[Shocking] Getty licenses Nick Laham Photographs Of NY Yankees Taken With iPhone

[Shocking] Getty licenses Nick Laham Photographs Of NY Yankees Taken With iPhone

Now this is pretty wild. Commercial sports photographer Nick Laham was forced to photograph New York Yankees baseball players in the in a bathroom stall instead of a proper studio. Instead of using a proper medium format or flagship DSLR camera and making due, Nick went with the next obvious choice: the Apple iPhone. What's even crazier is Getty Images, one of the largest stock agencies in the world, is licensing Nick's instagram style photos directly on their website! We still get a lot of flack for our iPhone Fashion Shoot but it looks like iPhone Photography is here to stay. I personally love the photographs; what do you guys think?

View the full series on Nick Laham's blog here.

Here is a photo of Nick in action:

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Scott Hartman's picture

I can't believe the photos lived up to the standards on sharpness and resolution for them.  I think the little cam is great but they are known for being psycho about this stuff.

What's better is that I never get over how instagram turns me into someone that loves square crop. Loveit.

Robert Catto's picture

Erm, but, when you go through to his site, he says the opposite: "This was not my choice, I wasn’t given the option of studio or bathroom stall and decided on the later [sic]."

Patrick Hall's picture

ha yeah, I totally misread that....strange way to write that you didn't have a choice but thanks for pointing out my mistake

Matt Fitzgerald's picture

Personally I think the images should be a little sharper, but otherwise I dig the way they came out!  Bravo for Nick Laham thinking outside the box.

Brian Carlson's picture

The pictures aren't bad but they are probably only good for web. They only measure 4.8 x 4.8 inches at 300 dpi. That being said, who prints things now a days? Personally, I'm not a big fan. I think it's more of a gimmick to get attention, not that it's a bad thing. Heck, you saw them and licensed them (I'm assuming).


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henryck's picture

resolution seems good enough for baseball card though.. :P

E.M. Davis's picture

They're for media guides and programs most likely. Not cards. 

staceynewmanphotography's picture

I agree with this post. but it seems the market is bent on 'harnessing" the most accessible technology in order to make money off the millions of cell phone images produced daily. if anyone else had taken these shots, and they weren't of the Yankees.....no one would have noticed.
Don't get me wrong, portraits of the Yankees in a bathroom stall would be super cool. if they weren't shot on an iPhone and subsequently licensed as professional photographs.

Terrence Jerod's picture

This has nothing to do with a iphone photo shoot...this is about having shots of the Yankee's players for sale. No way these would be up for licensing if these were normal models .

Golgo Thirteen's picture

They totally look like they were shot with a phone. Their eyes and A-Rod's mouth look soft and blurred. I think people like the Instagram look of these shots but other than that, they reek of phone photography.  Fine Artist print their work and many big shooters still print their work so its important to have a good capture because later in your career you may be approached to do a gallery showing.  People like Jill Greenberg, Annie Liebovitz, and Mario Testino are not fine art photographers but they have all had major gallery showings with large prints. So I feel that shooting stuff with a phone like this is only shooting yourself in the foot for future uses of the photo.

Simon Ouellet's picture

 Yeah, totally agree with you on that one.

Shoot the Yankees with an iPhone in a bathroom stall, get good pictures (probably better than your pictures or my pictures of Derek Jeter, right ?), get licensed by Getty and get the buzz and the exposure everyone is wishing for. Totally shooting yourself in the foot.

Golgo Thirteen's picture

I think you are missing the point. You can't go back and print these large print. The decision to use an Iphone was shooting yourself in the foot, not shooting the Yankees in a bathroom. 

Jeremy Montgomery's picture

Yeah totally shooting yourself in the foot... I mean now we'll never be able to blow them up into a billboard and actually get thousands of people that the internet can't to look at them.

Golgo Thirteen's picture

I see your point. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

Quality is poor,subjects and poses are fine but the resolution is never gonna make these small images anything else but that. They lack sharpness. 

David Cox's picture

Personally I think the medium has nothing to do with it.  I personally envy lots of photographers who make amazing images with a point and shoot. And ok, RAW gives you more flexibility when it comes to post-processing, but if the image is good from the start, all the adjustments aren't needed. I certainly like it.

ennuipoet's picture

So, now Getty is licensing photographs suitable for your Facebook profile pic?  A whole generations of teenage girls will swamp the Stock Photography world!

Michael's picture

If soft focus and small files are your thing, then yeah I guess these work. iPhone's are the new Dianas I guess huh? 

Seriously, if these weren't celebrity sports figures they never would have made it into Getty. 

Nathan Hamler's picture
Philip Ball's picture

He needs to watch the Peter Hurley Video.  Jeter has a double chin.  Poke your chin out Derek.   Regardless the images are blurred from motion, and look like iphone instagrams which I imagine is what they wanted them to look like.  Generating buzz?  Check - mission accomplished.   Terry Richardson your time is up, instagrams are the new on camera flash snapshots.

writersbloc's picture

Agree with Philip Ball, Jeter looks terrible. I like 'em, but never used Getty editorial so not sure how they stand up.

Golgo Thirteen's picture

I also would not have hurt him to use a tripod if he was going to used a gimped camera like that.

Michael Kormos's picture

It is indeed quite odd.  Getty is amongst the top names in the stock photo industry, and they've been known to turn away submissions left and right, for reasons often quite frivolous reasons.  I admit, I like these images, if even for that vintage polaroid mugshot feeling they embody, but to think they've lived up to the standards of a major stock agency...

IPBrian's picture

Not surprised someone would do this...it works for what it works for.  Lomo photography isn't as sharp or clean as a Hassy digital back either...its called creative license, or its the camera he had or he just wanted to use the darn iPhone camera.  UGH...get over it!

I don't care about the images so much, but the fact that Getty images accepted them seems like BS to me.  I used to submit to Istockphoto and the rejections for the most minute and sometimes uncontrollable reasons stopped me dead in my tracks. Something seems off about that part of the story.

E.M. Davis's picture

You didn't shoot the New York Yankees in a bathroom stall, though.

That's the rub. 

btdown's picture

What kind of light is that?

Renee's picture

it's a kinoflo, one of the diva-lites

dtribby photography's picture

sick of articles about the latest gimmick that someone got away with..

Serhan Mehmet's picture

So he carries a Kino Flo and C Stand around but no backup camera ?  What kind of pro is he?  These shots are awful and somebody at getty needs to lose their job.

Renee's picture

its a reg stand not a C

Greg Schmigel's picture

Nice job on the photos, Nick. Welcome to Mobile Photography. Get youself a GLIF or a GYMBL for the next shoot. It'll keep you shots steadier. And please stop by our site, Mobile Photo Group, see what we do.  http://www.mobilephotogroup.com

Greg Schmigel's picture

...clearly he should have consulted Mr. Darling for some iPhone portrait tips. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jim_darling/sets/72157623228705924/

Stephen McGrath's picture

Either he did an absolutely awful job, or he wasn't using a 4S. These are terrible.

ryanbooth's picture

So, seems like this is more about Getty licensing the images than about Nick Laham shooting with his phone. From his blog:

 "Below is a set of images shot with my iPhone and processed through Instagram (I shot others with an ”actual” camera, but these are my selects from my iPhone set). "

So, he also shot proper images, too. It's just that Getty decided to license these. Which is bizarre. 

DantePasquale's picture

That's the cleanest set of urinals I've ever seen!

Time to call shenanigans on this.  I was there, Nick had a choice of working back in that area or working in the crowded visitors locker room with the rest of the photographers.  Nick had another full set up with lights and DSLR's set up in the shower next to this.  Nick is a great photographer no doubt about it.  MLB photo days are a challenge every year.  Too many people, too little space and it is just something we all have to deal with.  I have shot in that shower, I have shot in dugouts, I have shot on stadium concourses, I have shot is batting cages......

Harrogate Wedding Photographer's picture

This is a pretty cool idea for the publicity of it all.

David Sowers's picture

I think the lack of sharpness is what makes them so beautiful and nostalgic.  If they were tac sharp they would loose some of the soul that the image has.  I say bravo.

frederic sidler's picture

Jealous, jealous, jealous.

Great idea, great communication, great job. And everybody is talking about it ;-)

jess's picture

What a joke....as a working professional this is what we are trying to get away from. A joke, a pathetic example of a photographer selling out. Why don't we all start using iPhones on our assignments.. get a life

Laura's picture

This is something I would do--if I owned an iPhone. And I'm not a professional photographer. At all! For a professional, it kinda seems like the easy way out. On the other hand, this format and style are very reflective of what's going on right now--post-modern, techno-addicted America. More power to him if he actually gets this to work.

You all need to lighten up, the photos are cool and what works works

This is a changing industry. As a photographer, you can either change with it or stubbornly resist it. The availability of mobile photoraphy has changed the lanscape of the professional photography. Everyone has a camera, and these days everyone who takes pictures is a photographer.

It's about experimentation and innovation; trying to find that little something that will make your images unique. Whether you're a fan of the new mobile photography age or not-and I certainly am not when I am working on assignment in the pit of a concert and have to dodge an army of iPhones attached to a fence of extended arms-it is here to stay.

While I wouldn't and couldn't utilize an iPhone when shooting concerts and live music, I have certainly experimented with my iPhone in other aspects of my photography and will continue to do so. The fact that I choose one tool over another when creating images doesn't make it right or wrong if I can provide my client with the images they need for their use.

The fact that Getty has licensed the images is a whole other conversation, but maybe this is just an indicator of the direction that digital photography is heading in. With the majority of media leaning towards web publication more and more and print media less and less, it kind of makes the whole argument on print-ready images a moot point.

Resistance does not equal adaptation in this industry, and I applaud him for taking a chance and trying something new. Whether you like it or not, he got the job done (which is ultimately what our job as a professional photographer is) and he provided the client with a usable product is what counts.

wmsmitty's picture

I don't know, I see color balance issues, grain and a little fuzziness. But then again, I'm a stickler for quality and not "just good enough".

Maya Guez's picture

Gimmicky.... here u are talking about it, if u truly want to judge the images by their selling power why say where or how they were shot? its marketing at its best but still wont help make these images more then mediocre quality.

Maya Guez's picture

Gimmicky.... here u are talking about it, if u truly want to judge the images by their selling power why say where or how they were shot? its marketing at its best but still wont help make these images more then mediocre quality....

Would have loved to see this article's photo critiques/comments if the camera make/model hadn't been mentioned.

David Bukach's picture

Yankees = nostalgia = Instagram.  The choice makes sense for photographing Yankees players.  What you shouldn't forget is that the photographer has also set up a $1500+ KinoFlo light in the bathroom.  Quality comes from both the quality of the camera and the quality of the light.  OK camera + good light equals a good picture.  Add the Yankees/nostalgia/retro idea and that's why they are appealing.  Take a Yankees guy into the bathroom with an iPhone and use the available flourescent light and guess how crappy your picture will be ...