When I first started my photography business I knew immediately that the little Windows laptop I had been working on just wasn’t cutting it. I already had an iPhone and knowing that I was able to keep my business connected seamlessly I was kind of pushed in the direction of Apple products even more. I did some research and found that the quicker processing speed, larger storage, and better quality glass on the laptops and Macs were my best option at that point. Because I was still fairly new to business and I didn’t have a huge amount of disposable income to invest in more than one product at a time, I decided it was best to choose a MacBook Pro to start with. Slowly, my Apple products collection grew to include an iMac. My business was growing quickly and I needed something a little more permanent and much larger for me to properly edit. Eventually I also invested in a RAID system (also purchased from Apple) and quickly learned how to keep my files organized and safe from corruption.
Now that I had everything in line as far as my office equipment went, I found myself still fighting to stay organized outside of the office.
Enter the Apple Watch.
Last year I was constantly fighting with papers. I would print out my client’s questionnaire (which, by the way was about 15 pages long) as well as their timeline (add 2-3 more pages) and in addition to all of my photography gear it would just ultimately cause me to feel like I was fumbling with a bunch of junk. I felt like I didn’t look organized to my couples or their guests. I felt like I was constantly trying to find clothes that had pockets deep enough to hold a small book of folded paperwork. It was just too much to handle.
Apple Watch has seriously changed my wedding day game! Here’s how.
A Loaded Calendar
Using my Google Calendar I’m able to type in each element of a wedding day timeline into my watch. 30 minutes before an “event” arrives, I’m alerted with a silent buzz to my wrist. I even place commute time, waking up time, and leave-the-house-NOW time into my watch. It may be a little excessive to some, putting in all of that information. But when I’m running around the house on a Saturday morning with two kids and a husband asking me a zillion questions, having a quiet buzz on my arm that lets me know 30 minutes before I have to leave that my commute time is coming is one of THE best ways to keep me on track.
On-site of a wedding I can easily get pulled into a million different directions. If I know that I’m not given a point-of-contact, wedding planner, or events day-of coordinator that role almost always falls on me. A wedding photographer will juggle so many different responsibilities on a wedding day in addition to being the photographer. Usually, my second shooters are extremely helpful with making sure we stay on time. But sometimes even they can get caught up in photographing something and start to lose track of time. The Apple Watch has been a HUGE time saver for us!
Directions to Venue
Whenever I have Siri give me directions to venues the alerts buzz on my wrist. The night before a wedding I will plug in my locations into Maps so I can access directions with just a few taps the next morning. While I’m driving to the venue, Siri will connect to my car and let me know where to turn. Sometimes I’m not paying attention and have been known to zip right past an exit. Wearing my Apple Watch has limited those incidents. As I’m arriving an exit, my watch will buzz again to let me know it’s time to turn.
I use the Storm app on my phone. I have faithfully used this app for years because of the accuracy of it. This app has NEVER failed me! In fact, I was at a wedding last year where the reception was held on a beach, outside, under a tent. The tent had just enough space for the dance floor and the guest tables – variably pushing the DJ and his table outside uncovered. Throughout a wedding day I will keep this app pulled up and close by so I can watch the radar. That particular night I knew that I needed to do this because we were so close to the water, but also because we started to notice really scary clouds rolling in quickly. Watching the radar, I was able to show the DJ how much approximate time he had to move his equipment before the rains came in. Just as I was helping him scoot in the very last speaker and zip up the side of the tent a torrential downpour began. The bar tent was placed just beside the reception tent and it didn’t have zip up sides. In fact, the winds picked up so quickly and so strongly that the bar tent was lifted from the ground and all of the groomsmen were tasked to holding it down so it wouldn’t blow away.
The Storm app (thankfully) is also compatible with the Apple Watch. This means that I’m still able to keep track of the weather closely, but now I can do it much easier.
Have you ever wondered how many steps you actually walk (ahem – sometimes run) during a wedding day? I mean, I have a Fitbit so I could use that to track my steps…but that Fitbit won’t ever do everything my watch can do. I can connect my activity tracking to my second shooter (if she also has a watch) and we can secretly compete with each other for the night. It also tracks my heart rate. It tells me how many hours of the day I’ve been standing. I get alerts every 4 hours telling me where I am with my activity goal. It’s kind of motivating to see that I’m burning calories!
If my second shooter also has an Apple Watch I can easily connect the two so we can communicate without having to use our phones. This is big deal! Whenever I’m at a wedding one of the last things I want my couple or their guests to see is me fumbling with my phone. I want to be 100% fully committed and present during their wedding day so I can attend to whatever they might need from me. But if I’m across the room from my second shooter and I need to grab her attention, how can do that without waving my arms in the air or grabbing my phone?
Apple Watch to the rescue again.
I can tap the watch to get her attention. When I tap the watch it sends a quick little buzz alert to my second shooter to quietly let her know that I need her to look up at me. I can also use voice text if I need to.
In addition to using the watch to get her attention, my watch also lets me know when someone is calling me or has sent a text. Having two children it is very important for me to stay in touch with our babysitter (if we’ve hired one) or my husband, in case of emergencies. I’m able to immediately read texts as they come through. Or, if I get a call that I know doesn’t need my immediate response I can use my free hand to cover the face of the watch for a few seconds and the call goes away.
Is it worth the cost of getting one?
I get this question a lot when people see me wearing my Apple Watch on wedding days. Especially from other vendors! The answer to this question kind of feels like a loaded one. I’ve outlined a few of the reasons why I decided to get the Apple Watch above, and I absolutely LOVE having my watch for all of those reasons. (And for more reasons that I didn’t list.) But I do really think that this is more of a personal question. If you’re a wedding planner and you know you’re going to be carrying around a clipboard with loads of paperwork throughout the wedding day, maybe ask yourself if it would be helpful to have the watch. Maybe a timeline reminder buzz would be helpful. But do you also make it a point to watch the weather closely? Do you have a partner you work with on a wedding day that you may need to reach quickly and quietly? If you really only want something that’ll track health stats for you, maybe a Fitbit would be a cheaper and easier option for you. The Apple Watch can do SO MUCH more than a Fitbit can do, though.
Yes, sometimes it takes a few seconds for apps to load on the watch but that’s because the apps aren’t natively housed on your watch. The apps are loaded on your iPhone and kept there, but “paired” with the watch. So it will sometimes take a second for your phone to connect and direct the app information to the watch. That may be something you want to consider when looking at smart watches. This tiny lag doesn’t bother me, and it’s my understanding that Apple is on their way to creating a fix for this.
You have endless opportunities to customize your watch. From the bands you choose, to the covers and the faces. You could change these up every day if you wanted to!
BUT one of the main reasons that I decided to invest in an Apple Watch was because almost all of the electronic products I use to run my business are Apple products. This gives me the opportunity to have everything connected. If I needed access to a file on my computer from home but I’m away in a hotel room in another state, I can still access that file. If I’ve misplaced my iPad mini and know that I’ve left it turned on, I’ll get an alert on my iMac when someone accesses the screen – and I can even see what they’re looking at! (An easy way to monitor the kid’s activity on my iPad, by the way!) I adore having everything so connected and I’m thankful that the Apple Watch has been added to my ever-growing list of Apple products that make my life so much easier!!