I’m really excited to share this interview with Armineh Hovanesian, a talented iPhoneographer whose unique work with the iPhone has been exhibited in various art galleries. In this interview you’re going to learn more about Armineh and how she approaches iPhoneography.
It Even Follows Me in My Dreams
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m of Armenian descent, born in Paris, raised in Tehran and Boston and relocated to Los Angeles area in 2003! The arts have been and are a very dominant force in my life. This force has been the life-giving spirit that has kept me sane and balanced for decades and I hope it will linger on for the next couple or few decades to come!
In Another Era
How did your iPhoneography journey begin?
My first camera phone was a LG Xenon. I loved how the pictures looked and wanted to explore more. My addiction started when I got my first iPhone 4. My brother introduced me to the LemeCam app one afternoon and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Cigarette and butts was the first image I took with LemeCam’s double exposure camera and a monster within was already in the making…
Cigarette and Butts
What inspires you to take photos with the iPhone?
The ease and accessibility. I like the fact that once you take your photo, you can instantaneously work on your edits. No need to download photos from camera. This simplicity is the main reason why I (and others) are able to take photos anywhere, any time. My inspiration can range anywhere from a leaf on the ground, to sunrises, to reflections, to portraits, to street photography.
Tell us about how you normally take photos. Do you shoot during photo walks, or do you just capture whatever you come across in your daily life?
I have only participated in one “photo walk”. I prefer to shoot on my own time wherever I may be at the moment. The iPhone has made it possible for me to take photos on a daily basis. The entire process has become a ritual! Some shots are worth saving and others are deleted. The creative process is the initial mission and the deletion is the letting go process to make room for better shots.
Let’s talk about photo apps. Are there any apps that you use for taking photos besides the native camera app?
What are your favorite apps for post-processing?
Oh, apps… I have downloaded and tried various apps and at this moment the following are my go to apps: Snapseed, PhotoWizard, iColorama S, Glaze, Pixlromatic+, ProCamera, Repix, Oggl, Decim8, and RainyDaze. I wish the people behind LemeCam would upgrade the app so it can have higher resolution (the only negative aspect of it).
My Heaven on Earth
What tips do you have for beginner iPhoneographers who want to start taking creative photos with the iPhone?
Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Download apps and experiment. Look at the works of the “elders”, learn and get inspired. Don’t be intimidated by what you see, everyone has a distinctive vision and expresses differently.
Not being a “manuals” person, I’ve learned (and am still learning) how to use apps, which options work for me, etc. by trial and error. Make your own mistakes and solve your own puzzles by undertaking the challenge and rise above it all.
Can you briefly explain the story and editing behind your three favorite iPhone photos?
I found this amazing looking leaf on the ground one day and decided to have fun with it. First, I took the picture with the native camera, then made the necessary adjustments in Snapseed. Once I got the desired results I then used Pixlromatic+ and hit the “random” button a million times until I got the effect I was happy with.
The initial shot was taken on the native camera, then Snapseed came to rescue for the tuning. Once I was content with the outcome then I was off to PhotoWizard to add the edit on the eye using Pinch/Punch effect.
I took a photo of a dragon fly one day… I decided to see what concoction I could come up with in iColorama S. First the dragon fly image was blended with my face, saved and onto Effects / Flip. Using the feature option I made the split in the photo to get the final result. Then Pixlromatic+ came into play for the final result. As usual, I hit the “random” button a million times until the look I had envisioned was achieved.
Even though have no formal arts background, your work with the iPhone has been exhibited repeatedly. What can iPhoneographers do to get their work noticed by art galleries?
This is a very tough and delicate issue! I have been fortunate to find galleries that do display iPhoneography or mobile photography which one can email images to, pay the fee and the work is displayed on screens. Then, knowing and having artist friends is the biggest ace one can have. Getting gallery shows are all about whom you know not what you do or so I have learned.
Another important subject I would like to note is getting involved in the mobile photography communities. The best of the best are, iPhoneArt, We Are Juxt, The App Whisperer, AMPt Community, Mobiography, The Art of Mob, iPhone Photography School, Pixelapprs, The Creative I, Flickr, Life in LoFi, iPhoneography Central, Mortal Muses, Hipstography, Rebels United, Mobile Photography Blog, BackSpaces, EyeEm, Instagram, and PhoozL.
Saturday Night Crowd
Which iPhone photographers do you admire the most?
I am beyond grateful to have befriended so many amazing and beyond talented iphoneographers and mobile photographers. Their work inspires me daily and by observing their style I learn tremendously each and every day.
I am forever indebted to Daniel Berman, Geri Centonze, Nikki Swan, Todd Leban, Brett Chenoweth, Paula Broom, Dr Pajchiwo, Josh St. Germain, Michelle Robinson, Richard Gray, Andy Butler, Paula Gardner, Meri Walker, Clint Cline, Roger Guetta, Amy Leibrand, Amo Passicos, JQ Gaines, Patty Larson, Anne-Martine Parent, Giancarlo Beltrame, Cedric Blanchon, Sarrah Jarrett, Nei Cruz, Lisa Waddell, Cara Gallardo Weil, Paul Brown, Kristen Radden, Mohsen Chinekesh, Ryan Vaarsi, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Louise Fryer, Davide Capponi, Blacksmith Pat, Joao Oliveira, Luis Santos, Maxe Ergazaki, Elaine Taylor, Jessica Andrews, Jennifer Bracewell, Jeremy Moore, Chuck Rose, Shane (owlz), Erika Schmidt, and of course Jack Hollingsworth.
I hope I didn’t left anyone out of my list above. If I did, please find it in your heart to forgive me. Lastly, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Emil for giving me this amazing opportunity to share my thoughts.
Where can we see your iPhone photography?