About a year ago, my boyfriend convinced me to get a smartwatch. At first, I was super hesitant because my mental image of a smartwatch was a techy, nerdy-looking, and not-very-classy gadget. However, when he showed me a picture of the Rose Gold Garmin Vivoactive 3, I was sold. After wearing the watch every day for a year, I’ve come to realize that it is perfect for wedding photographers & videographers for so many reasons.
My absolute favorite feature is the ability to see the wedding day timeline on my wrist, without needing to carry around the printed timeline all day. When I sync my Google Calendar to the watch, I can automatically access all the addresses & times of all of the events on my watch.
Another great feature is the Weather widget. You can scroll through the panel to see the weather & chance of precipitation hour by hour. Great for planning the “driest” time to take photos outdoors!
SUNSET & SUNRISE TIMES
You can set the sunrise or sunset time to appear on your main watch face. Great for quickly finding out how much sunlight you have left on a wedding day!
TEXTS & PHONE CALLS
One of my favorite features is the ability to communicate with my second shooters and clients without needing to pick up my phone. When I’m shooting, I usually have my phone tucked away in my pocket or camera bag on vibrate or silent. I love that text messages and phone calls pop up on my watch (and it vibrates twice) so I can see if anyone is trying to reach me.
STEPS & FLOORS
10-hour wedding days are definitely not a “walk in the park.” I love that I can see how many steps/miles I walked that day, how many floors I climbed, and how many calories I burned.
The “My Day” panel makes it easy to see these stats at a glance, and there are even more charts and details on the Garmin Connect app. (I can even link my MyFitnessPal account to keep all my stats in one place!)
I like to track these stats in my “LTD Client Spreadsheet” – a giant Excel spreadsheet where I collect all kinds of data from every wedding I’ve ever shot. You can click here to download a copy of the template!
HEART RATE & STRESS
Heart Rate and Stress are also great statistics to collect from a wedding day. At any given time, I can look down on my watch and see my heart rate and stress level. If I see that it’s above 100, it reminds me to take a few deep breaths and relax.
This is a neat tool specifically for videographers. If your camera has a record limit for capturing videos (for instance, some DSLRs have a maximum record time of 20 minutes while shooting at 60 fps), you can set a 20 minute timer to remind you to hit record again during the ceremony or speeches.
This could also be useful if, for instance, the couple asks for a 10-minute break alone, so you don’t lose track of time while they’re away.
By selecting the “Walk” activity, I can use the watch’s GPS to track the route we are walking on an engagement session or photo session so I can retrace my steps the next time. You can even “flag” certain points on the route – I love marking my favorite spots so I can easily return to them next time!
I’ve found that the GPS is super accurate. After all, this watch is made by Garmin, the company that made those popular GPS navigators back in 2005!
SEDENTARY OFFICE WORK
The watch is also useful on my less active, “sedentary” days editing behind the computer. After 1 hour of inactivity, a “Move!” notification pops up, reminding me to get up and move around until the move bar is cleared.
I also love using my watch when I travel for conferences and workshops. When I load all of my flight & hotel information into my Google calendar, it automatically shows up on my watch.
When I receive the conference itinerary, I input the schedule onto my Google calendar so I can easily see the times & locations of each session on my watch without needing to take a paper schedule with me!
The round watch face and rose gold trim of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 were a huge selling point for me. Up until I saw this watch, I had only seen rectangular, techy, “obvious” smart watches, which had a very informal look, in my opinion.
As far as the actual watch face that appears on the screen, there are tons of options you can choose from, or you can make a custom one. I prefer a black & white analog watch face – at a glance, it looks just like a “real” watch!
My boyfriend and I love to hike in our spare time and the watch makes it super easy to tracks stats like distance, pace, elevation gain, and our route.
I love being able to see how well I slept throughout the night. On the app, I can view my hourly movement & REM cycles throughout the night.
The watch also has an alarm option that will wake you up by gradually vibrating stronger and stronger until you tap the “stop” button – a much less startling way to wake up than a loud, abrupt alarm!
You can also use your watch to pay on-the-go without your wallet by setting up Garmin Pay. Most modern stores have contactless payment systems these days – just tap your watch against the reader & the payment will go through! My boyfriend and I love using this to get brunch after a morning run without our wallets.
FIND MY PHONE
Perhaps my favorite feature is the “find my phone” button – when you tap the button, your phone will vibrate, ring an alarm tone on the highest volume (even if your phone is on silent!), and flash the flashlight so it’s easy to find your phone, even if it’s hidden under blankets, under a couch, inside a bag, etc. So helpful!
It’s hundreds of dollars cheaper than the Apple Watch.
Works with both iPhones & Androids. Just download the Garmin Connect app!
It has incredible battery life. On a normal day in the office or at a wedding, I only use ~8% battery. On a long hike, it drains the most due to GPS usage, around 20-25%. It also charges extremely quickly – it charges from 0% to 100% in 2 hours!
It’s very easy to see/read in any lighting situation (unlike the Vívomove HR which can be difficult to read in bright sunlight).
It’s waterproof so you can shower & swim with it on, up to 50 meters underwater.
Though it does have color, it can’t display photos, as far as I know.
Unfortunately, it can’t record voice memos.
Rose Gold Garmin Vivoactive 3 – https://amzn.to/2KCSt8H
I love the rose gold version of the Vivoactive 3 watch, but my boyfriend loves the black & silver one and my mom loves the silver & white! I would choose the color based upon the tone of the wardrobe & accessories you typically wear. Just focus on the face & trim, don’t worry about the band. You can easily switch it out.
(NOTE: It’s called “rose gold” but I would consider it more of a warm-tone orangey gold (rather than a greenish champagne gold), not a rosey pink tone.)
Rose Gold Watch Band – https://amzn.to/337UxM4
Any 20mm watch band will work (I prefer the ones with “quick release” pins – you don’t need any tools to switch out the bands, it’s very quick & easy). I love this rose gold milanese loop band. It dresses the watch up and I feel totally comfortable wearing it to formal events. It has a magnetic closure so you can easily make it as large or small as you want. In order for the sensors on the back of the watch to work properly, the watch has to fit snuggly against your skin. I have tiny wrists so I always have a hard time finding bands that fit, but this one fits me perfectly, without sliding around. If my wrists swell or shrink a little due to heat, all I have to do is move the magnet a tiny bit inward or outward!
Nude Leather Band – https://amzn.to/347iowU
If you prefer a leather band, this nude band is a great option because it’s discrete, classy, and matches any outfit.
Screen Protector – https://amzn.to/2CL0DHA
I recommend getting a screen protector to avoid scratching or damaging the screen. This one is super easy to put on using a “spray then place” wet application method – makes it very easy to align it correctly.
If you’re looking for a useful gift for a loved one who’s a wedding photographer or videographer (or if you’re a photographer looking to treat yourself!), I highly recommend this watch!
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