A New iPhone Fashion Shoot To Silence The Haters

I released The iPhone Fashion Shoot back in July of 2010 thinking that it would be a fun way to prove a simple point (that people can create compelling images with any camera). I never thought 1, that the video would become so huge and 2, that 50% of everyone who saw it would totally miss the point. Half of the comments made on my video are about my expensive studio lights, professional model, professional hair, makeup, and retouching. People still didn't want to admit that they were capable of taking great shots on whatever gear they had.

Still to this day I get emails all the time where people suggest that I do another iPhone Fashion Shoot outside with natural light and without a professional model but I was never interested. I really don't want to become known as the "iPhone photographer" and these videos are a lot of work to produce.

Well I just got an email from Pye at SLR Lounge and he did all of the work for me! Pye takes a normal girl outside and uses 2 reflectors to create stunning images... It does not get any more simple than this... The point has now officially been made. No more excuses people.

Lee Morris's picture

Lee Morris is a professional photographer based in Charleston SC, and is the co-owner of Fstoppers.com

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But Pye, that girl is totally wearing a fancy dress. I bet her outfit was way more than $30. And what about that free bag you got to hold your iPhone? We don't get free bags so we have no where to put our phones. And you have the ocean and it would cost me hundreds of dollars to fly to a large body of water with a model and 2 assistants.

Ahh, but Lee, the dress was actually purchased from a local thrift store. They had a "Designer Clothing $.99 Value Menu." Ocean, what ocean, I thought I blew out the entire background, there should definitely not be an ocean =) As for the free bags, yeah, you got me there. It's too bad pants don't come with pockets anymore...

I guess people can always find an "excuse" for everything. Hopefully, with your iPhone Photo Shoot and with this one, people will finally realize that photographers create images, not cameras. All it takes is the desire to learn, experiment and to stick with it until you arrive.

Patrick and Lee, you guys are an inspiration to us. Keep up the great work!

-- Pye

What if someone can't afford an iphone? We need a Holga photoshoot, please.

 I think you should do a shoot with one of these! :)

Seeing you post this makes me think of the most recent development in the presidential birth certificate debacle. Now that he's released the real thing, people are saying it's photoshopped. There was an interesting article about this here:
It talks about no matter how much evidence you give people, it just makes their disbelief stronger.

I was thinking someone would say something about the bag lol.

I was converted on the first shoot. But hat's off to Pye, a truly great shoot.

Thanks for the positive feedback Peter, appreciate it!

Though I must say hats off to the FStoppers for creating and finding so much great content that help us all to think outside of the box.

When I thought of doing this video a while back, I was planning on using a decent point and shoot like an S90. It never dawned on me that it could be done with an iPhone until I saw Lee's video.

I don't think it's the fact that people have a problem with an iPhone as a legit camera I think its more of the fact of control and knowing what you are doing with a camera. Any idiot can take a snapshot of something, it takes skill and a certain eye for things to take a photograph.

In my opinion "control" of a photograph is 99% control of your subject, composition, lighting etc. and 1% camera settings

Yeah, shooting at f/1.2 etc. will wax and wane in popularity, as will all the fashion trends, post-processing trends, etc. The timeless images usually involve FAR less geekiness than you will find on any of the random forums out there.

Yes, Irving Penn probably knew his camera inside and out, and that is what helped him create the print quality that does indeed help make his work breathtaking when viewed in person. But still, what MAKES the image is always the SUBJECT itself, plus the LIGHT, the POSE, and if necessary the TIMING. (For all you "decisive moment" Cartier-Bresson fans out there, who don't go for the fashion model stuff...)

Sure, you can argue on and on about how Annie shoots the queen with a Hasselblad, and how so-and-so shoots with this or that. But I could also go on about guys like Galen Rowell, Gary Winogrand, etc. who often used the cheapest gear they could get their hands on, and some who barely even knew how to operate a camera and yet they go down in history as some of the greatest photographers ever.

The bottom line for me is that I do enjoy geeking out, but at the same time I know when to shut up and just take pictures...


Good stuff...and what's that saying...an artist never blames his/her tools...

Yes they do.

(But one can argue that the good ones don't... as much.)

doesn't count, the iphone 4 camera is wayy good. (just kidding, i just wanted to be "that guy" that nitpicks everything). you guys have a great point, it's 100 percent the photog and not the camera, but people will always have gear envy and thing that gear makes the photog. kudos


hehe. the world is full of ignorant fools indeed. Let them live in their own world of weird logic.

I'm impressed :D

I've spoken with many amateur photographers recently and its really interesting to me how many of them feel that since they "understand" their camera (how aperture and SS or how to edit RAW files) that they are some how better photographers than those who don't.

That is like saying "I am better at piano than you because I can read music." Perhaps you are, but I would sure like to hear you both play before I decide that for myself. Many of the best musicians in the world can't read music. And many of the best photographers in the world are the least technical when it comes to gear.

In my opinion (and the opinion of everyone who will ever pay you for your work) it's about the finished image. Nobody cares how you got it.

I think this site proves that A LOT of people care how you got it. lol.

Sry the iphone is just a too expensive camera for me...

between the data plan and being stuck with ATT's crummy service, it's far more expensive than a solid DSLR

you can buy them on Craigslist with no data plan...sometimes even with a cracked screen for even less. And that's not the point anyway, buy a point and shoot for $150

Well I mean phh anybody can get good images if you have got talent! I mean what about all us who don't have that?! you ever think about us?

The message was clear to me in the first video and I really enjoyed it. This video was also great getting the point across but for me it was much more. The locations brought back memories of where I spent a large part of my life. Thanks for creating this and sharing it with all of us.

$30 for a reflector? damn you guys are lucky! Come to Norway where a simple 5in1 reflector costs $200 :p

Buy one from dealextreme for $16 with free worldwide shipping :)

awesome shop

I smell another iPhone video coming up - professional (non-photog) model shooting professional photog with an iPhone and found light accessories in a boring NJ location. Any takers? Nicely nicely done though. Now they will say - but you are expert in post and you did do post. So.... fun.

and after that... a drawing of a brick wall. :)

And then photos inside of a jail cell with a homemade camera for those who have been falsely accused.

ermmmm...an iphone cost £500 tho the d3100 is cheaper and you have more control ;) :P nice still !!!

You could just as well buy one of those crappy 25$ cameras that are basically falling apart and get similar images. As for editing, GIMP is completely free and very similar to photoshop.

The point shouldn't be NO BUDGET but rather NOT THE MOST CURRENT CAMERA.

I like this concept as well. It has always been my goal to buy one of the "original" DSLR's, either a Nikon D1 or a Canon 1D, just as a conversation piece to put on display, but also to shoot with every now and then. It would sure turn heads! That, or at least an old Nikon D70 or Canon 300D, the RAW images from those cameras could be printed huge and look great.

Sooooo many people out there always say "it's not about the camera, it's about the photographer" ...while they themselves shoot with their 5D mk2 or D700, and even scoffing at someone who shows up to a local photo shoot GTG with a rebel etc. I say, if you can't walk the walk, don't talk the talk.


haha, thanks for this, really drives the point home! and it seems like it was a lot of fun, too!
Your best work yet ;-)

Looks like lots of fun. Hey that is why I like to take pictures any way. :-)

great work! People will always complain because they need a reason to be lazy and a reason why they can't do what others can. I shoot more photos with my iphone than i do my DSLR and create images that are just as good as some people using DSLR's. Keep up the good work and thanks for the video.

there will always be those people who complain cuz they have nothing else better to do with their free time.

I would classify myself as an over enthusiastic amateur (I take a *lot* of photos!) and the video highlights something I see all the time, even as an amateur. I take a lot of a photos and have been for more than two years. My photos have slowly improved in quality not because I have a reasonably good camera (Rebel T2 with a Canon 50mm f1.8) but because I keep practising. I also haven't been able to afford much gear, so I have to save for a long time before I buy anything. So for more than a year, I only had the onboard flash (and I hated how it looked). Consequently I made myself learn how to use natural light for portraits and use long exposures on tripods for night scenes. I don't have a fancy zoom (I bought the camera body by itself) so I learned to get as close to a subject as I can.

Recently I decided to attend a beginner's photography class as I'm self taught and thought I might be 'missing' some information that could help me. The class consisted of 10 people who had fairly expensive cameras and lenses and had only ever used them on auto. They hadn't made any effort to learn about their cameras. The comments were all the same," I thought the camera would help me take some great photos of my kids/pets/partner/car". None of them practised in between classes (I will snap off between 50 to 200 photos a week on anything and everything). Every week we'd show our photos in class and it there were a lot of out of focus and badly composed shots of dogs, kids, partners, trees and sunsets. Then people would say to me, "Wow your photos are great. Your camera/lens must be really good." It was really strange. I usually replied, "It's not my camera. I just took 4000 really bad photos before I was able to take this good one."

haha! "Let's pop in our gear now" ::a lone iphone drops into the bag:: "i'm good"

The 'simple point' was made way before the iPhone shoot with point and shoots. No point was made in the first iPhone shoot and it isn't now.

Because once a point has been made by a human, it is impossible to ever make that point again.

I agree! Lee, everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

I wasn't saying that Lee. Poorly worded on my part. I think the one you guys did the first time was great and made the point well. Also, I think reinforcing points every once in a while is good thing. It just seems like it is less about reinforcing a point anymore and more like just doing something faddish.

Jeremi, is there a particular video or something you are talking about where this point was made before Lee did it? Cause, I didn't see anything else other than Lee's article when I researched it a year back, and even again just before making this video. Point noted though... no points were made by this article ... nor Lee's... I understand that point. It seems that all points, seem to lead to one point, which is that there is no point... point ... point, point. =)

Most photographers I know that have been around others for any decent amount of time (irl or on the magic interwebz) have had some version of the conversion 'it's not the camera, it's the photographer'. This has been discussed countless times and there a number of fashion photographers that have notable use of P&S even, or compacts if your talking film. Terry Richardson is probably the most notorious of them, the first I heard of him is when he shot for the 2001 SI Swimsuit edition with a 35MM compact.

yea but thats an "IPHONE 4" !!!!! haha... nicely done!

[sarcasm] Yea, but you still edited your photos in Photoshop. A "real" photographer gets it right in camera and has no need for such post-production tools. [/sarcasm]

Freakin awesome! Now you just gotta do it with and Android phone! haha... hmmmm "lightbulb"

LOL impossible. I have a google nexus s and that camera sux. Unlike Iphone, we don't have nerds making amazing software for our sub par hardware. Iphone is a good phone with even better grass roots people making sophisticated and actually useful and beautiful software. I will never own an Iphone though because I'm not a hipster, shop at Whole Foods, or use a Mac Book Pro set up next to my Star Bucks coffee with my Subaru parked outside and my old man hat on my head listening to some weird band that made their music free through their myspace all made on the ipad. GROSS.

I think a lot of people confuse what is going on. Many photographers are not artists meaning, many people take pictures, they just aren't very pleasing and are forgettable. Canon sells thousands of cameras to people who just bought one as a hobby because they want to make easy money shooting what they think are easy subjects. I feel that everyone thinks that taking a good photo is easy as long as you get the correct elements lined up. This simply is not true to me. I see a lot of well lit photos that bore me to tears. By contrast I see a lot of poorly lit shots like Helmut Newton's work and yet is very good and timeless.

All photographers must ask themselves, how many of these photos are you taking are actually impacting your growth and a photographer, and how many are just taken because you want to get the bills paid or some important model just happens to have some free time.

It doesn't matter if you have an etch a sketch or a D3s, if you are a gifted artist you are seeing the world in a much different way than the normal world. I don't care what you use, how long you have been shooting, or what you shoot. You can't teach or buy your way into being a truly gifted artist. Give any artist almost any tool and they are going to make unique great work. But the issue is many people that shoot are not really artists. They are just people with cameras that take a lot of pictures and maybe make some money. In the end you must ask, are you making art or just a ton of throw away photos.

People think photoshop is cheating. I think photoshop is like using a blending stump in illustration. Its a tool to get the job done. If you think you have bragging rights or some kind of earned respect because you have camera knowledge then then fine, but to me, your work is still boring and you don't have knowledge on how to fix that problem.

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