Photographer Plans To Shoot 50 Weddings In One Day With His iPhone

Photographer Plans To Shoot 50 Weddings In One Day With His iPhone

Is this really the hip thing to do these days? Why is it that I keep reading headlines like this of wedding photographers turning to their iPhone versus their camera gear? I get that it’s trendy, and within seconds (with no Photoshop needed) you can add a grunge effect with an Instagram filter and have it posted online. But seriously... *shakes head* wrote up a story on Kevin Kuster, an experienced photographer that “spent 18 years with Playboy magazine leaving as its Senior Photo Editor” is now heading over to the Phillipinnes with the charity Watts of Love to photograph 50 weddings using just an iPhone 4S. Now I of course give the guy huge props for volunteering his time and giving these couples images that I am positive they will cherish for a lifetime. I understand that many of these couples will receive the only photo they have of themselves together and Kuster is planning on going above and beyond by printing an image on the spot and putting it in a frame.

But seriously... with an iPhone? Now I know there are going to be photographers who say, “Oh come on Trevor. It doesn’t matter what gear you use? Photography is about light as long as you know how to capture it.” Or I am sure others will even reference back to the most popular post on Fstoppers when Lee Morris stunned us all with photos from a fashion shoot from an iPhone 3. Some might even reference some of the world’s top photographers who have also done this in the past including names like Jerry Ghionis or Kenny Kim. To me though, if you are a professional photographer and purposely choose to shoot weddings on your iPhone it is like...

…a chef that uses a microwave to cook his gourmet meals.
…a barber using a pair of school safety scissors to cut hair.
…a lumberjack using a butter knife.
…a renowned flutist playing a concert on a school child’s recorder.
…a hunter using a paintball gun to take down his prey.
…a barista brewing up some Folgers coffee.
…a drummer using chop-sticks.

I get that it’s not the gear that makes the photographer. I understand that it’s in how we frame the shots, how we see the light and how we interact with the clients. I also love the quote and book by Chase Jarvis, "The Best Camera is the One That is With You." I think Kuster has a great point when he says he likes to use the iPhone because the clients are more interactive “instead of staring into a DSLR lens, they can look at my face. I feel like it’s more personal.” But as I see it the benefits of using the ‘right tools’ far outweigh using the phone so they can look you in the face. What do you all think about this?

Trevor Dayley's picture

Trevor Dayley ( was named as one of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US in 2014 by Brandsmash. His award-winning wedding photos have been published in numerous places including Grace Ormonde. He and his wife have been married for 15 years and together they have six kids.

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So get a M4/3 camera for size, use the rear display instead of a viewfinder (if it has one) and you can get a quite a bit more reliable/higher quality images (and size). On the other hand, as long as the people hiring know he's using an iPhone, then all is fair I guess. 

this sounds like more of a publicity stunt. Shameful. 

ding ding ding

 and it is disrespectful for those couples. He will do this because he can.

Read the article:

"Watts of Love’s first mission is to the island of Ilin in the Philippines. On top of lacking a reliable, sustainable source of light for the majority of its inhabitants, the remote island has not had a pastor or priest visit the island in quite some time. As a result, there are at least 50 couples that are waiting to tie the knot. 

Watts of Love's partner, Missionaries of Mother Mary of the Poor, asked a pastor to come to the region to preach and perform the ceremonies.

When Kuster discovered that his visit coincided with an upcoming visit from the pastor, he couldn’t turn down the idea of shooting the event. But instead of just photographing the service for Watts of Love, Kuster wanted to give the couples something to hold on to."

i agree,  i dont doubt the iPhones abilty to take good photos, but 50 weddings in one day? c'mon, even with the best gear nobody can pull that off without it looking like u jus want the attention
50 weddings in one month would have still sounded absurd but can be more "do'able" than in one day. did 50 ppl really hire him to cover their weddings, did they pay for 2minutes of coverage?

meanwhile Fstoppers posts another "amazing iphoneography" article...


"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." - H. G. Wells

soooooo "Conform or die"?

Great way to be creative... keep it up... -_-

No, being adaptable and conforming are different things.

"adapt or parish" is all about exploring new horizons. Conforming, to me, means to go back to the box, make sure your corners are 90degrees. 

I'm curious why you think that quote is applicable?  (Personally I don't think you put much "thought" into it... I think you think it makes you sound cerebral...)

Are you implying that using a subpar camera to what is easily available to any 'average" photographer much less a professional is akin to adapting a la 'natural selection'?  Or are you implying "in the future" all photography will take place with a personal communication device? (a fair argument but one I don't think you're making and isn't what is discussed)

Forgive me if I find your random quote nothing more than a non sequitur   

Subpar photographers shoot with gear that highly experienced and well established photographers can't afford or don't own themselves all the time. The photographer using the camera is far more important than the gear in hand. I can rock a wedding with a D5000 and a 50mm 1.8 any day. I prefer my larger gear only for the fact they are more reliable and wedding photography comes with some unforeseen circumstances. I did some fashion soots with a D7000 and even used a D70s in published work because it gave me the ability to sync flashes at 2000th without a using special gear. 

In the future I hope photographers stop being stupid, like this gentleman in the article who is purely looking for publicity, caddy, because they seem to whine all the friggin' time, and  be more understanding of others since obviously we are an aggressive creature that just needs to be right all the damn time.

okay?  maybe you meant to reply to someone else?

Poor couples: so their lifetime memory will be a mediocre quality photo taken by a device designed for making phone calls.

And just because the "photographer" decided to make a PR stunt because just going to an island taking wedding photos is not enough anymore to get people's attention.

Not even questioning how long these on-site printed photos will last. Wondering if printing in a decent lab at home and sending the whole package back to the island for the islanders to sort out would have been a smarter way.

I aint gonna judge the guy or his plans.
I'll wait to see the end results, then i'll judge the hell out of him... hehehe :-)

There is a problem I find with this philosophy of photography and, to me, it seems like many experienced photographers use it to make one point... "Im so good, no matter how i shoot my photos, they come out amazing." I have worked with wedding photographers who ONLY shoot JPEG and their reasoning is "Its faster and I compose my shots the right way every time." While this may be fine for fashion, advertisement or promotional work, for any live event this is the stupidest thing i can imagine. Yes they will get good shots. Yes they might come out amazing but the problem isnt the shots your are getting, its the ones you are missing. For example, with the Raw Vs JPEG debate, yes you can get the same shots but lets just say there is one shot you have of the bride coming down the isle. She is tearing up and makes the perfect face for a beautiful image, but just then you have a harsh light streak hit her face. With raw it can still be a saved image and yet with JPEG its a loss. Yes the image right after might be acceptable but that doesnt mean great. Same thing with the iphone, while you will get good images, you might miss 1 due to the cameras constraints. It is a disservice to your client and to your portfolio not to shoot with the best equipment available  (not saying you have to buy everything, but use what is at your disposal) in order to shoot the best wedding you can.

Just saying: the shots that most photographers miss aren't due to the RAW / JPEG issue

While I agree with your point, it doesn't sound like this is the case here. As others previously said, I think it's more of a PR stunt more than anything else. Besides, I don't think this guy usually shoots weddings.

Kevin's a buddy of mine. Chatted with him numerous times. Great guy and has enough life stories from his life to fill books upon books. He has a great heart. I read through the comments, and I'm saddened.. I doubt any of them would go and shoot 50 weddings for free.... that amount of time, and dedication to a cause that would not otherwise be captured.... it seems like there are those that are quick to judge..

They're calling it a P.R. stunt? Good for him for raising awareness for a charity.... This is no different than Jeremy Cowart posting stats for Help Portrait, or any other "celeb photographer" who does p.r. stunts for their organizations. Nothing wrong with that! He obviously is getting no monetary gain out of this. 

I'm just utterly sad that instead of the photography community rallying around this guy and helping support him, they shoot him down, and essentially rip on him for providing a service to these people that might not otherwise have the means to get these portraits. Where are the photographers, who disagree with him, jumping up and offering to go and help him?? Anywhere? No, they sit behind their computers screens, passing judgement, instead of offering the helping hand.  Sad.

Note: Trevor, he does not ever call himself a professional photographer anywhere on his site, blog, Instagram, etc..... Photographer, yes, but all of his work is iphone, and iphone related. You should probably update your article when you reference "professional photographer" and then list all the other professions using substandard equipment...when he does not call himself that. To make it fair, you should list hobby professions, and then substandard tools. "....someone who loves to cook, using a microwave." It's a bit unfair to hold him accountable for something he does not claim to be.

“Most of these people have never owned a photo of themselves,” Kuster said. “This will be an amazing wedding gift.”
The article on Dpreview says he'll be shooting on a remote island that hasn't had a priest or pastor visit in "quite some time"—hence, the 50 couples waiting to get married. I don't think the people on that island will care if he uses an iPhone or flagship DSLR.

Iphone Images are WAY better than NO images...this gentleman is blessing them with a gift. PR stunt or not. We should be behind him!

I agree Jay the iPhone images are better than no images. I guess I just figured he had a camera already - so why not use it. If it's a PR stunt for publicity - welp... he got it. I wish the guy well on his journey and hope that he shares images with us when he gets back so we can see how the adventure went. He might just amaze us all and change the face of wedding photography... I guess I need to upgrade my Android. :)

If he'd happened to stumble into this situation with nothing else on him than an iPhone - yes. Planning the whole thing and just taking the iPhone despite having a decent camera on hand - just disrespectful and a shame.

18 years into the business of photography and all the sudden he claims the iPhone is the best tool to do photos. This is a joke. If "blessing" these people with a gift would be his intention, he would pack his best camera to be his best.

maybe 50 wedding same time, and do not allowance none of the dslr shooter(not photographer). maybe someone wants to shine like a diamond on internet arena. adwords is never enough.

Hey... he's a pro so i'm sure he's going to shoot some killer shots.  I'd feel slighted if my wedding photographer was running around with the same type of iPod my auntie is using 2 rows back from him but that's just me. My problem isn't so much of him doing it, but rather the news of pros shooting with consumer devices.  It's already an uphill battle trying to convince people why they should hire pros.  This type of messaging gives consumers the fuel to dispute pricing and validity of our claims of needing a pro.  But hey... can't win'em all.  Keep shooting!!!  Even if it's a shoe box with a pin hole in it.  Just keep the line in the sand that separates amateur from pro very visible.

That is a perfect point Todd360. 

great article!

I am not won over by photographs taken with my ipad or ipod touch, (haven't used an iphone) Not really an appropriate medium to shoot a wedding, even as a single shot.  Most any stand alone camera will do a better job than a phone camera.  Great that he is helping out, but I think he can do better.  If you are going there to do a great thing, use a REAL camera. 

I think some of the commenters here are missing the subtext of this article. The article does bring this guy down for a PR stunt, but the larger point is to the counter culture of "artists" out there that go to great lengths to prove "the gear doesn't matter". I don't know if they got tired of people telling them that their photographs are good because they use expensive cameras or what. I think the FS community has had their fill of these guys. 

Yes - this is a good cause and he should be commended for his effort. He can do the same with a DSLR shooting jpeg. The iphone bit is PR stunt.

I'd be more impressed if he were doing it here in the US. I think it's a tragedy to do a shoddy job when it's charity. It begs the question: Why did he decide to go to the Phil to pull this stunt?? Why? Because no one here would be OK with having their wedding shot like that. What a bummer. I'm sure he'll get some great shots. I just wish He put a little more care into the outcome.

hate this idea. I don't care if he shot for national geographic it sets
a precedence for saying it's okay to shoot a wedding or any other
important event with a cell phone.

I wonder how many of you whining babies would complain if you saw the actual photo's shot with the iphone but didn't have prior knowledge that he shot the wedding with the iphone??? Remember when digital cameras were in it's infancy with only 1.2 mp or 2.0mp and you thought OMG it takes beautiful pictures!!! Then all of the sudden the 4mp and 5mp came out and OMG the 2.0mp picture look horrible!!!! Some of you probably too intimidated to use the iphone camera because you seriously don't make it work for you as some others do to their benefit. QUIT whining via your ego and see how those photo's come out before you judge.  :)

I don't.

Those original digital pics sucked compared to film. 2007 it got better and continues to do so. 

For me it's not ego. If you really wanted to make lasting memories for these people ship out the first 20-30 capable wedding photographers who want to donate their time and rock this. Anything else isn't justice. 

Wish I was rich or I'd go in a heart beat and leave my iphone at home.

My congratulations to Kevin for taking the time and having the talent to give 50 couples the photographic memories of their wedding day. I wish that I would have had an I-phone for my first tour of duty in Vietnam.  My images are still meaningful today and a lot of them were done with a Kodak Instamatic. It's easy to be critical when were are sitting at our computers loaded with photosoftware and own Canon5DMk3's and Nikons. Sometimes giving a drink of water to someone means more than a glass of Champagne.

It's just a big PR stunt, Plus iphone stuff is no longer amazing. Yes everyone knows you can shoot great photos with an iphone, I can shoot great photos with some photo paper and a box with a hole in it but that doesn't mean I should go shooting weddings with it. Also, why do this is the philapines in a remote island?, the whole "they won't know the difference between an iphone and a real dslr" logic is kind of messed up in a way, thats like saying that we can just give Ethiopians dog food because "they wont know the difference". The way i see it, is if you are going to try to help people then don't think about yourself(and your publicity) and think about the people you are trying to help. And he is only going to shoot a few images per couple? so what? a total of maybe 150 photos? meanwhile he gets huge tax deductions for writing off all expenses as charitable expenses, Most of the expenses i'm sure are paid for by a charitable organization(or at least write is off as an advertising expense), He gets to go on an awesome adventure and he gets tons of publicity. So here, i'll tell you what, You get me a cheap flight from LAX to this remote island, I will come with the best equipment I own, plus i will even rent some equipment(at my expense) and i will shoot this event from start to finish, Taking probably over 5000 images, and then i will post process the 5000 images and send them off. 

ok i dont doubt the iPhones abilty to take good photos, but 50 weddings in one day? c'mon, even with the best gear nobody can pull that off without it looking like u jus want the attention

50 weddings in one month would have still sounded absurd but can be more "do'able" than in one day

The iPhone produces absolutely stunning photos when used correctly. It sounds just a bit snobby saying that it's sub par by any means. Consider that just over 100 years ago there was no such thing as photographs. I would equate it to a lumberjack using a slightly older chain saw than most rather than a butter knife...   

Photographer or "Photoshopper"

My youtube  -

My Flickr -

Oh wow!  Is this supposed to be a big deal?  Maybe I'll shoot 100 weddings with a Polaroid. .. same concept. ..

You know, I heard of a girl who specializes in shooting wedding videos on a Super 8 camera and people really dig it. It's living proof that you don't ALWAYS need to shoot with the most high tech gear, the most expensive gear, the "latest" thing etc... - and I think for a lot of couples what matters the most is that their wedding has photographic evidence that it happened. I've seen couples drool over a photo their aunt took with a tiny point and shoot as much as they drooled over a photo their so called "professional wedding photographer" took with a full frame DSLR and it's because the couples don't always care about pixels, shadow detail or creamy bokeh, because they're looking at the expressions of peoples faces and most importantly, those awesome moments. If this photographer can shoot 50 weddings and capture those special moments that the couples are looking for, then I salut him. 

i guess it cool to challenge your photography skills and the limits of an iPhone. you can dig a hole with a spoon, but i wouldn't recommend it for the go to tool every time i shoot a wedding. not for me, but i would love to try to shoot a wedding with an iPhone at least once. 

Honestly, I don't like the idea. Seems like a gimmick to me and why would someone want images of subpar quality that can't be recreated if something were to happen. If someone really wants a instagram, hipstamatic, iphone, effect that can be recreated in Photoshop without destroying the Raw files of memories. If anything, have a second shooter shoot everything entirely on the iPhone, but have a backup plan. Those images should accompany the actual ones. Just my two

If we can tell that a good photograph depends on the emotional aspect of the viewer, then it all goes down to saying that every photo is great because the viewer, informed or uninformed, says so. It's like saying that you take your friend some shots and he's alright with them despite technical and compositional aspects. In that case, we lose objectivity and teaching and learning lighting, technique and composition is useless. Many photographers miss the point that they take photos with a technological device which is programmed to work within certain limits, and that those limits are the ones to be surpassed. It's not about brands or state-of-the-art technology. Indeed, it's a dialectical process: man and machine interrelation.

I suggest to take a look on Flusser's book "Towards a Philosophy of Photography". I suspect all that great myth that "the camera doesn't matter" will burn down after having read it.

I don't think those people are having 10 hour 30K weddings. I would imagine 50 weddings would be more like....50 ceremonies back to back with dancing at the end. I think what people are worried about is that some guy is going to walk in there with a non-professional camera and come out looking like a total badass, shaming all the people that are still trying to pay off their D4 and churning out subpar work.

I shoot all my fashion images with a iphone and the models love them! I'm doing my first wedding next month!