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Are Camera Phones the end to professional photography?

I will get straight to the point.

"You will always need a photographer to capture professional images at an event."

I know I am biased, but do you expect me to say otherwise? Bias aside photographers are definitely here to stay let's break it down.

Camera phones

What you can accomplish with a phone today is amazing. The inbuilt lenses and software are really pushing the boundaries. If you know how use your phone you can certainly in some conditions fool some eyes to think that your phone was just as good as a top-end camera. I have certainly come across photographers who can run circles around people with professional cameras. But with the growing use of camera phones surely people don't need photographers anymore.

What About The Pixels?

The pixels phones have are truly incredible. Some pixels in cases match the camera equivalent. So what are pixels?

Pixels are a minute pigment within a photo that helps to compose an image. The general idea is that the more pixels you have the sharper you image is (potentially), especially when blowing up to a large screen. This is why a company will always highlight the pixels when it comes to cameras.


The smart phone is truly a versatile tool. It has so many functions and makes photography always within reach. They are certainly a-lot easier to use and come with auto-focus, facial recognition, professional mode for those who want to control exactly what is being done. Phones are small and can be carried almost anywhere. The smart phone truly makes photography more accessible for the average Joe. They are for me the best point and shoot cameras.

Rapid Transfer

Images from one snap can instantly be sent across the world wirelessly. You don't need to worry about carrying extra gear. All the edits can be made on the smart phone with out the use of a computer. There is no delay in turn around as the images are ready. The moments can truly be appreciated by all faster. Why would someone use a device that can be complicated when a phone is nice and simple?

Camera Phone Summary

The top end model smart phones are truly amazing tools. They can really capture sharp images in the right hands. The speed, ability to capture moments, usability and pixels are very impressive. Surely there is no need for a photographer, surely everyone has a phone that can take good pictures, right?

A Photographer

I believe being a photographer is not just about having a tool, but a skilled practitioner of a tool. Whether it be a smart phone or a top notch professional camera a true photographer is shooting with an understanding. This is what makes us standout.

Setting A Camera

Have you ever taken a picture and thought, I didn't want it to come out like that? This is because automatic settings are not fool proof and software can get it wrong. Most professional photographers shoot in manual or a priority mode. By doing this there is more control on the outcome of the image captured if you know how to set it.

For example the shutter speed can be used to create a sharp image, or show a motion by blurring the subject, foreground or background. The shutter speed is how long the camera takes to capture an image. The speed could be a fraction of a second to several seconds long. Photos that are taken with the right shutter speed settings can make an image incredible.

This is an example of a slow shutter speed.

The aperture can be used to alter the depth of field. Aperture is about the about of light is let in through the lens to the sensor. Setting the aperture correctly is a great medium to isolate a subject. It gives the focus or emphasis to something you want the observer to see. For example a portrait may have a shallow depth of field to blur the background as shown below.

Notice how only the fist is in focus

You will see here the fist is in focus. This focuses your attention to the fist/ring before looking elsewhere.

The exposure of an image can be manipulated to also change the emphasis of a subject. By knowing how to use the light available (natural, environmental and additional) to capture a subject.

This is about light positioning

You can see that the way the light is upon the subject creates a completely different feel to the image.


A good photographer learns how to frame a shot (This something I constantly work on). This helps to bring out the best in the subject. We really need a special sense of knowing where to position ourselves. As a photographer I am constantly evaluating the environment and pondering, what angle would be best to capture this moment. As a practitioner, experience gives me an idea of what angles and compositions work and which do not (I am sure others will say likewise).

This is a unique shot, due to the setting, the pose and the angle of the shot.


Lenses are tools, they usually come hand-in-hand with a photographer. Different lenses are useful for different intentions; sports, portrait, landscape, micro and general photography. A good lens triumphs over a phone lens due to the quality they can bring in a situation suited to the lens. This is why thousands of pounds can be spent on a single lens. Good lenses do not mean good images. A good lens still needs someone who knows how to use the tool appropriately.

Dedication to capturing images

A photographer is dedicated to capture your event, or subject. They essentially solve a problem by doing a task you may not have the time to do or the ability to do. Thus allowing you to enjoy your event, or spend your time doing other things.

One thing I try to do is predict what is going to happen or ask questions to those in-charge so I can position myself in time to capture key moments.


The photographer is a creative individual that will always be needed to add their flavour and experience to capture an event or subject well. This is a skill that a point and shoot individual can not produce on a consistent level. This leaves room for an expert who can consistently take good images.

I agree that the camera phone quality really pushes the bar in terms of the standard of photography and in the right hands spectacular imagery can be captures and shared. However the phone or camera needs to be in the right hands. It is knowing how to use the tool that is really important.

The ability to set and utilise the environment effectively is something that requires expertise. This is not to say you need to have studied the art, but you certainly need to have a level of understanding. For this reason, no matter how good smart phone cameras get, a photographer will always be needed to capture good consistent professional standard images.

I hope my points were clear and simple. My desire was to make you think what a photographer is. This by no means is my opinions a definitive guide to photography. But a few key points I thought would be of interest to let you into my world.

Do you agree with them? Post below let me know your thoughts.


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