iPad photo etiquette: is it ever ok to take photos with an iPad?

Last updated: 26 May 2016


iPad photo etiquette: is it ever ok to take photos with an iPad?

Since Apple released the iconic iPad four years ago (can you believe that?), there’s been one big point of conflict - taking photos.

We love our iPads for everything else; reading, writing, working and watching. But all tablet users have a strong opinion on whether taking photos is an acceptable thing to do. It’s the technology equivalent of marmite – you either love it or hate it.

Of course, we understand why it’s annoying. An iPad tends to be bigger than a phone and can block people’s views – especially if it’s at an event like a concert or fashion show. They’re clunky to use and taking a photo can often look clumsy. Plus, the massive screen goes against the behaviour we associate with good photographers - a silent artist who snaps images in a more natural way, for subtle success.

Then again, these days iPad comes with an amazing camera. The new iPad Pro has a 12MP iSight camera, can record videos in 4K and display images on its stunning 9.7in LED-backlit display. So why wouldn’t you want to take photos on it?

There’s no easy argument, but we think we might have figured out some solutions to the problem. Follow the below etiquette tips and you might avoid the wrath of Team No-Photo:

  1. 1. Don’t block the view.

    If you’re at an event and everyone is looking at the same thing, try to be considerate when you take photos. If space is tight it might be better to use your phone (remember, Apple’s iPhone 6s has an equally well equipped camera) so that you’re not ruining the experience for anyone else.
  2. 2. Make sure the situation is appropriate.

    If you’re taking a couple of photos of a beautiful park vista then, sure, whip out the iPad – you’re not hurting anyone. When people are involved, it’s time to be a little more sensitive. People might not want an iPad thrust in their face at an intimate family gathering, for example. Best bet is to ask permission first.
  3. 3. Never take a mirror selfie with an iPad.

    Seriously. It will completely block most of your face and body anyway. Normal selfies – fine. Mirror selfie? Use something a wee bit smaller, an iPhone maybe. Or be prepared for ridicule.
  4. 4. Err on the side of smaller.

    Not all iPads are created equal. Some of them are beefier than others and, therefore, less suited to being whipped out to take a photo of literally everything so you can remember it forever. An Apple iPad Air is nice and light, which makes it easier to carry around, but we’d recommend the smaller iPad Mini 4. It’s really not that much bigger than an iPhone 6s, has a cracking 8MP camera and is subtle enough to go unnoticed by the haters.
  5. 5. Less is more.

    Maybe the biggest tip here is to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Are 150 fuzzy photos of Macklemore more important than ensuring that the people behind you have a great night? Will you ever look at those art gallery snapshots ever again? The amazing memory options and ease of taking photos on new devices and tablets mean that we lose some of the finesse of taking the perfect photo and instead take 1,000 at a time, hoping that one of them works.

  6. So, what do you think? We think we’ve nailed the big no-nos of iPad photography. If you stick to our tips, then it’s perfectly acceptable to get as snap-happy as you like.