“The best camera is the one that’s with you.” – Anonymous

by: Kristyn P. McShane, STA Intern


Nowadays, everyone is a photographer. You don’t have to work for National Geographic or be on the payroll of an award-winning photography magazine to be recognized for your creative eye behind the lens. Amateur photographers across the globe, of all ages, have taken a giant step forward with their iPhones in hand to enthusiastically redefine the role of a photographer. Not so long ago, the word ‘photographer’ had a connotation of career and professionalism. Today, no matter where people are or what they are doing, opportunities to snap a picture undoubtedly present themselves. And, thanks to their creative innovation, companies like Apple are making it more and more difficult for us to distinguish between photographs taken with a smartphone and ones taken with an expensive camera.

However, there is a wide gap separating those who use iPhone cameras with serious intentions, such as advertising campaigns, and those who snap away with the sole interest of flooding Instagram with photographs of their favorite pet. Regardless of intent, the high quality of an iPhone photograph is undeniable and perhaps the more important variable is the photographer. “A good photographer will take a better photograph with an iPhone than a bad photographer will take with a good camera,” says Steve Bowles, Production Manager at Sean Tracey Associates.

Obviously, in a professional setting, there is far greater consideration given to what camera equipment is used. In most instances, professional equipment is not only preferred, it’s required. But Apple’s iPhone is certainly giving advertisers and marketers something to think about. Not only does the iPhone’s photo/video capability provide exceptional quality, it also affords users the opportunity of contributing to marketing campaigns with their user-generated content.

Apparently, Apple agrees. Apple recently launched its “Shot on iPhone 6” campaign in which they featured consumers’ iPhone 6 photographs in print and billboard ads. Photographs selected from 24 countries represented what Apple considers to be exceptional photography, all taken with consumers’ iPhone 6s. Their message is simple yet thought provoking —the iPhone allows ordinary people to take extraordinary photographs.
AdWeek:Apple Is Putting Users’ Beautiful iPhone 6 Photos on Billboards and Print Ads


The same holds true for video production. In 2014, Director, Austin Reza, tested the video production boundaries by filming an innovative, black and white ad for the Bentley Mulsanne using an iPhone 5s for video and an iPad Air for editing. Bentley challenged Reza to create a ‘professional, quality film’ and he put his trust in the iPhone. The results were overwhelming effective as the commercial received well over a million views on YouTube. According to Bentley, “The results exceeded expectations.”

AdWeek: One of the World’s Most Expensive Auto Brands Just Shot an Ad Entirely on iPhones



With all variables being equal (lighting, framing, etc.), could you tell the difference between a photograph/video taken with an iPhone versus one taken with an expensive camera? It may just be harder than you think. Take a look at Sean Tracey’s images below and let us know which one you think was taken with an iPhone?