I belong to several Facebook photography groups to keep up with several colleagues in the industry and see what people are talking about.  Today, a photographer posted a link to an iPhone and Instagram Only Wedding, shot by Kim A. Thomas.  The photographer who posted the link said, “All you silly people buying new cameras, I’m selling everything!” Since I sort of know him, I know he is not really selling everything, but in some of the comments, people write about the “end of professional photographers” and how our industry is merely steps away from being a thing of the past.

I respectfully disagree

I looked over the wedding shot with the iPhone using Instagram and a couple other apps to edit it and while Kim (the photographer) has a great eye for composure, the “quality” out of the iPhone simply doesn’t compare with the quality of what is produced out of a professional grade camera.  Kim mentions that her other camera is a Canon 5D mkII and I respecfully submit that the other photos are so, so much better with much sharper and crisper details that I shouldn’t even have to write this rebuttal or response.  But, I digress.  Here are the points I wanted to make:

  • Details are nowhere near as sharp or crisp as with professional cameras
  • Kim is a photographer which helps with the composure of the images.  This is why so many commenters are stating that the images are “fantastic”, “wonderful”, and “great.”  While the composure is great on so many of the images, it is  a shame that a better camera wasn’t used.  The images look flat and lack the depth that I am used to from the professional level Canon cameras.  (I am a Nikon shooter, but know a LOT of Canon professionals in the industry)
  • The Instagram effects are so stale to me.  I personally don’t like my images to look like they were shot with a toy camera in the 1980’s.  For example, this image is so “retro effect” that I simply hate it.

    Click to see it full-sized

  • The lighting is flat, un-dramatic and quite boring.  In this photo, you can see that is is simply boring.  There is nothing about this photo that is compelling at all. Because the iPhone has no effective way to add off-camera flash, the light is simply not good.  There are barely any shadows which would give the viewer a sense of depth to the image.  The grass is so off-color that my HOA would send me a warning letter if it were in my front yard.
  • Note that there is a consistent lack of any images from the poorly lit reception?  When the light starts to get bad, the extreme limitations of the iPhone become even more evident.  This photo shows how the camera in the phone starts to really struggle.  Again, no drama, no interest.

While Kim seems to be a good photographer, the limitations of the iPhone simply don’t lead me to believe that this is the “end of professional photography.”  Quite the contrary.  That would be like saying that the Polariod camera is going to make a huge comeback and get rid of all of our jobs.  I know that our clients demand high-quality images that they can print and that don’t look like they were taken with this:

Remember, the above camera also fit into your pocket.  Note: It ain’t on the market any more.