My Why

Hello and a huge welcome - I'm Mike James and I want to briefly share my story with you.

Several years ago, my mother passed away. Like most of us over 35, she was camera phobic and hated me pointing my camera in her direction. Out of respect, I only took photos on special occasions.

I later discovered that I did not have many photos and no video of my mum and those precious interactions with my young family. What makes my story unique, is that I have been a professional photographer, having access to the best and often large, expensive camera gear.

If I had of been an earlier adopter to simply using my phone to capture photos - my children would have more recorded memories of their grandmother.

Read more about my story and why I started Smartphone Photography Training (previously Better Mobile Photos) in this post.

So please, take photos of your loved ones and yourself. Overcome your inhibitions, it is not narcissistic - get in the photos or better yet - buy a selfie stick! Just joking - there is no need for that.

Take photos of yourself. Not just for you - they are for your loved ones to cherish after your time.

About me - Mike James   'The Smartphone Photo Guy'

Hi, I'm Mike a twenty year veteran photographer/educator, and now a self declared mobile photography 'purist'. I capture, edit and share all my photos on my smartphone and iPad. As you can imagine, attaching my iPad to my large expensive tripod turns a few heads!

Creativity was something I always struggled with. Surprisingly, we are all capable of creating WOW photos. Some of us simply need to learn basic photography theories to tap into that elusive talent and then practice. That is what is so awesome about the technology in our phone cameras - we can ignore the technical stuff and just get out there and have fun experimenting.

Previously, my photography was limited to when I had my big dedicated camera and ironically - I probably had fewer photos in my personal life than most people!

My two passions are training design and photography.

After delivering hundreds of photography workshops, the overwhelming majority of students simply want to improve the photos they have already taken. Years of photography student feedback and my late adoption to smartphone photography places me in a unique position to truly understand you.

Unlike other course creators, I am equally passionate about training design. Like you, I value ongoing learning. After acquiring my Diploma in Training Design and Development I continue to stay up to date with Adult Education best practice to deliver you the most relevant, quality product possible.

Smartphone Photography Training is all about empowering you to improve and enjoy photography

Who can I help?

The online content, courses and in-person workshops can benefit:

  • Travellers who do not want to carry your expensive camera
  • Individuals who enjoy taking photos and want to go beyond snapshots
  • All of us that struggle with creativity or simply want some inspiration
  • Not sure which apps to use and how to get the most out of them
  • Fun group activities; mums groups, friends day out, workplace, etc
  • Industry groups providing professional development opportunities
  • Marketing, government, property, retail, hospitality, health, insurance, etc
  • Gift idea for yourself or that person who has everything – including a phone!

I probably cannot help, if you:

  • Print photos routinely above A3
  • Love tinkering and spending hours in photo editing software
  • Still believe digital photography will never take off!
  • Carry your DSLR with you always and leave your phone at home on the shelf!

Just joking!

We actually have quite a few pro photographers in our community who contribute to the conversations and truly appreciate the convenience and capability of the smartphone camera.

"Photography has nothing to do with the camera" - Lucas Gentry


At Smartphone Photography Training, I break mobile photography down into practical, jargon-free techniques and tips to help you:

  • Be confident and creative (Don’t worry – we all didn’t get that creative gene)
  • Enjoy photography without all the technical know-how you don’t need to know!
  • Receive instant gratification in the mobile phone photos you capture and share
  • Best capture those precious moments, stories, travel, family, friends, food and selfies!
  • Capture engaging and creative images in your personal and professional life

You can capture WOW photos that people will not believe was taken on a phone.


The key to consistently capturing WOW photos on your smartphone that friends will not believe you created on your phone are:

  • Conveniently having a camera on you at all times
  • Identifying photo opportunities (a strong subject to communicate)
  • Creatively capturing the story or subject - make it interesting
  • Photographic theories and techniques
  • Taking full advantage of camera replacement apps available
  • Strategic use of photo editing apps – I kept the best until last!