What is iPhoneography?


Shockingly, iPhoneography is not a legitimate word. It is not found in Oxfords English dictionary. It remains slang.

As such, we have an opportunity to define it. Here are a few opening thoughts:

  • Images taken on an iPhone
  • Images edited using Apple platforms and related apps
  • The phrase iPhoneography is often applied to images edited on an iPad not an iPhone.
  • We will not even start on images taken with an iPad as I have never seen a decent one.

So is the defining characteristic the device that takes the photo, the app that edits the photo, or the device on which the app resides that is used to edit the photo or some combination of the above?

From my perspective, it is a combination of the above with the key theme being iPhone photography edited utilizing an Apple, Inc. product (Editors Note: Apple’s corporate name used to be the Apple Computer, Inc.).

So why does it matter?


I have recently started using a Nikon V1. It’s a small digital camera that is the digital camera equivalent of a range finder from the 1970s albeit with substantially higher quality images (not necessarily better but digital does capture more detail than film). I have been editing the photos taken using my Nikon V1 utilizing the apps on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. I began to ponder if what I was doing was iPhoneography and concluded it is not. It’s some sort of hybrid.

Historically what has kept me from using a standard camera is keeping the device with me and moving the images to my Mac devices to edit. I still use my iPhone as my main camera but sometimes (and it pains me to admit this) the iPhone is just not the right tool. It remains very mobile (I’ll be writing more on this soon) and I utilize Mac based products but the image generation is not from an iPhone.

I will continue to blog about iPhoneography and posting my images but I will also be blogging the story of my attempts to use a standard camera. Until then…


7 thoughts on “What is iPhoneography?

  1. Great post and a great question to ponder. I guess if I upload a pic that I took on my SLR camera, even if I edit it with apps on my iPhone, I don’t consider it iphoneography and don’t hashtag it as such. I’ll just use #photography. I guess I’ve always tied iphoneography, in my mind, to pics taken on an iphone. Just my two cents. πŸ™‚

  2. IMHO, I would define the concept as being photography being “substantially” created using mobile technology… So if the editing were done on the iPhone/iPad, then it is still of that genre. Things like snapseed, etc… Really don’t exist in wide use so much on the desktop. These apps and filtering processes really are children of the iPhone platform. There are those times when the iPhone is the right tool for the job, but just because a man has a hammer doesn’t mean everything is a nail.

  3. Looking forward to hearing more about this, Paul. I jump between my Nikons and my iPhone – the distance between convenience and control, but I do all of my editing on my laptop on Photoshop. I may switch to PSD on the iPad soon.

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