Since I began my blog series about using the iphone camera, I have gotten several emails from readers telling me their images look “crappy”. Well truth be told, I too used to have a phone filled with crappy photos. The reason? It had nothing to do with exposure, lighting or the iphone camera. The problem wasn’t with the phone at all but with my ATTITUDE!
That’s right, I was a DSLR snob and I had no respect for the iPhone camera. My years of working as a professional and using top of the line cameras and lenses had so prejudiced me that I considered the iPhone nothing more than a sub par point and shoot camera. I gave little thought to the image, what the background was or even what the lighting looked like. I would just pull out my phone, point, shoot and…done. I gave the photos no thought because I was simply using my iphone to grab a quick shot. This negative attitude resulted in crappy photo after crappy photo.
I first started to question my attitude when I read a few blogs written by professional photographers who were shooting with the iPhone. At first I was very skeptical and thought they were just lazy or not really professional. Then a few photographers that I follow and admire revealed that the majority of their work assignments were taken with the iphone and used the term iphonography and iphonograpers. Seriously???? Iphonewhat??
It was at this point I stopped disrespecting the iPhone camera and looked at it more seriously. I learned about the camera’s features and editing Apps but most importantly, I started to give the same attention to the composition and lighting as I would had I been using my DSLR. My photos drastically improved overnight.
Here is a perfect sample. On the left is an image of two pillows that I might have taken when I put no thought into taking the photo. I would have just pulled out my cell phone and grabbed a quick image. On the right is how I photograph now. I looked at the pillows carefully, realized one was upside down, decided a lower angle would be best, adjusted for the back lighting (by sliding the sun icon up the screen) and then took the photo.
See how the image on the right is more pleasing simply because I took the time to think first and shoot second?
So if you think you have crappy iphone photos try spending a bit more time and effort before you rush to point and shoot. Take a moment, look at the lighting, is it flattering to your subject? Are you holding the phone too high or too low? Is there a better angle to shot from? Is there something distracting in the back ground that can easily be moved (i.e. the classic plant growing out of someone’s head). I guarantee you my friends, if you simply change your attitude and give your photos a bit more thought and time, those crappy photos will be a thing of the past.
By the way, I want to give a shout out to my friend Deborah Main who made the beautiful custom green and red pillow on the right in my above image. She is a true pillow goddess and you can see her work here.