New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

Tips & Tricks

iPhone 6s and The Cheapest Fashion Photo Shoot Ever Produced

By Hanssie on September 28th 2015

iphone-fashion-shoot-fstoppers-1Photographers can be really good at the “Yeah buts.” Let me explain. You show someone a great image that you took over the weekend and the response is, “Yeah, but you own a professional camera.” Your image of the gorgeous pink and purple sunset won an award at a print competition. Overheard in whispered voices, “Yeah, but she used too much Photoshop.” Your recent studio image was the cover of a magazine; “Yeah, but she had a $20k budget to work with.” You post an image into a social media group and the response? “Yeah, but I could do that…


Five years ago, Lee Morris from Fstoppers posted a popular iPhone fashion photo shoot using the iPhone 3GS (it inspired us to shoot our own tribute, which you can see here). The point of the video was to show that you don’t need expensive gear to shoot great photos, but as they often do, the naysayers pointed out that Lee used thousands of dollars of lighting equipment in a fancy studio and a professional model to create the beautiful images. So, this time around, Lee decided to make it “so simple that absolutely anyone would be able to recreate [his] shots.”


This time around, Lee used the new iPhone 6s, his “next door neighbor,” and less than $40 worth of lighting equipment per shot; no DSLRs, Profotos, seamless backdrops, etc. Lee uses foam core and flashlights with nature as a backdrop.

Gear List

If you have some “Yeah buts” running through your head at the moment, the main thing to takeaway from this video was summed up nicely by Lee,

The point is that today, with this amazing technology at each of our fingertips, you can no longer blame your equipment for your body of work. A talented photographer can create compelling images with any set of tools just like a talented musician can create beautiful music with a cheap instrument. The most expensive guitar in the world will not be able to create music if the person holding it doesn’t know how to play.

Your gear isn’t holding you back, stop worrying about what you don’t have and get back to mastering your craft.

Head over to the Fstoppers article to get more info on each shot, including the images before and after post processing.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Brad Harberts

    I think the point here is that you need to understand the art of photography, rather than purchase the biggest and most expensive product. True, the fancy equipment like the sensor size, the post production software, the lens, those all add a level of professionalism. However, none of that will amount to much unless you really understand light and composition. Clearly there are limitations to an iPhone shoot, print size, sensor, etc. He was showing us that the photos were quality, not large print size.

    | |
    • Hagos Rush

      Great point Brad. I know one or more individuals who own the Canon 5D MKIII who could lear tons from this. I myself have only recently invested in additional lighting in order to get better shots.

      I used to be really focused on the the fact that I only had a T3i but then learned from these guys who truly show you that while the gear is important it is even more important to know how to use what you have and make the lighting work for you, not the other way around.

      | |
  2. robert s

    underwhelmed by the image. I like fstoppers., and while you can do a photoshoot with the ip, professional results is not shown here. composition is great but the finished image lacks the professional polish.

    | |
    • Matt Owen

      Sensor size. There is no substitute.

      | |
    • robert s

      more than that. saying the iphone 6s is a good substitute to get pro images. because its the photographer not the camera. thats BS. crap gear limits my talents. the image above is ok. nothing lacking in terms of composition/lighting as he did it. but its definitely lacking in outcome to my eyes. it lacks the polish that pro lenses and FF cameras can do. I like fstoppers but this lowers their credibility in my eyes.
      and the overtouched editing of her skin didnt help with that. its a nice amusing test, but nothing more. as soon as I saw it, the image bothered my eyes.

      | |
    • Dustin Baugh

      I’m kind of curious as to the reasons why people don’t think it’s good. Like the “Sensor size” comment I think it’s people expect to see more DoF in portraits. I also agree with the amount of skin softening turning to “plastic”. But what bugs me is the lighting, maybe they’re were going for a lit by natural light only look but I think they mostly just need more powerful lighting than the flashlights could provide. She looks like she needs some brightening up.

      | |
  3. Fisnik Islami

    quality to print 60×80 ? what do you think

    | |
  4. Robert Pichler

    Once again it proves that it takes a photographer to make a photo, not the camera. Gorgeous model. :-)

    | |
  5. Dalibor Tomic

    Sexy neighbour :)

    | |
  6. Colin Woods

    Why doesn’t my next door neighbour look like that? My neighbour is a crusty old farmer. Life is so unfair.

    | |
    • Stan Rogers

      That sounds like a “yeah but”. A little makeup, a LOT of persuasive talking, and some cleanup in post, and you should still be in business.

      | |
    • Paul Empson

      crusty old farmer could create portraits full of character.. especially in his wellies (wellington boots) and bikini ;-)

      | |