Photos are everywhere today. They're in magazines, commercials, flyers and pamphlets, on walls, social media and so on. The camera has come a long way since the Daguerreotype and Camera Obscura, just as many things do often advance and are built upon. Today in our fast-paced society, not everyone has time to develop an albumen silver print, or sit in Lightroom for hours on end to edit photos they just took on their mirrorless full frame DSLR. Fortunately, most people don't need to worry about taking too much time out of their day for a photo- this is a nod to cell phones.
Often times you will hear the term "cell phone photographer" and witness an eye roll shortly after. Sure, a cell phone may do most of the calculations for a perfect photo at the tap of a screen, but what it doesn't do is create the composition- and that is the most important part. Regardless of the platform you're taking a photo on, establishing a well balanced composition is at the hands of the photographer. To create a pleasing composition we must train our own set of cameras first- our eyes. Once trained, all that the cell phone is doing is translating what we see into digital form.
Firstly, if a cell phone camera is all that someone can afford, who is to judge them for that? Maybe they don't have enough money for their dream camera because they are busy feeding and keeping a roof over their family. Or maybe they simply aren't interested in learning a new camera platform. Whatever it may be, cell phone photos shouldn't be frowned upon. Why? Because it is still a form of creation and artistic expression. Every person who has taken a photo, ever, has done it to record a specific moment of life and as long as the photo does just that then there is no distinguishing factor as to what does and does not count. Besides, taking a photo is considerably better than never having taken a photo at all.
So next time you're the only cell phone photographer in a crowd of dslr cameras with 300mm lenses, take pride in the fact that you all are enjoying the same hobby- even if it is slightly different in how you perform it.