Photographer Versus Influencer: Who Did Better?

Constraints and challenges in photography aren’t disappointments. They are obstacles to be maneuvered towards and they increase creativity.

I feel like a broken record at this point when I say that it’s not about what you’re shooting on, but rather the creativity you bring to photography as an artist and a creative. In this video, Jessica Kobeissi and Batul challenge themselves to create portrait and fashion images in collaboration with model, Kendall. They each work with the same model, locations, and clothing. Whereas Batul, an influencer, uses an iPhone, Kobeissi opts for her trusty DSRL.

Are their images different? Absolutely! Is one better or worse in terms of creativity or visual interest; absolutely not! Each brings a unique eye and experience to their craft to create eye-catching imagery.

Right at the start of the video, Batul does mention that she faces challenges that come with creating on a camera phone in that she can’t control the settings as much. This simply means that she has to work more to find or create lighting that is flattering, and then further work with angles, posing, and styling to compose a good image.

If anything, I think the takeaway message here is to challenge yourself and try to create images in a way that you are not used to. Set challenges for yourself and then come up with solutions; it’s a great way to get better at photography as a whole. If you are used to working in a particular way, then you aren’t challenged to think outside that. But forcing yourself to do that as a creative exercise is a great way to flex and work those creative muscles so that you have that skillset for later.

What are some challenges you’ve set for yourself in a previous photoshoot? Or perhaps are you planning a future shoot with stipulations, such as only shooting on a smartphone? I’d love to know in the comments below!

Ali Choudhry's picture

Ali Choudhry is a photographer in Australia. His photographic practice aims to explore the relationship with the self, between the other, and the world. Through use of minimalist compositions and selective use of color and form he aims to invoke what he calls the "breath". He is currently working towards a BA (Honours) in Photography.

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I'd be terrified to do this shoot out. I have no doubt that the influencer would beat me ;)

It's not about winning or losing if you both learn something new!

"Is one better or worse in terms of creativity or visual interest; absolutely not!" Absolutely yes! The typical influencer poses alone have become very worn out. The compositions are always the same and careless. I don't see the point of this comparison, they are two very different levels.

If I may ask, what do you think an influencer does exactly? As in, what is the purpose of their photographs?

Selling yourself as an artificial character to make money is probably one of the answers. It's all so stereotypical in the influencer world and it's mostly fake. You can compare everything, but the question is whether it makes sense.

Interesting article. Well done! I agree that challenging one's self can indeed nudge creativity levels. I sometimes find that when trying something outside my typical comfort zone, I learn things that I can then incorporate back into "my usual comfort zone" that I may not have otherwise thought of.

Absolutely! It's quite remarkable when you only push your comfort zone a little bit each time and then look back and see how far you've actually come!