Apple’s mini versions of their devices have always captivated me, and for good reason. As a professional photographer, I’ve discovered that these little wonders offer a range of benefits that significantly enhance my workflow and creativity.
Mac mini: powerhouse in a tiny package
The transition from my old Intel MacBook Pro to the Apple M1 Mac mini was a game-changer. This compact powerhouse operates silently and swiftly, elevating my post-production process to new heights. The lightning-fast speed allows me to see immediate adjustments to raw photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic, fostering a seamless and creative editing experience. Gone are the days of frustrating lag when making edits, as the Mac mini provides instant feedback, encouraging creativity.
Furthermore, both Final Cut Pro and Lightroom thrive on Apple Silicon, rendering images and video at an impressive pace, streamlining my entire workflow.
The Mac mini’s size and low heat emission make it an ideal desk companion, tucked away discreetly. While it lacks an integrated screen like iMacs and MacBooks, I see this as an advantage. For colour-critical tasks, I rely on a high-end, hardware-calibrated monitor from Benq or Eizo, ensuring accuracy in my professional work.
iPad mini: a versatile client viewer
For over ten years iPads have played a role in showcasing images to clients in real-time as I photograph. Starting with larger iPads I found them suitable for studio use but cumbersome during on-location shoots. The introduction of the iPad mini 6th gen struck the perfect balance for me. Compact, lightweight, and equipped with a bright screen, it surpasses its predecessors in every aspect. Clients also prefer the mini if they hand hold the iPad.
For corporate portrait sessions, my workflow shifts slightly. After capturing a session, I can promptly display the results on the iPad mini. If an Executive Assistant (EA) is present, they can monitor the shoot on the iPad, providing valuable feedback, reassuring the client they look their best.
iPhone mini: the power of compactness
As mobile phones trend towards larger sizes, the iPhone mini broke the mould, offering the perfect compromise between size and screen real estate. Its pocket-friendly design allows me to promptly attend to phone calls and email inquiries while on location. Surprisingly, the iPhone mini possesses enough power to handle my vast Lightroom collection, containing over 500,000 images. Furthermore, its wide-angle lens proves invaluable when scouting locations, providing me with a visual record that previously required a larger camera.
MacBook Pro 13 inch: a lightweight workhorse
When a laptop is required on location, the 13-inch MacBook Pro saves my back. Delivering comparable power to the Mac mini, it excels at post-production work while on the move. After grappling with the weight of my 16-inch MacBook Pro during airport travels, I mistakenly purchased the 13-inch MacBook Pro, intending to buy the MacBook Air. To my surprise, the mistake revealed an ideal balance of power and extended battery life.
Embracing the mini lifestyle
While mini devices may appeal to a niche market, they have transformed my professional photography workflow. Apple’s commitment to these miniature marvels might vary, with certain models slow to receive updates or discontinued. However, for photographers like me, the mini products are perfect companions that amplify creativity and efficiency, to create the best images all while enhancing my client’s experience.