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Since your post has been up for a while without any responses, let me give it a shot.
First, I’m not using an iPad in a photography business, but I can suggest some ways an iPad COULD be used, based on my own use as an amateur digital photographer, digital artist, and tech geek.
If you already have a Mac, integration of Mac apps with iPad apps is fairly straightforward. I can’t speak to Windows app integration, because I seldom use Windows apps anymore, and virtually never with iPad. Most of the iPad photo apps I use are the free ones available from the App Store. I've not purchased iPhoto for iPad, for example. I also have iPhoto and Pixelmator on my MacBook.
The on-board cameras are fairly low resolution, and a fine for snapshots, a quick lighting check, and FaceTime video conferencing, but probably not ever good enough for anything you'd ever want to sell.
I'd recommend at least a 32Gb 3G version iPad2 if you go out of the studio, because it allows messaging and uploading photos anywhere there is cellular service, so backing up to iCloud (available on 10/12/2011) and onboard storage capacity are less of a concern.
If you have an iPhone, other smartphone, or 3G/4G hotspot device already, it is possible to 'tether' the WiFi-only models, but may be more hassle than you want to deal with, since you also have camera equipment to tote around.
Use the iPad to carry around your virtual portfolio with thousands of prime examples of your work, rather than just dozens or hundreds.
When not using it actively, use the iPad in your studio as a digital photo frame to 'sell ideas' to clients as they wait for their appointment times: to display photos, videos, and presentations created using popular Mac and iPad photo, video, and presentation apps.
Once you spend a few minutes learning how to use it, the photo app, the picture frame app, and image manipulation is pretty easy and intuitive.
The native Photo app is easy enough for viewing that you can hand an iPad to a client (e.g. to view proofs you just shot) and they can page through their photos, zoom in, and so on.
There are hundreds of photo apps, some with tools and filters that are extremely easy to manipulate on the fly, unlike much of Photoshop.
You can easily transport an iPad anywhere. Long battery life means it can be unchained all day.
Do a photo shoot out in a remote location, and you can instantly upload and view photos full screen at nearly 8”x10” (1024x768 screen resolution) Zoom in, you can view a tiny portion of any image, such as checking everyone in a large group photo for blinking eyes.
If necessary, make exposure adjustments RIGHT THEN after the preview, without having to drag along a laptop, or wait to return to the studio.
Upload photos from camera (or memory card) with the Camera Connection kit and use the iPad to show client the proofs. You and the client can quickly zoom in and out of photos. Having some samples stored in other photo folders allows the salesperson to suggest packages, finishes, poses, and allows the client to directly touch the screen. Usually viewing proofs are a 'hands off' with the salesperson doing all the manipulation on a computer keyboard, with a mouse.
Upload photos from iPad to directly to popular social media sites. If you have a 3G iPad, you can upload from anywhere you have cell service.
If you are already doing lots of digital offerings, be sure to offer an iPhoto/iPad album option to clients.
You can use Square or similar payment system with iPhone or iPad to process credit/debit payments instantly, such as a photo booth at an historical re-enactment event, a car show, or an art fair.
Potential problems with an iPad: (not exhaustive, just what comes to mind quickly)
Unlike a photo album, drop an iPad just once onto a hard surface and the screen probably breaks. That’s what 3rd party insurance such as SquareTrade is for.
Like any tech device, it doesn’t work when the battery is dead.
Could be a bit hard to view in direct sunlight. (An empty copier paper carton to the rescue!)
Don’t expect to do lots of heavy-duty text entry and editing on an iPad unless you go with a wireless (bluetooth) keyboard. It is possible, but anything more than a quick email or one-page summary starts to get cumbersome switching between the 3 on-screen keyboards (letters, numbers, and punctuation).
If there is an Apple Store in your area, make an appointment with a Creative, take along a camera and connection cable, and/or SD or SDHC memory card of images, and let them show you how it works, and how you might use it with your own images.
Message was edited by: kostby
That's a great list of ideas for a photo studio. Let me just add one more. You can upload PDF files of album designs, album covers, ideas and retail price lists. Also Apature (made by Apple - "iPhotos on steriods") is a good piece of software to upload albums or photos to the iPad.
I just purchased an iPad a few weeks ago. I can see a great use for now only showing photos, album designs and catalogues in the field but also album cover colors and textures.
One last thing, I had an idea of helping businesses who what to maybe start a simple web site but may not have the knowledge or time to do so. Or maybe they would like to get set up on Facebook or Twitter. The iPad would be a great tool to walk into a business with, take a photo of the owner and few products then rough out a web page idea for them on the spot. I would think it would give you an edge to selling your services. Of course you offer the commercial photography as you main feature to your business with social media and web site building as an add on. There are some easy web templates out there so you don't have to build it from scratch.
Hope this helps.
We are a studio lighting manufacturer from Germany with an US online store. We use the iPad to show photographs that haven been taken while using our equipment. An schematics of lighting examples and set-ups. It's really helpful during trade shows and presentations when you are able to show customers immediate results.
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