Shot on iPhone 6 Wins

162 photographs. 73 cities. 24 countries. 10,000 plus installations. 6.5 billion impressions. 

The numbers are staggering.

I learned on Wednesday evening that Apple’s #ShotoniPhone6 campaign won first prize at the Cannes Lions (Oscars for advertising) for their advertising company – Media Arts Lab . When presenting the award the Creative Director of DDB Worldwide, John Bailey, described the campaign as a game changer. It appears that once again Apple are ahead of the field and their idea to showcase the iPhone photographs of their users will probably result in competitors trying to emulate this.

Here is the promotional video Apple submitted:

Apple selected a total of 162 photographs from the millions of images shot on iPhone 6, scouring through the online photo sharing platforms of Flickr, Instagram and Facebook. The task in narrowing these down to 162 is mind boggling. The resulting pool of selected images were chosen to showcase the quality of the iPhone’s camera. Well-known photographers like Austin Mann and Paul Octavius were approached to submit images, but most photographers were, like me, unknowns.

In their approach, it was not made clear until the launch how the images would be used. Apple’s plan was to create the world’s largest mobile photography exhibition ever staged. (Has there actually been a larger photography exhibition?) On billboards and posters in all major world cities shot on iPhone 6 images began to appear; huge, dramatic photographs dominating urban landscapes. These locations were hand-picked for each image. The campaign, still in progress, is a rolling one. Shots have rotated from location to location in the four months it has been running. The estimation is that the images have been seen 6.5 billion times. Let that figure sink in. 6.5 billion times. What is the earth’s population?

The scale of this is enormous. To be involved in this campaign has been the experience of a lifetime for me. To think a photograph I created in a park in Copenhagen on a cold and dull day in October 2014 with a then-new iPhone 6 would go from my camera roll to colossal billboards in cities all over the world is mind-blowing. To think that from the 162 images mine would be one of five to win individual awards – a Golden Lion – is just so incredible.

Golden Lion Winner

All of this is still going on. I am still receiving emails and tweets from people I have never met sending me images of the shot from different locations or in print magazines. It is pretty surreal and I feel I won’t be able to fully process it and appreciate it until it has passed. Take last Tuesday morning. When I woke up and turned on my phone I had this notification from Bangalore, India:

Bangalore, India (Shot by V.H Belvadi)

Of the photographs people have sent me of the image on billboards, this is, I feel is one of the very best. V.H created a really artistic shot. But the thing is – how absolutely crazy it is to receive a notification like this. Something I created is being seen by people on the other side of the world and they search me out to send it to me. There is something beautiful about it, something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I do realise how fortunate I am to be part of all this and I am grateful to Thomas Toft who brought me to that park in Copenhagen and to Apple for giving me the opportunity to showcase my work and make me love the iPhone even more.

Kiss the future…