From the top of Plaza Garibaldi, Mexico City, Mexico

A Gallery of Our Favorite Travel Photos and How We Take Them.

All photos are taken by Alex and Emily and edited by Emily.

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All of the photos seen here were shot on an iPhone 12 Pro Max (which has been replaced on the market with the iPhone 13 Pro). If the photo features both of us, it was taken with a tripod and a remote shutter.

Emily and Alex at an Acapulco Beach
Emily and Alex at an Acapulco Beach
"Rosebud Motel" from Schitt's Creek, Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
Emily (as Moira), Alex (as David) and Elvis at the “Rosebud Motel” from Schitt’s Creek, Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
Licorería Limantour, Mexico City, Mexico
Licorería Limantour, Mexico City, Mexico
Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, Mexico City, Mexico
Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, Mexico City, Mexico
Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Gooderham & Worts "Flatiron" Building, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gooderham & Worts “Flatiron” Building, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View of CN Tower from Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View od CN Tower from Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
From the top of Plaza Garibaldi, Mexico City, Mexico
From the top of Plaza Garibaldi, Mexico City, Mexico
Colonia Roma, Mexico City, Mexico
Colonia Roma, Mexico City, Mexico

Why do we work with iPhones?

If you don’t know, I shoot all the content for Instagram and Alex shoots all the video for YouTube. We both use iPhones. However, in this post, I am writing specifically about the still photos I shoot on the iPhone Instagram.

We know that not everyone takes smart phone photography and videography seriously… yet. But, we are here to tell you that iPhone cannot be beat for its camera capabilities when combined with its ease of use.

We take photos primarily for Instagram and this blog. Instagram (and this blog, for that matter) is going to squish our photos down to their size anyway. And for those of you who like to shoot and edit in raw, well, iPhone can do that too now!

We move nearly every month. We are nomadic, so that mean we carry literally everything we own with us at all times. Right now, that equates to 2 suitcases each, 2 camera bags (one each),1 bag for tech, 1 bag for our dog, 1 bag for our dog’s things. It does not seem like a lot in terms of amounting to all of our world possessions, but it is already too much stuff when you think about it in terms of mobility.

The best things about our smart phones? We already know how to use them!

We already carry our phones with us anyway, so why not let them fulfill an economy of duties?

We each have an iPhone 12 Pro Max. (Since you can get it for the same price as the 12, we highly recommend going with its even better market replacement, the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max).

We have already made the space for smart phones in our lives and use them daily. I bet you could pick up your phone right now and before you know it your hands will start moving independently of your brain. We know our phones! And, we are already used to keeping that charge topped off to the point of panic. They are already there and they can already do amazing things.

We tried to add other photography and filming equipment because we thought it would be more “professional”. But all we ended up with was overpriced, bulky, heavy, and very fussy gear that drove us crazy to set up and use. I cannot imagine if we still carried around all of the stuff that currently sits unused in my mother-in-law’s spare closet. I can, however, imagine how much money we would have saved if we had just stuck with our amazing iPhones in the first place. If it is what you know and what you are comfortable with, it is the best place to start. You can always upgrade later.

I personally am not a fan of messing with settings on site. I may pull out the Live Photo feature for a long exposure from time-to-time, but

I am a point-and-shoot person. I am not ashamed of it at all.

I love setting up a unique shot with an attention-grabbing subject matter on site. But, where I absolutely luxuriate in the creative process is in post-capture. My process is not fulfilled until I edit the images. And I like to take the time to do that.

When we are on location, we are usually splitting time between filming for YouTube, creating reels and stories for Instagram, and doing a still photo shoot. And I am already using my iPhone for all the other instagram content, so I prefer not to add another piece of equipment.

I don’t have time to be messing with a finicky set-up or shooting captures that I will have no idea what they look like until I get them in Lightroom. Since I never spent any real time with a film or digital camera (aside from the snapshot of family and youth), my eyes are used to what a smart phone shows me. And that is called dual pixel autofocus on a super big, bright screen! 😂 It is much closer to what our eyes are used to seeing.

And don’t get me wrong, I love to experiment, grow, and learn. And maybe one day I will have the patience to take on the DSLR. It is not because I don’t like learning or challenging myself, because I have found plenty of ways to do that with the iPhone. And it fits in my pocket.

And guess what?

I also edit exclusively on iPhone and iPad apps! I pay for Lightroom mobile and use that on my iPad Pro. But, since my iPad is old, it usually ends up crashing and I go to my phone anyway.

My old standby used to be Snapseed, which honestly is not as good as it used to be and ends up crashing sometimes, too. I used the free version for years and upgraded to the paid version for a $4.99 one-time cost in order to get all the features. I am very pleased with the results I get from the Snapseed, and it is easier to use than Lightroom, but it has been freezing up and crashing on me a lot. It just needs some attention from developers.

I keep extra equipment small and mighty

We use our phones with DJI OM Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizers. The DJI gimbal is so easy to set up and fits in your pocket. Most of the time, we only carry one camera bag and I put my DJI OM 5 in my purse.

We use our phones with DJI OM Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizers.

The DJI gimbal provides image stabilization, making for the smoothest pans and tilts possible from a smart phone camera. We use it to record our YouTube videos and videos and reels for Instagram.

We mount the gimbal on this Tripod for self-portraiture and reels.

This compact and affordable tripod comes on every photo shoot with us. The screw mount on the tripod attaches to the end of the DJI OM 5, which holds my phone. I use the tripod to set up my shot, and the OM 5 joystick to fine tune any angles needed (for instance, if I want a slight bird’s-eye view, or a slight-to-extreme worm’s-eye view. I try to keep it interesting and not always do head-on shots or always center us in the middle of the frame. That is why I really like this tripod. You see, you can basically turn it upside down with the gimbal and smart phone on it.

You can get the camera really close to the ground.

And that is how we got this photo series that looks like it was taken by someone else from the ground.

I realize that exclusively using a smart phone means that some photographers will never take me seriously, but I am freaking proud of everything I put out there regardless of what other people think about it. And that does make me an artist. I know I have still worked hard and really done something with my photos to set a mood and tell a story, so I will never be ashamed of relying on auto-focus and editing on smartphone apps.

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