Enabling Creativity with Mobile Photography

by Eunsan Huh

posted on 06-05-2017

Dan Tom and Tyson Wheatley are two of the photographers who joined Adobe Stock and Tiny Atlas Quarterly’s trip to French Polynesia to shoot for the Premium collection. Dan is a born and raised San Franciscan, and Tyson calls Brooklyn his home. Dan is a web designer by day, and Tyson does photography and creative direction. But what they have in common is their love for travel, and their penchant for mobile photography. We spoke with the two adventurers about the benefits of shooting on your phone.

Mobile beginnings

Tyson accredits his career to mobile photography. “Mobile photography is my first love – it’s where I got started and it’s where I feel the most comfortable. A lot of the work I do is in the mobile universe, on social media, so for me, it’s important to be able to quickly capture and edit and image, then share it with the world.”

For Dan, shooting on mobile means availability and flexibility. “I shoot on mobile because that’s often the most available – sometimes it’s only camera I have, because I don’t bring my larger camera everywhere.” Dan’s approach to photography is organic, and he’s not always out to shoot something specific. “It could be some crazy patch of clouds, or just colors of the water, seeing how all those things interact with each other,” Dan explains. Because he can’t always anticipate what will catch his eye, always having a camera handy in the form of a phone is crucial.

As avid travelers, this ease goes a long way. “Sometimes you don’t want to stand out like a tourist with a big camera or risk having your camera stolen – it’s much easier to be discreet which comes in handy when shooting in the street,” Dan shares.

Fostering communities

The impact of mobile photography extends beyond convenience – it’s also played a role in building connections. The rapid sharing of information and images has contributed to the exponential growth of Social Media, and that in turn has given rise to online photography communities. When Tyson was living abroad in Hong Kong, he co-founded HK Instayay, leading to the first ever InstaMeet in Hong Kong. “It’s never been easier to share or to connect with people. It’s connected me with so many photographers, people who have become my mentors, friends, and coworkers.”

Leveling the playing field

Mobile photography has substantially evened out the playing field for photographers. Camera phones have made photography more accessible than ever. In 2016, Deloitte Global predicted that over 2.5 trillion photographs will shared and stored, and over 90% of those images are expected to be taken on a mobile phone. That also means that are now more pictures being taken than ever before, and the landscape has never been more competitive.

Tyson and Dan have some straight-forward tips for budding mobile photographers. “Light is your best friend and worst enemy,” says Tyson, and adds that a little investment in basic equipment can go a long way. “Invest in a few simple accessories for your phone. Attachment lenses, like Moment. A compact tripod, like Gorillapod, for time lapse. And of course it helps to have some great editing apps. I like Priime, VSCO, Snapseed, and Adobe Lightroom Mobile.”

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to get out there and shoot. Dan encourages to shoot as much as possible – the more you shoot, the faster your eye will develop. After all, practice makes perfect.

Topics: Photography