Five Fantastic Street Photographers Using Their Smartphones

As smartphone cameras improve, many street photographers are opting to use it as their main weapon of choice.

Smartphone street photography has risen in popularity over the past five years. The cameras are getting crisper and the technology is getting smarter. The best part about them from a street photographer’s perspective is that photographers can carry them in their pocket, meaning it’s always readily available. The specs and capabilities are still lacking compared to the normal mirrorless, bridge, and DSLR, which means using them isn’t always an easy thing to do. There are street photographers, however, doing a mighty fine job when it comes to creating quality smartphone images.

In this article, we look at five who are doing great work.

Olly Lang – @oggsie

Olly is a big deal in the smartphone photography world. If you don’t believe us, just ask the awards he has on his mantelpiece. Not only that; his workshops are in high demand as willing newbies desire to understand how they can utilize their smartphone. The main ingredient in his work is contrasting light. Something he has mastered over the time he has been shooting. His understanding of composition and story further highlights that a camera is just a tool, only improved by the photographer using it.

Rg Piñero – @rgism_street

Moving the camera to one side for a moment, let’s look at the motivation for this photographer.

“[his] love’s to capture everyday life and everyday human activity which most of us didn’t notice”.

We like this. It reminds us of the core roots of what street photography is about. Rg is capturing those moments with his smartphone too. Nothing flashy or overly complex, just compelling, documentary street photography for us all to enjoy.

David Ingraham – @dayzdandconfuzd

David Ingraham creates dark, grainy, black and white images on an iPhone. His street photographs are a work of art, truly. And we’re really impressed by his use of modern technology whilst opting for an old school look. It’s important to note this is a guy who started with an SLR back in the 80s, so his willingness to adapt to modern methods should be admired. The Mobile DarkRoom is David’s workshop, where he teaches his skills to willing students, both in America and Mexico!

Dina Alfasi – @dinalf

Dina has produced photographs that have a really distinctive look. They’re so clean and sharp and she sure has a strong understanding of the role light plays at the photographic party. Shot on iPhone X, Dina made a name for herself through her wonderful, candid portraits of people on the train. She has, in her own unique way, managed to make gorgeous photography out of people doing very bland things, such as reading a newspaper or getting some shut-eye. Her work was celebrated internationally when her photos were included by Apple in their Shot on iPhone campaign. This is a great photographer to follow.

İlknur Can – @benkisacaic

Ilknur makes photographs that are simple but impactful. She loves to travel and enjoys taking her iPhone with her so she can document the journey along the way. Originally from Turkey, her most well-known series is the work she produced whilst in Cuba, back in 2014. In her own signature way, she was able to really capture the mood of the country at that time. And in the process, she has produced almost documentary style photographs. Ilknur says her love for the iPhone gives her the discipline to keep shooting and is a way for her to keep improving her skills.

Is it Time for You to Try Smartphone Street Photography?

If you’re yet to try the camera that’s always in your pocket, we suggest you use this piece as a form of inspiration. It’s quite different compared to using your standard camera and there will be adjustments you need to get used to. But be excited by the challenge. The more you’re able to adapt to the tools you use the better street photographer you will become because of it.

We would love to know your favorite smartphone street photographers. Why not be a gem and link us up to them in the comments below.

Dan Ginn

Dan Ginn is a content writer and journalist. He brings with him five years' experience writing in the photographic niche. During that time he has worked with a range of leading brands, as well as a host of professional photographers within the industry.