Just a girl with an iPhone…

Have we officially arrived in the future?  Are we now at a place where we can disregard our expensive, heavy DSLR’s for something as compact as a smart phone?

From the millennial to the baby boomer, folks are trading in the weight of heavy “traditional” DSLR’s for mirrorless cameras and have been for a number of years.  Are we now in a place where smart phones are becoming a standard in photography?

Last September Time Magazine published an image on their cover that had been captured with an iPhone.

In her post titled “How we created Time Magazine’s First iPhone Portfolio“, Kira Pollack states this:

“Last summer, I came across the work of a young Brazilian photographer named Luisa Dörr while I was browsing Instagram. I had never heard of her, but with all great photographs, it’s the image that captivates me, not the name of the photographer.” 

Pollack goes on to state that she became captivated with the Instagram feed and the consistency of the images the feed contained.

As a result, Pollack hired the Instagrammer to photograph women such as Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Aretha Franklin, Serena WIlliams and many others.  All of these names have been photographed by the best in the industry, and yet they chose a young girl with an iphone for this large task.

Luisa Dorr, left, shoots Oprah Winfrey on her iPhone in Los Angeles, Oct. 2016.

Luisa Dorr, left, shoots Oprah Winfrey on her iPhone in Los Angeles, Oct. 2016.


“As Luisa told me in our interview, which you can read here, many of them were disarmed by her stripped-down, bare-bones process. The iPhone has become so ubiquitous in our culture, so essential to the way we are communicating, that our subjects, I think, were at first surprised that something so basic was being used for something as singular as a portrait for TIME. But such a universal tool in fact became a refreshing and equalizing force for each session. It enabled the shoots to be much more about the “act” of portrait-making—the gestures, the eyes, what even the most subtle body language can reveal about a person.”  – Kira Pollack 

Although most of us won’t be willing to set down our DSLR’s for strictly an iphone, it’s a challenge to all of us.  For many of us, each piece of gear we carry in our bags is beloved.  We know the lenses intimately.  We have spent time with them and we know their limitations and the places where they can come to life.

Ms. Pollack, her position with Time Magazine and her willingness to identify a young girl with an iPhone and to engage her to create 12 cover photos for her magazine, should encourage all of us to use the tools we have.   Rather than chasing, striving for new gear, let’s instead focus on our artistic abilities, dig deep into our passion of the art itself and see what can be created.

As with all artists, it’s easy for us to get distracted.  I’m sure Luisa Dorr never imagined that she would get a call from Time Magazine. She was staying in her lane, consistently making work that stemmed from her heart, and was committed to doing what she loved.  When that diligence and passion is done consistently over a period of time, creation does evolve and with the creation, growth that you could never imagine.

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