How a Smartwatch Can Become a Useful Addition to Your Photography Kit

How a Smartwatch Can Become a Useful Addition to Your Photography Kit

Smartwatches have been evolving from merely counting your steps you've made during the day to becoming a useful tool that photographers can utilize during their shoots, too. So, how would you use it besides checking the time and calories spent?

Many of us use smartwatches to keep track of how much (or how little) we walk and use calories, which is very prevalent during wedding season when we end up on our feet all day running the show as we photograph the wedding, which is then followed with days sitting at our desks and using just enough energy to reach for a cup of coffee. However, photographer Sadie T. Shirts points out there's so much more you could do with your smartwatch to help you on the day of the shoot.

Shirts, who's a self-proclaimed Apple fan, uses an Apple Watch, which she does use to track activity while shooting just like most of us, but interestingly Shirts also utilizes the watches' ability to sync with the calendar on her laptop. This allows her to add the whole wedding timeline in the calendar, making her smartwatch notify of the start of a key event or vibrate at a certain time to remind when she needs to set off.

Furthermore, Shirts adds the previously discussed shot list into her Reminders app on her laptop, which also syncs to her smartwatch. No need to carry around a piece of paper and tick off all the required shots when you can view them on your watch and quickly scroll through. Equally, Shirts adds any prompts or inspiration for certain poses in Reminders app, too. This way, however stressful the day may be or however quickly it flies by, there's a small library of certain ideas for poses that Shirts can quickly remind herself about by merely looking at her watch, which is very subtle.

Smartwatch, laptop, camera and notebook on a table

And, lastly, not having your phone in your hand is always a good idea when shooting a wedding because you can receive any text messages or phone calls through to your smartwatch instead. Being able to quickly scan whether it's anything important will ensure you don't get distracted checking your phone for any missed calls or texts, and will remain professional in front of the wedding party. This also helps if you've got a dedicated person from the wedding party that you keep in touch with, such as a bridesmaid, who can inform you of any important changes or emergencies that may occur.

Take a look at the exact way Shirts has set up her smartwatch interface for doing weddings, and maybe you'll get inspired to start incorporating your smartwatch in your shooting process. Or, do you already use one to help you on a shoot?

Images used with the permission of Sadie T. Shirts.

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I still have a smartwatch, an Asus Zenwatch2 which is somewhere in my room, under a layer of dust.
The main gripe I have is that it needs a recharge far too often. And I didn't think it useful at all.
I would be different if I had a GPS tracker that could write (later perhaps) the GPS info in my pictures.
I use Geotage photos for this purpose,

I'd be curious to know how much time one actually saves using a smartwatch rather than simply pulling out your smartphone and having way more information and functionality compared to a smartwatch.

Anete Lusina's picture

The purpose is not as much to save time but rather to appear professional as you're shooting a wedding without making it seem that you're checking your phone every few minutes which to guests and the couple may appear as checking social media, replying to e-mails etc. even if you're not :)

Dave Nunez-Delgado's picture

I got my Samsung Gear S3 Frontier specifically for this purpose. It's great for discretely communicating with a 2nd shooter via text while my phone is in my camera bag. As a bonus it also makes my business-casual attire a little more put together.

Anete Lusina's picture

That's a good idea I hadn't thought of! I've got a Fitbit Blaze so don't think I can do anything like that so may need to upgrade!

Glen Barrington's picture

I use the Frontier's downloadable quick GPS app to make a note of my location for landscape photography.

I think too many “smart” gadgets are making us all, well ... dumber