Photographers "Do You Need a Laptop?"

October 13, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Hey Everyone! Hope you had a great week. This week I bring up a question that I've had on my mind a while. One I'm sure you haven't thought about at all. Do you really need a laptop as a photographer? Now I'm not talking about a photographer that is a professional that his whole income is based on his or her photography. But the average person that loves photography but maybe just does it on the side a little for some extra cash to buy new gear. I don't think so and I'll get to the why in a little bit. I was in the belief that as a photographer that you had to have a laptop to do editing and all of that stuff. But I don't. I was under the impression that photographers sat in coffee shops with their laptops doing important editing on their computers. I don't.  Let me tell you what I use my laptop for mostly.  I use it as a food tray at supper time while I'm watching TV eating my nightly salad and I use it to browse the internet looking up weird facts that I never know the answers too.  Do I use it to edit photographs? No.  I use it to look and research others photo's.  So really I don't use it for photography at all. Now don't get me wrong I see nothing wrong with using a laptop for editing and doing all of your photography stuff. But I don't think it is essential. I think editing your photo's on a larger screen on some sort of desk computer is better for a few reasons. First your editing in the same place every time with the light in the room staying basically the same which helps in consistency. Two you are using a larger and stronger computer most of the time that will make your editing quicker and more efficient. Three your storage for all of your photo's is probably stored right beside your main computer so you won't have the tendency to loose stuff.  All of this makes sense. But what about when you travel you say? Well that's when I used to think I would really use a laptop. Because I need to back up my work and I can edit on the road.  That all makes sense right?  I can see the reasoning for thinking that but for me not so much.  For years I have been carrying a laptop to do what I just mentioned backup and edit on the road.  But for one I found that I really didn't edit on the road that much. Maybe a photo or two to go on social media but the bulk of my photo's were being edited at home after the trip. So until this year the only reason I took my laptop traveling was to back up my SD cards at the end of the day maybe edit a photo or two, review my photo's of the day and browse the internet.  This year I started using an iPad mini to do all of my travel stuff and haven't missed my laptop at all. So tell me why do I need a laptop as a photographer?  I don't. I don't use it at home for my photography and I don't need it on the road for photography. So I don't really need one. So now I'll get to the why.

This year I have been focusing on my travel more as a photographer. So far I have visited 8 different National Parks and many state parks and larger cities. This whole year I have been only using a iPad mini to do all of my photography stuff on the road with no problems at all. There has been a learning curve and maybe the mini isn't the best choice for this task of photography on the road but it works and works well. To tell you the truth I could do all of this with my phone but that is an extreme I think. I use Apple products for all of my personal computing needs. My main computer is a Mac I do have a MacBook Air for a laptop and my iPad Mini.  My computers are getting old.  My main computer is a 2015 model. A few years ago I converted my hard drive to a SSD and that sped up my older computer considerably and as of now I have no need to update because it can do everything I ask of it. I will of course have to replace some day.  My laptop is a 2017 and same as my Mac I converted to SSD which has extended the life of it. But it is slower and I only use it when I'm in front of the TV at night.  My iPad mini is a 5th generation and works well for travel. Its small compact and is equipped with wifi and Cellular .  But I think it will be the next replacement maybe next year not so much for what it can do but a larger iPad would do better I think especially with the "M" chips that apple is putting in the iPads now a days. With a larger iPad I can also have a case that includes a keyboard and as with my iPad mini the newer iPad will replace my laptop. I may never get another laptop. I don't see the need for it especially for my photography. Now I don't have any problem with anyone using a laptop to do all of their photography work on for many people this is the only computer they own and a must ,but for me I'll keep the larger computer for editing and an iPad for everything mobile. 

So there you have it my and I mean my thoughts on laptops for photography. I know I'm in minority but I think in the future more people will be going this way and eventually I think larger computers will be the way of the past like stick shifts and gasoline engines. But that will probably be after I'm long gone. As with everything else I'm trying to streamline ,like my camera gear to now my computers, and not too much into the future I will only have a main computer and an iPad for all of my photography and computing needs.  Until next week don't forget to get outside and shoot!

Hey this is an update Last week I gave the results of my Boston trip and the big experiment and that I edited all of my photographs on the iPad mini. Well I have updated my iPad for editing to the iPad Pro for my photography needs and my workflow has changed a bit that will come in next weeks Blog. Happy Shooting!


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