Challenge - First Week of April 2015 - iPhone Only

   Finally, I've brought back the weekly challenge! Yes, I am overly excited about this. I've been planning on doing another weekly challenge for the past couple of months now, but life decided to get in the way everytime the words were even mentioned. Let's put all of that aside though, because I'm planing on doing one of these every week again. It's been awhile, so you might not be familiar with the weekly challenge (I can't blame you). Basically, every week I challenge myself (hence the name) to shoot something that I'm not used to shooting. For example, the challenge might be to shoot a subject matter, like this, that I've never shot before or have limited knowledge of. They could also be more of a concept that gets me, and you, into a more creative mindset and get me, and you, to think outside the proverbial box, like this.

   This week I've chosen a subject matter that I wish I did more of, shooting with my phone. Everytime I'm out somewhere and I don't have my cameras with, I usually end up not taking a photo despite the fact that I have a camera in my pocket in the form of my phone. I always play up the idea in my mind that since I'd be forced to shoot on a lowly, old iPhone 4 that I might as well not even bother as it will only look terrible. That's such a horrible mindset to have. Even if it's an older, less than proficient camera with next to no manual controls doesn't mean you still can't get some solid images out of it. Sure, I could get a better result if I had my other gear, but the key here is that I don't. As the prolific photographer Chase Jarvis says, "the best camera is the one you have with you". I was hoping this challenge would help me get out of that toxic mental state and push me into the direction of cultivating a more creative mindset. At the end of the day, that's what this is all about.

Abstract iPhone Street Photo

   When I first went out with the intention of only shooting with my phone, it felt really awkward. I didn't take the time to compose the scene properly and I felt the need to hurry as if I was worried that someone would see me using a phone and reign judgement upon me. I don't even understand why those feelings came about anyway. How is shooting with a phone any less weird than setting up a huge tripod and a bulky camera with a long lens on it any less odd? In fact, if anything it's even more odd. I think it's akin to listening to a really catchy pop song, but you don't want anyone to see you humming along, because you've got a reputation as a metal head. Maybe people would catch me in an 'AH HA!' moment since I wasn't using my "real" gear. That's just beyond silly honestly, but nevertheless something beyond silly that I had to overcome.

   All of my rather odd anxiety was alleviated once I got back home and edited them and realized, oh hey, there's actually some good shots in here. 'AH HA'! you might say. A light went off and I went back out the next time and felt a lot more comfortable with the knowledge that I could show people, "hey, this isn't silly to take photos with your phone". I'm certainly not the first person to come to this realization. In fact, I even knew this the whole time, yet I still had this silly fear in the back of my head. I've never judged anyone else for shooting with their phones, yet I had this self judgement which held me back creatively. I'm glad I took the time and challenged myself to use my phone. I know from now on I'll be using my phone a lot more in situations where I wish I actually had my gear with. So I challenge all of you out there, if you have any inhibitions about shooting with your phone, try it. You'll be glad you did. Also, if you've got any cool photos you've taken with your phone, leave a link the comments below. After all, what's the point of art if there's no one to share it with. ^_^

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