I recently got a call from a client in Chile asking if I’d like to photograph Alexis Sanchez for the cover of COSAS magazine. Alexis is Chile’s most capped footballer and currently plays for Arsenal. He is also one of his country’s biggest celebrities. COSAS is Chile’s biggest selling lifestyle and celebrity magazine.
Obviously I said yes.
The catch? The entire shoot had to be shot with a smartphone. Why? Because Alexis is a brand ambassador for Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant. At this point I should stress that I have not been paid by Huawei and have not been asked to endorse their products in any way. The phone, a P10 Plus, has an excellent camera but I would have approached the shoot in exactly the same way had I been using any other smartphone and in many cases I would have expected similar results.
So I accepted the challenge, which I knew wasn’t going to be about image quality – I didn’t doubt the phone would be capable of producing images that could be good enough. Rather it was about planning and executing a photoshoot beyond my comfort zone. I liked and feared in equal measure the idea of not being able to rely on my familiar cameras and instead having to push a smartphone way beyond what it was designed for.
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