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Camera Phone or Professional Photograhy? Why not both?

Camera Phone or Professional Photograhy? Why not both?

Coyle Quirk #302: We Love Talk Radio

We do. Can’t get enough of it. In a rare moment when our personal offices are quiet, there is usually some sort of talk radio on. John loves the news and political radio. Amy enjoys NPR. I like podcasts.

Last week, I was listening to one called The Nerdist with guest Kit Harington from “Games of Thrones.” (author’s note: both of these shows are not for those with sensitive dispositions…you have been warned) Kit made a point I’ve heard frequently about photography and the readily available camera phone.

To him, photography was becoming less of an art and more of another way to hoard things.

He said he abandoned his camera phone for a Polariod because he was taking photos that didn’t mean anything to him. What was he documenting? A Polariod camera would allow him to take the time to compose and think about the shot/moment because of the cost factor. What was it that he wanted to capture and remember?

Interesting thought. Dramatic – but then, he is an actor. It’s easy to be trigger happy with a camera phone. Heck yes, slap an Instagram filter on those billowy clouds outside and share it. Did you make a cake? Snap a pic and tweet it so we can salivate over it. I caught my roommate’s cat drinking out of the toilet and put a photo on Facebook with snappy commentary. Every “like”, every comment is just intoxicating.

But what are we documenting? What is our goal?

I believe that you can take a great photo with your camera phone. The desktop on Mary Lou’s computer is a camera phone photo of her son walking on the beach. Sometimes, you just see a shot and can’t wait for a “real” camera. Those photos have a time, place, and purpose. The draw to them is that it’s spontaneous and instant. Some people think that they’re “raw” and capture something “real.” I don’t know if I agree with that, but I think that used wisely, these photos could be a valuable addition to your social media strategy.

Take a moment and note the word “addition.” I’m not saying replace professional photography with Instagram photos, but supplement them with professional marketing photos. It can be an intimate way to share your corporate culture with your audience. People want to see the “human” aspect to your business on social media sites. One of my favorite companies doing this right now is Brains on Fire (http://instagram.com/bofagram). They take a blend of phone photos, client submissions, and professional photos to share on Instagram, Facebook, blogs, wherever. It’s playful and engaging. I won’t apologize for loving it.

So, stop being deprecating, Kit. Save the brooding for Jon Snow. There is nothing shameful in wanting to engage with your audience and being “liked.”