Lumos Studio

South Carolina Wedding Photography Blog

Four Things I Love About Mobile Photography

“See, I write jokes for a living, man. I sit in my hotel at night and think of something that’s funny and then I go get a pen and write ’em down. Or, if the pen’s too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain’t funny.”
-Mitch Hedburg

During the past year, I’ve taken a lot of photos with my phone that I normally would have taken with one of our professional dSLRs. Actually, that’s a lie. A big one. Over the past year, I’ve taken a lot of photos with my phone that, had I not had my phone with me, I wouldn’t have taken at all. See, a professional dSLR is heavy, expensive, and has many lenses and accessories that can help me craft an absolutely exceptional photo given the time and preparation. But when my nephew Ethan is sitting on a step with his new toy dinosaur Stanley, I don’t really have time to think about those things.

Just a boy and his dinosaur

So, over the next few months, I’m going to share with you some of my thoughts on how to make the most of the camera you probably always have with you. For now, here are some of the joys I’ve found in mobile photography.

You will capture more memories

“The best camera is the one you have with you.”
Chase Jarvis

There are beautiful sunsets, adorable children, fascinating people, interesting architecture and magical shafts of light all around us, yet even professional photographers miss a lot of them because we just don’t have our camera handy. Are you standing in front of beauty? Do you have your cell phone? Then take the picture! Might the picture look better with a fancier camera? Sure…in fifteen minutes, when you’ve picked your lens, grabbed your CF card, and metered for the light…if what you wanted to photograph is still there. Good luck with that with kids, by the way! Life moves too fast to bother with a lens cap.


Sky over City Art


It’s a great equalizer (sort of)

I’ve rarely ever met a photographer who didn’t suffer from gear lust. “If only I had that 300mm f/2.8 image-stabilized lens I could take amazing pictures!” I’ve certainly fallen into it, but it’s based on a lie, and it’s an expensive lie to believe. The lie is that better gear will make me a better photographer. That just isn’t true. Mobile photography drives this lesson home perhaps better than anything else, as I follow photographers who take breathtaking photos with cameras that cost more than the down payment on a house turn around and take breathtaking photos with their phones. When I see Zack Arias post a photo that knocks my socks off that he took with his iPhone—the same iPhone I have—I have to admit to myself that the difference between us isn’t the price of our gear, but the way that we see. Which leads me to…


It will make you a better photographer

If that’s what you’re going for.  I am. When I whip out my phone to take a photo of something I find interesting, I don’t have the option of a longer lens, or adding flash (well, technically I do,  but we’ll talk about that in another post), or fixing it in Photoshop—I have to think about the fundamentals of what makes a good photograph and either make them work in the situation or, well, fail. But that’s okay, too. The stakes are low. It’s just a phone pic. Which reminds me…


It will help you relax about photography

Mmmm, coffee...

If you’ve worked with us, you know that we have a lot of fun on a shoot, but you might also have noticed that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I’m always tweaking something to capture the best image possible. With a phone, my options are limited, which can be frustrating at times. But the longer I use my phone as a camera, the more I’ve come to enjoy the process and accept that not every shot is going to be a masterpiece. Heck, sometimes shots that I don’t think will possibly come out wind up delighting me. And that’s part of the fun of mobile photography, because when you’re photographing your life, you have to leave room for happy accidents.


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