Mobile Photos


LONG STORY SHORT!. Many people now days wonder about how effective mobile images can be on micro-stock world because of image quality.

Of course it have a big limitation but it does not mean one can not use mobile photos. It is just a matter of evaluate how use it and when is it possible use mobile photos.

I took this image on the left (accepted by dreamstime review) with a mobile.

© Maxsp


One must think I use a super Nokia Lumia 1020 or other with a huge camera right?

WRONG! I took this photo with an old SonyErickson C902

A took about 7 images (vertically) and joined all them in Photoshop to make a horizontal wide panoramic photo and then I reduced to half size to eliminate the poor image quality and transform it on a good image. Later I took the sky from the other photo and put on it to make a vertical composition.

So, what could I do with a super Lumia 1020 now days? I think much more.

After that I took many photos for dreamstime with a Nikon D40x (10.1Mp) and today and now I have a Nikon D5200 with a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 and I am not interested in take mobile pictures anymore but I know it is possible to make it great.

Thanks for reading,


UPDATE: A very important thing that made this photo be accepted for dreamstime was the fact that this city is very low covered on Dreasmtime database. So I think you can increase your aceeptance if you take photos of cities that is not wide covered yet. It will be difficult have aceptance if you take pictures of Eifel Tower, Big Ben, Liberty Statue unless you have a killing photo, but (for example) if you go to HADAMAR city in Germany it can be much more interesting for the database. But it is very important that the name of the city is on the title of the image, on the description and on the keywords. This way, a photo, even made with mobile, if it's on good quality, will have a big chance to be accepted.

Photo credits: Maxwell De Araujo Rodrigues.

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I made an important update on the text, please, read it on the end of the article.


:) Thanks for reading!


Great article!
Thanks for sharing!



Iphone take great shots... way better than the phone I had when I did that one.
If they accept, post here for we see it.


Thanks for the inspiration! I had wondered if anyone was having any success with this... Maybe sometime this week I'll finally make that leap and try submitting something from my iphone 4s... Guess I have to go out and find something news worthy going on ...


Thanks for the comment! :)


@ Maxsp : "Not like that. The horizon must to be or on the top or on the bottom, never on the middle. And I left space for the one who use to write a big text." I agree with you. About mobile phone use in stock photography ....only time will show if will succeed. Thanks for sharing!


Not like that. The horizon must to be or on the top or on the bottom, never on the middle.
And I left space for the one who use to write a big text.
This is the city of Vitoria-ES in Brazil, so it can be used and people can write like:
COME TO VITORIA! or like that
One thing that make some photos of mine to sell is to let space for to be writen over, because mostly people who buy those images want to write over it and if you don't let a space it decrease the possibilities of usage. (I THINK)


Nice photo. Mine is a cheap 2MP camera phone. Not worth a Facebook profile photo either. Hehe!
By the way, I'm surprised the reviewer accepted this photo...the horizon isn't at 1/3rd of the photo. If I submit anything like this, it always gets rejected. Even if the ground is slightly away from 1/3rd...rejected. :P


There is
Nikon have a camera with Android (next version come with phone) but it already work with wi-fi and stuff, 99% of what a phone have. It's called Nikon Coolpix S800c.
Samsung have a real one that is exactly what you said, it's called Samsung Galaxy Camera.
My preffered is still the Nokia Lumia 1020, although it have a shape of a mobile it isn't just that, his lens are impressive good.


One final comment. Why doesn't Nikon or Canon make a phone-camera or camera-phone? They are falling behind the 8 ball technology wise. Actually, maybe Olympus would be the best manufacturer for such a camera.


I don't like the actitude of people with mobile phone. I will give you an example:
One day I was about 2 hours hidden under a tree to photograph parrots, and I was shooting when a guy saw me and came with an iPhone came with the mobile on one hand and the other hand on his pocket and he enter under the tree with the care of an elephant and all the parrots gone... You know those kind of people who think that everything can be better with an iPhone.. I hate them all! Actually it was so umbeliveble that i could not even say a word to this guy because it was just UMBELIVEBLE.
But those guys are not on the subject, they will never make real art but just shoot the coffee cup in the morning and apply instagram effect.
I also agree that a small camera can do better, but mobile phone is a reality.
Take attention that we are discussing that not because there is phone with camera, but some devices are real Cameras with Phone, with good quality enough to make us think and I, on this post, wonder we can't now if I did on the past?
If I ask to you, could you do a great composition using your mobile? I mean, a challenge?


@Maxp, I concede that sometimes the phone is all you have and need to make the best of a situation. DSLR is the other extreme. I also agree it is difficult to carry and use and especially in places where photos are not allowed. But small pocket cameras are still a lot better than the phone cameras and are almost as small. I always carry one with me when I go to interesting places.

But yes, one can get good photos with a phone camera.
Actually I heard about a service for weddings for couples that want to save on expenses and do not pay a professional photographer to immortalize the moment.
Guests are taking photos anyway and they are asked to post their pictures on a common place on the web. Then the couple goes through them and pick a few out of the thousands and make a small album. The results are more spontaneous and a lot cheaper.


Hi Gmargittai.
There is something interesting on your coment. I don't like common mobile picture as well and you're right in say that a regular DSLR would do the same in better quality, BUT, when i did this photo it was only possible with a mobile, and I explain:
1st - It were on a very private hotel where I just have one oportunity to be there with this view.
2nd - It were not allowed enter with DSLR unless with an authorization and I hadn't
3rd - If I have autorization, I would need to have a DSLR but I didn´t had either. I buy my first DSLR many years later.
4th - Sometimes like that, a mobile phone is all you got and you can´t waste the oportunity just because you don´t have a better camera. I did what was possible with the camera I had and then I went to Photoshop. (when i did this image it were for an advertisement)

So, the mobile shoots are more than just photograph the ripster shoes or starbucks coffee.. it is a tool for some situations.

I agree with you on a first glance and I think I would think this way if I didn´t had some situations when a mobile was all I got.

Other thing concern to countries where people don´t have money to buy a DSLR but they have a good tallent and they can produce interesting things on a place that others can´t go. (For example, imagine how wonderful it could be to have photos from Tibet made by themselves with they point of view of what they find interesting. With a good mobile it could be quite possible to find people with creative mind, because creative arrise when it's needed)

I think it's difficult to find creative people that have all gears from the beggining. Mostly the most creative people are those who had to make effort to invent new solutions and use mobile as camera is a very good example of that.

But it's controversial because in a way I agree with you, in other hand I still belive on mobile for micro-stock.

Thank you for reading my blog and comment :)


I think there is room for the mobile based stock photography although nobody I know hates them more then I do. :)
Let me explain:
For each type of job one should use the most appropriate tool. For example the wide panorama published here and post-processed extensively to hide the blemishes is not the best example of mobile photography for stock. Much better results with less work and requiring less luck could have been achieved with a regular camera.
On the other hand if somebody need images of young people at a party having fun, or tourists self photographing themselves at arms length with a funny grimace, then perhaps a D800 with an elaborate lighting setup is not the appropriate tool.
There are all kind or artifacts and distortions the phone camera is creating which are part of the whole ensemble, one needs them to show that those pictures are taken spontaneously while having fun.

I saw a series from a professional fashion photographer who used multiple flashes to create bad flare and deliberately washed out faces and other distortions to make the photo look like it came from a mobile. Many comments pointed out the low quality of the photography, obviously... and then others caught on that all was deliberate to make it look young and trendy, and Facebook style. I am not into this but I believe there is a market.


Great, thanks for sharing.


I know that most part of people who download images are not really good designers or they would produce they own content. I had sold more illustration than photos.
Many part of the people who download (I think) are executive of companies for making presentations and they need something quick, good and easy to find. But we must to make the level of dreamstime higher as possible.
Yes, it can be a waste of resolution many times, but it's preffered people say "I don't need this much" than listen them say "I need more than you offer".
About photography with mobile, I think it's a matter of people understand what mobile do great. There is situations where a mobile is better than a DSLR (talking about Lumia 1020 because I know it and it's a mobile that can offer a really high quality image with a very good lens for a mobile)
IF EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD WOULD TOOK ONE PHOTOGRAPHY TODAY and we would analize it one by one, I am sure that many non professional would catch extreme nice shots. So I deep belive on mobile, but the quality must come togeather as much as possible.


Fully agree with you on the cropping Maxwell. The thing I wonder is exactly how many "knowledgeable" designers buy images from Dreamstime? Most are probably part time dabblers who just need something "quick and dirty" as we say here. The pyramid base has gotten very wide but the top ( photography and great designers ) is still pretty narrow.


Good thinking Babar760. I think that nowdays many of the media are online and then it's not necessary the high resolution as it is needed for printing. But I disagree about "Quality is a thing of the past"
I understand that you mean quality as high resolution not quality as it is.
I think too that something specific for small size is very good, but as another website because it would be not good found mixed photos (high and low res)
And there is good things on High Resolution images that is the possibilities for cropping. Sometimes you just want part of the image and if you have it just in low res it would not be possible.


Since 95% of all micro stock is bought at the extra small size ( for the cheapest price! ). It doesn't matter how many pixels you have, they're never used anyways. Dreamstime should try to have a category for extra small only images. It would be the most popular site! Quality is a thing of the past.


It is possible, but specially to make wide angle shots where details are not required.
And even better if people took with this Lumia 1020 with 41mp and reduce it, because dreamstime accept over 4mp, so you can reach a great image quality if you reduce it to 10mp for example.
THE GREAT ON THAT is the fact that people can take advatage of situations where they camera are not with them, like a volcan exploding a car crash, tornados, news event to people who are on the place that things happens. I know it's weird to say that on the beggining but I belive on mobile shots for microstock. Unfortunately I don't have a fancy mobile at this moment but for those who got it it's a great oportunity.


Interesting... I thought it´s impossible O:-).

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