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?

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Previous comments

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

Evan Roth's picture

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...   

Ajith's picture

Photographer or "Photoshopper"

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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. 

Dan Lubbers's picture

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!