01 Sep, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes

Can a Single App Make

It All Worthwhile?

Sometimes when a new technology hits, one use of it alone can make the whole development worthwhile.

Could this be true for apps? It is for me.

The new technology of apps has made my life more creative, more productive, and more enjoyable in many ways, but this one application would have been enough. I refer to one of my frequent tasks.

As a travel photo journalist, one of my ongoing challenges is getting model releases. The release is important. It makes my photos more salable, and at higher prices. Releases are critical for potential commercial sales of photos.

Managing paper releases in the past has been tedious. Sometimes I would look at a paper release and try to remember, exactly who was that person? Attaching the release to the photo was cumbersome. I would have to scan the paper release and email in the scan to an agency or photo buyer.

That has all changed for me
with an app called Easy Release ($9.99). My agencies love it, and so do I. To use Easy Release, you need the appropriate mobile electronic device. I downloaded it for my iPhone in the Apple App Store. However, the software manufacturer now has it also for Android mobile devices. See their site at http://www.applicationgap.com/.
This is a good example of an app software now available for a larger spectrum of devices.

Here"s how it works
. The release form appears right on my iPhone (or iPod, iPad). I fill in the blanks. The resulting form gets exported as a Pdf (Adobeís ubiquitous portable document format) and as a jpg.

The release has prompts for data fields for all the expected info, such as Name of Model, Name of Shoot, Shoot Location, Shoot Date, Date of Birth (which kicks in the Minor prompt for parents to sign), Address, Phone, and Email. Some fields in the form are optional but may be handy, such as Gender and Ethnicity. There is a release for Models and for Property.

The language of the release is acceptable to the agencies with whom I work. The language can be customized if you prefer to change it. The release comes in 13 languages, useful if you want to get a Russian or Chinese subject, for example, to sign a release.

However, there are three special and nifty aspects of the release.

First, I get a prompt to use the iPhone itself to take a photo of the model, which becomes part of the pdf.
Second, the model physically signs his or her name on the iPhone with a finger as a pen, authenticating the release.
And third, at the end I am prompted to email the release to whomever I want, which might be myself, the model, and my agency. This is handy. The pdf/jpg emailed to me can also later be sent to any photo buyer or agent. I now have a folder for all my digital model releases created with the iPhone.

The pdf result of the release can be printed out to look clean and professional.

It takes a while to get comfortable with the small touch keyboard on the iPhone, but one can eventually develop a facility for it. If one older and pejorative metaphor has totally lost its punch in the modern world, it is, He is all thumbs.

For Model Releases alone, the apps technology and the iPhone would be worth it to me.

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Lee Foster
Travel writing/photos on 200 destinations for consumers and content buyers at http://www.fostertravel.com
5,000 hi-res photos searchable and downloadable at http://stockphotos.fostertravel.com
Two new photo travel guidebooks at http://www.fostertravel.com/book.html
Latest thoughts on travel at http://blog.fostertravel.com

Lee Foster has three apps in the Apple iTunes App Store. Search “Lee Foster” and up come the three in the iPhone Apps list below Movies, Albums, and Songs. Two are travel photo guides with a lot of functionality. They are San Francisco Travel Photo Guide (Sutro Media, $1.99) and Washington DC Travel Photo Guide (Sutro Media, $1.99). Lee’s third app is a travel literary book with photos, an ebook-style app titled Travels in an American Imagination: The Spiritual Geography of Our Time (IndiaNIC, $2.99)


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