s path from the app.


Easy Release – $9.99

If you ever find yourself wishing you had stuffed a few printed model or property release forms in your pack, then this app is for you. The app lets you easily collect all the data and signatures needed right on your Apple or Android phone, and then email a PDF and JPEG to yourself. The standard language is widely accepted, and you can also add your own.


Trip Cubby – $2.99

Did you know you can file for a tax deduction with the appropriate automobile expense records? Trip Cubby simplifies the process of tracking your mileage over time, and is actually designed with IRS compliance in mind.


Rego – free

If you’re constantly on the move and scouting out locations, this app helps you keep track of all those places — and have a personal database of great shoot spots. The app uses your iPhone’s GPS to find your location, then you can add your own photos and notes. Then if you plan to return it syncs up with Google or Apple maps to route you there.


Triggertrap – free

This app lets you trigger your DSLR from your Apple or Android phone, and supports 300+ different cameras models from Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Sony, Sigma, and more. There are a number of different creative modes to do some really cool automations – for example, use the Star Trials mode to set a series of 3 second exposures with a 200ms gap between them. You let it do its thing, and the photos are captured for you. The Distance-lapse is also pretty cool – if you’re in a moving vehicle you can set it to take a photo every number of feet/meters, rather than seconds, and then create a series of seamless photos for a timelapse video.


Pocket Light Meter – free

This app describes itself – a light meter that’s always in your pocket.



What apps are you using to help improve your photography?


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There are 16 comments for this article
  1. Chris at 12:49 pm

    Helios is by far the most expensive app I’ve ever purchased, but it has saved my ass more times than I can count. I use it mainly to figure out if I’ll be able to shoot with available light or whether the sun will be behind a building, tree, etc.

  2. ohHenry at 2:48 pm

    Phototools, iWindSurf, are just a couple I use. And they are free and do most if not all and more than the apps you show above.

    Phone apps are a dime a dozen. The free ones are great imo. The Devs listen to users. So for me… I see no need for a $30 phone app. Rather spend it on some new hardware etc.

  3. Ilya Genkin at 4:32 pm

    Must have? Not really. Using my iPhone in the field all the time and never used any if these apps. Helios is quite expensive. TPE is much cheaper. I would agree about model releases – very good app. But other…. Light meter in the camera is way accurate than light meter in iPhone.

  4. Jason at 6:16 pm

    While the Triggertrap app is technically free, if you want to trigger your DSLR, you’ll have to buy the $30 USD connector cable from the company.

  5. Dizzy at 10:51 pm

    Camera Awesome (for digital) and Pic Scanner (for converting pre-digital to digital). Both are free and easy to use. The first makes it a breeze to add professional looking effects to ordinary shots; the second lets you scan three old photos simultaneously (I have LOTS) and then automatically crops and saves them to my iPhone.

  6. Kilroy at 4:51 am

    Great list!
    I will try Rego as it fits some of my needs.

    I use Field Tools for Depth of Field calculation, iOShutter (and the matching cable) instead of TriggerTrap, Sunrise Sunset, and TidesPlanner for beach photography

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