24 Mobile Photographers til Christmas: Paula Gardener


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.

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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 Paula Gardener. As well as being a very talented mobile photographer, she is also a fellow member of the We Are Juxt community and was a contributing artist to the book ‘The Art of iPhone Photography’.

My mobile photography take away from the past year is…


Imagine a young tree in a middle of a forest that’s probably been in existence for hundreds of years. It is trying to establish itself amongst the well-rooted elders. With rebellious determination searching for a spot in the sunlight, it grows strong beyond the expectations of the forest.

That’s how I see Mobile Photography, amongst the founded and recognised arts of today. As technology advances, producing new ways to document life. So have we, embracing these changes, while adapting them to our own way of life.

This past year we have witnessed a growing spurt in our young tree, mobile photography has become a force to reckon with. Worldwide the media has paid homage to the wonderful and very talented mobile photographers and artists. They have produced exceptional work, using this new medium we call mobile photography.

Yes I suppose you could say it is just an extension of conventional photography. On the other hand you have to look at the possibilities it has produced since it’s conception. Would social media be as great as it is today without mobile photography. Photojournalism has taken on a whole new meaning, now the editors look beyond the photographer on their payroll. Instead they reach out to you and me on Twitter or Instagram requesting permission to use our work. There are those that berate how it has brought out the worse in mankind. Producing self-centred, obese personas constantly craving the next fix of a critically acclaimed FAVE!

Despite these negatives, mobile photography has awakened the talents of so many of us. Talents that laid dormant for years, it has brought together a community of artists that I have grown to love. Sites like iPhoneArt.com , WeAreJuxt, Eye’em and Flickr are just a few that have a wealth of talented photographers and artists.

Most of all, mobile photography has made the realisation of hope a reality. The work I have been able to produce, the people I have met, the projects I have been involved in, with many more to come.

They were all distance hopes and dreams, but now they are a beautiful and inspiring reality.

Connect with Paula Gardener

We are Juxt | Flickr | Blog | Eye’em | IPA

  • Love Paula’s portraits! Good start!

    • Paula

      Thank you so much Michelle xx

  • I couldn’t agree with you more Paula, mobile photography has brought me to photography, and photography brings me happiness every single day. The low barrier to entry of mobile photography made me consider it as a hobby, I had the camera (in my phone) and I had access to websites that could inspire me and teach me. If I hadn’t started with mobile photography I wouldn’t have started at all. Then I wouldn’t have made the friends I have made and I wouldn’t have created the photo’s I have created.

    Very well said Paula, and wishing you and your family a fantastic Christmas.


    • Paula

      So glad you liked the feature Lee, I know so many photographers who are working at a professional level. However their humble start was from mobile photography, the opportunities for work and artistic development has been made work more accessible through this medium. I love mobile photography especially the community that comes with it.
      Have a wonderful Christmas too xx

  • A new one for me – been checking her Flickr account. Some great shots there. Thanks for the connection.

    • Paula

      Thank you so much Brendan. I really appreciate your visit to my gallery on Flickr and your kind comments ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stef lp

    What a positive perspective.
    I appreciate your drawing attention to these aspects.
    Especially when ‘ obesity persona issues’ cloud out the positive.
    The positive so well defined here.
    Your portraits are inspiring.
    A genre I can only sit back and allow myself to enjoy. Feeling privvy to your fine heART.

  • Paula

    Wow thank you Stef, I’m honoured by your kind words. I’m inspired so much by artists like yourself within this growing vibrant community. Especially the positive creativity it projects.

  • Tracey Renehan

    An interesting analogy, Paula with a perfect accompanying image. Your portraits are superb and clearly demonstrate that the camera is not key to capturing captivating images. There are limitations with the mobile camera, however there are many mobile photographers that work with these limitations to produce images worthy of hanging in galleries. I consider you one of these photographers.

    • Paula

      Thank you so much Tracey, thats such a nice thing to say I am truly honoured. I love the limitations of the mobile device, its so easy to capture an image with a DSLR, then photoshop it to death to make it look beyond perfect. However like you have stated when artists produce images that are worthy of major exhibits. These images amaze and inspire others who might feel overwhelmed by main stream photography.

  • Congratulations Paula. I tweeted this yesterday and totally forgot to add my comment here. Great interview! Skip.

    • Paula

      Thank you so much for sharing and your kinds words, I really appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Paula has been a favorite of mine for a while – so happy to see her featured here. Her portraits are dramatic, bold and beautiful! Loved this feature.

    • Paula

      Thank you so much Geri the feeling is mutual. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  • Vivi (Veevs)

    Congratulations Paula! Such a beautiful image and wonderful write up!

    • Paula

      Thank you so much Vivi, so glad you enjoyed the read ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sacha Dohmen (maktub street-dog)

    What a fantastic start for this project. A beautiful image and fantastic read Paula

    • Paula

      Thank you so much Sacha, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Happy holidays to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rob Pearson-Wright

    Well said Paula! The accompanying image is wonderfully expressive and striking. Typical of all your portraits. Hope you and yours have a great Christmas.

    • Paula

      Wow Rob thank you I’m so honoured you think that. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Late to the party here, it’s been that sorta fortnight. What a great start to this series as has been said. That’s a fantastic portrait, full of mood, hope, some wonderful tones and a good dash of magic. It does indeed illustrate your points about mobile photography and its ability to produce inspiring work.

    The words and image show us a thoughtful and talented photographer, I will be sure to check out your work Paula. I agree with what you say, mostly. I wholeheartedly agree that the access point has meant that the creativity of so many has been awakened in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It is a device we already have on us and already play games on. However, once you are using it as a camera, you are practicing photography, of some form or another. I don’t think seeing mobile photography as separate is useful. It most definitely has produced a whole range of new directions, possibilities and imaginative communities. But the concerns when taking a photograph, the way we relate to an image, isn’t really especially different.

    Anyhow, it’s great to see someone taking the opportunity to talk in these ways, great piece Paula.

    • Paula

      Thank you so much Albion, your thoughts are so right. We shouldn’t think of mobile photography differently to conventional photography. I suppose it’s less daunting to those who have never considered buying DSLR. This is their stepping stone to branching out, finding more ways to be creative. Opening up that Pandora’s box of inspiration. When I look at my journey, I’ve gone from a SLR to a DSLR then an iPhone. Each tool I use to capture images serves a purpose in time and mind. Right now on my Christmas list is a X-Pro1. I love this journey and I’m so honoured to meet people like yourself along the way. Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year.