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This portrait photographer uses FaceTime to take photos without being there

How to make a FaceTime call on iPhone, iPad, or Mac
How to make a FaceTime call on iPhone, iPad, or Mac (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Photographer Tim Dunk wanted to continue being creative.
  • So he devised a way to take portrait photos without risking coronavirus infection.
  • The process includes a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, and FaceTime.

The concept of conducting a photoshoot via FaceTime isn't something that immediately springs to mind when you tap that little green icon on your iPhone. But it turns out that it's actually not a bad idea at all, as shown by portrait and wedding photographer Tim Dunk. He's been outlining how it all works over on PetaPixel, too.

Dunk says that with everything that's going on in the world right now, he wanted a way to continue to be creative even though he couldn't visit the people he was supposed to be shooting. That, ultimately, led to using FaceTime as the communication tool and an iPhone as the camera. Oh, and a MacBook Pro was thrown into the mix as well.

Tim Dunk Facetime Photo

Tim Dunk Facetime Photo (Image credit: Tim Dunk)

I then had an idea to sustain myself creatively and socially, and threw it out to a few contacts — maybe with the use of some common apps and bits of tech, I could continue to make work. Using FaceTime, a MacBook Pro, and my subject using an iPhone under instruction, I was able to make portraits of people in isolation, distanced from the world and the people that make it up.

Dunk says that he tells the subject how to get the lighting right and then the snap is taken. It then uploads to iCloud (he doesn't say whose account everything is signed into, but that's not really the point) where it's downloaded to his MacBook Pro. It's then that the photographer's eye kicks in and Lightroom does the heavy lifting. Dunk even says that he "adds grain, as it helps with the lo-fi aesthetic".

Tim Dunk Facetime Photo

Tim Dunk Facetime Photo (Image credit: Tim Dunk)

Looking at these images, it's difficult to argue with that! You can book your own photoshoot if you want to experience the FaceTime photoshoot – and £10 from each session goes to the Trussell Trust, too.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.