When a pro photographer uses a smartphone camera

About the Author: Jackelyn Belcher is the Manager of Business Operations for Vetlocity, a sister company of Brown Bag Marketing. In her spare time she runs a professional photography business and a personal blog. 

Next year will be the iPhone’s 10th anniversary of changing the way people use their phones and its impact on the photography world. It’s truly hard to remember a time before iPhones (or smartphones in general) allowed us to capture the world around us and document our lives without needing a separate camera.

Each year, the phone camera technology is better and better. It lessens the need to buy a second camera to lug around unless you are a photographer hobbyist or professional. In general, there has been a steady decline in camera ownership (film or digital). The first major decline in sales started in 2007- the same year the iPhone came out.

iphone killed the camera

While camera sales of traditional cameras have declined, the use of cameras (including those on smartphones) is at an all-time high. In 2016, it is estimated that 2 billion people use a smartphone with majority of those having a camera. That’s 1 in 4 people across our planet!

Smartphone cameras still aren’t at the level of professional cameras that range from $2300-$5000 for good reason. You get your money’s worth when you invest in professional cameras and lens. Some people are daring however and will even shoot an entire wedding with an iPhone with good results.

iphone killed the camera
Taken with Samsung S6 at sunset
iphone killed the camera
Taken with Nikon D750 50mm at f2.2










As a professional photographer, would I ever ditch my beloved Nikon D750 and prime lens for just my camera phone?  That’s a hard no. However, I always invest in the latest smartphone with the best camera because pictures are important to me regardless of them being “professional”. Another reason? Simply capturing an impromptu moment with my son or capturing my travels without extra gear to carry around. Luckily, you can have a stunning IG feed based solely on your phone pictures thanks to great editing apps like VSCO and AfterLight.

So yes my friends, the smartphone camera has a place in my camera bag. And if anything, it’s brought on billions of new photographers. Which device do you prefer to use and why? Do you use different devices depending on what you are trying to accomplish?