Freedom of Expression (or Confession of an iPhoneographer)

Shot with the Hipstamatic app for iPhone, BlacKeys SuperGrain B+W Film and John S Lens

These days, my primary method of creative expression is my iPhoneography – images shot, processed and shared exclusively with my iPhone. Composing (and tweeting) images on instinct has become a daily practice for me. Admittedly, a bit of an addiction. It keeps me limber and stretches my creative capacity because I’m giving my myself permission to move freely beyond the boundaries that define my professional documentary style of work. I make no rules. I try lots of different apps and processing experiments. I alter my view of reality, if necessary. I shoot whatever attracts my eye (the way lines connect, a bit of irony, or a wall of brassieres) and I don’t question it. I just follow it.

What I’m also finding is that my not-so-serious iPhoneography is actually strengthening my more-serious documentary work – the instincts I need to predict and capture spontaneous moments. The ones you can’t recreate. The ones that won’t wait for you to adjust a myriad of settings. The ones that would go flat if your subject felt self-conscious on the other end of a professional-looking lens. Nobody seems to take me seriously with my iPhone in my hand. And the less influence I have on my subject, the more I like the result.

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Are you practicing iPhoneography or another form of mobile photography? If so, how is it freeing you up to express yourself more creatively and where can we see your images? Intrigued? Start by following a few of my favorite fellow iPhoneographers in Twitter and stay tuned… I’m compiling a bunch of secrets to share with you.


  1. says

    Another reason I'm wishing for an iPhone someday… :) I keep reading the quote, "The best camera is the one you have with you." The advances in phone cameras has certainly made that even more true.

  2. says

    So very cool to see that mobile phone photography is getting more and more recognition .I got Samsung's iPhone equivalent recently, and I love it to bits for many of the same reasons you describe, like the freedom of it. And I have so much left to explore when it comes to apps and processing possibilities – such a great feeling :)

    A few of my favourite images so far:
    Street art in the Oslo Central Station:
    Lines in a subway station:

  3. says

    Hey girls!

    Love all your comments! I use my iphone all the time, especially my hipstamatic (even when I carry my Canon 5D). Most pro male photographers think I'm nuts! One day I fell and dropped my Canon on the way to a fashion shoot and used my iphone instead – the results were very good (with a bit of tweaking by photoshop)! I use my Hipstamatic app as well and hope to shoot a wedding with it one day – wouldn't that be a hoot!

  4. says

    I adore my iPhone and have also found it very, very liberating. Sometimes I'd rather use it than any other!

    I don't do the Twitter thing :-) but I do have a set of of iPhone images (just a small selection of the oodles I have shot and loved) on Flickr:

    AND lots of iPhone posts on my blog:
    (hope that link works!)

    I REALLY look forward to learning some 'SECRETS" :-) !!!!

  5. says

    I am surprised by how serious I have become about iPhoneography. There is a spontaneousness, a freedom I find in taking photos with my iPhone. I think it has something to do with it looking less conspicuous than my DSLR, and it's also easier to carry into any situation.

    Sadly, I'm without it for a while due to theft and it will be a while before I can replace it :(

    I would love to see what you have to tell us about iPhoneography!

  6. says

    I can't wait to hear your secrets!!!! I'm not on Twitter, but Photojojo sent me a link to a new iPhone app/community just a few days ago – Instagram — instant upload, instant connections, and the idea is, to feel that you have an immediate and intimate relationship with friends everywhere through their iphonography. Anyway, if anyone downloads it, find me and "friend" me – I'm WendyR!

    Also, I found a few other apps that I LOVE – the first is SwankoLab – it's made by the same people who make Hipstamatic, and you can see a few examples here:

    I also recently downloaded VintageScene and Pic Grunger – you can see examples of these here:


  7. says

    Investing in an iPhone this year has definitely changed P365 for me – in a great way! I completely agree with your words, it truly allows you to capture the immediacy of the moment. And I love that it doesn't intimidate people that are super camera-shy. And it allows for sneaky shots I wouldn't have gotten otherwise, like this one:

    You'd be surprised the quality you can get out of a phone these days! :)

  8. says

    I envy all the apps available to iPhone users. I have a Blackberry Bold and am not aware of any photo enhancement apps. Having said this, I've seen some pretty awesome SOOC camera phone images. I agree that people tend to be more relaxed when I point my Blackberry at them and they forget that it's even there much more quickly than if I were shooting with my dslr.

    Coincidentally, my latest self-portrait project images were taken with my Blackberry:

  9. says

    I love iPhoneography and use my iPhone to capture those little moments that would otherwise go undocumented and maybe even unnoticed by me. The practice has caused me to be constantly aware and on the lookout for an interesting photo, even when I am not conscious of it. I use posterous and eye'em to share my photos, and like you, find the act of sending my images to these places sort of addicting. I look forward to hearing some of your secrets!

  10. says

    I absolutely adore hipstamatic. I just won a contest through them where they flew me out to LA! Oh my gosh it was amazing. John S + Supergrain is easily my favorite combination :) It really allows me to do what I love the most about photography, and that is to capture the moment. It's so easy to pull it up, shoot, and put it down. Just takes an instant. I love the gems that I walk away with.

    From the weekend:

  11. says

    My phone doesn't take the best of pictures… but you have made me wonder about experimenting with it some more. If I could figure out how to get them off my phone…

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