Why I Ditched My SLR (and Fell in Love with iPhoneography)


As any of you who are familiar with my blog already know, I LOVE taking photos. Of our family, garden, trips, friends, bugs, our house, just about anything that catches my eye. My skill and interest in photography has progressed over time, but I got my first "serious" camera about 2 years ago. I carried that thing with me everywhere--I loved the clearer pictures I was able to take and enjoyed developing my perspective on capturing the life around me.

It took me a while to get out of point-and-shoot mode (guilty as charged), and soon found myself frustrated by how limited my skills were in manipulating all the different camera settings. Low-light situations were a killer. And pretty soon it started to feel like I was carrying around another kid!

Then came my upgrade to the iPhone 4s a few months ago. I picked up the camera on that baby and haven't looked back sense. My poor SLR has been getting dusty on the shelf. I'd had an older iPhone before, but the camera quality wasn't too hot, and I only took photos with it as a back up. Now I've found my camera, and let me tell you why...

1. It's lightened the load. Running around with four kids in tow is no easy feat. And traveling as light as possible is a must (aside from the diaper bag, extra snacks, and the abyss that is my purse, of course).

2. I get better pictures all the time. Okay, not to say that the 4s camera tops a professional photographer with some fancy-schmancy SLR when it comes to quality, but for me it works. I can get the shot when I want it without fiddling around with finding the right settings first. I can just open the camera, focus, and BAM I've got my shot!

instagram photos

3. My camera's ALWAYS with me. I carry my phone with me everywhere I go. I know I shouldn't admit this, but it's almost like an extension of my body (there are other people out there with this problem, too, right?). And being as active and on the go as I am with chasing little ones around the house and yard, running errands, driving to and from school, church, and various extra curricular activities it's nice not having to remember the camera all the time. So when I spot that awesome ladybug outside, or I notice how sweet Eleanor looks on the church piano I can get the shot instead of wishing I'd brought the camera with me.

4. Instant sharing capabilities. I was notoriously bad at sharing the photos I took on my SLR. If I wanted to, I had to plug it into my computer, load the photos into iPhoto, and then upload them to Facebook/Snapfish/Flickr individually before anyone else saw them. And the times when I did share them were few and far between.

I'm still not Speedy Gonzalez at sharing all of my photos, but it makes it a whole lot easier being able to share them directly from my phone.

5. Built-in editing. Sure most DSLRs have some ability to edit photos--but you can't do much. But on my iPhone, I can use an assortment of apps to add filters, make collages, add text, and even do touch-ups all without loading them to my computer. My favorite go-to apps are XiuXiu, Phonto, Photo Effect Studio, and of course Instagram.

6. Video camera included. So, you're taking photos of the baby looking all cute with smashed carrots on his face at lunch when all of a sudden he starts saying mama for the first time. Quick! Get the camera! Shoot where'd I put it? Is it charged? I forgot to clear the memory! By the time you start recording he's back to silently styling his hair with baby food. 

You're less likely to miss spontaneous moments like these with a phone that has both photo and video (and some DSLRs do too, but I'll just ignore that for this point!).

7. It doesn't disappoint. You know that feeling when you have your nice shiny camera at a family reunion, holiday, or other once-a-year event that you really want to remember, and then the lighting is terrible and you can't get the settings right and everything looks yellow, or you have to use your dreaded built-in flash and there's a dark shadow on everything? And then everyone can't wait to see your photos because you're such a great photographer and you feel totally embarrassed and don't want to show anyone? Yeah, I've had that happen a time or two. 

But my iPhone makes it easy by adjusting to the lighting in the room for me and focusing just where I want it. Sure, it may not be ideal for every situation, but I don't have to keep it locked away in less-than-stellar lighting.

So, there you have it, seven reasons I ditched my SLR for my iPhone. And I didn't really throw my camera in the trash, (and I may even make up with it somewhere down the line) but for this busy mama, keeping it simple works best!

What kind of camera do you use? Are you an iPhoneographer? For more of my photos as I take them, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Flickr.

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