Phoning it in:

3 Reasons Cell Phone Photography Can’t Replace the Pros

In the age of iPhones and Instagram, capturing life’s special moments as photos has become easier than ever before. Within seconds of snapping a picture, and with just a few quick taps on a touch screen, we can crop, remove red eye, and add filters and borders. Once we’ve altered the image to our satisfaction, we can immediately share it on social media platforms, allowing family and friends to experience our life almost as quickly as it happens. With the incredible advances in cell phone photography in the past couple of years, are professional photographers a thing of the past?

The short answer is NO! Professional photographers still have a place—and an important one—in the 21st century. While you likely will not be hiring a professional to document your first time behind the wheel of a car or your child’s first day of school, some moments in life are too precious to rely on a free app on your cell phone.


Three reasons you should consider a professional at special times in your life:


1. Professional photographers are trained to make you look your best.

Image editing software allows photographers and non-photographers alike a wide range of options for retouching photos. However, talented photographers use these resources for minor adjustments—their knowledge of their cameras, lighting techniques, and flattering poses allows for near-perfect images even prior to editing. Years of study and experience with their equipment allow them to make their clients look their absolute best at important times in their lives. A professional photographer can make you feel at ease during your shoot and can capture you looking like your cell phone never could—even after all of the edits!

To demonstrate this, I invited teens to submit snapshots of themselves taken on a cell phone. I then shot them in my studio for no more than 15 minutes. You’ll notice the vast difference between the “before and after” photos below! With a small time investment, these teens received far superior images of themselves looking their very best!

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2. High-quality images add personality and individuality to your home.

Let’s face it: Instagram snapshots do not make beautiful canvas portraits. When choosing an image to feature on your living room wall, you want a photo that makes your family look good. You certainly don’t want a grainy image transferred from a cell phone! The images you choose for your home décor are very meaningful—a portrait of the whole family together (perhaps this isn’t easy in your family!), a wedding, a newborn baby. You want to vividly capture these precious moments and display the photos around your home to add character and stir up emotion.


3. Professional photos of your family’s highlights will be treasured for generations.

It is likely that you have a collection of old photographs that has been in your family for years and holds a special place in your heart. Photographs provide us with a connection to ancestors we may never have known, or evoke nostalgia of happy times in our pasts. Photographs of you and your family will be valued by your grandchildren, great-children, and beyond—consider what sorts of photographs they will have of you! It is worth the investment to commission professional portraits to add to the family album.


While your cell phone is a convenient substitute for a quality camera for everyday snapshots, when it comes to special occasions or annual family portraits, there is no substitute for the professionally-trained photographer. You will never have the opportunity to relive the highlights of your life, but you can revisit them endlessly in photos. So for your next major life event, don’t use your phone to take a picture—use it to call your photographer!