Photographers: 8 Ways the iPhone is Your Best Photography Friend

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

Photographers have many moments where we dream about cyborg quality cameras embedded in our eyeballs to catch the moments we miss because a camera isn’t close by.

After several years of capturing memories with my iPhone, I’ve learned to respect it. And I’m a bit of a snob with my 1D Mark ii. I think it only fitting to share some iPhoneography love. I love to see work by other photographers. Please comment and share yours!

1. Photographers Know The Best Camera is the One That’s With You

It’s always nearby. So close, it’s nearly an appendage. If I could graft it onto my body, I probably would. Maybe it’s the next generation of body mod/art. Photographers say all the time, the best camera is the one you HAVE.

While I have the option, I do not lug my 1DS Mark ii around the house or to parties. I get way too much attention with that thing. (Especially attached to my SpiderHolster.)

iPhone capture of me and my boy. On the go for photographers
The joy of a trip to the zoo!

2. A Rolling Photographer Gathers No Moss

(I hate moss. It’s pretty, but gross to touch. So not gathering it is a plus for me.)

Photographers, take a break from your office or studio. Changing scenes boosts creativity and cures the doldrums. You can shoot and use awesome apps to edit while you’re on the go. I have several photography apps that I use to tweak photos and find the iPhone process a sweet little vacay from Photoshop and the monotony of my office.

The apps are designed with the iPhone’s camera and calibration so they do a better job with less work than importing iPhone pics to Lightroom. Exception: when I need to correct the wide angle lens distortion, I pull it into Lightroom and they have a lens profile for it!

My top three apps, that I recommend to photographers and users everywhere are: Camera+, Snapseed, and PhotoToaster. Sometimes alone, usually in combination.

iPhone photography sunroof adventures
Peeking through the sunroof for the first time.

3. Video is King of Memory Making

I know the 5D and 7D have HD video that I can’t wait to play with. But again, I’m not going to bring one of those large cameras everywhere. The iPhone (4 and up) has HD video and you can buy iMovie to edit on the go. Many a childhood milestone of the Bub was recorded on my trusty iPhone. We own a Flip, but I have no idea where it is and it’s never charged when we need it.

The Bub and Bear
You can grab photos WHILE capturing video on the iPhone 5

4. You Can Touch the Photographer’s Precious

Photographers don’t like handing our work cameras to other people for shots of us. Some of us HATE it. And not just because we’re terrified you’ll drop it. We lose control of the entire situation. Our cameras are an extension of our bodies. It’s another sense like sight and sound. Take it away and it’s like you’ve trapped us in a dark deprivation chamber. Then we freeze because we’re not sure what angle you’re holding it at, how to pose or how the light is hitting us.

But my iPhone with it’s Otterbox Defender is perfectly safe and appropriate to hand to others to grab shots of me actually LIVING my life.

iPhone photography
Iman and the Bub

5. The Best Lipstick Mirror EVAH for Glamour Girls AND Photographers

The flip around camera on the iPhone solves the problem of #6. (Breathe, Photographers!) We get back in control. We can see the framing, the lighting, and pose ourselves into a flattering shot. (I HATE unflattering photography. Wether I’m the subject or not.)

And you’ll never find a better way to apply lipstick.

iPhone photography

6. It helps cure Invisible Photographer Syndrome

We can easily shoot, edit and upload funky self-pics of ourselves and families to document our lives. I’m making a conscious effort to be more present in photos for my family and friends, so having an easy to use self-camera is infinitely precious.

Iman and the Bub self-taken iPhone photography

Using the iPhone's self-capture function to take shots with precious family

7. Revolutionary Photo Journalism

The increased resolution and ability to capture high quality snaps is already revolutionizing the news industry. Many news outlets have multiple ways for the average citizen to upload and share images. This photo was from one of the terrible fires Colorado faced this summer. One of the ways we checked in on each other and got news out was through photo sharing.

This is Boulder, CO being descended upon by an angel or a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Colorado Wildfires Summer 2012
Looking at Boulder, CO during the devastating wildfires of summer 2012

My friend (and amazing writer) Aimee Markwardt has been breaking new ground in mobile journalism using iPhones and iPads. Pretty cool stuff.

8. Cure Photographer’s Creative Block

Nothing beats a creative block like changing up your tools. Even professional photographers get tired of things day to day. I find that letting myself make artistic mistakes and focusing on just capturing the moment opens me up to new creative options. You can’t beat the fun apps that make instant changes to exposure, clarity and saturation.

iPhone 5 photography
Landscape photography taken and edited entirely on the iPhone 5

Obviously my iPhone has been used to catch the moments that may have been missed because a camera wasn’t handy. What are your favorite tools and apps to capture your moments?


P.S. – Every photo featured here was taken and edited on my iPhone 4 or 5. (Yes, I am an Apple addicted sheep and fully own it. Baa.)

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  • ImanWoods

    Maria, you totally should! Cooking and photography have a lot in common… Oh my goodness, that would make for a fun double post! For awesome used equipment visit They’re honest and you can get a great deal on gently used stuff. And for apps, I have a whole list. Perhaps a good future blog post on editing photos in-phone?

    Can’t wait to hug YOU!

  • Iman – very cool to occasionally put down the pro equipment and play – you and my husband have the exact same camera :) Wonderful photos of your kiddo. Hugs from California!


    • ImanWoods

      Does your husband have a fun camera outlet? Lensbaby? Thanks! XO!

  • Catherine

    Love this: “Yes, I am an Apple addicted sheep and fully own it. Baa.” (that made me snort my coffee in a laugh).

    These images are wonderful… and happy.  Your little on is too adorable.


    • ImanWoods

      Thank you, he is my heart. Baa!