Professional photographer Brooks Kraft had the opportunity to photograph the White House Christmas decorations for TIME and he decided to use the iPhone 6 Plus to do so.

“I’ve covered this event about 10 times before,” he told TIME. “It’s a very light event, obviously, and the president is not even there. So there’s no real, intrinsic news value, which is a good opportunity to try out new gear that I might use later in more news-oriented environments.”

Kraft decided to shoot square format photographs because he thought that they would work well with the formality of the White House’s architecture.
White House Holiday DecorationsWhite House Holiday Decorations
Using an iPhone allowed Kraft to work quickly. “The iPhone has a lot of depth-of-field, which allows me to shoot the [picture] and move around quickly, which worked in this situation because we were sort of ushered through the rooms and didn’t have a lot of time. I wanted to photograph most of the spaces with few people in them, so the window of opportunity in which to shoot was brief.”

Kraft decided to use the iPhone 6 Plus over the iPhone 6 because of its better performance in low light. “Some of the rooms are quite dark, and I used the 6 Plus for that. And the larger screen also helps. There were situations when I was holding the camera above my head to try to make vertical lines more parallel on the edges of the frame, and in that case having the larger screen helped me [compose the shot].”

There is another big advantage to using an iPhone for photography, notes Kraft. People are so used to seeing them that they don’t pay as much attention to you.

“I notice that people just don’t react the same way [when you’re using an iPhone]. If you are looking to capture something candid, people are so used to seeing mobile devices that their reaction time is slower. You have a better chance of getting the shot, and that was the case at the White House.”

Take a look at a couple of the photos below or hit the link for a bigger gallery.


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