Introducing iPhone’s newest feature: Portrait mode, a photographer’s least favorite feature. We’ve all been obsessing over the newest camera feature on the iPhone since it has been released.
Well, everyone but me. Don’t get me wrong, it is inevitable that I have been intrigued by the feature’s clarity and amazing quality. But beyond playing around with Portrait mode to create professional looking shots of my two restless, often antsy labradoodles, I am not a fan of the culture surrounding the feature.
As a photographer, I have taken numerous classes teaching me the science behind getting the perfect composition in every image I shoot. After every time I go on a shoot, I come back and spend hours pairing down the five hundred or so photos I took.
Basing my edits off of composition, lighting, all the way down to whether or not someone’s feet are cut off, I spend hours delving into all the possibilities that Adobe Lightroom has to offer. I sift through different filters, play with lighting curves, sharpening and finding the perfect balance between highlights and shadows.
From receiving my first purple point-and-shoot camera at just ten years old, and immediately going outside to self-teach myself every mode and button on the camera to then accompanying National Geographic experts on photography expeditions, curating galleries featuring my photos under their supervision when I was in high school, I have invested about ten years of my life in the art of photography.
As a social media fanatic, I won’t sit here and say that I don’t love taking pictures on my iPhone and posting them to Instagram and playing around with the different filters on VSCO. However, I think that the access to these editing features at the fingertips of many millenials is destroying the art of photography.
From the release of the first iPhone to the most recent version, there have been over one billion sales worldwide. Many people are drawn to the newer versions because of the more advanced camera features.
As the sales on phones are rising, the photography industry is dying. Photographers like me are becoming obsolete as the money and time we have poured into classes and equipment are now deemed irrelevant.
I now need to work much harder to find a way for my personal style to stand out, as it is in more direct competition with not only other serious photographers, but anyone who owns an iPhone. Which, as you can imagine, is most everyone I know.
I can now capture shots that used to take me hours to set up and edit, within seconds. Different apps and websites allow me to edit photos now with different premade filters, without the hassle of having to sift through Photoshop.
The photography industry has always proved to be challenging to find success in, only the best of the best being published in magazines like Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. The magic to what made success challenging was the effort and dedication that the photographers poured into each and every shot. But, what has always been a difficult industry to find success in, is now even more competitive.
Anyone is now considered a photographer if they have an iPhone with Portrait mode, showing off their professional looking images to their friends and family. This makes it increasingly hard for the photography industry and the rise of the iPhone truly marks the end of an industry.