Never Underestimate Your iPhone Camera

Christmas Tree Impressions  (iPhone 4S)

Christmas Tree Impressions (iPhone 4S)

I never thought I would sell prints from my iPhone. I was wrong.

For serious photo shoots I use a “serious” camera. I use my iPhone 4S for “happy snaps” and instant sharing on Facebook, and for playing around with the phone’s photo apps.

On Christmas eve I was trying to make blurred photos of the lights on my Christmas tree.  I would rotate the phone while tapping the “shutter button” on the screen, an awkward proposition at best. With no control over the shutter speed, I would rotate the camera at different speeds. It took a number of attempts to get the photo I wanted.

I used the app “Painteresque” to turn my photo into something more artsy. (See my article on Painteresque for more info.) Then I opened the photo in “PS Express” to brighten up the photo (sometimes the Painteresque conversion leaves a photo too dark), increase the color saturation, and sharpen the image a bit. Then I uploaded the photo to Facebook to share with my friends. Total time was less than 15 minutes from the first snap of the shutter to the final upload.

To my surprise, almost immediately one of my friends wanted to buy a print to mat and frame at total size around 16 x 24 inches to hang in his home every year at Christmas.  I wrote back and told him I wasn’t sure the file would hold up enlarged to make a print around 11×15 inches in size, but I would see what I could do.

I downloaded the file from my phone to my desktop, opened it in Photoshop, and resized the image. To my surprise, it held up quite well (probably due to the nature of the image).  I uploaded the file to Zenfolio so my friend could order a print with the exact size and cropping he wanted. He ordered his print and it arrived at his front door a few days later (Zenfolio usually has a fast turn around time of about 24 hours). This is the first time a serious client has ordered one of my iPhone photos.

I am looking at my iPhone with new eyes!


My article on Painteresque.

Painteresque site.

PS Express app for iOS.

My fine art prints at