This is the 3rd App of this type that I have reviewed (see my review of mRelease and Photographer's Contract Maker). Each of these Apps promises to eliminate the need for carrying around paper based Model and Property releases. The first App I tried, mRelease was really slick but lacked the ability to create a "custom" release using your own text. Then BestAppSite readers turned me on to Photographer's Contract Maker, which does allow for custom text but lacks the ability to put in a photo of the model/building on the release and doesn't let you put in your own logo. Although I knew about Easy Release, I immediately dismissed it back then because it also lacked the ability to do custom releases. However, that's all changed now with their latest update.
Easy Release 1.5 Almost Does it All!
A BestAppSite reader turned me on to the 1.5 update and while I am satisfied with Photographer's Contract Maker for the most part (I used it at Photoshop World for both model releases and custom corporate interview releases and it rocked!), I wanted to give this App a spin. Being the most expensive of the bunch at $9.99 I was a little hesitant, However, I was lured in by the fact that it had the missing features I wanted. Not only did the update bring custom releases, but it also has the ability to have a photo (from either your iPhone camera or your Camera Roll/Albums) on the release AND allows you to put in your own custom logo/branding! Cool!
There is one problem though…
It doesn't import your Contacts!
The one thing I'm majorly disappointed in is that this App takes a huge step backwards when it comes to entering information. When you go to do a model release you can't bring in the model's info from your Contacts. That's right, you have to re-key everything! The name, address, phone number, email and birthdate. I corresponded with the developer on this issue and their reasoning was that they gather more information than you're likely to have in your contacts such as ethnicity and gender. However, since your contact record would have 95% of what you need I STRONGLY recommend to the developer that they re-think this. Why not at least have the app START with your contact and then simply go to the next screen and fill in the couple of items that are specific to the app? I'm not a fan of duplication of effort especially when it comes to keying in tedious info on my iPhone such as addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Granted once you do the manual entry as long as that release stays on your iPhone you'll be able to bring that Model's info in again if you shoot with her/him again. However, if you delete the release the Model info is deleted too (another flaw). This may be fine for people that only work with a person once or twice. However, I build relationships with the talent that I work with and they are in my Contacts for future work!
The iPhone is a "smart phone" and I expect my Apps to leverage the data that's already there whenever possible! Since the other two Apps can do this, I expect nothing less from the App especially since it costs MORE!
The Release Looks Sweet!
I have to admit that I really do like the final release that this app produces. Basically you have your custom text on the left and the photo, model info and signatures on the right. I did have a minor issue at first when I put my logo in because it was so wide it was pushing text into the model's name. I reported the issue and then reworked my logo to be on two lines instead of one long line and now it works great.
Room for Improvement
I definitely want support for importing my Contact info. Aside from that, I would like a couple more tweaks. First off, there are only two dynamic field choices for the custom releases and they are MODEL and PHOTOGRAPHER. I'd like to see Model Email address and Shoot Date Added for sure. I should really be able to Add in ANY field that's already being captured such as Model Address, Phone number, etc., but I really need Shoot Date because one of my custom releases mentions the "shoot on this date________" and it would be nice to have the app be able to insert that in.
The next thing is that while I love having my Logo on my release, I have more than one release and one my releases is for my employer. My logo can't be on that release. So I'd either like to see a custom logo feature for EACH RELEASE or at least the ability to turn it On/Off per release.
The Bottom Line
All of these Apps are great and they are all one or two features away from being PERFECT! This App would be my favorite hands down if they would let me bring in my Model's info from my Contacts (I'm begging you to add this). Otherwise it's the closest to everything I want.
It will also be interesting to see which one of these takes advantage of the iPad's larger display in their next update.
Get a Stylus!
If you're going to be a doing a lot of these, you might want to make an investment in a iPhone stylus to make it easier for your clients to sign. I got one of these and I LOVE IT! Makes it so much easier to sign!