Disclaimer: I am well aware that every human who owns a camera phone doesn’t necessarily operate like I’ve described. So, please don’t think that I am ranting here at every single person with a phone. I’m not. I just want to preserve real, honest, simple moments of your lives.
I’m just not good at it. There. I said it. Phone Photography and I just aren’t friends. I’m really quite alright with that, though. Here’s how I see it – I can work at getting better taking pictures with my phone, I could invest a little time in it so I can snap a quick shot at a session. OR, I can spend the time I may have invested in phone photography in improving my actual DSLR camera photography skills. I’m gonna go with the latter.
It’s not that there aren’t phones with pretty good cameras on them. I know there are. And, the issue isn’t that I don’t have one of those phones. It’s that I don’t want to put time and effort into phone photography when it isn’t what pays my bills. And, I don’t have much respect for phone photography. I don’t have any respect for it, really.
We live in a society where we want things fast, we want them how we want them, and we want them now. Phone photography fits into that. It allows for a quick snap of our current surroundings, a selfie, or something we need to remember. But, that phone camera really isn’t good for much more.
From the technical aspects to the ergonomics of the thing, smartphone cameras are frustrating. They often have inconsistent focus and the shutter speed often lags, and while they may be high-resolution, the actual pixel quality is just not there. Low-light performance is horrid, and don’t get me started on how frustrating it is to not be able to control the depth of field, shutter speed, aperture, etc.
The Biggest Reason
Sorry if I lost you there, but here’s the biggest reason phone photography irks me – it’s significantly lessened patience and value of what a professional photographer provides. If I can just snap a picture with my phone, and print it right from my phone, then why would I ever need to hire a photographer? Why do they cost so much? How come they can’t they just give me my images in two seconds? Why don’t my pictures look like their images?
If you’re reading this and thinking that those questions are absurd, you aren’t wrong. Of course, phone photography can’t produce an image as clear or at the quality of a DSLR in the hands of a professional photographer. Of course, said professional photographer can’t give you the images they took instantaneously, ‘cause they’re human, and the images need to be culled and edited. And, sorry, of course, your phone images don’t look like the professional photographers, because well, the professional photographer has spent years honing their craft.
Those things should all sound like common sense, but they are questions asked on a regular basis often rooted in the assumption that we should be given what we want when we want how we want it. And that is why I don’t like phone photography (or phones for that matter). I am a photographer to preserve the small, sweet quiet moments, to help you slow down – not to instantaneously put a picture in your hands. I am a photographer because getting away from our electronics to spend time with our families is vital.
Creating photos that you cherish for years to come is my aim, not snapping a quick shot to slap on the front of a Christmas Card and never look at again. I want to use photography to document real moments, not just snap a picture of everyone standing in a posed line. I’m not saying that you should never ever ever use your camera phone to capture that moment that’s just gonna be gone, but don’t do it at the expense of spending real quality time with your people. And, don’t be surprised when your favorite professional photographer doesn’t turnaround your photos as fast as your phone. I’m not a phone. I’m a human, and I’m a human who believes messy is perfect and simple is important.
I am well aware that every human who owns a camera phone doesn’t necessarily operate like I’ve described. So, please don’t think that I am ranting here at every single person with a phone. I’m not. I just want to preserve real, honest, simple moments of your lives.