This Smartphone Case Turns Your iPhone Into a Portable Photo Studio
Our smartphones are sooo brainy that there’s almost no virtual task an app can’t help us to do. But our phone cases? They, for the most part, do one thing and one thing only — protect our precious devices from harm’s way (read: the floor and the toilet :/). But a brand-new smartphone case from Manfrotto called KLYP+ promises to do way more than be a bodyguard. It essentially transforms your iPhone 5/5s into a totally portable photo studio.
KLYP+’s website touts the slogan “Not just a pretty case,” and while we’ll sidestep the debate over just how “pretty” it actually is, we’ll certainly +1 the part that states this ain’t your average phone case. Even though the utilitarian bumper ($30) seems pretty unassuming in its Clark Kent role, the KLYP+ can bulk up to Superman status seconds after you spot your photogenic subject. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s the blingin’ piñata you bought for your sister’s bachelorette party! Now that the bride-to-be is up to bat, you’re poised to turn this moment into legit share-worthy snaps with KLYP+ to the rescue!
Like a Swiss Army Knife for iPhone photography, KLYP+ comes equipped with enough transforming tricks to make the sheath a gadget in its own right. With just a few easy clicks, you can attach a super bright LED light ($65) to your bumper that lets you shoot images + record video in just about any light condition. The continuous illumination makes the images you capture incredibly vivid with no light reflectors required. KLYP+ is also compatible with a trio of external lenses ($60) that screw right on so you can alter your POV from portrait mode to landscape to fisheye effect on the fly.
Even a kickstand and tripod mount connect to your bumper so that you can prop up your phone when you want more than a selfie. You’ll be glad you have your hands free, too: Besides striking Beyoncé-level poses, you’ll need to put your hands together in order to command your KLYP+ photo app to take the pic. (Ahhh, KYLP makes a loooot more sense NOW). Just like its PIC bumper, KLYPapp+ is a powerhouse, too: Manually adjust the focus and exposure, shoot stop-motion and time lapse videos and apply filters, frames and watermarks using the $0.99 app.
As you’ve probably calculated by now, this all-in-one artful armor is a bit of an investment — $155.99 will get you the bumper + lenses + light + app you need to yield studio-quality smartphone photos. And while these add-ons do make your sleek gold iPhone decidedly more bulky, it’s still SO much lighter than the traditional alternative: a pro-level snapper slung ’round your neck that weighs you (+ your after party dance moves) down. If you just can’t imagine walking a day in a paparazzo’s shoes, then count on KLYP+ to help you streamline your street style Insta feed or take the snaps destined for your DIY blog with your trusty One and Only.
Do you have any iPhone photography gadgets that you swear by? Would you try this all-in-one system if it would help you snap top quality photos? Tell us in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com