There’s no doubt that mobile photography is big business, and not just for smartphone manufacturers. As mobile phone cameras continue to expand their capabilities, mobile photographers are gaining fame and fortune simply by taking photos with their phone.
While we aren’t suggesting that everyone with a phone will land gigs as a paid photographer, everyone with a smartphone can certainly learn how to take incredible photos that will make people with even the most discerning eye exclaim, “you took that with your phone?!”
To celebrate the amazing photography capabilities of today’s mobile phones, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide, PT Mobile Photography School. In this introductory lesson, we explore several reasons why you need to be shooting with your phone. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
Why You Need to Use Your Phone as a Camera
The old saying “the best camera you have is the one you have with you” could not ring more true for this subject. We’re all pretty much tied to our phones; they are seldom out of our reach. And with the incredible advances that have been made to smartphone cameras, they actually take pretty good photos! Convenience and performance are certainly two things you need in a camera.
You Will Shoot More Often
That convenience means that if you use your phone as a camera, you will shoot more often. How many times have you seen something you wanted to photograph, only to bemoan the fact that you left your DSLR at home? By embracing the power of mobile photography, those moments, by and large, won’t happen anymore. Sure, you’ll still encounter situations in which you need a telephoto zoom or an extremely long exposure, but guess what? There are tools and apps for that! So, there’s really no excuse not to use your phone as a camera.
More Frequent Shooting = Better Skills
Photography, like everything else in life, is a pursuit that improves with practice. The more you can pull out your phone and fire off a few shots, the better your photography skills will be.
Of course, even today’s highly advanced phones still can’t match the capabilities of DSLRs and even some point and shoot cameras. But, despite not having all the manual controls and zooms and other features common on large cameras, smartphones still give you the ability to practice the most essential photography skill: composition.
Limited by your phone’s lack of technical camera features, you’re forced to rely upon your eye to create good photos. Camera phones help you get into the habit of looking for light, lines, and colors that enhance your composition. You’re made to work on placing your subject in the frame, ensuring the horizon is level, and identifying patterns, forms, and textures that provide visual interest. Essentially, it’s just you and the lens, and when you’re working on developing fundamental compositional skills, that’s a good thing.
Sharing is Easy; Feedback is Abundant
Smartphones have a leg up on DSLRs in a big way: sharing is much easier. You can download apps like Instagram and publish the photos you take virtually instantly. The more photos you share, the more feedback you will get from other users of the app. The more feedback you get, the better your photography will be.
Not only that, sharing your photos and being active on photo sharing sites will connect you with other photographers. You can build relationships with people that share an interest in photography, get inspiration from the photos they publish, and join local groups of mobile photographers for shoots. Photography apps often have contests, showcases, and other fun events that get you even more involved in the world of photography, which will only help you hone your skills and become a better photographer.
What does all that mean? On a basic level, sharing your work with others via smartphone apps can ignite a passion for photography that you never knew you had. It’s much more than posting photos for the likes, comments, or shares; rather, it’s about being more purposeful in your compositions, looking harder for a great vantage point for an awesome photo, being more diligent about keeping up with your photography, and engaging in a more meaningful way with other people that share the same passion as you.
So, now that we’ve explored a few fundamental reasons why mobile photography is so beneficial, we’ll be moving on to other mobile photography subjects. The rest of the PT Mobile Photography School series is dedicated to a wide variety of topics that will improve your mobile photography game. There’s a lesson dedicated to the apps and tools you need for better photos, like VSCOCam, selfie sticks, and LightBox Photography Cards (One of our highest and most recommended ways to learn and master mobile photography). We will also explore as some valuable tips on improving your editing skills, take a look at how to compose the perfect landscape and portrait, and we’ll offer up a few ideas for what you can photograph with your phone too!