I have owned the iPad for a week now and I thought I would write a short piece about how I’m finding it so far. This post is more about how useful I have found it as a work tool as a wedding photographer.
A bit of background: I own a MacBook Pro and a large external screen and an iPhone for my on-the-go email and internet access. Having heard of stock shortages I didn’t want to miss my opportunity and queued for a good 2 hours 30 mins in Cabot Circus in Bristol to pick up my 16GB WIFI model. The experience of buying it was great. Apple gave us free cake, coffee, hot chocolate and croissants as we all waited outside in the cold whilst waiting to be let in!
Why did I want one? To show my work to clients during consultations. This was the only practical reason I had. Between the iPhone and the laptop I have my computing needs covered. Before the iPad I used traditional albums and my laptop to show a slideshow with music. I still show sample albums, there is no replacement for that. The slideshows have always been very successful but bringing my laptop with me isn’t always convenient and I’m always skeptical about whether this is a good experience for the clients. This is where the iPad comes in to its’ own.
So far the iPad has made the consultation process more interesting for my clients. Rather than sitting back and watching a procession of images they can interact with the device, flip back and forth, zoom and actually hold them in their hands. The iPad is a really decent size and feels solid in your hands. Unfortunately it collects fingerprints far too easily and I need to clean it before every consultation!
Frankly I was surprised that people take a LOT more time to look at my photographs. Each slideshow photograph shows for 3-4 seconds. When people look at photos on the iPad they take a good 8 seconds. The photographs look really good on the bright screen and people take in. All the tiny details. They laugh and point at the all sorts of fhings and talk to one another about what they like about each photo. They actively ‘flick’ to the left to see the next photograph and have the choice to view all my different ‘albums’ depending on location and season.
What else do I use it for?
I use Things to keep track of the business side of things. To check if a deposit has been paid or if we have booked an engagement shoot. It’s good for taking notes at meetings and my girlfriend enjoys browsing Facebook on it. Nothing that I couldn’t do before on the laptop.
I would have trouble recommending it to someone who didn’t have a specific need for it. It is no replacement for the functionality of a laptop or netbook and I know it isn’t meant to be.
Bottom line: it’s the best thing on the market to do what I wanted it for. Showing my work. For this it was worth the purchase.