I don’t think I ever resulted writing about it but back in the beginning of August, I attended an 1hr 1/2 long photography Workshop in Williamsburg Brooklyn entitled Improving Your Mobile Photography which was conducted by Chris Ozer whose work I discovered on Instagram and that I’ve come to admire. There was a total of perhaps 15 attendees and we went over fundamental topics such as lighting, composition, subject, editing and ultimately on how to find your own photographic style.
Services like Instagram have really made it possible for anyone with little or no photography training to quickly improve on the interest they’ve uncovered and didn’t know they had but perhaps more importantly, to be able to communicate with a wide group of people who are as keen about the service and craft of photography. Everyone in attendance owned and used an iPhone and the majority of them had an active Instagram account already. I like to think that the goal was not to teach us on how you should be photographing with your iPhone or what you should be sharing on Instagram but more on the significance that your work can be as expressive, as appealing and as thought provoking as if you had taken it with an expensive camera.
If you’re mindset is that anything you shoot with your iPhone is unequivocally crap, I really don’t think it has anything to do with the device but more on the person that’s using it. There’s a saying that goes “there’s no such thing as a meaningless job, just people who feel meaningless doing it.” It’s kinda of the same premise. If you really want to improve as a photographer and you’re committed to jumping on the whole mobile photography bandwagon, I suggest you treat your iPhone or any other mobile phone you use as if it were the only camera you have and that you can afford. There’s obviously limitations to what you can shoot but it’s working with what you have and making each shot mean something that will subsequently make your work stand out.
I use to feel terrible when I went days not uploading anything on Flickr because I felt that was the platform that highlighted how active I was shooting and not just bragging about what camera I own. But that’s not the case anymore. I’m find with my Flickr account being dormant for a few days or weeks because that generally translate to me being way more active with the iPhone and Instagram. I’m still photographing, I’m still seeing, I still feel that I’m growing despite using this device that some may deem second-class for producing something you can be proud of.
I’ll admit it. I do get giddy when I see Instagram notifications illuminating my screen informing me that people are “Liking” my photographs. It’s small personal satisfactions like this which keep me going in addition to just really enjoying photographing in general. This may sound boastful but I love looking through my Instagram stream to see what I shot several months ago or reminiscing about a place I went out of my way to photograph. These photographs mean something to be as much as any work I my produce with the 5DMII. Take pride in everything you shoot and I can almost guarantee it that people will notice the difference between that and anything else.
I’ll leave you with that thought and you can find me on Instagram with my usual handle of jorgeq.