New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash Preorder

News & Insight

The iPhone Era | TIME Covers Signal Big Changes In Professional Photography

By Holly Roa on September 10th 2017

In the rapidly-changing landscape that is professional photography, the usurping of prominent magazine cover shoots by iPhoneography is an interesting turn. Major magazines including Bon Appetite, Elle Australia, Billboard, Sports Illustrated, and most recently TIME have all featured covers captured on an iPhone.

Though it isn’t TIME’s first instance of allowing an iPhone shot to grace its cover, this occasion is noteworthy in that it is a series of covers featuring not models but a set of twelve ultra-VIP, very powerful and distinguished women. The covers are representative of TIME’s ‘FIRSTS Project,’ a celebration of women who are changing the world.

A post shared by Luisa Dörr (@luisadorr) on

In another head-spinning ‘sign of the times,’ the photographer for this series, Luisa Dörr, was selected when TIME’s Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise, Kira Pollack, stumbled upon Dörr’s iPhone-only Instagram account and was dazzled by her creations. If you aren’t sold on the importance of a strong social media presence and following yet, I don’t know what will get you there.


Smartphone cameras have proven themselves to be fully capable of delivering the quality needed for a magazine cover print, and with effects like the iPhone 7 Plus’s portrait mode which simulates a shallow depth of field convincingly and a slew of editing apps that make the most of your shot right on your device, it’s no wonder digital point and shoot sales have plummeted and traditional editorial photographers and photojournalists have found themselves in a tight spot.

A post shared by Luisa Dörr (@luisadorr) on

To read an interesting behind-the-scenes account and learn Luisa Dörr’s perspective on Instagram and how she got to this point, check out TIME’s article, ‘Behind the FIRSTS Project: How Luisa Dörr Shot 12 TIME Covers On Her iPhone.’ To see more of Dörr’s iPhone work, pay a visit to her Instagram.

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.

Seattle based photographer with a side of videography, specializing in work involving animals, but basically a Jill of all trades.
Instagram: @HJRphotos

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Kenneth Rhem

    Editorial rates have been in the toilet for years. This is just the industry further commoditizing the low end of the market.

    Commit to doing work that’s better than what anyone can get from an iPhone & stop handwringing about this tired bs…

    | |
  2. Alex Petrenko

    I’m curious, how expensive it was for Apple?

    | |
  3. Ralph Hightower

    Grace Hopper? Well, she died in 1992.

    | |