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Mobile Cinematography: Introduction to Mobile Cinematography

In the past decade, the landscape of cinematography has undergone a significant transformation, largely due to advancements in mobile phone camera technology.

As a filmmaker with over five years of experience, I have witnessed this evolution firsthand, and it all began with a simple curiosity about what could be achieved with the mobile cameras in our pockets.

Being a child back in the days I’ve always been fascinated with phones, starting from the fashionable landlines (for me it’s the ones you could roll round and round, the Gen Z’s and alpha please skip past this… lol), the iconic motorola, indestructible Nokia (6210,3310), to the flip phones.

Back in the early 2000s, mobile phone cameras were limited to grainy, low-resolution images and videos. It was difficult to imagine that these devices could ever be used for serious filmmaking. However, as technology progressed, so did the capabilities of these cameras.

One of the most notable pioneers in the field of mobile cinematography is Steven Soderbergh, an award-winning filmmaker known for his work on films such as “Traffic” and “Ocean’s Eleven.” In 2018, Soderbergh shocked the industry by shooting an entire feature film, “Unsane,” using only an iPhone 7. The film received critical acclaim, proving that mobile phones could produce high-quality, cinematic content, so yes there’s so much we can do with these devices, the only limitation you have is yourself

The use of mobile phone cameras in everyday life has also become increasingly common. From capturing family moments to documenting travel experiences, these devices have become indispensable tools for preserving memories. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have further popularized the use of mobile phone cameras for content creation, with influencers and creators using them to produce vlogs, short films, and even full-blown movies, all which can serve as a major source of income.

As a filmmaker, I have personally used mobile phone cameras in various projects, from short films to promotional videos and most importantly church contents. The convenience and portability of these devices allow for more spontaneous and creative filmmaking, enabling me to capture moments that would have otherwise been missed, which for me is at the core of my love and interest in cinematography in its entirety.

When I come across people who are not interested in taking pictures or videos (PS: I prefer being behind the camera and not in front), I often asked them if they loved to revisit or relive their favorite moments and you definitely know what the answer to that is, If you don’t know you need to reach out to a therapist. The simple truth out of this is that you can relive it if they were documented, either by taking pictures or videos and they mostly aren’t planned; the shots, they are majorly spontaneous.

Now Imagine adding a little bit of professionalism and creativity while in the process of capturing moments; Depth of field, Portrait or landscape, lighting, Foreground, camera lenses, gimbal and a couple more which would be explained in detail in the part 2 of my article.

In conclusion, the evolution of mobile cinematography has not only transformed the filmmaking landscape but has also redefined how we capture and share life’s moments. The convenience and spontaneity of mobile phone cameras allow for the creation of stunning memories and content without the need for high-end gadgets. As a filmmaker, I have witnessed firsthand the power of mobile cinematography in generating revenue for my business, capturing priceless moments, and telling compelling stories. Embracing mobile cinematography has enabled me to do so much more with my craft, without the financial burden or delays associated with waiting for high-end gadgets.

Titobiloluwa Raji

Content Creator


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