iPads & Tablets: Icing on the Cake

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Whether you’re a wedding photographer, wedding planner, or the lucky couple who will be tying the knot, an Apple iPad 2, new iPad, or one of the many Android tablet PCs can be very helpful when you’re preparing for a wedding. Your very own iPad or Android tablet can even take on wedding-related tasks long after the vows have been traded, the rings exchanged and the cake consumed.

Read on for several iPad/tablet related wedding organization tips and even find out how to use whichever device you choose as a photo booth at your celebration (including links to all the hardware you’ll need). Plus, learn how professional photographers are expanding their wedding services to include iPads and tablets.

Apps for Wedding Planners and Couples Preparing

There are dozens of clever wedding-related apps that can help you organize and prepare nearly every aspect of the ceremony and subsequent celebrations. You can find “Wedding Planner” apps from big names like Condé Nast and The Knot, as well as other applications from smaller, independent companies. This ever-expanding genre of apps covers everything from picking out dresses and keeping up with checklists to budgeting, locating venues, selecting the right services and even choosing your dream honeymoon destinations. Be sure to check out every app’s rating from either Google Play or the Apple App Store, and read its reviews before you get too invested.

Aside from the all-consuming “Wedding Planner” apps, there are plenty of apps that “do one thing and do it well.” There are apps dedicated exclusively to wedding song lists, selecting color combinations for clothing and décor, making seating charts and much more. Some apps let you superimpose different wedding dresses over pictures of yourself, and there are plenty of “countdown” apps that count the days, hours, minutes, seconds and even heartbeats until your big day.

There are also wedding magazines that are available as apps for both Android tablets and the iPad. Plus, if you have a Wi-Fi or broadband connection, you can surf all of the wedding-related content the Web has to offer. If you see an app or something you like on a Web page, many tablets let you take a screenshot to save in your photo library for later reference. On an iPad, all you have to do is press the Home button and the Wake/Sleep button simultaneously, and a screenshot will be taken and saved.

The iPad 2 and new iPad both support the latest iOS operating system and have access to the Apple App Store. There are also a handful of comparable Android tablets that have access to Google Play and also support the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. This list includes the Acer Iconia Tab A510 Series Tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, the ASUS Transformer Pad and the Archos 101 G9 Turbo WiFi Tablet.

App Planning Assistance for Wedding Photographers

There are also apps dedicated to wedding photography. Several of these afford tips and tutorials about the practice of shooting wedding photos professionally. If you’re trying to come up with ideas for how you want the wedding photos to look, there are many professional wedding photographers who have made app versions of their portfolios—most of which are available from both Google Play and the Apple App Store.

An iPad or Android tablet can also be an excellent tool for showing prospective clients your portfolio. Obviously, this approach isn’t suited for every photographer, as some people only want to showcase their work in print form. But if you don’t mind digital images, simply handing someone your tablet or iPad for a few minutes is a painless way to promote yourself. Even if the person has never held a touch-screen device before, they’ll be effortlessly swiping their way through all of your best work in no time. Most tablets, including the iPad, feature nicely designed photo software that works really well for showing off your images. There are also separately available dedicated portfolio apps that offer even more options.

Whether you choose the iPad or one of the Android tablets, it will no doubt help you organize and plan your wedding shoot and help you work more efficiently when the event is taking place. There are even apps that demonstrate different ways to position and pose the two people getting married, and there are apps dedicated to creating and organizing shot lists. Plus, if you have access to the Internet, you can always check out all of the Wedding Photography-related articles and tutorials available right here at B&H InDepth.

Safe Celebrations

Weddings are busy, emotion-fueled events that bring together large numbers of disparate people. When you show up with a fancy Android tablet or a beautiful new iPad, you have to be careful not to lose track of it. If you’re using an iPad 2 or new iPad, you can anchor it with a Kensington SecureBack Security Case.

There are two models available for the iPad 2, one that features a 2-way stand, and another that is just a case and lock. Many tablet PCs also feature security lock slots, as well as optional protective cases and 2-way stands.

Make an iPad or Tablet PC Photo Booth for Your Wedding

Photo booths have become extremely popular at weddings, but unfortunately, they’re also extremely expensive to rent (to the tune of several thousand dollars for one night). Thankfully, with a few key pieces of hardware and a bit of effort, you can use a tablet or iPad as the heart of a homemade wedding photo booth and save a considerable chunk of cash.

The physical booth that you assemble can be as minimal or elaborate as you like. One option is to fabricate a booth of muslin and support stands, such as hanging this white Westcott 10 x 10 Cotton Background from a pair of Impact C Stands, or this Impact Background Support Kit. This gets you a single “wall” for your booth, and you’ll have to be inventive when attaching the sheet to the poles (perhaps by lacing a thin rope through the grommets in the Westcott sheet). If you want to construct a booth with two, three or four walls, you’re going to need more sheets and stands. If you go this route, it’s advisable to weigh down the base of each stand with sand bags, to help keep things stable and safe.

Once you have your booth set up, you’re going to need to set up the device inside of it. One option is to create a surface with a small table, and to position your tablet or iPad on top of it using a case stand. For example, if you’re using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, you can prop it up with the Blurex Leather Slim Folio Case. If you’re using an iPad, you can try a different approach by affixing it to a microphone stand with an IK Multimedia iKlip. This is a nice option because it enables you to adjust the angle, and the iKlip is compatible with every generation of iPad. The On Stage MS7201B is a decent choice for a mic stand because it’s inexpensive, has a sturdy, weighted base and it’s a straight stand with no boom arm to fuss with.

It should be noted that if you want to anchor your iPad inside the booth with a Kensington lock, the IK Multimedia iKlip will not fit properly. If you’re going to use a lock, one option is to use the SecureBack Security Case with 2-Way Stand (compatible with the iPad 2), and place it on a small table inside the booth. When the stand is used with this case, the camera is going to be pointing somewhat upward, so you need to make sure your table isn’t too tall, and that your guests can easily frame their photo-booth shots.

People love hamming it up for the camera inside photo booths, and perhaps the most essential accessory they’ll need is a bench. A good option is the Ultimate Support JS-LB100, because it has a nicely sized seating area, it’s padded and it folds up for travel and storage.

Another aspect to consider is the amount of light in the booth. If it’s too dark, the photos won’t turn out well and it won’t be much fun. Extra light can go a long way, so adding an Impact Fluorescent Floodlight (or better yet, an Impact Octacool-9 with an Octabox) could make all the difference. These are constant light sources, not flashes, and they run cool, which will keep your self-portrait subjects safer from burns. 

When all of this equipment is set up, you can use the built-in camera app that comes with your Android tablet or iPad for taking and saving the photos. There are also some photo apps made specifically for weddings. If you’re using an iPad, there’s an app available called Wedding Booth, which has nice features that let you display the names of the couple getting married, adjust the colors of the graphics in the app, and adjust the photo countdown timer (5, 7 or 10 seconds). Your guests can add a personal note in its virtual guestbook feature. The app is compatible with the Retina display in the new iPad, and if you set up a printer with AirPrint nearby, your guests can easily print their picture right from the app.

Using a Tablet PC or iPad at the Wedding: Photographers

Some professional photographers are incorporating tablet PCs and iPads into their workflow at the wedding itself. If you or your assistant set up an area near the reception to do digital housekeeping (dumping images from the cards, backing up files on external drives, etc.), you may want to consider having a tablet at the table so that curious guests can stop by and swipe through some photos of the event. With some tablet PCs, this is as simple as popping an SD card into it with image files loaded on it. Tablets with SD card support that are comparable to the Apple iPad include the ViewSonic ViewPad 10pi Tablet and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet.

If you’re using an iPad, guests at the table can still swipe through a preloaded photo album of pictures. To achieve this with the iPad 2 or new iPad, all you have to do is create a quick Photo Album in iPhoto, and then sync the iPad with a computer. If your worst fear is showing people unprocessed photos, you can make custom presets in Lightroom that you or your assistant can quickly apply to select images before loading them into the tablet.

Using a Tablet PC or iPad after the Wedding: Photographers

Wedding photographers may also want to consider integrating an Android tablet PC or iPad services into their wedding packages. People really enjoy looking at photographs on tablets. The colors pop, and it’s a joy to just sit back and swipe through the images. If the couple getting married already owns a tablet, or if they’re getting one as a wedding gift, you can extend your services to include the loading of the image files onto it for them. With some devices, this is a relatively painless process. If the couple has an iPad, this will require you to use your client’s computer. You must load the images onto the computer that the couple uses with their iPad, and then sync their iPad to the computer to load the wedding photo album. It requires some work, but it’s work that you can bill for, and the finished product will be a guaranteed hit with any family member or close friend who gets their hands on that tablet.

Preserving Your Wedding Memories

Not only can your Android tablet or iPad act as an easy-to-use digital photo album, it also makes a great digital picture frame. When you or a family member isn’t playing Angry Birds, you can prop the device up on a stand and let your wedding slideshow roll. You can use the native photo app on your tablet to do this, or you can download slideshow apps that have dedicated wedding themes. Plus, after you get married, some of the wedding-countdown apps switch gears and start counting down to your anniversary.

Thanks for checking out this B&H InDepth article. If you have any further questions about any of the topics addressed in this article, we encourage you to submit a Comment below. 

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One option that was not discussed is running a photo booth using a dslr camera and software such as dslrBooth, storing the pictures on the PC connected to an eye-fi card which then synchs those images to an IPad where users can scroll through the images. Users can then e-mail, tweet, upload those images to facebook right from the IPad.

Great idea! I was wondering about a DSLR setup. Thanks for sharing. :)

Hi everyone! I used the Wedding Booth app, and I absolutely loved it! Also, to make sure we still had the look and feel of a traditional photo booth, we used PVC piping and a sheet and built our own photo booth for under $40.

I am interested in setting up a DIY photobooth with a limited budget. Did you use an Ipad? What are the items you purchased?