“The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You.” – Chase Jarvis
We, as photographers, knew it was coming. We knew it when we saw improvements being made in digital photo technology on a regular basis. We knew it when various online photo communities like Instagram began to emerge, which allowed people to share their images with the rest of the world and capture some pretty amazing photos from the palm of their hands. We knew it when we saw big companies like Apple shifting their business strategy/focus from personal computing to mobile technology. I began to realize it when I began to receive repeating comments from people when I shared my iPhone photos with them. Comments like: “Did you really take that with your iPhone?” or “How did you take such an amazing shot with just your phone?” We all have thought about it at one point or was a topic of our conversation with friends / colleagues. What am I talking about? Wedding iPhoneography.
I recently saw the movie “Letters to Juliet” (I know, I am a romantic sap. But it makes me become a better wedding photographer – at least that’s my excuse) and I loved this quote: ” ‘What’ and ‘if’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be, but put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.” So I began to ask myself, “What if, I photographed an entire wedding using only my iPhone?” Then all these questions and doubt began creeping in my mind. Questions like: “Is my iPhone good enough?” “Will my battery last long enough?” “What if I fail?” “How will my phone handle under low-light situations?” “Will I look like a fool?”, etc. But I told myself that I will never get an answer to my main question “What if?” if I didn’t follow up with another question: “Why not?” With this came my first project which I want to share everyone out there who might be interested in this topic.
I spend most of my time photographing weddings professionally (www.kennykim.com). It’s rare that I get to attend one as a guest. But this year, I had the privilege of attending two weddings as a guest – which meant that I could put my theory to test. First one, was little bit more difficult because I was actually one of the groomsmen. So I practiced snapping some photos here and there throughout the day using my iPhone. The results that I got from that day gave me enough encouragement to challenge myself to see if photographing an entire wedding (from getting ready until the reception) using only your iPhone can be done. Last weekend, I got to attend another wedding as a guest. Few weeks prior to this wedding, I shared my idea by with the couple and they were more than happy to allow me to test out my theory. With their blessing, I photographed my first wedding using just my iPhone 4 (not 4s), a mini tripod, 20″ light reflector disc and the Mophie Juice Pack Air for battery backup. (I also brought a video light and my canon lens mug because I had so much room left in my gear bag I felt like I had to fill it with something else :-).
In total, I captured approximately 1000 photos, of which, I narrowed down to about 250 being usable. Out of those, I selected about 75 to share with you because that is about the same amount of photos I will use to make an album book to tell the story of their wedding day. iPhone 4 definitely has its limitations right now. I wish I had the iPhone4s to test out but I am still holding out for the iPhone5 before I make my next upgrade – by then, I think I can offer iPhone wedding packages to clients that are interested in hiring me for this service.
Here are some collection of photos I captured from Michele & Joseph’s wedding: (Just to be clear, I was not the lead photographer for this wedding. Anyone interested in having iPhone photography for your wedding day, should still hire a main professional first. This is a great addition/compliment to your wedding day experience, but should not replace the main photographer – at least for now).
I hope you enjoyed perusing through these photos. Feel free to share this post or ask any questions. I would also love to hear your thoughts. Finally, if anyone out there is interested in commissioning me as an iPhone wedding photographer, I will take them on a limited basis, at a special introductory rate until iPhone 5 is released.