Street Photography using an iPhone

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It's very rare to leave home without a camera. Hence my preference for small messenger bags, in which we can find my wallet, mobile phone, powerbank, a bottle of water, a cereal bar, to name just a few of the several items I carry inside. But there are those times when I leave home without it, taking just the wallet and the mobile phone. And it's about those days that I am going to speak now.

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I started using an iPhone in 2014, at that time the 4S. I was working in Angola and Photography was my daily companion. I photographed mostly in a documentary style, recording the period that Angola was going through, a few years after the end of the long Civil War. If you wish, you can find some photos of this period here in this gallery.

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Almost all the photographs of this period were portraits made with their total agreement. Those photographs were not posed, I tried to capture people in their environments doing their daily tasks, in the most natural way possible. But of course, they were aware of my presence and most of the time looking at the camera.

Self-portrait, with the iPhone 4S

Self-portrait, with the iPhone 4S

Shooting the streets with an iPhone was a totally different approach. Without any interaction with the people photographed, these images were made candidly. All photographs are fragments of a society, moments captured through images.

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Although Street Photography is not the kind of work I usually do, this set of images appeals to me a lot because it transports me to that time and place, it reminds me of the times I lived there and my day-to-day life in Angola.

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Regarding image quality, in recent years smartphones have been evolving immensely, equipped with 2, 3 or even 4 cameras on the same device. On some models, the quality of their files is comparable to ones from a proper camera. But looking at these photographs taken 5 years ago, the picture quality is the last thing I can notice. What comes to my mind are the sounds, the smells, the people talking, the warm and humid breeze of Africa, the flavours of their dishes, the songs that played on the radio.

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In conclusion, you should privilege a good story, one that brings back memories whenever you look at those pictures. One that stirs emotions, that makes you travel in time and space. It doesn't matter how much image quality your camera has today, because one thing is certain, your camera in 5 years will be much better. But the stories, the people, the memories, those are irreplaceable.

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