What One Photographer Learned by Shooting for Six Months With Only His Phone

Could you hang up your fancy professional camera and lenses for half a year and shoot with nothing but your phone? This photographer did just that, and his perspective on the entire experience is quite interesting to listen to. 

Coming to you from Noealz Photo, this great video follows him as he discusses the process and experience of shooting with nothing but his iPhone 7 Plus for six months along with sharing a lot of the photos he took along the way. I found it quite fascinating, as I'm someone who tends to struggle a bit with decision paralysis when it comes to selecting gear to take with me, and distilling it down to just shooting with a phone would probably be a very beneficial exercise for me. Furthermore, there are also the creative challenges that come with shooting with just your phone. While modern camera phones are certainly quite capable devices, they of course still don't measure up to dedicated professional photography equipment. Imposing limitations on yourself is often one of the best ways to foster creativity, and it seems like this was quite the fruitful project, despite the frustrations that were likely inevitable. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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The guy keeps it real. As part of a global community of photographers, so many of us get caught in this echo chamber where we obsess over things like low light performance or lens sharpness, but while all these things are nice the simple fact is that your average person is looking at the image—not minute details. While I'm not a huge believer in imposing limitations on one's self in the chase for creativity, I do believe that it's good to check ourselves once in a while to see what we're really looking to achieve with our photography and if that next lens is actually going to help us get there as opposed to maybe a light, an ND filter, or a good book.

And yes, a phone (particularly today's phones) is a perfectly good camera as long as you understand the tool in your hand—its capabilities and limitations.


The average user is not the demanding client. The average users don't give a damn about all the things we fuss over.

True. I don't think he was suggesting otherwise.

Shooting with a phone is fun.

Funny , cause on this very site a cellphone photo is considered a snapshot and will get you a 1 star rating.

I did experiment extensively with my phone 8 years ago. It's something cool to do. As easy it it to shoot a lot of interesting images, phone cameras lack depth and night photography is great to bring some dimension back. I am not surprised he went back to dslrs faster than planned. Phone photo can be addictive and take attention away, something to consider before reaching a boring point. This said, I think it's definitely something to experiment with and learn a lot from.