Now more than ever, we are given creative freedom. Our smartphones are permitting us to crop, filter, edit, and lay-out images in ways that are unique and that spark creativity. New phone features, like the Portrait mode on the iPhone 7, allow for nearly professional-grade photos to be taken. And with all the new tools available on the market to create compelling stories, you might wonder if your smartphone is actually the new Adobe? Can your phone make you a photographer or graphic designer? All the new fancy photo editing apps hitting the market certainly make it tempting to think so.
The power of apps
One app that has influenced design and photography immensely is Instagram, which came out in 2010. The square format and colored filters with names that have become ubiquitous (Lark, Juno, Valencia, and Lo-Fi) have changed the face of photography. Heck, even professional photographers use Instagram to display their work quickly and easily to a worldwide audience.
With the countless apps for editing photos, it’s easy and fun to be creative, manipulating photos on the fly. With the push of a button you can adjust light, contrast, color, convert a photo to black and white, crop, rotate, and add filters which used to only be available in professional photo editing software (like Adobe Photoshop). Taking selfies has even changed with the addition of Snapchat filters, turning you into an astronaut, a puppy, or an old man with a mustache with just one swipe.
The editing addiction
These apps beg for editing because editing fuels the experience. The fun of being able to alter an image so quickly and radically is exciting and keeps you engaged with the app. When you can turn an average photo into eye candy that everyone laps up makes you feel proficient. And your selections start to dictate the way users perceive you, your posts, and now your creative talents, right?
Heck, even Apple is telling you in their recent commercial that tells customers that all you need is their new phone to be a professional photographer, designer, marketer, and social media expert. No experience needed.
Nothing is professional without a professional
As much as design professionals love Apple, it’s also important to remember the most valuable quote of all, “Cameras don’t take pictures, photographers do.”
Just because you can add filters, adjust lighting, and create contrast in photos with your phone apps does not mean you should necessarily use those photos for business and marketing. Photo filters don’t make a photographer, software doesn’t make a designer, and a calculator doesn’t make you a tax accountant.
Instagram is a fun photo-sharing app that allows users to express themselves creatively. We love creativity, and couldn’t be more thrilled about the onset of apps like Instagram and Snapchat. But when it comes to your company’s business, don’t treat your smartphone like Adobe software, because, well, it isn’t.
Trained photographers and designers are the best consultants when you need consistent, authentic, professional work.
If you need more convincing, well, you can spend some time hanging out with us on Instagram.