How Jesús Ortiz Creates Stunning Minimalist iPhone Photos

I’m really excited to share this interview with Jesús Ortiz, a talented artist from Spain who creates amazing minimalist iPhone photos. With a passion for vivid colors and a wonderful imagination, he can turn an ordinary household object into an incredible piece of art. In this interview you’ll learn more about Jesús, and how he creates these stunning iPhone photos that are so much fun to look at!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Jesús Ortiz (Jesuso) and I’ve been interested in the arts since I was a child. I enrolled on an art studies course when I was 14 years old in Córdoba (Spain), which is where I was born.

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Afterwards I specialized in advertising drawing and I completed a BA degree in Málaga, where I currently live.

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How did your iPhone photography journey begin?

I discovered mobile phone photography a few years ago when I started taking pictures of almost everything, from simple things to landscapes and people.

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In 2013 I created my Instagram account and I’ve been uploading photos ever since. My style has been changing during this time and at the moment my designs are based on colors, shapes and minimalism.

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I think of Instagram as a space where I can show my creations and get in touch with people who share similar interests. All my photos are shared with an inspiring quote from Alejandro Jodorowsky, an artist who I truly admire.

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What inspires you to take photos with the iPhone?

Everything can inspire me. Some days I don’t feel inspired, and on those days it’s better not to think about it and just wait for the inspiration to come.

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On other days, I see an object or a person walking down the street and the inspiration appears. An example is the dry, painted leaf picture below.

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I found the leaf under a tree I see every morning on my way to work. Until that moment I hadn’t realized that I could get an idea in that place, but that day the inspiration just came… And I can’t explain why.

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Your Instagram feed is a fabulous array of brightly colored, minimalist images. What draws you to this kind of photography?

I’m very interested in working with colors – mixing them, combining them and using them with the light to create a message.

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I think it’s a way to show people my optimistic side. There are people who write to me to tell me that my pictures make them smile.

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It’s just an option. I really like black and white pictures, but at this moment I’m more interested in working with colors and playing with them.

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Many of your recent images are created using everyday household objects or items found in nature. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? Do you have a vision before you start creating, or do you just experiment with different objects and medium until you come up with something that works?

The ideas tend to just appear in my mind. But from the time when the idea appears until I take the picture, the process is more conscious.

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Other times I use an object I like (it can be anything) and I try to see it from another perspective.

A household object can become a work of art by just disguising it or changing its colors. The Pop Art, and especially Warhol, taught us a lot about this.

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What other kinds of subjects work well for minimalist photography?

The first pictures I uploaded with a minimalist theme were pictures of landscapes, urban architecture and people.

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I really like these kinds of photos, and I miss them when I see them over time. In my opinion, they’re more elegant. Transmitting emotion with a few elements especially attracts me.

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You also create some wonderfully surreal images using editing techniques. Do you find this process similar to creating art by hand?

Yes, I think it’s a similar process. It involves more handcraft work. At the beginning I was afraid to use editing techniques because I thought the photography would lose its essence.

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But I think this technique can contribute a lot to the photo. I think this option is just another alternative – no better or worse.

Let’s talk about photo apps. Are there any apps that you use for taking photos besides the native Camera app?

No, I only use the native Camera app on the iPhone.

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What are your favorite apps for post-processing?

I enjoy using VSCO Cam because I like a lot of the filters in this app. I also like Afterlight because there are so many editing options to choose from.

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I tend to just use apps to enhance a few details before sharing, but if the editing process is bigger I do it in Photoshop.

Can you briefly explain the story and editing process behind your three favorite iPhone photos?

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This photo is one of my favorites. At first my idea was to make a composition with colorful grains, but in my city they’re difficult to find and very expensive.

So I thought I could create the same composition using colorful rubber bands. I really liked the result – more than the original idea. They look like colorful spaghetti!

I did very little editing with this photo – just minor adjustments to the brightness and color saturation.

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I think this photo is quite shocking. It could have many interpretations – every person finds a different story in this photo.

It’s a good example of an idea that appears during the process. At the beginning I had no idea what I wanted – I just started playing and experimenting with the paints and my hand.

The color spot appeared at the end, and it worked as an important element to give meaning to the photo.

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This is another example of ideas which appear during the process. I wanted to use some peppers with strong and bright colors, but it wasn’t enough for me to create an interesting photo.

I needed to use another element that would become the focus of attention. So I used another household object (a balloon) in place of one of the peppers.

It’s something that no one expects to see between peppers, so it’s a way to break the mould and attract everyone’s attention.

What does the Instagram community mean to you, and what effect has it had on your creativity and photography?

I’m still discovering the Instagram community. The truth is that I didn’t imagine I would have this impact.

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I think Instagram is a fantastic platform to show my work as thousands of people can see my gallery so quickly. It’s a great opportunity to progress professionally, if you know how to use it.

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This year I discovered Instameets and other events, so it’s also a great place to meet like-minded people and interact with them, as long as you have the free time to do it.

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What tips do you have for beginner iPhone photographers who want to start taking more creative photos with their iPhone?

Well, that’s difficult because everyone has a different reason that inspires them. I think the most important thing is that you like what you’re doing.

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Don’t do it just because it looks nice or it’s fashionable. It has to be something personal. You have to do something that you really like and enjoy it, nothing more. If you enjoy what you do, the work is done!

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Which iPhone photographers do you admire the most?

There are so many – there’s isn’t space to list them all! If you look at the people I follow on Instagram you’ll find the photographer’s that I like. Many of them are an inspiration to me.

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Where can we see your iPhone photography?

I share my photos on Instagram @jesuso_ortiz and you can also buy them from InstaPrints.

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