Influencers - Can You Work With "Just" A Mobile Phone Camera?

As a blogger I've had to up my game considerably when it comes to photography. Wonky shots with the top of someone's head missing or blurry, badly lit pics stand out for all the wrong reasons and no matter how good your writing is, people will remember and judge small, dark, dull images on your site.

madmumof7 in Venice #withgalaxy
Selfie in Venice ( Samsung Galaxy S10 in Portrait mode)

Many influencers use professional or at the least, high quality DSLR cameras, but I couldn't get on with mine. Not because of the technicality but the sheer size and weight of the body and lens combined. They aren't great for selfies either.

I have Fibromyalgia which causes chronic pain and fatigue and I found lugging around a camera bag, assembling the camera and supporting the weight of it while shooting just too much for my sore hands and arms.

Luckily after a couple of years struggling on, mobile phone cameras vastly improved and as a test I snuck a few phone snaps into my portfolio at my camera club and no-one spotted the difference.

I'm ignoring the possibility that I'm just a terrible photographer no matter what I use - you'll have to be the judge of that. I cover food, days out, travel and lifestyle on this site so it's very handy to have something very portable which is easy to take to events and to have something with a general all-purpose lens which can cope with quite a wide range of distances.

Of course I'm not going to be able to capture a decent picture of distant elephant on the Serengeti or close up of a microscopic bug with my phone but on the whole I find a good mobile phone camera fulfils my requirements.

I'm no professional that's for sure but I hope you'll agree these pictures taken with the Samsung Galaxy S10 (loaned to me by ThreeUK #ad #WithGalaxy), my own Iphone XS and my husband's OnePlus 6 have come out quite nicely.

The Samsung is particularly useful if you like to take pictures of your meals as it has a food mode with an easily adjustable circle of focus which is perfect for flat lay images and plates. 

Food at Gingerline supper club #withgalaxy
Gingerline Supper Club  (Samsung S10)

barbecued scallops on bed of sea salt #withgalaxy
Scallop in shell at Heston Blumentall Everdure BBQ event. (Samsung S10)

The Samsung also has an AI feature which helps the camera recognise certain and focus on items -shoes, people and in the case of the image below, a drink. If like me you like to photograph your cocktails, this is a very useful feature.

cocktails taken using Samsung AI mode #WithGalaxy
Cocktails (Samsung S10)

As you can probably tell I'm a big fan of the Bokeh effect where the background is blurred. All three phones, Samsung, Iphone XS and OnePlus6 all have the ability to create this. On the Iphone you can adjust the strength of the blur using the "f" symbol at the top of the screen in portrait mode which will then offer a sliding scale at the bottom of the screen.

Woman holding ice cream, Venice #WithGalaxy
Ice cream in Venice (Samsung S10)

Beware of the Iphone XR camera which does offer portrait mode but can only create this Bokeh effect really with humans, and even then only at a very specific distance.

Portrait mode on the Iphone XS (and other iPhone models) as well as the Samsung and OnePlus can be used with people, pets, food...whatever you want to focus on and seem to have a more forgiving range of distances to be able to get that effect.

madmumof7 selfie
Selfie in Cyprus (Iphone XR)

madmumof7 at Heston Blumenthal event #withgalaxy
Madmumof7 at Heston Blumenthal Everdure event (Samsung S10)

Of course, sometimes you want to be able to see the background but it's better I think to have the choice so you can decided, image by image, what you'd like to see in the final picture.

If like me you often have to post to social media directly from your phone, don't have time or the equipment to hand to fiddle with editing programmes or are a bit bored with Instagram's filters you will love the Samsung which offers a variety of filters to be used as you are taking the picture.

I loved this picture I took of my husband during a campaign for Jacamo recently. I thought the black and white background really helped the clothes I was promoting on my site, stand out. it fits well with the vintage feel of the Lambretta polo shirt too I feel.

man modelling clothes against black and white background #WithGalaxy
Jacamo campaign (Samsung S10)

The iphone has some filters too - I took the next picture of my daughter with one of the black and white filters (monochrome) on but there isn't the same choice you get on the Samsung. Still handy though!
Sushi with my daughter (Iphone XS)

I must put in a word for the Android OnePlus 6 here which has been a great (and relatively cheap) option. I took this picture last year in Cyprus. The light was particularly good in the middle of the day.

lace and Cyrpiot houses
Lace in Omodos, Cyprus (OnePlus 6)
The OnePlus 7 Pro is out now and if the 5 and 6 are anything to go by this should be a great choice for those who want prefer an Android offering at a good price.

The latest model features triple cameras which include an ultra-clear Sony IMX586 lens and 3x optical zoom.  I haven't seen one yet and am intrigued by the pop up camera. 

Three UK's site says:"OnePlus 7 Pro's pop-up camera will automatically retract if it detects your device is being dropped. The pop-up camera features an anti-dust mechanism to keep everyday dust and dirt out of your OnePlus 7 Pro."

And for those thinking about switching from iPhone to Android but are reluctant because you have other Apple gadgets (Mac, iPad etc), fear not. For photographs I just downloaded the Google Photos app then pictures taken on all devices, Android or Apple, can be uploaded, stored and shared across all of your gadgets.

So, long story short, I believe it is possible to work as an influencer using just a mobile phone as long as you get a phone with a decent camera and video capability. (For video you are probably wise to invest in lights, a tripod and a decent microphone though)

For the techy among you, here are the specs of the Samsung S10's cameras.

Rear: Triple camera:12MP wide +12MP Zoom +16MP Ultrawide
Front: 10MP 2DP Video recording and calling

Disclaimer: I was loaned a Samsung Galaxy S10 by ThreeUK which I used for the purpose of creating this post. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.