The past 12 months have been a fantastic journey. Along the way I have had the privilege of meeting many talented mobile photographers and have been inspired by so many more.
As we approach the festive season I thought it would be interesting to invite 24 mobile photographers who have inspired and supported me in one way or another and ask them to offer an insight into their photography, to reflect on their year gone by or plans for the coming year ahead.
Each day until Christmas Eve we will be featuring one photographer in a sort of online advent calendar so to speak.
Today’s featured photographer is Geri Centonze. Geri is a prominent blogger and figure in the mobile community. Over the course of this past year I have had the pleasure of getting to know and interview her for the Mobiography website.
My top tips or words of wisdom for aspiring mobile photographers and artists are…
When I discovered that the iPhone could be used as a tool to create beautiful photographic art, it literally changed my life. Up until July of 2012, I was using my iPhone mainly for phone calls – imagine that! I discovered the website of Karen L. Messick who edited images in a painterly fashion and that prompted me to buy a couple of apps to see what I could do. Over 500 apps and a year later, I’m blogging at Art of Mob and have had my work exhibited in Barcelona, Tijuana and recently at the IPA Quarterly in Santa Monica. I wish I had the following advice when I first started:
- Learn the basics of composition (rule of thirds) and how to see light and how it plays off of a subject. Never underestimate the power of these two basic tenets of photography.
- Take time to learn the ins and outs of the photo apps you download. As a result of NOT doing that, I have a whole slew of apps that I never use because I haven’t taken the time to explore them. I would suggest mastering a few instead of just downloading dozens and dozens.
- Check out sites like Flickr, Instagram, iphoneart, EyeEm and start following photographers whose work you admire. Study their photos and ask yourself what you like about them. Ask them questions if you are curious about their process – most people are willing to share.
- Visit websites that cater to iPhoneographers – many of them publish tutorials, app reviews and interviews with mobile photographers who share their processes and workflow. MobiTog and AMPt are online communities for mobile photographers and members are always willing to help with questions you may have.
- Subscribe to Mobiography Magazine. I am a subscriber and I look forward to each and every issue. There is so much you can learn by reading and viewing the work of others.
- There are many good iPhoneography books and one in particular that I would recommend is The Art of iPhone Photography by Nicki Fitz-Gerald and Bob Weil, which includes step-by-step tutorials from 45 award-winning artists! With the holidays on the way, you will definitely want to add this to your wish list.
- Experiment – try shooting landscape, portraits, street photography, macro, etc and find out what subjects you like best. I have found that I’m most interested in street photography and painterly edits. One of the things I enjoy most is taking a rather mundane photo and using apps to make it something special.
- Make sure you’re having fun! At one point I got so over involved in Instagram that it was starting to be stressful rather than a fun place to share. There are only so many hours in the day and it’s impossible to say thank you to every comment or visit every person you’re following. Set aside the amount of time you can budget in your day and don’t stress if you’re not the perfect Instagrammer!
- The last tip is to follow your heart. Photograph what moves you and the chances are it will have the same effect on the people who view your photo.