Exclusive Interview With Photographer’s Contract Maker iPhone Developer, Michael Shiffler

Photographer’s Contract Maker app is a great app. Once you’ve installed this app onto your iPhone or iPad you can officially go paperless, reduce clutter, and streamline your contract organization. Read this exclusive interview with the developer right now…

The Beginning


Can you tell our readers how your app was originally thought of, what were your thoughts behind the marketplace, specifically?

Being a photographer, I grew frustrated with having to constantly carry contracts and model releases with me in my bag. Even signed contracts became an issue because they had to be organized and filed. There were occasions when I didn’t have a contract or release, to have to try to have them sign after the fact was a workflow problem. I wanted to streamline the process, go paperless, easily file electronically and always be prepared for a shoot.

I also noticed that when I purchased Apple products, many of the sales reps in the Stores were using iTouch hardware and custom software to record signatures at the time of purchase. This told me that the capacity was there for a contract making app, it was just a matter of putting it together and making it work.



Can you tell us how you came up with the colors and themes ideas, design?

I wanted the Icon to tell the viewer what it was in an instant. This meant it needed to have a camera, paper, and pen all together.

Target Market


Who do you see as the main target market for this app?

Professional and semi-professional photographers who own Apple Devices. Anyone who has the intention of using their images in any venue will need a release, anyone who makes money with their photography needs contracts. This is what makes Photographer’s Contract Maker so powerful, it can be customized to do just about any type of multi-page contract or release.



How long did it take from the original planning to the production process of your app?

It took about 5 months total, from design to programming and testing. The customization placeholders were the tricky part, but we got it worked out.



How do you view your sales, is there a good solid market for this style of app?

Absolutely – our sales have been consistent over the long run and there are a lot of photographers out there who would be interested in it. I get a lot of feedback from happy users, as well as many great suggestions which we have incorporated into the latest version.



What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome regarding this app development?

The customization features we the hardest to nail down and make work. The App essentially allows you to take any contract and plug it into the App and it does it with something we call “placeholders”. We are also proud that Photographers Contract Maker does multiple pages, another feature which stands out.

Third Parties


Would you consider developing apps for third parties?

Yes, we are working with one now in fact.

App Store


What have you learnt from the App Store since you launched your app?

The importance of good customer support. We have a user’s forum set up to help users with any issues and when they go to it we can help them. If they just post feedback on the App because they are having an issue, there is no way we can troubleshoot with them. If they contact us directly, we can help them.



Have Apple supported you well with your app?

Apple has been great. It takes about a week to have something approved, including updates, but the whole process has been interesting and fun.


The Future


What next, are you developing another app? Would you go for the same genre again, if not which?

Yes, we just released a general “Contract Maker Pro” for all professionals who need to make custom contracts or releases. It is available now on the App store, it is extremely powerful in terms of customization options.

We have a few other Apps coming, but are keeping them under wraps until they are released.

Apple iPad


The Apple iPad – what are your thoughts about it and how does your your app integrate?

Photographer’s Contract Maker works fine on the iPad, though it isn’t iPad native, yet. This results in a lower res text, which is the only drawback of not having a native version.

iOS4 for iPad may resolve some of the text resolution issues for non-native Apps with the next update (later this year). We are predicting this will take care of the resolution issues with the text, if not, there will be a iPad native HD version coming.

Some of our users say Photographer’s Contract Maker is more suited for the iPhone because of the built in camera and portability, but I know many photographers who use it on the iPad as well.

The iPad is becoming a mobile studio for photographers and videographers alike. They are able to showcase their work, as well as sign contracts, and even collect payment all on location. We hope to continue to make great Apps that will facilitate this new technology, not just for Photographers, but for all professionals as well.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: