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You There! With Your Mobile Phone Camera!

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Have you ever had that rant from photographers, the one where they’re complaining about their livelihoods being stolen by people with camera phones or worse, iPads! Here’s my take on it and why I don’t view it as a bad thing at all…

We’ve watched as more and more people get their camera phones out at weddings, concerts, events, breakfast, coffee (who would do that!) and take photos… That photo could be for no other reason than to preserve a memory, it might be badly framed, it could well be noisey and horribly lit, but it’s their photograph, their memory and that’s what they chose to do – it was important to them.

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You know the best bit? That person taking their photograph with their phone, it doesn’t change your life one little bit! What’s that? You’re a photographer and they’re stealing your livelihood? If that’s the case, you’d best up your game! You’re being done out of work by a stay at home dad with a camera phone, really? A guy in the front row at a concert with his iPad is going to get better photos than you?

It’s true what they say, the best camera is the one that’s with you and I get it, you’re not going to be able to do *everything* from an iPhone or Android camera, (come on, nobody uses Windows phones…) but you’re going to be able to create memories, right! That’s what most of these people are doing, they’re not there trying to run away with your clients or sell their iPhone photos to a press agency, well, most of them aren’t…

If someone has a camera phone up at a concert and you’re all *cross* about it, forget it, move on, enjoy the concert… Don’t sit there muttering about “kids back in my day used to LISTEN at concerts” and glaring at their camera phone. If you don’t like what they’re doing – oh well, you’ll be OK, I’m 99.6% certain. (There’s a 0.4% chance they’ll throw it at your head and knock some sense into you!)

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Some of us, we’re so obsessed with people using phones to capture images, I don’t understand why? People say things like “Just be there and enjoy the music” or “If it was my wedding, I’d ban phones!” Who are these photographers that can’t handle shooting an event / wedding / concert when there’s someone there cramping their style with a phone? Seriously, those complainers are the people ruining the joy of photography – get better at your craft or choose a different line of work – camera phones are here to stay and they’re only going to get better! Oh la la.

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I guess what I really want to say is “Why can’t we all stop being cry-babies and just get on with our jobs?” (Despite most of those that feel the need to complain not being actual paid working photographers??) It really isn’t hard to shoot around an over excited granny with an iPad! What, you can’t out step her? …and it’s SO easy to be polite and ask uncle bob to pop out of the way for a couple of minutes until you’re done! I’m sure he’d be horrified to think he was ruining the wedding photos! Just be polite. Those skills (should) come with the business of managing people in shoots, they’re very important, learn them.

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And while I’m rambling about how you need to step up and be a professional, I get it – it’s tough sometimes! But at weddings it’s certainly not the photographer’s place to tell guests to put their phones away! You could ask your couple’s guests to work with you and step out of the way, but to go and bother the couple and **tell** them to **tell** their guests to put their phones away, on their wedding day, no no, that’s just wrong…

Lots of ‘people’ related photography requires ‘people skills’ you get those nailed down and you’re well on your way!

Have you had a problem getting a photograph on a paid gig because an “Uncle Bob” ruined your life? Tell us about it in the comments!