I’ve been very vocal about phones not being able to replace cameras for professional work. But, as photographers, we also indulge in casual photography of things that simply look good. I’ve been searching for a camera of such action for the past two years now, and now I’ve found one. It’s the unlikely star: the iPhone 14 Pro.
As a fashion and beauty photographer, I care a lot about the images I provide. Cameras that can do this include my trusted DSLR fleet, as well as the bodies I rent for special functions. However, photography isn’t 9-5, it’s 24/7. As someone who takes pictures constantly, I need a camera that can come with me everywhere. This camera could be the new iPhone 14 Pro. It has everything I was looking for in a camera for everyday use for casual shooting: small size, good memory, raw material, and more. As an added bonus, it’s always with me, as my camera is also the backbone of the phone I use for everything from calling family to signing contracts.
The advantages of traditional cameras are not enough to outweigh the negatives. The biggest one is that a traditional camera takes up some space in a bag and isn’t always easy to carry around with you. This is especially true when traveling. I used to take my 5D to both business and leisure trips, at one point even climbing with a 5D and three lenses for three days. It was an adventure, but a bit unnecessary, in terms of taking pictures. The trek was supposed to be a challenge for my body. Bringing a complete photography setup to do casual photography didn’t make it easy. If anything, it made it more difficult. I couldn’t bear to carry that much gear in my bag, and when it came time to get my camera out, I was too exhausted to think about it. Just imagine how one feels after a day of walking with not only walking equipment but also photography equipment. I was not alone. The group I was with had no other photographers. Asking 10 people to stop taking the time to take one frame was uncomfortable. That’s not what casual photography is about to me. Causal imaging should be easy.
There came a time when the camera became a tool that I only picked up if it was a job or a personal project. Maybe it’s a sign of fatigue, but I didn’t feel like it. I had the urge to take pictures, but I didn’t have the ability to do so easily. Why is this a problem? Let me explain.
I enjoy working out, and I tried to go to a better gym as my boyfriend went to the gym. That gym was far from my office and apartment. That became an issue after the initial rush. I started to kick the habit and skipped more and more days. Although every item is there, it takes a lot of action from me. Humans are lazy by nature, and by increasing the number of steps I had to take to do something good, I decreased the number of steps I had to take to do something bad. In other words, it took a lot of effort.
If you’re so remarkably disciplined that these rules don’t apply to you, well done, but for most of us, the fewer steps it takes to create a good habit, the better. Casual photography is a good habit, but if it required taking a lot of equipment, I wouldn’t do it. Even if the production is on site, I will send a larger estimate. When it comes to casual photography, you can only imagine how much I’d like a 5D Mark IV with the 24-70mm output. This is why I traded in my Canon 5D Mark IV and 24-70mm for an iPhone 14 Pro.
iPhone 14 Pro has a great camera. However, I wasn’t planning to buy this phone. The purchase was somewhat unexpected, but it turned out well. I won’t go into reviewing the phone itself, as it has been done before and everyone knows the specs by heart already. What I want to talk about is how easy this is to use for casual photography. I always have my camera on, it’s always charged, and I can always share photos instantly. As far as casual photography goes, this is the perfect device. The fact that it takes 48MP photos in RAW is also incredibly useful, especially for someone who’s used to shooting everything in high definition. I think I compose more when cropping than when taking the actual photo.
I take all kinds of photos with my phone, from landscape work to street photography, to behind the scenes, to random snapshots. I even tried using an iPhone with Profoto flashes to take fashion photos. In fact, there are some photographers, like Russell Preston Brown, who only take pictures with iPhones and Profoto flashes. The results he achieved are truly incredible, and his work is worth checking out. My personal experience with Profoto Camera has been causal photography done with the Gen Z staple: a disposable camera. I used the C1 Plus flash with the iPhone 12 plus 14 Pro to take party photos, selfies, and even head shots.
So, I traded my DSLR for an iPhone for casual photography. Instead of spending money on a film or Leica camera, I simply bought a better phone that will do the job almost as well. Such photography is just for fun. He is not professional or serious. The goal is to take a picture of something that looks cool. You don’t really need a separate camera for that. Besides, how many times have you not taken a picture because you didn’t have your camera? Just don’t be afraid to use your phone next time.