Top Model Release

Top Model Release App

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As a photographer I’m constantly having models sign model releases. Having a signed model release has saved me on more than one occasion when it came time to have my work published in various magazines and ads. With that said, I gave up on paper based releases years ago. Since that time I’ve always done model releases electronically on my iPhone or now my iPad. I’ve reviewed a few different model release Apps here and yesterday I was introduced to a new one. I decided to give it a shot. Top Model Release has a nice clean, straight forward interface. After launching the App you immediately walk through the process of setting up the photographer profile. This involves entering your information such as your name, address, etc. Luckily if you have a contact already setup in the Contacts app you can just choose your card to save time. You can also insert a logo and insert your signature. Next you’re ready to create your first release. You can choose either Adult, Minor or Property Release. The App comes preconfigured with very decent sample releases already built-in. Of course you can customize these to your own specific needs or completely replace them with the wording you use on your actual releases. I did a sample Adult release and the process was really straight forward. You can either manually enter the model info in or choose a Contact. Then you put in the date and location information about your shoot. It would be nice to see a “get current location” option. There’s also a spot to enter Agency information, which I haven’t seen in the other Apps.

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Next up you can choose a photo to put on the release or snap one on the spot. Lastly the model can digitally sign right on your device with a finger or stylus. As you would expect the App then generates a nicely formated PDF that you can email directly to your model and yourself by default or print it. Now all of the above isn’t really new and I’ve seen most of this in the other Apps I’ve tried. I will give Top Release kudos for having a few extra bells and whistles. The first one is that you can duplicate an existing release to speed up the process for the next one you create. For example, if you work with the same model often you can duplicate the Model info. If you’re shooting a different model, you can duplicate the shoot info or you can simply duplicate the full release. It’s not apparent at first, but you can create additional “custom” releases to choose from besides the default adult, property and minor releases. This makes it easy to have different releases for the kinds of work you do, perhaps a release for paid work and a slightly different one for trades. The one thing I was immediately surprised by was that it has iCloud syncing that just works in the background. I didn’t have to turn it on, nor did it ask me. I did a test on the iPhone and by the time I got to the iPad to do a test the one from the iPhone was listed there! Overall, I can’t really find anything wrong with this App. It does everything I would need and it does it in a nice way. The one thing that I’m a stickler for is the final presentation of the actual release/PDF and Top Model Release produces a great looking release. As a matter of fact it bears a striking resemblance to Easy Release, however I especially like how it sized my logo larger than some of the other Apps I’ve used. While the App has everything I need in it, I will point out that it does lack a couple of things that others may need. The releases are limited to one page. If you have a lengthy contact this App may not work for you. Also there is no way to customize it with additional fields.

If you’re looking for a great model release App, Top Model Release is a solid choice. It’s clear that the developer has listened to my feedback on other apps in this category and didn’t make the same mistakes!

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Yes it can be awkward signing with your finger so get a stylus!

If you’re going to be a doing a lot of these, you might want to make an investment in a touch screen 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! If you want an even better one, go with this one from Wacom or this one which is also a pen.

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Pick-Up Sign

Pick-Up Sign App To Generate Airport Pick-up Signs

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We pickup our friends and family from the airport all the time. These are generally meetings with kisses and hugs. However, there are times when we may need to pickup someone that we hadn’t met yet. Perhaps it’s a colleague or maybe a new roommate. We all have seen those signs as we leave the baggage claim being held by various courier services. However, in recent months I’ve noticed that more and more companies are using tablets to display these signs electronically. It’s certainly more professional looking than a magic marker and of course you can brand it.

I actually started doing this when meeting friends just for the fun of it/laughs. Of course you can create these with any number of applications on your desktop and then send it to your iPad or iPhone as a PDF. While that works, it’s not convenient to create one on the fly. I could also build them in Photoshop Touch using photos and text right on my iOS device. That got me wondering if there was an App on the App Store that would let you do it directly. I found one. At first glance I really wasn’t impressed. The screenshots on the App Store were really “basic” looking. Sort of like 90′s clipart. Since it was free I downloaded it and gave it a shot. I was happy to see that I could put my own logo in and that the clipart look that I saw on the screen shots was just a bad looking logo. You can put in up to two lines of text. The App is an Universal App and therefore works on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It also works in both portrait and landscape. You can choose from 4 different skins to change the background color and that’s pretty much it.

It works, but could be better!

While the Pick-Up Sign App does exactly what it says the first thing that I didn’t like was the ads being displayed on the sign. You can do an in-app purchase of 0.99¢ to turn the ads off. That’s the 1st thing I did. While I could easily import my logo as a .PNG file, the app didn’t seem to recognize the transparency. I ended up making a white version on a black background in Photoshop Touch. That’s when I realized that the black background in the dark skin wasn’t 100% black. I could go back and match it in Photoshop, but it would be nice to be able to choose a custom color background or better yet let me import a photo from my Photos/Camera Roll. The other issue is that you don’t get to choose fonts or font size. There is only one font and it scales based on the display orientation. I’d love it if it had a few font choices. It will be nice to have this App for those times when I need a quick sign, but if I really want it to look nice I’ll probably continue to build them in Photoshop Touch and display them as photos.

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InstaWeather Pro

InstaWeather Pro

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I couldn’t help but notice the cool photos my buddy Rufus was posting to Instagram. They were photos of the locations he was traveling to, but they had the local weather information super imposed on them. I finally sent him a text asking him which App he was using and it turned out to be InstaWeather Pro. Like most Apps for Instagram and social networking, this App allows you to take a picture right in the app or choose one of your existing ones. Once you choose the photo you can choose between several themes depending on where you want the info displayed. You can also use the built-in support for Foursquare or Facebook to choose your current location from the list and it will super impose the name also in your shot. I find myself posting to Instagram more and more since it can simultaneously post to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr and even email. The App also does a great job in letting you customize the settings. If Instagram is not your thing, you can still use the App to post to Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Foursquare, Email or simply save to the Camera Roll. InstaWeather Pro is great for posting travel shots and letting your followers not only get a feel for what you’re seeing, but also how cold or hot it is there. Chances are you’ll make them even more envious! :-)

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photo by Rufus Deuchler

 

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