It has been a long debated issue: Are smartphones a helpful tool for photographers or a distraction that keeps them from their work? Sure, there has been an increase in the number of smartphone users who are now busy taking photos of almost anything inspiring they see on the streets. In fact, Refinery29 reported a study where ‘selfie addiction’ is more rampant than ever, where a person takes at least 1,825 new images in their phone annually.
Smartphones are now owned by nearly 20% of the world’s population according to Gaming Realms, the developers of gaming hub Pocketfruity, and the company also forecasted back in 2013 that mobile usage would exceed desktop consumption by 2015, which it has. Even offices and educational institutions are now adopting BYOD (bring your own device) schemes to efficiently work with more people with less effort in an office environment.
Smartphone cameras are now more powerful and have the capabilities to produce clearer, quality pictures while featuring professional DSLR equipment. Although it is still far from the technical setting and the aspect of digital cameras, they are highly competitive in terms of output. At one point, Samsung tried releasing the most advanced smart digital camera today – the Galaxy camera with 3G connection. With it, each photograph taken could be posted directly online on your social media pages and it even came with built-in effects so your images come spring to life. Most premium smartphones are now built with the same features and even showcase powerful lenses up to 41-megapixels. But, as we know it’s not all about the pixel count, but how you use the camera itself.
Now, let’s go back. Can we really consider it a distraction? The answer is: It depends. User responsibility will play a vital role. Yes, responsible usage is the most important variable when using a smartphone to avoid making it a distraction, but more of a tool during a photo session. Smartphones come with plenty of mobile applications that can be helpful in your journey. In fact, I have recommended the iPhone 5s for its compelling images and now I use the iPhone 6, and I was surprised by its performance and convenience when taking snaps. But, when abused, it can be a platform that can distract you while undertaking your daily activities. I hope you know your limitations with it, so that you can create the best images possible.
What do you think about smartphones as a tool for photographers? How do you leverage your mobile devices during a photo shoot? I would like to hear your opinion, so make sure to leave a comment below.