Powerful Phone Photography

I'm preparing for a really big adventure. As in flying over the ocean and going to far off places. I'm not taking my DSLR. I'm not even taking my point-and-shoot. Only my iPhone + a few accessories. 


There are many reasons why I've decided to ditch a lot of my equipment and rely on my phone instead. These posts were definitely an inspiration for me in this decision:


My gear list:

  • iPhone 6 + retractable charging cord
  • Selfie stick + remote  (so we can all be in the picture)
  • Sony qx100 lens + mini tripod. I completely blame Steph for showing me hers. I could never fathom how the thing worked until I saw it in action. Very cool! There is a less expensive model, but I decided to go for the gusto on this one. So far, I'm really glad I did! With the tripod attached, we can also get group selfies with this lens and I can shoot more steady pictures with a greater range of options.
  • Moment lens attachments (wide & tele) that I bought on Kickstarter last year. They are so small so I figured it didn't hurt to throw them in and they give great results! I also funded the Kickstarter campaign for the moment lens case, but it won't be ready for a few months. Dang!
  • MyCharge portable charger in case I run low on phone battery while I'm on the go.

Even though it looks like quite a list, everything fits very nicely in my medium size purse. Nothing is very big so it will be really portable. No need for a camera bag!

Notice how I used my label maker to identify the cords. It drives me crazy that we need different cords for so many things. Why can't someone make one universal cord that would work for everything?! Anyway, at least I know which one belongs to which device when they are labeled.

And because I don't like messy purses, and I want to protect the lenses, I put everything into little pouches. I'm cool like that.

I ordered the Sony case when I bought the lens and the Moment pouches came with the lenses. I've had my LeSportsac pouch for ages and I love those things. They are so sturdy!


Apps I plan to use:

  • Native iPhone camera app and basic editing available in iPhone photos app. I know there are oodles of great apps out there, but so many people overlook that a smartphone comes with great tools already in place. The iPhone camera has improved so much over the years and Android users know that their native camera is amazing. I still use these basic features all the time.
  • VSCOcam is my favorite app for applying filters and beautiful effects. I've tried at least 30 different apps in this category and I always come back to VSCO cam.
  • Mextures is another favorite choice for adding artsy and creative filters. The results are different from VSCOcam, but equally beautiful.
  • Photogene lets you fine tune your photo and also has some nice presets. I like the phone app, but I really love the iPad app. I wish they had the same interface.
  • Play Memories Mobile from Sony is the app to use with the Sony lenses like my qx100 I posted about in the gear section.
  • Instagram for sharing my photos with my followers. I love interacting with people on Instagram and it's a fun place to share the journey.
  • Instaplace for adding title and detail locations. This is fun for social sharing and to use on scrapbook layouts or Project Life pages.
  • Instafood is similar to Instaplace, but it's all about food. That's a big part of the travel experience for me!
  • Instaweather is another one from the same makers of the last two apps I mentioned. I try to get at least one photo in this app from each place I visit to record the weather of the day.
  • Diptych is one of my all-time favorite apps. Great for simple collages and to share more than one photo at once. I use this for social media and for my memory keeping. I've even printed out the collages as a full page layout for my photobooks and they turn out great! 

Those are the apps that make up my photography toolbox. I've spent years refining and narrowing these selections and I finally just deleted A LOT of apps that have been taking up real estate on my iPhone. I love knowing what works for me and I'm really happy with this list.

I do use several other apps for creative projects and mobile memory keeping, but those will come in another post. Stay tuned!