How Has The Use of Smartphones Affected Commercial Photography?

It is both a blessing and a curse that technology is rapidly advancing right before our eyes. We have access to the latest gadgets and gizmos and our smartphones are, evidently, really smart. I mean, the latest iPhone has three camera lenses built-in.

So what does that mean for photography?

There’s so much happening online and lines are blurry. What about freelancers, with their Nikon cameras, looking for work? How can they compete with any other person with a smartphone? How do they stand out? Have smartphones affected commercial photography? Definitely–in both good and bad ways.

How smartphones have affected commercial photography

First and foremost, let’s talk about commercial photography. Businesses can hire a photographer to create images in brand promotion and product selling. Commercial photography consists of fashion, food, and product shots, and they’re taken in a way that looks good and sells well. Freelance photographers are professional and know the importance of marketing and that’s why they are able to provide high-quality images.

So what does that mean with photos taken on iPhone and commercial photography with an expensive camera? Well, there are good and bad aspects of smartphones and how they have affected photography.

The Bad

Being a photographer is so much more than clicking a button. It’s about the process, like editing on Photoshop or going into the darkroom to develop the film. Photography is about a passion for capturing a moment.

Before the advances in technology, it was a matter of taking a single photo and hoping they got the shot. Now, we just click click click. We take a bunch of photos and that’s it.

To be blunt, everyone thinks they’re a photographer nowadays. Just because they have the newest smartphone with portrait mode and they know their way around a photo editing app, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a pro at photography.

We’re really only seeing photography because of the online world, thanks to our smartphones. While there’s much to be grateful for in that, there is something about the exposure that makes photography seem a bit over-saturated. It’s hard to distinguish good and bad photos sometimes.

Now, I’m not disregarding iPhone photography. I’m just saying that photography is a lot more than what people think. It’s not that simple.

The Good

Technology is being created for smartphones and photographers alike.

Camera quality is a major selling point when it comes to smartphones. As mentioned before, the latest smartphone update has multiple camera lenses built-in. Smartphones have flashlights built-in, too. How is this useful though? Uh, light! Finding good lighting can be hard, but if you have some friends with smartphones and a friend with a camera, you can get a pretty decent shot.

There are phone stabilizers, to make sure your photos aren’t shaky or blurry. There are devices, like the Pictar Pro, that can be attached to your phone to help you shoot images that are just as high-res as a DSLR camera. These smartphone add-ons will allow photographers to feel like a professional, even without an expensive camera.

User-generated content is easier. 

What is user-generated content? UGC is content created by consumers for a business, in the form of pictures, videos, blog posts, etc, by a means of marketing. With a smartphone, you have social media and a camera. Someone, whether if they’re a professional photographer or not, can snap a photo of a product and post it online and boom! UGC. It’s that simple and so, so powerful.

If you’re a brand or a small business, you need to read up on what user-generated content is and why it’s important for your business. With the advances of smartphones and more and more people becoming influencers, this is a big deal for marketing!

It’s a little less intimidating.

Photography can be a little intimidating. Juggling the gear, the tools, and the knowledge, it’s a lot and it’s not easy.

So how can someone who is interested in photography start taking photos?


Mess around with the camera app and its features. Download different apps and see the world through different colors and filters. Smartphones are a great way for someone to dip their toes into the world of photography.

Smartphones make photography quicker and easier, too. When we spend time with our friends and family, or we want to remember things while traveling, to enjoy – forever – the experiences we have, we can easily pull out our phones and capture those moments. You see something you like? Take a picture–it’ll last longer.

(Feel free to read up on some tips and tricks for iPhone photography–you won’t regret it.)

Being a photographer is a lot more than just clicking a button and hoping for the best. With the latest gadgets to help us out, photography via the iPhone is good for those who are just starting out or for those who are trying to create quick UGC.

One question remains, however. Are our smartphones doing the work for us? Maybe. Maybe not. It all depends on how you look at it…