I have my essential list of things that I must have when shooting a wedding, but I have a few tools in addition to lenses and camera bodies that help me do my very best work during a busy wedding day. One of my favorite tools is actually my Apple Watch. If you know me, then you know that I'm a big fan of Apple products. I bought my Watch with weddings in mind, knowing that besides being able to track steps and keep the time, the Watch is a helpful asset that helps me keep my phone tucked away, but the information I need readily available. Here are my top 5 reasons why I use an Apple Watch for weddings, and how I use it:
How I setup my Watch Face:
I put my Watch on the Modular setting, which allows me to put 5 apps on the watch face in addition to the time. I put the Reminders App in the top left corner, the Calendar in the middle, and I keep messages, activity, and workout on the bottom like I do every day. The Modular face allows for the most flexibility and readability in App configurations, and I can always add more information to the face if I want!
1. Activity Tracking
This is more of a bonus, because I use my Watch daily to track my activity, but it is handy to see how many more calories I burn running around a wedding all day than I do on an day-to-day basis. I always close my rings when I am shooting a wedding! (There are 3 Activity rings: Move, which tracks calories, Exercise, which tracks actual “workouts”, and Stand, which tracks if you stand at least once an hour). I can go back later on my phone and look at my activity from months before. Here's an example of one of the weddings I shot earlier this summer:
2. Keeping the Timeline on Track
Before every wedding, I put the entire timeline of the wedding into my iCalendar on my MacBook Pro, which then syncs to my iPhone SE and Watch. As I go throughout the day, my Watch will display the next event in the timeline, and the time that we have allotted for it. For example, if the bride is getting ready between 10:00-12:00, and we need to arrive at the church at 12:15, my Apple Watch will tap my wrist 15 minutes before the leave time, reminding us that it will take 10 minutes to get to the church, and that we will need to leave by 12:05 in order to get there on time.
MacBook/iPhone iCalendar view:
Apple Watch View:
3. Checking the Shot List
Also before the wedding, I will take the shot list that the bride and groom have given me and put it into my Reminders app on my MacBook Pro, or my phone, which then, like iCal, will sync to the rest of my devices. This process is a little more involved, because I have found the best way to have quick access to this list from my Watch is to schedule all of the reminders for 11:00pm the night of the wedding. (This ensures that this list comes up when I first click on the icon under the “Scheduled” Reminders list, and that they’re not constantly tapping my wrist throughout the day.) The cool thing about doing it this way is that I can check shots off the list as I go through the day so that I make sure I didn’t miss anything.
MacBook/iPhone Reminders View:
Apple Watch View:
4. Go-To Prompts and Poses
Along with putting the shot list into Reminders, I also put any extra prompts or poses that I want to make sure that I remember. Before weddings, I always have a list of shots (in addition to the higher-priority list that the bride and groom gives me) that I think would be amazing to surprise the couple with. In the rush of a wedding day, I sometimes forget some of the shots that I put on this list, which is why I like to add them to my Reminders. For bigger families or bridal parties, I will also sometimes put important names that I don’t want to forget on this list, which makes organizing group portraits go a lot more smoothly.
5. People Can Get Ahold of Me
The last reason I really enjoy having my Apple Watch for weddings is that sometimes people, like the second shooter, the maid of honor, or the wedding planner, need to get ahold of me to let me know about last minute changes or that something is running late. However, I don’t want to have my phone out or off of the silent setting. In these emergency situations, my Watch will alert me of any phone calls or texts by tapping my wrist. I can quickly glance down at my wrist to decide if the message is important, and I can even answer the call or reply right from the Watch.
My Watch specs:
I have the Apple Watch Series 3 without cellular. I find that I don’t need the cellular, because my iPhone is almost always within range of the Watch, and if it isn’t, the important information that I would need right away is still synced to my watch face. I feel like it would actually be possible to leave my phone at home if I had the Series 3 Watch with cellular, but it’s never a bad thing to have my phone just in case and I don’t want to pay for extra data each month for my Watch.
Other helpful uses of the Apple Watch:
- Keeping track of the weather (Great for the crazy Idaho weather).
- Checking sunset times. (There’s a watch face specifically for tracking the sun).
- Photo Inspiration (You can set the background of the watch face as a photo album that cycles through the poses and photos that inspire you for a shoot. I would recommend this to beginners who are shooting couples sessions, and less for a wedding!)
I hope that this post was useful! Let me know in the comments if there is anything else you would like to know about how I use technology + photography!
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