Phone Photography vs. Professional Photography

Matcha Design - Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I rarely take my actual camera with me these days. I like not having to carry around my bulky Nikon camera, whereas my phone sleekly slips into my pocket. However, using the camera on your phone has a time and a place. A camera phone is good for quick pictures on the go, but not so much for taking pictures for your next brochure or marketing piece. Why? I am so glad you asked.


First, quality is one of the main differences between phone pictures and professional pictures, and it includes not only the quality look of the photo itself, but the quality of the photographer's technique and their equipment as well.


matcha-design-phone-photography-versus-professional-photography_1.jpgIn this example, the top picture was taken with a smartphone camera, by an inexperienced photographer. The bottom photo was taken by Chris Lo, Matcha Design's Creative Director and seasoned, professional photographer, using his professional equipment. It is pretty obvious to see the differences in the two photos. The clarity and lighting vibrance alone places the professional shot head and shoulders above the phone's quick picture. Also, with the phone you are unable to capture the unique details of the furniture that will resonate with buyers. I don't think we have to guess which one you would rather have featured in your next advertisement or brochure.

Granted, pictures taken on a phone are not completely horrible, and I have seen some amazing images taken with a camera phone. They can turn out quite impressive when using the numerous photo editing apps available today; however, it is about differentiating between when you need professional photography for an important marketing campaign, versus snapping pictures for your next blog or Instagram post. Using your camera phone will work good for the latter, but it will not suffice to design an effective brochure when the picture is fuzzy, poorly framed, and subpar due to lack of quality equipment and photographer knowledge.

Second, a camera's features and limitations are easy to compare (the lens, resolution, lighting, settings, etc.), but it is the artistry behind the photo that can make all the difference. Professional, experienced photographers know their equipment to enhance the photo, how to capture the artistic mood of the photo subject and have studied the industry's methods and trends. Plus, they understand the "tricks of the trade" that create great photos and keep the photo shoot moving smoothly and quickly for clientele. For example, at our last commercial photo shoot, Chris used a special tripod and camera extension tool that allowed him to take the picture without literally touching the camera. This technique avoids any blur that may result from him touching the equipment during the photo's actual exposure time. It may sound simple, but it helps to take great photos in the first attempt and keeps the client's shoot moving along quickly.

"Commercial photography is about creating the right moment with what you have, including the time of day, time constraints and environment limitations," says Chris. "An amateur will have a hard time overcoming these challenges."

In the end, your camera phone should not be your sole means for capturing images. Recognize when you need to bring in a professional photographer who can bring your photos to the next level on your next marketing piece.

Visit our Photography Services Page for more information or visit Chris Lo's photography website.

About Matcha Design
Matcha Design is a full-service creative agency specializing in web designprintidentitybrandinginterface designvideo productionstill photography and motion design. Using our passion for excellence, multi-cultural background, and award winning practices, we consistently provide high-quality, custom, innovative solutions to meet the diverse marketing needs of our clients. For more information, visit