Photographer Reflects on Challenges of iPhone 7 Cover Shoot

Miller Mobley would do it again

Can a major magazine cover be shot using just an iPhone7 and Portrait mode? The best current answer to that question is the Feb. 17 issue of Billboard.

Photographer Miller Mobley normally shows up for assignments like this one, with Camila Cabello, toting Mamiya 645DF and Canon 5D Mark III cameras, tripods and elaborate lighting systems. But as he told Mashable senior technology correspondent Raymond Wong, he was up for the challenge of a stripped-down shoot when Billboard came to him with the idea and learned of the current limitations of such an endeavor:

Shooting with an iPhone 7 Plus and Portrait mode requires more thought into things like composition because, not only are you working with less resolution to crop later when compared to a beefy DSLR, the mode requires that you “preview” it from a certain distance (the phone camera needs to be within 8 feet of the subject and sometimes doesn’t register). …

While it would have been nice if Portrait mode included RAW images (the iPhone 7 can only capture RAW files in the regular camera mode, and only with a third-party app), Mobley said he didn’t find anything terrible about the JPEGs from his shoot. Outside of a little color correction he made to tweak the images to fit his creative style, he said “there wasn’t much image deterioration.”

Wong for the article also spoke with Greg Scoblete, technology editor for trade publication Photo District News. Scoblete notes that one of the separate issues with using an iPhone for a major job is that when clients pay a photographer big bucks and-or engage someone for a high-profile assignment, they expect that person to show up with expensive gear.

Check out some of the other covers shot by Alabama native Mobley here.