My Favorite Apps

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by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, Cr., MEI, CPP

It seems everywhere you go, everyone has a smart phone or an iPad or some sort of device that stores everyone’s favorite apps. Angry Birds is a personal game favorite, but what about the apps that are actually creative and useful?  Here are my top 3 favorites and why:

Hipstamatic#1.  Hipstamatic $1.99

Remember the old plastic cameras that used that stuff called film? This app brings you the look, feel, sounds and unpredictability of those fun plastic toy cameras of yesteryear. It’s old school all the way, including the ability to change out lenses, film types, and flash settings and all with the swipe of a finger. Even the viewfinder cropping is a bit unpredictable.

It comes standard with 4 lenses, 3 film types, and 4 flash types. There are options to purchase more lenses, film types, flash types, camera case and more. The wonderful “hip” descriptions and packaging make you want to own these just for the creativity alone, which is a good lesson about creative packaging.  Here’s an example of one of the descriptions they used for a product called Jimmy Lens –

“James was cool but Jimmy could walk thru flames.  This lens rocks the daylight, the nightlife, and everything in between”.

Bottom line, this is a must have application and you’ll love the interaction as well as the numerous combinations it offers to create many different looks. You can post images directly to your Facebook page and be the “hip” photographer.

FX-Photo-Studio#2.  FX Photo Studio – $1.99

This app features a whopping array of 194 high quality photo effects and filters to turn any image into a work of art! Okay, it helps if they are pretty cool to begin with but you get the idea. Hands down, the best variety and one of the largest collections on the App Store, including Lo-Fi, art, frames, vintage, graffiti, tilt-shift, blurs, grunge, textures, black & white, sketches, pixelate and more.

You can take a picture with your device or import an image you already have, including your Facebook page, and start playing. You can save your images to your device and/or share your images directly via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. You can also order postcards to have sent to anyone you’d like anywhere in the world.

This app comes standard with 20 categories to choose from and 3 additional creative options for only 99¢ each.  It’s a heavy hitter for a great price.  A must for every photographer.

ShakeItPhoto#3.  ShakeItPhoto – $1.99

This is a favorite for silly reasons . . . it’s just fun. Your device is transformed into a Polaroid camera that’s complete with the unmistakable whirring sounds of the Polaroid film being spit out by the camera and watching your image appear slowly before your eyes. Here’s the fun part though . . . you have to shake your device to speed up the development!

Yes, this is a novelty item and not an amazing application but it’s truly a wonderful conversation piece with all types of people who either remember the old Polaroids or the people who are too young but are fascinated by the old technology and story behind it.

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This article was written by
Mark Weber

Mark Weber is a veteran professional photographer and marketing consultant with Marathon Press. His photography has won numerous awards for recognition of a variety of unique and innovative styles. In addition, his educational programs on marketing have helped studio owners increase the profitability of their business. He spearheads the MAP at Marathon Press which helps photographers gain control of their business and execute a customized, strategic marketing plan to maximize profits and take their business to a new level with ongoing marketing support. Weber is a former past President of the Professional Photographers of Greater Omaha and has served on the Professional Photographers of Nebraska board. He holds the B.F.A. degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he completed his thesis on abstract painting.

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