The new art of phoneography is contributing to personal, business, and community life in ways we never dreamed of just a few years ago. Every day photos and video caught on smartphone cameras is seen on television news. Videos of criminals caught in the act are assisting law officers with identification and apprehension. When the weather is bad, people are capturing images of snow, lightening, tornadoes, and hurricanes. The weather related images are sent to weather channels and uploaded to social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. 

Technology is the power behind change, and mobile technology has increased dramatically in the last few years. The improvement in phone cameras is one striking example of technology improving the photography experience for owners of smart phones. More people are taking an interest in photography than ever before. Taking photos is fun, creative, and exciting when matched with the amazing accessories the latest technology is providing. With the number of smartphone purchases increasing daily, few people will ever be without a camera for that special moment. 

The “camera in a phone” concept began in June of 2000 when Samsung produced the SCH-V200 phone containing a separate camera housed in the same case with the phone. You couldn’t send the pictures to anyone, but it was a beginning. Soon after, in November of 2000, Sharp released the J-SH04, and this phone allowed the owner to electronically send photos to other owners of the J-SH04. From that day until now, every cell phone manufacturer has added cameras that improve with each new model. Image quality, resolution, and special effects technologies are advancing. People, who previously thought cameras were too complicated and left the “picture-taking” to others, are now snapping away with their smart phone cameras.

All images taken by Phoneography expert and Exposure Show 2014 keynote speaker Stephanie Calabrese.

When I teach someone about how to use strobes for lighting a portrait, they always seem amazed as to how simple the technical hurdles are to getting started.  One’s initial impression of a potentially difficult, complex and highly technical world becomes a fairly simple affair.

It’s easy to understand how someone can be led to believe that using strobe lighting is difficult.  The various pieces of the puzzle can have an outward appearance of being technically complex and sophisticated.  Taken one piece at a time, you can learn the essentials of lighting very quickly, after which it becomes a matter of practice with the lights themselves to get portraits that you love.