Vivi (Veevs) Hanson is a prominent member of the mobile photography community who has had her work featured on many leading mobile photography websites and exhibitions. Originally from Lima in Peru, Vivi came to the UK when she was 19 and now lives in West London.
Vivi captures street scenes and views of London and combines them with various apps to create fantastic artistic and painterly styled images. As well as being featured in several Capturing the Moment showcases here on Mobiography, Vivi has also been featured on P1xels, iArtChronicles, TheAppWhisperer, Streets Ahead: A Women’s Mobile Street Photography Collective, Artist of the day (twice) at iPhoneArt, Apps Uncovered at IphoneographyCentral, Iphoneogenic, two Honorable mentions in last year’s Mobile Photography Awards. She was an exhibitor at last year’s Instragramers London Iconic London exhibition and a finalist in Photobox Motographer of the Year 2012. As if that wasn’t enough Vivi was also featured in TheAppWhisperer’s A Day in the Life of and Featured Artist in iArtChronicles (now Art of Mob).
I caught up with Vivi to find out more about her work and approach to mobile photography.
How were you first introduced to mobile photography and what is it you love about it?
I had an iPod Touch and discovered Hipstamatic and got immediately hooked! I love the simplicity and speed of using my iPhone and the amazing apps that enable me to create my images!
What subjects fascinate you and how would you describe your style?
I have several subjects and styles! Living close to London I love the beautiful old buildings, all the London iconic areas, markets and now Street Art! I also love the blurred movement style of SlowShutter. Richmond is down the road from me and I walk by the river all the time so love to photograph the boats, bridges and people. I have recently started to experiment with Street Photography too. I would say that my main style is Painterly.
How did this style of evolve?
I don’t have a creative or photography background. But discovered I like to take a photo and try to make it look like a painting. I started experimenting with Painterly type apps and doing a lot of blending with the original image. There are such great apps that are fantastic and I use them continually to achieve this style : Glaze, Repix, DistressedFX, Mextures are amongst my favourites.
What is your approach to photography and your post-production process?
I don’t have an approach, I just walk and shoot! I am trying to build my confidence at taking photos of people! My main shooting apps with my iPhone 4S are Hipstamatic, Oggl, Huemore, ProCamera, Camera+. To edit I always run my photos through Snapseed first applying several filters, tuning, detail, drama, vintage and grunge (depending on the photo). If it’s a Painterly style I then use Glaze, DistressedFX, Repix, AltPhoto, Mextures, ScratchCam, VintageScene (not all together!). For Street I use BlurFX and then the apps mentioned above.
What is a perfect photo for you?
One that I didn’t expect to be good! I app a lot so I am delighted when a so so image becomes a wow image for me!
You recently organised an iphoneography meetup in London with a number of other iphoneographers. Tell us about this?
Catherine Restivo from New York was visiting the UK so we organised a London Meetup on Saturday 31st August. JQ Gaines also came over from NY. I went through my Facebook contacts who lived in UK and Europe and invited everyone. We were delighted with the response and had a fantastic day without losing anyone! So those who attended were Catherine Restivo, JQ Gaines, Benamon Tame, Steve Cooper (The Hungry Ghost), Karen Divine, Nettie Edwards, Tess Gomm, Christian Graham, Rob Pearson-Wright, Fiona Christian, Joanne Carter (The App Whisperer) and her daughter Bella, Norma Phoenix and Mobitogers Roger Gilbert, Matt Cooper, Richard Burton, Victoria Martin, Chris Wadsworth. Quite a gathering of iPhoneographers!
Steve was kind enough to hand out some lovely t-shirts to some of us. We met up under the clock at Waterloo Station and headed to the open air market just outside Waterloo to buy lunch. We then had a picnic at Jubilee Gardens under the iconic London Eye and weather was fantastic and hot! We then had the challenge to tackle the crowds and walked over Westminster Bridge, headed up Whitehall with a meeting point at Trafalgar Square. Then over Hungerford Bridge and walking along beautiful Southbank which was packed! Headed over the wobbly bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral. I can tell you it was quite a challenge to keep everyone together and stick to the meeting times and locations to ensure we didn’t leave anyone behind.
You’re a member of Instagramers London. What have you gained from being part of such a group?
I have been a part of Instragramers London for a couple of years. I have met so many wonderful people through all the meetups and have discovered London and parts of London that I didn’t know about.
Is the use of social media a big part of your photographic workflow and how have the relationships you’ve formed through it influenced your work?
Yes, I am a big Facebook user and belong to several iPhoneography groups. I have formed many worldwide friendships through it as wherever I travel to I try to meet up with friends from those groups. Also, have had several people contact me when they come to London to meet up and spend a few hours together. The iPhoneography Community is wonderful!
Could you choose a few of your favourite photos and tell us the story behind them?
This is so tough to do! My shooting and editing has changed from when I first discovered iPhoneography in June 2011!
Walk this way
I was meeting my Dad at the Royal Albert Hall so walked under the tunnel to get there. I think this is my first ever “street” shot! I just took the shot without really thinking and was so happy with the people I captured!
Olympic Torch on Gloriana
The last journey of the Olympic Torch being rowed on the Royal Barge The Gloriana by past Olympians. I did not want to miss this so stood underneath Richmond Railway Line on the river for 2 hours waiting for them to come by and wow they were fast so lucky to get one good shot! I tweeted my apped image and it was re-tweeted to one of the Olympians who had been on the barge rowing. Was so chuffed to get a Tweet back from him telling me it had been an amazing day and experience
I really want to get to grips with Street Photography but am such a chicken at taking close up photos of people. Walking in London I saw this lovely gentleman ahead of me walking slowly. I ran to catch up and took the shot.
Admiring the view
I finally made it up The Shard this summer – such spectacular views! But also great to step back and take photos of people using SlowShutter. For this shot I just slightly moved my iphone as I took the shot to get a small amount of movement.
On the wobbly bridge with St Paul’s Cathedral in the background – one of my favourite iconic places of London! The bridge wasn’t too busy so perfect opportunity for me to take the shot with SlowShutter. Was really happy with the results!