Armineh Hovanesian is a mobile photographer and artist currently living in Los Angeles. Her portfolio is a blend of candid street photography, close up portrait and painterly styled abstract art. This fusion of styles has meant Armineh has been fortunate enough to have had her work exhibited around the world since 2011. Her photographs has been part of a group show at SoHo Arthouse in New York in March 2013 and June 2014; she has participated in numerous group show in the Los Angeles area; has been privileged to have had photos featured four times in Los Angeles Times. I was truly honored to have received 2nd place and finalist ranking in 2013 GoPix Mobile Photography Awards in the Abstract and Contemporary category. As if this isn’t enough Armineh has had various features in Mobiography, The App Whisperer and Art of Mob.
Armineh has been a big supporter of Mobiography for quite a while now. For this I am extremely grateful. I wanted to find out more about her work and approach to mobile photography.
Tell us about your introduction to mobile photography?
Once I got my first iPhone (which was the 4s). I had been taking photos with my previous device, an LG Xenon but with the iPhone and the ability to have and use apps opened a Pandora’s Box begging to be explored. As I delve more into iPhoneography, I started looking around and slowly but surely was able to find my community.
How would you describe your style?
I do not have a particular style, per se. My portfolio is all over the place, portraits, black and white, street, abstract, conceptual to think of a few. I like the diversity and have the opportunity to get better and develop a style. At the moment, it’s all practice.
What subjects inspire you?
Faces and people are always an inspiration. I’m yet to find the courage to take pictures of all the moments I encounter. I have missed quite a lot of great opportunities because I did not want to offend and interrupt the mood. There’s also the rejection factor! Perhaps, in time I will have more confidence to get in and have my shot.
How do you approach your photography and the images you capture?
The approach would depend entirely on my level of confidence, what I’m photographing, where I am, and how much time I’ve got. Sometimes photos are planned and sometimes they are just lucky captures.
What apps do you use and is there a process or methodology that you apply to your post production editing?
There a few favorite apps I tend to use when I need edits on my photos. Snapseed gives me the option to adjust brightness, contrast, ambiance, and saturation, not to mention the grunge and the black and white alternatives. Photowizard is another one where there are various effects I can use to modify a shot. There’s also iColoramaS which is a genius of an app. The creators are beyond amazing and it has hundreds of choices, styles and capabilities. I am constantly learning when I use iColoramaS. Glaze is another one of my favorites where the juices of creativity can flow in many directions. ProCamera has excellent filters one can apply for various effects. And then there’s Oggl (my obsession) which is another brilliant app with its lens and film choices and I love the fact that one has the ability to mix and match them in order to achieve the desired outcome. Glaze can add some finishing touches depending on the end result I envision.
You mentioned you are a fan of Oggl, what is your favourite film/lens Combinations?
I have got three favorite combos and I love them all for the very special effects they produce. They are each unique in their own right.
- Tinto 1884 Lens and C-Type Plate Film = Since I never learned film developing and am in love with “tin type” photos, this combination is the closest I get to getting similar results
- Tinto 1884 Lens + D-Type Plate Film = The same reasoning, as my first choice.
- Loftus Lens & DC Film = This effect does wonders. in my humble opinion. I love the blurry edges and how the focal point is focused. Another “film” I like to use with Loftus Lens is the Rock BW-11 Film
Are there any photographers that have been a big influence or inspiration to you?
Man Ray will always and forever be my first love. Vivian Maier’s discovery blew my mind! I also have had the opportunity to get to know and befriend amazing mobile photographers and they ALL are major inspirations to me on a daily basis; Amy Leibrand, Andrea Bigiarini, Anne-Martine Parent, Brett Chenoweth, Cara Gallardo Weil, Cecily Batey Caceu, Clint Cline, Connie Rosenthal, Cristian Margarita, David Capponi, Donna Donato, Dr Pajchiwo, Eitan Shavit, Elaine Taylor, Eloise Capet, Fernando Cruz, Geri Centonze, Gina Costa, Jennifer Bracewell, Jessica Andrews, Josh St. Germaine, Lee Atwell, Lisa Waddell, Louise Fryer, Maddy McCoy, Manuela Monteiro, Marsha Estes, Meri Walker, Michelle Robinson, Mohsen Chinekesh, Natali Prosvetova, Nei Cruz, Patricia Larson, Paul Brown, Paula Broom, Paula Gardener, Rob DePaolo, Robin Robertis, Roger Guetta, Ryan Vaarsi, Sarah Jarrett, Susan Rennie, Todd Leban, Vanessa Vox just to name a few.
What would be your top tips or words of wisdom for aspiring mobile photographers or artists?
Always make sure you’ve got full battery or enough battery power. Always make sure the lens on your camera/phone is clean. Always make sure to have enough space on your camera roll. Take as many shots as possible. Hold your breath when shooting to avoid shaky hands! Shoot from different angles.
Tell us about the story behind a few your favourite photos?
Choosing a few favorite is quite challenging. Here are the ones I have picked.
Neon Museum (Oggl)
I always wanted to visit the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Finally, during a recent trip we had the time to finally pay a visit. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many old gems gathered in one location. A fun place to photograph.
Raven or Crow? (Oggl)
Ravens and crows are my favorite birds. I just find them to be fascinating creatures. One evening, at a friend’s house while standing on the balcony, I noticed a single-gorgeous-black feather (a good omen for me, always). This shot is my homage to these beings.
Ticking Away the Moments (Oggl)
Time is something we haven’t got much of! One day I received this humongous clock and decided to keep it as a prop. While pondering what I could do with this, Pink Floyd’s Time started playing in my head! The end result is this shot.
Other Follow… Dreaming (Oggl)
I am very fortunate to have dance choreographers as friends. When given the opportunity, I’m there at rehearsals to capture dancers and movements (a challenge I’d love to conquer someday).
Elements of Vachag (Snapseed and iColoramaS)
This image is one of many in collaboration with the great Vachag. This is proof that art and mobile photography can come together.