Feature photo by Angela Ross

The best camera is the one you have in your hand as the moment unfolds. Most of the time, that’s going to be your phone camera, right? But mobile photography isn’t just about convenience anymore. A smaller camera allows us to remain present, capture the moment unobtrusively, be discreet and be creative with the confines of our gear. Mobile photography is a challenge for photographers to integrate their art into daily life.

With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to share some mobile photography inspiration from real photographers. Here are eight clever ways photographers are capturing everything from daily life to travel to self-portraits using mobile photography. If you need a creative push, or just need a bit of mobile photography inspiration, try one of these ideas and see what happens. We’d love to see your results! Use #clickmagazine on IG, or tag us on Facebook.

1. iPhone foodtography

“A chef once told me that we eat with our eyes. What we find visually appealing first is what we will want to eat. I find this to be so true, and especially when it comes to photographing food. Think of how often we see people taking photos of their food and drinks using their phone cameras! As a photographer I enjoy styling food and using my iPhone to share the images quickly. I’ve found that sharing my food photos on social media using hashtags or tagging the client directly has been a benefit to me professionally.” – Kristin Dokoza

Related: How to create Instagram-worthy food photography while you’re baking up a treat

Creative mobile photography projects - food photography
Photos by Kristin Dokoza
Creative mobile photography projects - food photography

2. Everyday shenanigans

“In 2019, I started a self-portrait project. I quickly realized I was missing out on everyday moments by the time I got out my big camera to capture them. I wanted to remember my girls’ curiosity and adventures and photograph their childhood from my perspective. And, I wanted to be in frame with them, too. With this realization, I began capturing my daily pictures with the camera I had at hand, my phone. This “from above” self-portrait project documenting my girls’ childhood — their messes and shenanigans — is very close to my heart. I use my phone to document these special moments because it’s a handy tool that’s always nearby.” — Priyanka Berry

Related: 5 Ways photographers can include themselves in family photos

Creative mobile photography projects - selfies
Photo by Priyanka Berry

3. Travel challenge

“When I travel with my husband and five children, I find myself wanting to simplify my camera gear and pack lighter. On a recent month-long trip to Hawaii I challenged myself to photograph our trip with my iPhone. I used my phone to do all of the shooting and editing. While I don’t plan on giving up my big camera anytime soon, it was a great way to take the pressure off of myself and to feel more present with my family.” — Dana Leigh

Creative mobile photography projects - travel
Photo by Dana Leigh

4. Self-portraits

“Self-portraits are the center of where I find my creativity and voice. I often find myself struggling to embrace imperfection. Shooting self-portraits on my mobile phone adds a humbling dynamic and allows me to challenge myself by using the limitations to my advantage. Making beautiful photos with a mobile phone reminds me that art is never about the gear or the medium, and all about the person creating.” – Aly Nickerson

Related: Self-portraits made easy: 5 Simple steps for amazing photos of YOU

Creative mobile photography projects - self-portrait
Photos by Aly Nickerson
Creative mobile photography projects - self-portrait

5. 365 project

“This is probably my fifth 365 project and my second one with a phone. However, this time, the project is mobile photography only and not in conjunction with my DSLR (that, my friends, is tucked away in the closet). My son is almost nine years old and the last DSLR 365 nearly killed us both. He’s over me. I’m over him. But, I wasn’t able to let daily documentation go, so I decided to do a mobile project. Here’s what mobile photography has done for our relationship: My son is willing to help me out with some shots a couple times a week, and on the other days I’m able to discreetly get a shot with a device that is so common it just blends into the everyday.” — Angela Ross

Related: A lifestyle photographer’s guide to day-in-the-life photo sessions

Creative mobile photography projects - 365 project
Photos by Angela Ross
Creative mobile photography projects - 365 project

6. Teen portraits

“Documenting our family’s memories has always been a priority for me, but for my teens, not so much. After noticing their undying love for selfies and Instagram, I starting used my iPhone as a tool to disarm them from their insecurities and make them into willing participants. Now we look for photo opportunities together and proudly share our day’s highlights on all our Instagram accounts.” — Kimberley Welter

Creative mobile photography projects - teen photos
Photos by Kimberley Welter
Creative mobile photography projects - teen photos
Creative mobile photography projects - teen photos

7. From above

“Using my smartphone, I create compelling self-portraits that highlight my daily routine at home by taking selfies from above. I achieve this fresh perspective by placing my phone in a simple cardboard shelf set-up and taping it to the ceiling (tutorial linked below). This bird’s-eye view perspective is remarkable to the viewer, as it gives them the feeling of watching a scene as it unfolds. It’s a real sense of being on the outside looking in. For me, this is the perfect little creative switch up to break out of repetitive angles and develop an intriguing new twist on images that might otherwise feel mundane.” — Dana Walton

Click here to read Dana’s tutorial on how to take selfies from above.

Creative mobile photography projects - selfies
Photo by Dana Walton

8. Craft of seeing

“With its accessibility and simplicity, the smartphone has become an important tool for me to practice and improve my craft of seeing. As an ongoing project, mobile photography has become an effective way for me to study the many visual elements that come together to create a strong photograph. One of my favorite visual elements to study with my smartphone is light — particularly shadows, pockets of light and chiaroscuro light. My smartphone allows me to quickly and easily make adjustments in my point of view and in the exposure level to maximize my use of light. My smartphone project has helped to elevate my craft of seeing light, darkness and shadow and has enhanced my visual storytelling skills.” — Kelley Dallas

mobile photography - the art of seeing
Photo by Kelley Dallas