What a year. If you’ve been following along, you know that I played with a lot of gear in 2021. It’s been harder than I thought to turn off my professional photographer brain and shift my mindset from the gear required to perform my job well to the gear needed to simply enjoy photography for myself and document life for my family.
I poured over a lot of old photographs, flipped through many family photo books, and really tried to recall what I used to shoot all those images. I found myself scrolling through my VSCO feed often. And every time I did, I couldn’t help but note that these pictures, dating back to 2013 and shot only on my various iPhones (the first of which was the iPhone 4s) really were the heartbeat of my life. They’re far from the best quality but they contain an essence, a lack of pretense that try as I might, I could never seem to fully replicate when shooting my family and life with my standalone cameras.
There’s a little bit of magic in using my iPhone. Maybe it’s all families or maybe it’s just mine, but using my phone to photograph my kids, my husband, and even our dog, is just so non threatening. No one adjusts their posture. No one shifts their expression. No one tries to cover their face, or in some cases, flee the room! My family doesn’t like to be photographed. Not one of them is comfortable in front of the camera. And yet, I love pictures. I love taking pictures. I love printing our pictures. That historical record of our life is hugely important to me and will be so for my kids one day as well.
For years, I’ve been shoving cameras in their faces and then becoming frustrated when they threw up their hands or ran into another room. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to realize that I can’t change them, but I can change my approach. This is why, for the first time, I’ve decided to make a photographic investment in a higher end iPhone with the latest camera technology rather than continue to invest in more camera bodies and lenses. I’ve always loved iPhoneography, but shooting with my phone has never been my first choice and I’ve always purchased the low end model (i.e. both versions of the small iPhone SE, to name a few).
Oh, I’ll still keep one dedicated camera and a few lenses around for making pictures of other things as well as the pure enjoyment of using a tactile camera, but the iPhone 13 Pro will be the new workhorse camera for my life, for the very simple reason that it’s the only camera that my family doesn’t mind me using.
I think I may even be able to get some pictures of my elusive nearly 16-year old son. He does exist, I promise.
The phone is of course, backordered, like everything else these days so in the meantime, I’ve been loving the 40mm focal length on my one standalone camera.