There has been a lot chit-chat around this topic of iPhone vs Pro Cam on Instagram. Should I take my client photo with my iPhone, or should I spent $1000 on a pro camera? Due to popular demand, I will hop into this debate and give it my 2 cents. It wouldn’t be me if my opinion wasn’t a bit controversial or thought-provoking! I know the question is the iPhone vs pro cam, but the answer is not so binary. Before considering which one is the right one for you, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
Do you understand the basic rules of photography?
Do you understand the basic elements of lighting and composition?
Are you willing to overcome the learning curve of using a professional camera? Because that shit is STEEP!
Now as usual I will not just hand the answer to you on a silver plater. I will leave the thinking and decision making to you. However, I will point out a few things for you to consider in the process.
iPhones can create some sick ass photos if you understand your lighting, angles and photo editing.
If you are just starting out, it doesn’t make sense to invest $500-$1000 on a camera before you even see a consistent profit in your business. Keep in mind that most of your clients won’t zoom in to your photos and count the gaps between the lashes (!).
The camera choice is different for everyone, depending on what stage you’re at in your business. But if you want to attract high end clients, you will eventually need high quality photos.
Sony A6000 with a 55mm lens
If you are an educator, or creating portfolio work, you will need the high definition of a pro camera (aka a DSLR: digital single-lens reflex camera) to really showcase your skills. If you go this route, it’s important that you invest time in learning photography.
There is just so much in a pro camera you need to know. If you are going to buy one, make sure you do your homework. Maybe reach out to a photographer friend for a recommendation. It seems silly to buy a DSLR and only use it on the Auto setting. If you want to invest $1000 on a camera, LEARN HOW TO USE IT MANUALLY.
Also don’t forget that if you want to truly showcase your lashes, you have to consider all the camera accessories: lenses especially are hella pricey.
I truly believe that your investment in photography needs to be tied in to a larger marketing strategy; after all, you can have a pro photoshoot for every set you do, but if you don’t know how to market yourself, NO ONE CARES.
I first bought a professional camera when I started in the business. Guess what? It collected dust for 2 years. At first, every time I picked it up, I got more frustrated. I watched countless videos [NOTE: maybe hyperlink “videos” to an example of a helpful Youtube tutorial] to get to where I am now. I taught myself the basics of composition, lighting, white balance—all key elements in creating great photos.
I got over the steep learning curve and I know how to use my camera practically—I use Sony A6000, with a 30mm Macro lens [NOTE: maybe hyperlink to an info page on this camera model]—but I’m always working on using it artistically.
Remember: getting a pro camera will not guarantee you more clients. Please don’t let your reason of getting a pro camera be because so-and-so on instagram has one. Take pictures your clients want to see, not just what your fellow lash techs want to see.
So now that I’ve outlined a thought process for y’all, what’s it going to be for YOU? Oh, and remember: I offer hourly mentorship on everything, including photography. If you want to geek out with me on that, reach out!