Roundabout USA

We Are Juxt Rewind: this article was originally published July 29, 2013

Roundabout USA by Bridgette S

What if you had the chance to drop everything and travel the world?  That’s what Joe and Kevin did a month ago when they decided to explore the USA and meet Instagramers across the country.

I was lucky enough to meet them both, thanks to Scott and Susan, over at Gas Works Park here in Seattle last week.  I got word from Scott the day before their arrival that they would be in town.

“Face Off” by Susan – Seattle, WA 

To be honest, I hadn’t been following their #roundaboutusa adventures but once I heard about it, I had to look through the gallery.  I read about their meetups with photographers they met along the way but what really drew me to them was this story by Breanna Mueller:

“Lately I have been following along a journey of two amazing photographers and Instagramers who are making their way across the US. Every day is a beautiful new place, picture and story that leaves me feeling as if I were there along with them. Thank you @sittingingodspalm and @sweatengine for taking the Instagram world and myself along with you thru #roundaboutusa. Following your inspiration, I will attempt the same on my mini 10 day journey up the Chesapeake Bay on board the 52 foot GB3. Although my journey and overnight stays are planned, I hope I still find some adventure along the way just as you have, on my own #roundaBOATusa :] My first instagram video of our wake departing from the Lynnhaven inlet. Hope you’ll come along with me… calm winds and following seas.. xoxo”

So awesome, isn’t it?!

“All American” by Bethany – Seattle, WA

Being from the east coast myself, I found an instant connection between them.  I wanted the world to see and listen to what they had to say so I asked if they would take part in an impromptu interview.  Needless to say I was stoked when they accepted the idea!  

The following is my first video interview so bear with me… I tried to edit it as best as possible ;]

As a special tribute, photographers across the USA were kind enough to send me their favorite image of their meet-up with Joe and Kevin which you’ll see throughout this article – pretty spectacular!

These are for you, guys!  Continue to follow your dreams!


B: Bridgette // J: Joe // K: Kevin

B:  How has traveling together been so far?

J:  So far, traveling has been very easy for us.  We’ve been able to get along very well, and surprisingly, we still like each other!! The funniest part of this is, we met only 2 weeks before we decided to go on this two month trip together. So, I’m amazed that not only do we not want to strangle each other, but we actually work so well together, that it would seem we’ve been friends for years.

K:  Traveling together has taught me a lot. Every decision on this trip has been a group decision – and this something I had to get used to. Other than that, it has been a major blast since our departure from New York City. The trip has evolved into something way more meaningful and dynamic than had anticipated.

“Joe and Kevin’s first visit to the very small town of Columbia City, Indiana .

From the first day of this groups meeting, long-term friendships began.” by Dave 

B:  What have you learned about each other?

J:  What I’ve learned about Kevin, is that now, he feels free. I’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot of the things we’ve been doing, traveling, jumping out of planes, cliff jumping, etc.. He has not. So to see this new found, childlike, zest for life, it actually is quite endearing. I’ve also noticed how driven, passionate, creative, thoughtful, and sensitive he is. I can see how he is searching for not only the perfect sunset, sunrise, or cityscape, but he is also looking and hoping that he will find the one, who he can call his own. He’s a very sweet guy.

K:  I had only known Joe for 2 weeks prior to this trip. But from his photographs I thought he would be my perfect “partner in crime” for this trip. And I’m glad I was right about that.

During our time together, I’ve gotten to know Joe very well. He’s driven (pun intended), focused, and adventurous. His energy and enthusiasm pushed me to places I would never thought of going. Joe’s very vocal about making the most out of every minute – so that’s definitely a major contribution to this trip’s success.

“J0-bombs-Joe Murray style!” with Jolene – Columbia City, IN // Photo by Kevin

B:  Has this trip been what you’ve expected? What has surprised you the most?

J:  This trip has taken on a life of it’s own. It’s been incredible. I originally was supposed to take this trip alone.  I had an Investor who was willing to give me a lot of money to take a lot of pictures of landscapes, and my bike.  I was going to write a book, and he was going to push it.  When I met Kevin, he told me how much he dreamed of doing what I was about to do, and I said, “come along.”  When I went back to the Investor, he didn’t like the idea of us going together, because we would have a lot of the same shots, which would make images harder to sell. I was sort of forced into an ultimatum. The money, or Kevin.  I took Kevin.  We put our savings together, and decided to live out our dream.  We originally thought this trip was about pictures.  It evolved quickly into something more.  The people.  The people is what made this trip worth while.  The connections, and relationships we have made, are more important than any picture I have, or could have taken.

K:  Absolutely not. This trip is much, much more than anything I had in mind. Initially my plan was to explore and experience some of the most beautiful places this country has to offer. I wanted to go home with unique, refreshing photographs that are worthy of being put in a portfolio or photo album. And I also wanted to meet people and get to know their stories.

“Into The Unknown” by Ryan – Chicago, IL

B:  What cities have you been to so far?

K: We’ve visited many major cities along the way since our departure from New York. Some of the most memorable ones include New Port, Augusta, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, Jackson Hole, Seattle, and Portland.

“Touch and Go” by Ivan Vega – Chicago, IL 

B:  Where do you plan to go next?

J:  After today, we will head to San Francisco, to hopefully get into the Instagram Headquarters.  What we’ve realized, now a month in, is that this whole trip would be nothing without Instagram.  It’s amazed us each, and every day, how the community that makes up Instagram, has skyrocketed our idea, of living for today, and getting out of your comfort zone, to live that life you’ve always wanted to live.  So, we want the people of Instagram, to know that because of the community they’ve created, they’ve helped in changing our lives. We want to work with them, to push others to do the same.  This way, everyone can just be a little happier!

“In Instagram We Trust” by Jason Peterson – Chicago, IL

B:  Tell us about Skydive Chicago and any other adventurous things you’ve done.

J:  My whole life I’ve been extremely adventurous. This is a trait I attribute to my beautiful Mother Sallie. I was always climbing trees to the highest, most brittle branch, climbing mountains with no ropes or nets, jumping from cliffs into clear and murky waters, skydiving, etc.  I’ve always been that type. So, adventure has always been very important to me as a way of life.  I need it to feel happy.

I thought I had it all figured out until I realized I actually didn’t, back in Chicago.  I was taught a valuable lesson from the crew Skydive Chicago. They made us seem like being there, was just the perfect way of life. I walked through the Hangar, day one, after a long drive, tired, sweaty, probably frowning, while everyone inside had a smile, ear to ear. I quickly realized why. For them, this was heaven.

Skydive Chicago is very unique in the sense that it actually is a community. Not only can you camp there, but the people who work there, live there. What I quickly realized, is that these people, were no different than me. They were chasing something, and that something was happiness. No matter what it was, all they wanted to do was jump. I asked Alex, head of Marketing, what they did in the wintertime so that they can keep that happy grin, and he replied, “we chase the summer.” That quote is going to stick with me forever, and I’ll mold it to make sense for me, and my life. They’re travelers, thrill seekers, but most importantly, they’re ALIVE. I’ve skydived before in New Jersey, but this place was different. This place opened my eyes. It reminded me what I was here for, why I decided to leave everything behind. It’s because in order to really be happy, you need to find that passion, whatever it may be, and fight tooth and nail, to make it your life. I walked out with a better understanding of what I already thought I understood, and it makes me think, now that I’m following my dream, the “sky” is no longer the limit.

“A Skydive Chicago Sunset” by Holly – Ottowa, IL

K:  Skydive Chicago has changed my life in a drastic way that was completely foreign to me. Never before had I imagined jumping off a plane at 13,500 feet above sea level. I was so eager to try yet extremely hesitant about it.

I can’t say I remember much of it to be honest. For the first few seconds after jumping off the plane, my body was in a state of total denial and confusion. I was disoriented, shocked, and overwhelmed by the foreign sensation of free-falling. The sensory overload was an experience I can’t properly describe – yet I’m sure I’ll remember it forever.

There have been many exhilarating moments like this throughout the trip. For example, I went cliff jumping for the first time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That was similar to skydiving in terms of free-falling, yet completely different because of the intensity of diving into Phelps Lake at the end.

Photo by Sam Bakshian – Minneapolis, MN

B:  Where do you sleep? How do you find places to stay? Do you pre-book?

J:  The sleeping issue is one that has become a complete different way of life for us.  I was used to sleeping in a nice, comfy queen size bed, waking up to a nice breakfast, and hot cup of coffee.  I miss those days, haha! Now we do a lot of camping, and sleeping out of the car.  Before I met Kevin, my idea for this trip was to live very simply.  I wanted to see how I could survive, living with nothing but the clothes on my back, sort of, and out of my car.  I soon realized that the idea I had, was a better, more glamorous story, than what reality has shown. Kevin still laughs, because I actually am very comfortable sleeping out of my car.  I don’t know why that is, but its true!  We often will pay for a camp site, and he will use his tent, snuggled up cozy in his sleeping bag, and I will very comfortably sleep out of the drivers seat. This has occurred more often than not.  I think it actually really bothers him that we are paying for the site, yet I sleep in the car, but to each his own.  We will also, very often sleep in parking lots of hotels, and thanks to the community of Instagram, we’ve slept in many homes of people we don’t know, and even tented on people’s lawns!  It hasn’t been the Ritz, but who needs the Ritz, when we’re meeting and experiencing all we have thus far. I don’t!

K:  We have a large selection of lodging options – and by that I mean we don’t have any plans at all. Let me explain what I mean.

This unsponsored trip is largely based on serendipity and kindness of others. With the help of Instagram and other social media – we have been invited to people’s homes or backyards where we’d camp. Because our funds are limited and our budget is extremely tight, we have yet to stay at a hotel. I’d say camping in a campground once every few days is what we’ve been able to afford. And there have been times when we slept in our car (mid-size SUV) for 2~3 days in a row.

The way we’d connect to people is that we’d often announce our arrival or plans prior to entering a city or location. We would ask if anyone wants to hang out and show us around, and we’d tell them our stories and about our trip. Quite often people would come forward and offer lodging suggestions after getting to know us. And there have been times when complete strangers opened their doors to us as well.

“CAUTION” by Kevin Kuster – Chicago, IL 

B:  How are you documenting your travels? Where can we find your images and videos?

J:  In order to see our pictures, you can find them on Instagram, by either our names – @sittingingodspalm (me) or @sweatengine (Kevin), or you can find each shot of ours from this trip under the hashtag #ROUNDABOUTUSA.  We both have a passion for pictures, and I have always had a passion for writing.  You can read all about our daily adventures on each post that we show.  What I’ve noticed, and Kevin agrees, is that he is an Outstanding Visionary.  He sees the picture way before he takes it.  That makes him, in my opinion, the better photographer out of the two of us. I learn something new from him every, single day.  When it comes to writing, I find that to be more my passion. Together, we are a great team, because we both bring a different passion to the table, which helps us reach greater heights each day.

“Cheese Balls” by Kevin Kuster – Chicago, IL 

B:  Have you traveled outside of the USA? If so, which was your favorite place to visit?

J:  I have never been out of the country.  My dream though, is to see the world the way it was meant to be seen.  Not through others pictures, or stories (though others’ journeys are what inspire me), but through my own experiences.  I want to live everything first hand.  The world is way to big for me, or for any of us to stay put.  This trip is step one of a thousand. I cant wait for step 2!

K:  I haven’t been out of USA for about 20 years – believe it or not. And this is my first time traveling since entering my adulthood. I would love to spend a lot more time seeing this country if I had another opportunity like this. And also I want to see the rest of the world one day.

“May your travels be safe, and your adventures wild.” by Eric Mueller – Minneapolis, MN

B:  What’s the meaning behind your usernames: @sittingingodspalm & @sweatengine?

J:  A lot of people often have asked me why I chose @sittingingodspalm as my username.  The truth is, @Joe was taken.  So, I went with my second choice.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become very faithful, in the sense that I feel that everything happens for a reason.  I don’t believe things happen by chance, I do feel I’m part of a plan that I will never be able to predict or understand, so I’m going to go with the flow.  The “flow” is the Palm Of God.  It doesn’t matter what God you believe in to me.  It doesn’t matter what higher power you believe in either.  To me its all the same.  God will put me where he wants me, so in the mean time, I’m sitting in his palm, waiting for him to place me.

K:  Prior to this trip, I was a biomedical engineer, designing orthopedics devices. I am also very passionate marathon runner. When I signed up for Twitter, I picked @sweatengine because I’m a sweaty (from running) engineer. Here’s something funny about my username: someone once thought I was “Sweet Eugene”.

“Little Bro Lu” by Kristin – Minneapolis, MN


“Had the pleasure of meeting up with two inspiring IGers who are living the dream and traveling around these great United States.  I’m still amazed at how @instagram is bringing so many interesting and wonderful people together.

Have a great and safe rest of your trip @sittingingodspalm and @sweatengine!”

by Matt Treiber – East Calhoun Beach, MN


 “~ lights, camera, action! ~” by Michael – The Badlands, South Dakota

This was a Behind the Scenes look at me getting a shot of Joe setting up his shot of me on that windmill.

Joe’s gallery has the final product.

And Kevin was the consummate DP on the set.


“Insta Pals” by Bridgette Shima – Seattle, WA


“Union Station Hangout” by Fayth – Chicago, IL 


[ Gold Stars, Part 2 ] by Dana Marie – Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN


“Rise Above” by Eric – Toledo, OH


Joseph D’Amelio 3rd


Joe is from NJ, the only boy, and youngest of four, with three older sisters. He currently lives out of a 2013 Ford Edge. While in NJ he was working as a Butcher, trying to be a NYC Police Officer, but decided to leave everything behind to live the “American Dream,” to see the world through his eyes.

A personal message from Joe:

“I’d really like to mention, that the generosity of people has been incredible. The Relationships I’ve made through this trip, has blown my mind. For us, the trip really took off in Ohio. A fellow IGer, Eric (@Littlecoal), let us not only camp on his lawn, not only show us all his favorite spots to shoot, but he also introduced us to a few really good guys. Dave (@Kewiki), Kevin (@KevinKuster) and Jason (@JasonMPeterson). These four guys have pushed this trip so much for us. Eric made us feel like we were a part of his family. He is a very faithful good person, and to me felt like a big brother. Dave took us skydiving with his amazing family, who also made me feel like I was a brother, rather than a stranger he had just met. I wish we could have spent more time with Kevin, who featured us, and our story on his feed, along with giving us a ton of advice. Jason is a powerhouse. He has pushed this trip more than we have, hooking us up with more people to meet, and for me, he’s been a bit of a mentor. These four guys, have made this trip better than it ever possibly could’ve been. My favorite city thus far has been Chicago. They welcomed us with open arms. @Ivanvega, @relaxocat, @brandonexplores, @ryanpostal… these people made us feel like family. I miss them.

What I came to see, is that though I occasionally miss home (always miss my family), I often miss people who I’ve met along the way, and who I only knew for a day, or two. That amazes me more than anything else. This trip for me is just the beginning, I want everyone to live the way Im living, through their own eyes, and experiences. I would never say, “everyone should quit their jobs” to do what we do, but taking a day, or weekend trip, and step out of their comfort zone, to do things they’ve never done before, I feel would make the world a little warmer, a little happier.”

Email // Instagram


Kevin Lu 


Kevin Lu is a biomedical engineer and marathon runner from New Jersey. He loves photography and enjoys outdoors activities. He’s left everything behind and taken a huge leap of faith to be on this road trip around USA, in hopes of inspiring people to see and experience the world differently.

Tel: 201-696-5366 // Email // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Clamming at Mocrocks Beach

My first clamming experience was in 2011 when my in-laws decided to go on a mini road trip down to the beach Thanksgiving weekend.  All I remember was that it was freezing cold, pitch dark and we dug up a lot of clams that night!

Well, needless to say, I truly enjoyed it.  Despite the winter chill and hard work, I was ready to do it all over again.  Who would have thought that a city girl like me would be so into clamming?! ; )

This year my father-in-law checked the schedule and low and behold, clamming season was (yet) again in full effect during this Thanksgiving too.  So, yep, we drove down to Mocrocks Beach for our 2nd family trip.  We packed some lunch and all our gear – including my very own clam gun – and were on our way to the ocean.

In order to go clamming, one must first obtain a license which costs $8.60 for a 3-day razor clamming pass here in Washington State.  With this license we are able to harvest 15 clams each. Licenses are fairly easy to get, we got ours at a local Thriftway right on the spot.

Razor clamming has been a recreational sport for years.  People travel from all over the country to the Pacific Northwest in order to take advantage of clamming seasons throughout the year.  In order to participate, one has to check the weather, schedule and the population at a certain beach.  Be prepared with the proper gear – including a lantern (if necessary), clam gun, shovel, gloves, waders, waterproof jacket and a net to store all your clams.   Trust me, you’ll need it all!

The following are photos I shot with the Nokia Lumia 1020 as part of the Windows Challenge. Because it was so windy, cold and wet I wasn’t able to adjust the settings so all the images you see here are all taken in auto mode using the default, Pro Camera (unedited):

Here I am

Photo courtesy of the Mr. : )

A Season of Gratitude

A Season of Gratitude by Bridgette and Audra

*Originally published on November 21, 2012

I first met Audra during the Neptune exhibit held here in Seattle this past September.  She was one of the many photographers whose photo was featured.  Besides having a personal account on Instagram  [ @poodleheart ] she also manages her Rooted In The Valley account [ @rootedinthevalley ] where she shows us the finest produce grown here in Washington State and gives us a behind the scenes look at the local farmers markets.

Just last month we organized an Instagramers Seattle meet-up over at Oxbow Farm for their HoeDown and Pumpkin Patch Party – a celebration of fall harvest.  It was a wonderful event for all ages and both families near and far came together to welcome the season.

My son and I spent a few hours on the farm.  We went on the hayride, participated in the arts and crafts and even ate some Molly Moon ice-cream – a BIG hit for all the kiddos.  Despite the rain, everyone was enjoying themselves and the children were splashing along with their rain gear, covered in mud.

It wasn’t until I got home and looked at my pictures that I realized that without even thinking about it, I had made a new friend.  And, even though we didn’t get a chance to talk much I was still appreciative of her warm welcome and her ability to make me feel at home.  It was then that I was thankful to have met Audra and so grateful to be here in Washington.  The people and the land are what make our home special and if it weren’t for this mobile community none of this would be a reality.

So, for this season I am thankful for all the people I have met and for their kindness.  Photography has opened up a whole new world to me and quite frankly, this is what speaks to me.  People. Relationships.  Community.  A genuine, heartfelt feeling amongst the people that I have met.



I have always loved photography for its ability to permanently capture the beauty that exists, sometimes fleetingly, in the world around us. The first farmers market picture I took was of the gorgeous Easter Egg radishes that grace the cover of my book, Rooted In The Valley – The Art and Color of the Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Markets.  It was in that moment that I realized that the farmers market was an art gallery all of its own – with sights, sounds, and smells, that tantalize the senses.

While spending time with the people who come to the farmers market, my experience has grown deeper.  I met the first woman organic farmer in the Snoqualmie Valley and learned about her struggles and her commitment. I talked with the Hmong farmers whose sense of pride is derived from the beautiful flowers and vegetables they produce. I drank cider with a fifth generation apple grower who measures the seasons by the turn of a leaf and the shape of a flower. I bought honey from the artisan beekeeper who describes her hives with such care and love, if you didn’t know any better, you would think she was talking about her children.  As I heard the stories, I began to discover a circle of community and gratitude that is unique to our everyday lives of hustle and bustle.

The lives of the farmers and their interns become intertwined during the growing season; working long hours and long days together.  Their community and shared gratitude for the earth is palpable.  When you see them, you want to throw on a pair of boots, grab a shovel, and join in on the fun.

Produce is harvested and then taken to market where smiling customers connect with the farmers who have grown their food, and the farmers are valued for the hard work they do.  Vendors barter with other vendors in trade – vegetables for bread, jam for soap.  All of them connecting over their shared love of fresh, nutritious food, and creating a vibrant meeting place. The happy customers then take the farmers’ bounty home to prepare it for their family and friends—extended the circle of community to those at their table. As my friend and Oxbow farmer, Sarah, says, “Markets are a panacea for our modern diet of junk food and isolations – doctors should prescribe them!”

So perhaps without knowing it, the farmers are doing more than just growing vegetables, they are building a culture of gratitude and of community.  Gratitude that extends beyond the holiday season—a community experience that begins at the farmers market and becomes a way of life in our neighborhoods. Or, maybe, that has been their intention all along.

Since that day last summer, I have continued to take pictures at the market; at farms and farm stands along country roads.  I have tried to find new ways to help tell the stories about our local farmers and the abundance they provide. This year, I partnered with Oxbow Farm & Education Center to create several educational and community events, the Spring SowDown and the Fall HoeDown.  These events were designed to bookend the season; to mark the first seeds going into the soil and their culmination of their lifecycle in a celebration of harvest.  I also designed an online project that helps promote CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) cooking by connecting farms with local food bloggers and chefs.

So in this season of Thanksgiving, I am full of gratitude for those farmers and artisans who bring their ‘art’ for me to feast upon with my eyes, to permanently capture their beauty, and then to take home that beauty and bounty to feed my family—completing the circling of community.



Delicata Squash stuffed with Lacinato Kale and Sausage by Audra 
My intention was to use as many ingredients as possible from the market.  I tried to create a true market-to-table meal.   Thank you to Oxbow Farm, Sea Breeze Farm & La Boucherie and Calf & Kid for providing the gorgeous ingredients

1 Medium Delicata Squash, halved and seeded
(seeds reserved)
Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic sliced in half
2 links or ½ lb of Apple Sausage – any sausage can be used.
1 Med Leek halved and sliced
1 bunch of Lacinato kale – pulled from stem and chopped
Salt to taste
Rosemary {from my garden}
¼ cup grated mild cheese {optional}

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Use parchment paper or aluminum foil on baking sheet to make for a quicker clean up.  Place halved and seeded squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with a touch of olive oil and season with salt and rosemary. Slice the garlic in half and place in the cavity.
{Tip} I also put the seeds, with the squash ‘guts’ drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, right on the pan and roast it along side the squash.  There is no need to wash and dry your squash seeds.  The squashy goodness makes those seeds super tasty.
Roast in a preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes. While squash is roasting, prepare filling. In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped leeks and sausage, cooking until sausage is no longer pink and cooked through and leeks are soft about 10 minutes.
Add the chopped kale, give a good stir and then cover pan with a lid for 3-5 minutes.  Stir a few times, until kale is starting to wilt and most of the moisture has evaporated. Remove filling from the stove and let cool 10 minutes.
Your squash should be just starting to brown.  At this point your seeds may be toasty brown, but I really like them to be so caramelized that they are almost black.  So I removed the squash from the baking sheet and put the seeds back in for a few minutes. Remove the garlic and discard if you like.  If you opt to use the cheese in the filling, stir it in now. Adjust seasoning if necessary and spoon into the squash.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes until filling is heated through and squash is completely cooked. Remove from oven and enjoy as a meal or hearty side dish.  And use your squash seeds as a snack or toss them in your salad.   Feel free to take creative license with this recipe, add rice to the mixture, or top with Parmesan and breadcrumbs, add a sautéed apple in the filling.  Enjoy the process of cooking and making the recipe your own!


Purchase Audra’s book, Rooted in the Valley, via Blurb.   Please note that a portion of the proceeds go to benefit the Duvall and Carnation Farmers Markets.

Take Us To Guadalajara

Take Us To Guadalajara

Take Us To… ” is an ongoing travel series around the world which features several photographers in a given location. The goal is to give you an inside look as to what the city is like day by day.

Today we fly non-stop to Guadalajara, aka “The Pearl of the West” and Mexico’s second largest city.

After working with Héctor on several projects, including Dreams Without Borders, I have been curious to see more of the people and places of Guadalajara.  Héctor has graciously led the photography team to ensure that this project would portray the culture and life as seen through their eyes.

Included in this article are Emilio Bracho, Carlos Calles, Edgar Adolfo Espinoza, Johathan Gonzalez, Adriana Guerra, Flor Lopez, Juan José López, Alex Mange,  Héctor Navarro, Paco Navarro, Iszrael Padilla and René Valencia – a selection of the city’s finest and most passionate artists.

Thank you for making this come alive and for taking us to your special place!

Sit back and enjoy the ride…


“Take Us To …” es una serie de viajes por  el mundo que muestra  varios fotógrafos en un lugar determinado. El objetivo es mostrarles una mirada al interior de la ciudad así como el día a día.

Hoy volamos  sin escalas a Guadalajara, también conocido como “La Perla de Occidente” y la segunda ciudad más grande de México.

Después de trabajar con Héctor en varios proyectos, como “DreamswithoutBorders”, he tenido la curiosidad de ver y conocer más gente y lugares de Guadalajara. Héctor ha llevado amablemente el equipo de fotografía móvil asegurando de que este proyecto retrate la cultura y  vida vista a través de sus ojos.

Los participantes en este artículo son Emilio Bracho, Carlos Calles, Edgar A. Espinoza, Jonathan González, Adriana Guerra, Flor López  , Juan José López, Alex Mange, Paco Navarro, Iszrael Padilla, René Valencia y Héctor Navarro. Una selección de artistas apasionados de esta ciudad.

Gracias por hacer esto posible y poder llevarnos a este lugar especial

Pónganse cómodos y disfruten el viaje.


TakeUsToGuadalajara @wearejuxt from Luis Gmo Navarro on Vimeo.


Meet The Photographers

Emilio Bracho 

Currently dedicated to Social Media/Web/Photography, live in GDL, a free soul, enjoy to play guitar and take iPhone photos…

A true Hard Rock/Metal head, proud dad/husband and mobile photographylover.

Instagram + iPhone have allowed me to explore the world of photography in a way that wasn’t possible before, addicted to it since day one…
Share, learn, see, grow, expand…

Like to improvise as I go… love bnw…

Currently active on several projects with Igers Mexico / Igers Guadalajara

Favorite quote is a traditional chinese saying, “Drink Water, Remember Source”
飲水思源 (yin-shui-ssu-yüan)

Website // Instagram  // EyeEm // Facebook // Email


never before I felt so free…


Carlos Calles

Carlos Calles aka Chasey has been a mobile photographer for two and a half years. He has studied Photography at the Tec de Monterrey and enjoys sharing his pictures through the internet.

He likes to travel around the world and capture different cultures. Chasey is a drummer and has his own Rock band in Guadalajara.

Loves art in general.

Carlos Calles es fotógrafo móvil desde hace dos años y medio. Estudió fotografía en el Tec de Monterrey y disfruta compartiendo sus fotos en Internet. 

Chasey, como es conocido en el ambiente de la fotografía móvil, gusta de viajar por el mundo y capturar con sus fotos las diferentes culturas. Es baterista de Rock en una banda en Guadalajara y le gusta la pintura y el arte en general.

Website // Flickr // Instagram // EyeEm

“Minerva Guadalajara” 


Edgar Adolfo Espinoza

Mobile Photographer / Member of Igers Mexico and Igers Guadalajara

Fotografo Movil / Miembro de Igers Mexico e Igers Guadalajara


Instagram // Facebook // twitter // Email

“my new heaven”


Jonathan Gonzalez

I am an engineer and mobile and web programmer.  This is something I enjoy doing very much, for hours and as a hobby.

Two and half years ago I met Instagram, one of the social networks that sparked my love for photography. I still remember my first group show with Igers Guadalajara, I screamed like crazy and it was an excellent experience.

I don’t have a preferred style of photography because I always experiment taking photos from pets, sky, architecture, macro, food and anything that is put in front of the lens. I think photography is a great way to express and share details of everyday life and why not? experiment a little of creativity.

Soy ingeniero y programador para móviles y web, es algo que disfruto mucho y lo puedo hacer por horas y por hobby.

Hace dos años y medio conocí Instagram, una de las redes sociales que despertó mi gusto por la fotografía. Aun recuerdo mi primera exposición colectiva con Igers Guadalajara, grite como loco y fue una excelente experiencia.

No tengo un estilo preferido en la fotografía, porque siempre experimento tomando fotos a mascotas, cielo, arquitectura, macros, comida y cualquier cosa que se ponga frente al lente. Creo que la fotografía es una buena forma de expresarnos y compartir detalles del día a día y por qué no experimentar un poco con la creatividad.

Website // Instagram // Flickr // Email


Adriana Guerra

Adriana Guerra has been a mobile photographer for two and a half years.  She is a member of Gang Family and Gang Family Mexico. Her photographs are recognized frequently with awards and mentions on Instagram. She has participated in collective exhibitions organized by Igers Mexico in Guadalajara, such as Mobility Expo and Bazart Expo. Her photos have been used by Tequila Cuervo in ad campaigns and packaging.

Adriana is a visual artist, mostly oil and acrylic paintings. She enjoys other artistic manifestations, especially travel photography in the United States and Europe.

Adriana Guerra es fotógrafa móvil desde hace dos años y medio, participa como miembro y moderadora de Gang Family México y ha sido reconocida con frecuentes menciones en Instagram. Ha formado parte de exposiciones colectivas organizadas por Igers Mexico en Guadalajara como Expo Movilidad y Expo Bazart. Conocida como @nanawarren_gf, sus fotos han sido parte de campañas de publicidad en espectaculares y empaques de Casa Cuervo, empresa Tequilera.
Adriana es pintora y sus obras principales son óleos y acrílicos. Disfruta otras manifestaciones artísticas y en especial la fotografía de viajes que ha hecho en USA y Europa.



Flor Lopez

Mobile photographer.

Promoting culture and tourism in Guadalajara.


Discovered her passion for photography through the lens of her cell phone and now devotes her time to the study, promotion and practice.

She has exhibited at MUMEDI (Mexican Museum of Design, México City), Yokohama and Nagoya, Japan, and some other places at Guadalajara.
Passionate about vodka, koi fish, rock, Mayan culture, sarcasm, pink elephants, beer, blue, sea, mimes and clowns.

Instagram // EyeEm // Email


Juan José López

I’m an architect and am 28 years old, I live in Guadalajara
Lover of music and film.
The love of photography began a few months ago thanks to Instagram, where I have been able to create, share and learn about photography.
Inspired by a minimalist style in general, exploiting the color, playing with the architecture and sky.
In three words: Less is More

Soy Arquitecto y tengo 28 años de edad, vivo en Guadalajara 

Amante de la música y el cine.
El gusto por la fotografía comenzó hace algunos meses gracias a Instagram, en donde he podido crear, compartir y aprender sobre fotografía.
Inspirado generalmente por un estilo minimalista, explotando el color, jugando con la arquitectura y el cielo.
En tres palabras: Menos es Más

Instagram // twitter // Email

“Lonely Boy” 


Alex Mange

I have lived life through my eyes before all other senses.  I always escape reality by creating other worlds with the help of painting and photography.

The first time I took a photo with a mobile device, my sense of reality changed again as it happened some time ago with painting and analog photography.  Now everything has gotten faster and everywhere I stand I feel more awake, because every place and space has a story to tell.



Héctor Navarro

From 2011 to this day, my mobile has expanded the capacity of my eyes. It allows me to capture, classify and share all of the everyday moments and details that grab my attention. I use diverse themes, ideas, techniques, styles and sometimes even experimentation in the attempt to find new expressive languages.

I never thought that this personal means to collect images would turn into instant connected situations. Sometimes, the visual aspect to this activity is relegated to the background for it is the experiences, moments and preferences shared with thousands of people that becomes most important. Thus, creative and professional relations, friendships, and a new starting point towards countless opportunities have emerged for me.

I am passionate about the combination of technology, social networks, photo, arts, friendship, constant learning, and the outcome of something conceived in the virtual world and existing in the real one.

All I can say is that I found a platform for self-expression, growth, sharing, creating and dreaming about new ideas that lead, little by little, to a better place to live in. A platform that makes me feel satisfied about every single detail of life while meeting extraordinary people.

Desde el 2011 mi dispositivo móvil se convirtió en una extensión de mis ojos para capturar los detalles y momentos que llaman mi atención en un día cualquiera, clasificarlas y compartirlas de diversas formas con temas, ideas, técnicas, estilos y en algunos casos con la oportunidad de experimentar con ellas para tratar de encontrar nuevos lenguajes de expresión.

Nunca imaginé cómo se transformaría esta forma personal de recolección visual a situaciones hyper contectadas al instante, donde en algunos casos la importancia de la imagen pasa a un segundo plano para dar relevancia a las experiencias , momentos y gustos entre miles de personas generandose relaciones creativas y profesionales , amistades y un punto de partida nuevo a infinitas posibilidades.

Me emociona la mezcla de tecnología, redes sociales , fotografía, artes, amistades, aprendizaje continuo y lo que el resultado de todo esto puede llegar naciendo de mundos virtuales al mundo real.
Simplemente puedo resumir que encontré una plataforma para expresar, compartir, crecer, construir y seguir soñando con ideas que poco a poco van creando un mejor lugar donde vivir con satisfacción en cada mínimo detalle de nuestras vidas encontrándote en el camino a personas maravillosas.

Website // EyeEm // Instagram // We Are Juxt


Paco Navarro 

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, 1976.
Started shooting with an old Minolta camera back in 1989.
In 2005 co-founded Oh!estudio with photographer Jose Luis Hernández.
From 2006 to 2013 was an Executive Producer for an animation and vfx company in Mexico.
In 2013 he got back into the photography business, specializing in portraiture and as a Getty Images editorial collaborator.

Website // // Facebook // twitter // Instagram // EyeEm // Flickr // Email

Iszrael Padilla

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, 1994.

When I bought the iPhone in 2009, I started to do casual photography.

In 2012, I met a few Instagramers.  That meeting started my addiction to mobile photography.

I constantly try new ways to edit my photos and have found new ideas in making abstract works.

Website // Instagram // twitter // Email


René Valencia

Occupation: Publisher

I’ve had a great interest in photography since childhood. I was fascinated by the amount of Life magazines collected by my parents, basically for its spectacular images.

When I started working as a journalist and publisher I rediscovered the aesthetic value of photojournalism.

After failed attempts with an SLR in the 90s, my life changed when I bought an iPhone in late 2010. Gradually I discovered Instagram, the usefulness of the filters, labels, groups, other social networks and finally I began to experiment with editing applications and to be interested in the technical aspects of photography as art.

Working in the city center has given me the opportunity to develop a taste for street photography and start, along with others like me, to portray the soul of a city that resides on its habitants.

Ocupación: Editor

He tenido un gran interés en la fotografía desde la infancia. Me fascinaban los ejemplares de la revista Life que coleccionaban mis padres, fundamentalmente por sus imágenes espectaculares. Posteriormente, en mi trabajo como periodista y editor redescubrí el valor estético del fotoperiodismo.  

Después de varios intentos fallidos con una SLR de los años 90, mi vida cambió cuando me compré un iPhone a finales del 2010. Poco a poco fue descubriendo Instagram, la utilidad de los filtros, etiquetas, grupos, otras redes sociales y finalmente comencé a experimentar con aplicaciones de edición y a interesarme en los aspectos técnicos de la fotografía como arte.

Mi trabajo en el centro de la ciudad me dio la oportunidad de desarrollar el gusto por la fotografía de la calle, y empezar junto con otros como yo, a retratar el alma de una ciudad que son sus habitantes.

Instagram // EyeEm // iphoneart // AMPt // Flickr // twitter // Pinterest


We are so grateful with all the people involved in this project. First we want to thank to Luis Guillermo Navarro as the director and editor of this video , Music Pumcayó group and the Ministry of Culture in Guadalajara, specially to Lic, Ricardo Duarte.

Estamos muy agradecidos con todas las personas involucradas en este proyecto. Primeramente queremos dar las gracias a Luis Guillermo Navarro como director y editor en la realización de eete video, Música por la agrupación Pumcayó  y a la Secreataría de Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Guadalajara, en especial al Secretario de Cultura Lic. Ricardo Duarte.

Take Us To Johannesburg

Take Us To… ” is an ongoing travel series around the world which features several photographers in a given location. The goal is to give you an inside look as to what the city is like day by day.

Today we fly non-stop to Johannesburg aka Jozi, the largest city in South Africa.

Flight #4 features Alessio, Gareth, Levon, Ofentse, Paula and Roy… 5 of the most phenomenal Jozi photographers!

I’d like to thank Gareth for spearheading this project, without him this would not have been possible.  So, thank you for investing your time and effort in putting this together.  Your vision and talent is beyond AMAZING!

Take us to Jozi with @igersJozi & @wearejuxt from Gareth Pon on Vimeo.


Meet The Photographers


Alessio La Ruffa

Alessio La Ruffa is a freelance social media and WordPress consultant by day.

Born and raised in Pretoria, he has always been on the creative side, but never found a creative outlet that resonated with him. Once he attended his first Instameet, that all changed.

Whenever he has the time, he is off to Johannesburg to discover the inner city with fellow mobile photographers.

Instagram has opened Alessio’s eyes to the world, allowing him to see the ordinary differently, and seeing things that others usually miss.

Instagram // twitter

“JoBurg City Streets” 


Gareth Pon

I shoot things and turn them into pixels.
• Dreamer • Movie Maker • Stills Taker •

Founder of Instagramers South Africa
Goal:  Instagram From Space

My name is Gareth Pon,
I shoot things and turn them into pixels.
I am a dreamer, film maker, photo shooter and instagramer.
I have lived in Johannesburg, South Africa my whole life and I believe that everyone should have at least one ridiculous dream that they believe can become a reality. One of my ridiculous dreams is to go to space.
I love movie making and have a slightly obvious obsession with shooting beautiful footage.
I capture moments in photos, my favourite thing to shoot are portraits.
I also love Instagram, so much that I founded the Official Instagramers South Africa Community in February of 2013.
My favourite colour is yellow and I love cling peaches and mangoes.
I <3 all things creative.

Instagram // twitter // Facebook // Blog // vimeo // flickr // tumblr

Pinterest // Behance

Website (currently rebranding)

“#Puddlegram Reflections”


Levon Lock

you blink a few million times and you’re dead | manager of instagramers jozi | iPhone 4s only | south africa

I’m Levon Lock. I live in the sweet city of Jozi, and I love everything creative: From taking photos to writing and recording music, and pretty much everything in between. I have always been interested in photography and used to play around on my Dad’s old SLR when I was a child.

It wasn’t until I got an iPhone that I really fell in love with pictures. The ability to capture something and portray it as how I initially saw it is an incredible feeling.

I like to make ordinary things that people see everyday look epic.

Website // Email //  twitter // Instagram

“Jozi From The Bridge”


Ofentse Mwase

I’m Ofentse Mwase from Johannesburg, South Africa and I’m a Filmmaker. I’ve been in love with cameras for over 7 years now and I’ve been loving Cinematography ever since.

It all started for me when my oldest brother bought himself a Sony PD170 to shoot music videos with back on 2003, and passed it down to me in late 2005. I shot so much with that camera but it just wasn’t enough for me.

Decided to go to film school in late 2007 and that’s where my love for images was taken to another level. Went and studied Cinematography at AFDA Johannesburg where I got to learn most Theory about lighting and composition. Since then I’ve grown to know so much about pictures and picture taking.

This love for images grew even more when I joined Instagram, this was something I never knew would be so big in my life. Through Instagram I’ve come to know the world around me so much more as every place I’m at, I try to see the best angle to shoot whatever subject is in front of me. This has now grown into a passion, all this inspired by all the great people of the community which I interact with daily. This is one journey that I’ve truly been enjoying, as it’s a great journey of creativity as well as thinking outside the box.

My most favorite time to shoot is Golden Hour, the world truly comes alive around that time and that’s when I can truly express myself when it comes to imagery. I am completely in love with the way the sun bounces off objects and the intensity and beautiful colour of which it does. Hoping that I’ll always be able to capture great moments during sunset to share with everyone in the world. Here’s to more journeys and awesome adventures in Picture taking and making friends.

Website // Instagram //  500px // twitter 

“Super Ree sitting on a Cloud”

Definitely my most favorite picture ever. How I get to spend time with my 1 year old son and his mother who always help me out with my pictures.



Hi, I’m Paula, and I’m a mobile photography addict! Haha!!!

Born and bred in Durban, SA; currently residing in Jozi with my beautiful hubby and two gorgeous step daughters and grateful for this newfound photography passion!

I would love to say that I have a particular style of photography but I can’t! All I do know is that I love playing with different subjects; creating moods by editing with graphics, apps and filters and generally meandering where ever my mind journeys….

This could range anywhere from the ordinary to the quirky; sometimes serious, but mostly playful!

Being part of the IG community is awesome! I have connected with incredibly real, raw, talented people from all over the world and continue to be in awe of the talent out there.

I am honoured to be a guest contributor with Mobile Artistry  and love finding unique and interesting talent that need to be seen!!!

My background and achievements to date cry creative – being involved with the advertising industry for the most part and now currently as a makeup artist.

I have also been made an Ambassador for SA on EyeEm and can’t wait to show the community more about our beautiful country.

I love living in Jozi! It inspires. It is energizing. It is hectic and soulful all at once. Besides, we have Madiba as a historical icon…. say no more!!!

So…. back to that beautiful hubby of mine…. he inspired my photographic historical perspective of buildings in the inner city. His company develops and restores heritage buildings like Stuttafords and Atkinson into affordable rental housing, keeping the facade of history as true as possible and at the same time creating a lifestyle for those less fortunate.

Hope you enjoy! And looking forward to meeting you! PaulaRoo

Email // Instagram // twitter // EyeEm // Kik: paularoo

“Dreaming on the Cliffs of Moher”
I chose this image as my favourite just because it’s most current and because I have not played with editing for a while.

We have also just returned from a magical trip to Ireland and this was a moment of our holiday I never want to forget….. dreaming of returning soon!!!


Roy Potterill

Man about town. Making it happen since 1982. Johannesburg. 1/2 of Mobile Media Mob

A longtime fixture of the Joburg creative community, Roy has always had an eye for opportunity and a talent for making things happen.

Having got his hands dirty in everything from textiles to tattoo shops, his current passions for photography, technology and emerging markets have seen him rise to fame as an Mobile Photographer, bringing both international exhibition and critical acclaim.

Currently the co-founder and creative wizz at Mobile Media Mob – a visual based mobile content agency, Roy spends his days giving brands a piece of his ever-resourceful mind.

Instagram // Email // Website // tumblr // Mobile Media Mob // twitter

“Wild In The Streets”


UW Huskies Retake Montlake

On Saturday, August 31st, the UW Huskies returned home to face the Boise State Broncos since renovations to Husky Stadium began in November 2011.  During 2012, the UW Huskies had temporarily called CenturyLink Field their home, playing on the same turf as the Seattle Seahawks for the entire season.

So, for the last year, everyone has eagerly awaited the reopening of the new stadium, counting down the days to Retake Montlake!

Image by RJ 


The unveiling of the new Husky Stadium for the UW vs Boise State game, came with no disappointments.  It’s an inviting stadium for Husky students, alums, and supporters. All of the renovations; from the removal of the track to bring fans closer to the action, suites and club seating are all great but the most impressive part of the stadium for me – a WSU Cougar Alum – is the west side of the stadium.  The Dawg Pound – student section – was loud and proud and their football team did not fail to give them a great football game.  The stadium is real nice and I’m sure any and all Huskies would be real proud to call it home.  The football team led by Keith Price made sure that their home, their new home, will be a feared place to play.  As a die hard football fan I couldn’t wait to get on the field as I longed to feel the anxiety and rush that came with the territory.  The Dawgs had ONE thing in mind and that was to WIN their 1st game at home!  Brad Puet


Instagramers Seattle and We Are Juxt also returned to the field to capture the excitement and anticipation of the season’s first game.

Just like last year, local photographers will be given the chance to cover the UW Huskies games here at home.  It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that has been possible because of our mobile phones and community leadership.  All the photos that you see from here on end are taken (and edited) with a smartphone only.

Image by Victoria


Timing is key to capturing those fleeting moments.  Not only is it important to be a great photographer but it is also important to be able to catch the action – whether it be a game winning play or an act of frustration.  With every game we get better and just like the players, we get faster and smarter.

As an avid football fan, my goal is to try to connect the technicalities of the game with me actually being on the field.  What I’m trying to say is that watching a game on TV is so much different than actually being on the playing field.  Players, referees, cheerleaders, cameramen et al are there, up close and personal.  There’s a lot going on and it takes concentration to try and figure out the next move. Believe me when I say we’re on our toes and constantly on the go – it’s the best adrenaline rush ever!

Image by Bridgette S.


I wasn’t prepared for this game.  

I shot two games last season at Century Link and was fully aware of how crazy the UW crowd could get for big games and big moments.  With the advent of the new Husky Stadium at hand, I wanted to fully focus on the fans engaged with the game and the team.

What I wasn’t ready for was how potent the UW offense was going to be.  They moved at a break-neck pace, never huddling during their possessions.  In the fourth quarter, the Huskies were moving the ball down the field and fast.  I was taking pictures behind the Dawg Pack when I realized that they were now inside Boise State’s 25 yard line.  I started sprinting down the steps to get closer to the field to get action and reaction shots, should they score.  I made it halfway down the stairs when Bishop Sankey punched it in for a touchdown.

This is going to be a crazy season, having to be aware of what the team is doing on the field and what the fans are doing in reaction to them.  The next game I cover, I’ll be ready for all of it. – RJ 


The fans were loud and they were pumped!  I can still hear everyone, all 70,000+, scream at the top of their lungs, making sure everyone knew WHO’S HOUSE was back in action!  The sounds of the orchestra still ring in my ears too, it all remains so unforgettable.

Image by Brad Puet


Image by Bridgette S.


Image by Victoria 


Image by RJ


The PAC-12 looked right at home with millions of viewers watching nationwide.  But the pressure didn’t shake the UW Huskies as they went on to beat the Broncos 38-6.  As you can imagine, the crowd went wild with every play and the early state of nervousness became an all around thrill ride for Dawg fans both present and afar.

It was a remarkable game and we can’t wait to see what the Huskies have in store for the next game vs Illinois.  We are confident that they will continue to play with the same heart and soul.

Image by Bridgette S.


Image by RJ


Image by Brad Puet


I’d like to thank Daniel Hour and UW Athletics for inviting us to cover the home games.  We are truly appreciative of the opportunity and are proud to represent the Huskies.  Rest assured that we will do our very best to capture as much as we can so we can relive the moment and enjoy it for years to come.  After all that’s what photography is all about : )

More images can be found on We Are Juxt UW.

Thank you for inviting us to shoot for last nights game, it was nothing short of magical – Victoria


Image by Brad Puet


Images by Bridgette S.


Image by RJ


Images by Victoria


Follow the above photographers on Twitter

Brad Puet// Bridgette S. // RJ // Victoria 

Click on Go Huskies to read previous articles.

Monsters Are Real

She has allowed us into her world and has released her fear and vulnerability.  She has dug deep into her soul for us and has done it masterfully.

Meet Maria.  Many of you know her as @muzbanger or @_calipso_, a truly talented artist who I would love to meet in person one day.

She also co-runs HorrorClub, which is how my idea for a short horror film came to be.  Perhaps this is only the beginning of a horror series for WeAreJuxt?  You decide…

B: First and foremost I just want to say that I’m so thrilled that you’ve created these original images especially for We Are Juxt readers. How were you able to get in the zone and produce this series for the short film?  What were you feeling at the moment?

M: I was having a blue day or moment.  I was getting down about a personal issue or confrontation of sorts and on arriving home I found myself acting on the moment as it were.  Though if I get depressed or down I thankfully come out of it within a few  hours or less… and my little shoot certainly helped that!

B:  You initially started on Instagram as @muzbanger and then later on introduced @_calipso_ , the minimal side.  What made you create another account and how have you maintained the balance between the two?  Do you prefer one over the other?

M: Initially @muzbanger was a mixed account of art and snippets of minimal bits of life. I couldn’t sustain a regular audience for both. It seemed people enjoyed one or the other and well, so did I,  which became increasingly so as I went along. One minute I was floored by the intricacies of people’s art, then on other side just as gob-smacked at the beautiful clean lines of minimal work!

It seems easy to do both. @_calipso_ is the every day snippets of looking up or closer to detail. We pass things on our way to work etc that can be capture in a single moment without too much extra editing!  I try going by each account daily.

B.  What apps do you tend to use for special effects and general editing?

M: General editing (say for @_calipso_) would be maybe shot first with native or Hipstamatic camera, then using Snapseed mainly (ps express and diptic sometimes)

If creating art for @muzbanger I shoot first with native camera (or Hipstamatic) then multiple apps are used there after. Sometimes up to 5 apps or more  are used at any one time (lovingly known as app-stacking!) Some of my favourites are Snapseed, blurfx,  Decim8, Blender, montage, scratchcam, Mextures. Others I have include pictureshow, Pixlromatic, VSCOcam, diptic, psexpress, slow shutter, art rage, deco sketch, king camera, filter mania and distressedfx, just to name several ;-]

B: You co-run Horror Club with founder and fellow _uxter, John.  How has the experience been?  How would you describe the type of photographs featured in your gallery?  What classifies an image to be a part of Horror Club, aside from the typical blood and gore?

M: I was so thrilled when I was asked to join the team,  I think I said yes immediately from memory!

It has been quite an eye opener and more to it than meets the eye… people play out there fantasies on that tag, some too gruesome for my liking and that just make me cringe. I think my own influences come through when I choose someones work, I love artful blood but not ‘blood and guts’ so to speak. I draw the line on people doing re-enactments of a murder scene or sacrifices that have a satanic undertone.  I do enjoy a dark scary undertone with a twist of psychological thriller!!  Hitchcock comes to mind. However what the next moderator would choose may be different to me, a good balance all around I guess.

B:  Tell us what childhood was like.  Where did you grow up? Have you always been artistic?

M:  I had a happy childhood and third in line of 4 siblings. I was born in Papua, New Guinea and then moved to Brisbane, Australia with my family when I was 2 years old.  My Dad was Cypriot and my Mum Greek. Then when I was 8 years old we moved to the country town of Gladstone where I completed school.

I dearly wanted to move back to the city for art college but for financial and personal reasons (my Father died of lung cancer when I was 18 years old) stayed there and completed a hairdressing apprenticeship instead.  My artistic ability showed through even with hairdressing, I won many competitions, worked at fashion shows etc. Instagram was the new outlet for re-igniting my love and passion for art.

B:  Is there a person who inspires you?  Someone you can relate to and feel a strong connection to?

M:  Many artists inspire me, not only from a commercial and graphic art perspective, but interiors, architecture, photography, music etc…. people inspire me, cities, fashion and more.  I could rattle off names but probably too many to fit into this slot!! I relate to lots of people but feel a strong connection to a subject than a person… be it the topics I mentioned before, but also emotions of depth, compassion, empathy, love, hate, depression, anger etc.  I’m drawn to (figuratively speaking that is) either black or white, and not much of the grey in between!

B:  Your images are full of emotion.  They’re deep and vulnerable.  Strong yet sensitive.  What would you like people to know about you and your photography. What’s your message?

M:  It is a reflection of my personality, I am all those things you described above.  People should be themselves when they make art, don’t allow people’s criticism to put you off. It couldn’t be a more vast topic, expressed on so many levels and it so it should be!

B:  You have recently joined Jason Flett, Kaily Koutsogiannis, Giulia Macario and George Politis in creating a new Australian photography site called, The Mnemonics.  What brought you all together?  What are some of your future goals and plans?  What can we expect from the site?

M:  A few of us Aussies had formed a friendship via Instagram. Some of us had met from this, but through the genius mind of Giulia had come the idea to form the group.  Showcasing our work to head down the track of having future exhibits and selling our prints on our website!  We hope to blog on various mobile photography techniques, apps, styles and artists eventually! I’m extremely excited to be part of such a talented bunch. We will be launching our website very soon and hopefully have an exhibition in one of Australia’s major cities by the end of the year.

B:  What are your hobbies?  Tell us something unique about yourself, something we wouldn’t otherwise know by looking at your gallery.

M:  Making art for various photo sights is a big hobby of mine outside work (I have my own hairdressing salon) and kids.  I like going to the gym and cooking!! Not much time for anything else!!!!!

B:  I’m always curious about people’s preference in music.  List some of your favorite bands/musicians.

M:  It varies, from work to home to play! From Flume,  compilations like Hôtel Costes and Buddha Bar, Adele, Sarah Blasko, Kings of Leon, La Roux, Morcheeba, Róisín Murphy, Angus and Julia Stone, The Knife, Florence + The Machine… and golden oldies like Eurythmics, De La Soul, Black Eyed Peas!!


Maria Flourou 


I excelled in the arts at secondary school and pursued this career at University. Deviating from this path, I then began a career in hairdressing which remains as my current occupation.  Various accolades were achieved throughout my career, including State L’oreal Champion 2 years running, IHS colour awards, state and regional judging, teaching at seminars for Wella, and working at many state level fashion shows and magazines.

Passion for photography began in the simplest form of mobile photography, where I used my creative eye to design layered artworks focusing on emotion as the core subject behind each piece, this is showcased on my @muzbanger instagram page. This style comes easy to me as it helps ease the depressive state that I feel from time to time due to a medical condition that occurred around the time my first child was born. Being mostly on top of that, it is still good to reflect when making a piece… I find solace in the moment of creation.

The other style I adopt, focuses on the fundamentals, that being perspectives, minimalism and architecture which can be found on my other IG page @_calipso_.

My work has been exhibited at the LA Mobile Arts Festival (LAMAF) and selected works have been chosen for various mobile photography sights such as: AMPt, WeAreJuxt, Shooter Mag, Mobile Artistry, Amselcom, Instagood, finalist for Mobile Masters iPad ebook and many others.

Along with those accolades I am proudly part of a group The Mnemonics along side with Giulia Macario (@giuliam), Jason Flett (@lafletcher), Kaily Koutsogiannis (@kaliopy) and George Politis (@_giorgopolitis_), this is simply a gallery showcasing our work. We hope to write blogs about our experiences and sell prints in the near future.

Instagram // EyeEm // backspaces // iphoneart

Take Us To Toronto

“Take Us To… ” is an ongoing  travel series around the world which features several photographers in a given location.  The goal is to give you an inside look as to what the city is like day by day.

Last month we traveled to Montevideo and today we fly non-stop to Toronto, the largest city in Canada.

Photographers Erin, Graeme, Ian, Jon, Kael, Kanwar and SooTeeOh take us on a journey throughout downtown, underground TTC, and surrounding areas of Lake Ontario and Cottage Country.

Hop on board Flight #3 and enjoy the ride…



Erin McGean Cindric

I was born in the industrial city St. Catherine’s, grew up in Mississauga and currently live in Oakville, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto). I was trained in painting and drawing at York University in Toronto then attended teacher’s college at Brock University and have been teaching high school Visual Arts and photography for 12 years. I’ve had some success as a painter, exhibiting and selling my work in local galleries and art fairs over the years. I have a wonderful and supportive husband and two beautiful young children that make me proud and keep me busy.

Instagram is something I stumbled upon in November of 2011 and was instantly hooked. Working as a teacher with a young family has limited the time I can commit to art making, so mobile photography and editing has given me a creative outlet that works with my lifestyle. The community aspect of Instagram has made it very enjoyable. I am constantly in awe of other artist’s work that I have come across through Instagram over the least two years. Going on Instameets and recently participating in the Instagratification exhibit with some of my newfound friends has been very rewarding and bought the virtual world to life.  Recently I have become very involved with the AMPt community helping to moderate the website and curate features. I am very excited about the future of mobile photography and see it as a versatile and accessible too. I’ve also found that it has inspired and influenced my painting, drawing and multimedia work. Of course, the reverse is also true.

My mobile photography style ranges all the way from minimalism to heavily edited images, and on my Instagram feed you will find everything from the representational to the surreal. Using an iPhone 4, an Olloclip and various apps (mostly Art Studio, Pic FX, Snapseed, Image Blender, Mextures App and Phonto) I try to create images in a fluid way to achieve some diverse effects. Quiet, lonely, blue and surreal are some terms that can describe the images. I take much of my inspiration from nature, however everything in my daily life can be used a form of inspiration, the roads I drive, my children’s laughter, the design of a good chair.

Email // Instagram  // Google+

There are many things I love about this lighthouse photo.

The way the group of teens are hanging out enjoying the summer day reminds me of my carefree days of youth.

But I also love how the sky looked so blue that day and the backdrop of sailboats and birds.


Graeme Roy

I have been a photographer in one way or another for about 35 years. I’ve worked primarily in news photography most of this time, currently I’m the Director of Photography at The Canadian Press, but I’ve also dabbled in fashion, fine art and music… it’s been a wide and somewhat varied road to where I am now.

Mobile photography has been a profoundly liberating experience for me, and I believe for many others in my profession as well. The ability to shoot, process and share instantly has created a fantastically rich and diverse community of artists/photographers. While the ability to send and receive photos globally has always been part of my work life, this is most certainly not the case for most people and it’s a exciting and invigorating to see what new-found friends are up to around the world each day.

Email // Instagram // EyeEm // twitter // Oggl

“Bow to Me”
As with most of my photos there is no great back story or anything.

I liked the way the light bounced around and the person cast an interesting shadow, as if they were bowing to the great tower in front of them.


Ian Griffin

I grew up in the countryside outside the town of Dundalk on the east coast of Ireland. I moved to Dublin when I was 17 to go to University and ended up living there for 15 years. Although I grew up in the country I was just as happy in the city, quickly adapting to a faster pace of life.

In 2008 I went to Canada on holidays and met my now wife when I was in Toronto. After a year and a half of the torture that is a long distance relationship I moved to Toronto. I have lived in Toronto for over three and a half years now in the city’s Queen West area with my wife Eva and our 2 year old, crazy boxer Cuisle (pronounced “Kushla”).

Although I was living in Ireland’s capital, moving to Toronto was still a huge shock. There are as many people in the Greater Toronto Area as there are in all of Ireland. Although a huge city, I immediately fell in love with Toronto. I find it a very vibrant and “lived in” city. The city does not boast the grand architectural appeal that somewhere like Chicago does, nor does it have a history like Dublin but time spent walking around the neighbourhoods and down by the lake in Toronto really shows you how alive and how diverse the city is.

I first became interested in photography when I spent a year traveling in Australia in 2005. I had a pretty standard point and shoot camera but I quickly became hooked, driving my traveling companions crazy always lagging behind trying to get more shots. A few years later I received an entry level DSLR as a Christmas present from my family which I used when I went on holidays but it primarily became a dust collector. It was really only when I bought an iPhone about a year and a half ago and discovered Instagram that my passion for photography really took off. Now, everywhere I go it is like my head is on a swivel – I find I look at the world in frames. I think mobile photography has had this impact on a lot of people.

Instagram is an amazing and fascinating place. I love the community aspect of it and have been fortunate to meet other IGers from around Toronto, along with IGers from outside Toronto who have visited and even on a recent trip to Chicago I was able to organize a meet up with some people that I had “known” through IG for about a year.

As for my photography style: I’m still trying to find that myself, if you find it please let me know!


I am very fortunate to have a wonderful view from my office.

One the days that you get a great sunset here in Toronto, and they are numerous, I have the best view in the city.

I took this photo one evening when in work late.

It was one of the most spectacular sunsets that I have ever seen.


Jon Rix

I live in the city, but I’m a country boy at heart. I was born up north and spent EVERY summer at the cottage. This is still true in a way as I get away every weekend I can escape the job (I work on call in the tech industry).

I discovered photography and Instagram in February 2012. I was posting pictures of Norman to Facebook and someone told me to check out Instagram (they were sick of looking at the Norm pics). Norman is my english bulldog. At first, all the pictures I took were just of Norman. Then I slowly started trying other things I saw on Instagram. I was inspired by all the great photography I was seeing everyday. It gave me confidence to try things that felt right to my eye, but I had never tried before. I still love taking pictures of Norman but I don’t post that many as I like to change things up in my feed.

I do not have 1 common theme or edit process. Every time I edit I try different things/apps depending on the photo. I shoot in camera+ and edit in Snapseed/VSCO/PicFx/Afterlight to name a few. I will avoid posting 2 black and white photos in a row, or 2 looking up shots in a row as best I can. I also do my best to find new areas to shoot in and not post the same shot/spot over and over. My favourite things to take pictures are of people and landscapes, although I do not get to see that many landscapes in the city. I do this as a hobby and love it. I always have a phone on me due to my job so it’s nice to be able to capture some of the things I see daily and share it with all the great people I’ve met on Instagram.

Email // Instagram


This is one of my fav pictures of the TTC because it is one of the first I took.

I was paying attention to his bag.

Where is he going? What is in it? Where does he live? Is he visiting?

The motion of the train really made me see the possibilities of telling a story with a image, as well as giving me ideas of shooting my commutes to/from work.


Kael Rebick

I spend my days walking the streets of Toronto looking for beauty in the small things. There is so much beauty everywhere and if you don’t take the time to soak it all in, you might miss it.

I started taking photos of my father’s garden in 2005 with a little camera I found in a drawer. I developed quite a love for capturing beauty that way but it wasn’t until I got my first iPhone that it became a true passion.

I was thrilled to discover IG in April, 2010. It was a place to post my photos and also an incredible community. Since I downloaded the app, I don’t think I’ve looked at the world the same way. There truly is so much beauty everywhere.

I have chosen to photograph the Cedarvale Ravine. It is a hidden treasure in Toronto… a slice of country in the middle of the city. It’s an example of nature’s perfection all year round.

I take all my photos with my iPhone 5. I do very little editing to most of my images, but my favourite apps to use are, HDR Pro, Snapseed, Picfx and Photofx. I seem to focus primarily on colour and framing and most of all, beauty.

Email // Instagram // We Are Juxt

I’ve chosen a photo of the ravine from autumn as my favourite.

The ravine is a magical place for so many reasons.

One of the most incredible things about it is how it changes from season to season.

I love it all year but I think it is most beautiful in the fall.


Kanwar Sandhu

It all started in June of 2011, when I had first heard rumors of this photography app called ‘Instagram.’ I have always enjoyed photography as a hobby and since getting my hands on IG, it has become more of an obsession!

I come from the suburbs of Toronto (Mississauga) and try to get out to the city as much as I can to take a break from studying. I find it extremely therapeutic to get ‘lost’ in the city streets and underground pathways.  If there were a concrete description for my photographic style, it would probably be melancholy. lol. Nothing makes me more happy than taking pictures of dark and dramatic symmetrical architecture with an ambient feel. Of course listening to ambient electronica completes the mood :]

Instagram // twitter // website

“Darkness Falls”

It was the most haunting sky I had ever seen. Huge, ominous clouds on one side of the city and the setting sun on the other.

The CN Tower was lit up like a fiery beacon against the clouds and till this day, remains my favourite picture.

It also helps that a bird flew into the shot ;]




I am incredibly passionate about the city of Toronto. Conventional wisdom would label me a street photographer, but that would be inaccurate. I am a Toronto street photographer. I have no desire to shoot anything aside from the subjects that can be found within the boundaries of this city. My work is largely self exploratory. I reinterpret this city’s structures and environments to represent emotions, intentions and people that hold meaning in my life.

Email // website // Instagram // twitter // Facebook // YouTube

“Sunset Rock”

View of the city from a quiet bird sanctuary east of the downtown core where I like to go to get away from things.

Take Us to Montevideo

“Take Us To… ” is an ongoing  travel series around the world which features several photographers in a given location.  The goal is to give you an inside look as to what the city is like day by day.

Last month we flew you to Chicago, and today, Flight #2 takes you to Montevideo – the capital city of Uruguay.

On this trip photographers, Ana, Denny, Federico R., Federico S., and Fernanda show us their favorite areas of Montevideo.  After viewing the video, please take a moment to read more about each photographer and see what they love most about their city.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride…


Ana Paula Rondán

Bio:  My name is Ana Paula Rondán, I am 24 years old. I work as a model for many years and currently am a fashion producer as well.  I was born in a small village, of 900 habitants in the center of the Oriental Republic in Uruguay.  I had a beautiful childhood surrounded by nature and pure air.

About the photo set: 

Photo1: Feria de Villa Biarritz/Villa Biarritz market.  In this type of business we can buy cheeses, grains, olive oil of artisanal and organic origin.

Photo2: Feria de Parque Rodo/Parque Rodo market.  Typical business of cold meat and cheeses.  They use little packaging and many others are recyclable.  For example: the eggs are wrapped in everyday paper.  You can also bring your own jars and they will fill with cream cheese, sweets, etc.  It is normal one asks to have a taste before buying.

Photo3: Feria vecinal/Neighborhood market.  The neighborhood markets are very popular in Uruguay.  It is an ecological way to consume.  Fortunately many Uruguayan families prefer the markets rather than the large supermarkets.

Photo4: Parada de ómnibus/Bus stop. I take this bus everyday and it stops at the door of my house.  It’s route.

Photo5: La señora/The woman.  Also went to the market.

Photo6: Typical street of my neighborhood in Parque Rodo.  In my neighborhood the houses aren’t high and old.  Have plenty of “platanus” and “Jacarandá”.

Photo7: Castillo del Parque Rodó – Library María Stagnero de Munar. Located in the center of the park 100meters from the beach.

Photo8: I really like boat trips.  This man works everyday in the park.

Photo9: Parque Rodo/Rodo Park. There are many businesses that make “churros” in my neighborhood but his one in particular stands out for serving “churros” with cheese.

Photo 10: Parque Rodo. My neighborhood also has games with views of the beach.  Every weekend people come from all parts of Montevideo to enjoy the park and the games.

Bio:  My name is Ana Paula Rondán, am 24 years old.  I work as a model for many years and am now a fashion producer as well.  I was born in a very small village, of 900 habitants in the center of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.  I had a beautiful childhood surrounded by nature and pure air.

Contact: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

1.  Are you originally from Montevideo? What is your line of profession?  And how does it influence your photography?

I was born in Cardona in the department of Soriano, Uruguay.

I work as a professional model for more than 10 years.  I also directed a fashion magazine for two years and nowadays work as a fashion producer, besides working as a model.  In taking part in all of these productions, along my career, I started to feel a certain attraction for photography and the truth is I began to experiment when Instagram entered my life last year.

2.  What do you feel makes Montevideo unique?

Montevideo is a very calm city, with a very big coastline which plays a significant part in the mood of the Uruguayans   In appearance, it is a city of the past. Its architecture is very old, and so are the automobiles.  Something that makes Uruguayans unique is that everyone drinks “mate” all the time and everywhere, this calls much attention to the people who visit from other countries.

Es una casa de herramientas en el bosque  de Lussich en Portezuelo,  Maldonado, Uruguay.

3.  What is your favorite typical dish?  Is there a local restaurant which you recommend that serves it just the way you like it?

My favorite food is the “chivito” of Bar Sporting.  It is a bar en Parque Rodo managed by its owners.

4.  Is there a place which you classify as a “hidden gem”?

Twice a week in every neighborhood of Montevideo we have large markets of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheap and many of them are organic.

5.  What tip would you give to someone traveling to Montevideo for the first time?

Personally I recommend not looking for big parties and bars.

6.  How would you describe the people of Montevideo?

The people of Uruguay are very kind, charming and very relaxed.  The big river greatly influences the Uruguayan’s personality.

Las Toscas.

Este balneario queda a 30 minutos de Montevideo, en el kilómetro 47.5.

Es una de mis playas favoritas.  Hay un ambiente muy familiar  y tranquilo.

7. Have you had any professional training in photography?

No, I am not a photographer.  I take pictures for pleasure.

8.  Are you involved with any collaborations or projects you’d like to share?  


9.  If you’re not taking photographs, you are… 

These days I am making frames with flowers that I have collected, dehydrated and have kept throughout the summer.


Denny Brechner

About the photo set:  Day and night by the sea.

Bio:  Born in Montevideo in 1983, lived in Uruguay, Israel, London and Shanghai.   Studied Film in College where I directed the documentary, “The Big Trip”, about Israeli soldiers travelling after finishing the army.  After school I worked in several film projects. Now am established in Montevideo, working as a freelance photographer.

Contact: Instagram // Twitter


1.  Are you originally from Montevideo? What is your line of profession?  And how does it influence your photography?

I’m from Montevideo. I am working with a software company in the chinese market. My photography was influenced  by all the travels, making street photography one of my favorite areas.

2.  What do you feel makes Montevideo unique?

I feel Montevideo is unique for its rhythm, being very peaceful for a capital.


3.  What is your favorite typical dish?  Is there a local restaurant which you recommend that serves it just the way you like it?

Chivito and Milanesa. La pasiva is a good place for local food

4.  Is there a place which you classify as a “hidden gem”?

Not really.

5.  What tip would you give to someone traveling to Montevideo for the first time?

Montevideo doesn’t have super famous spots, it is generally the vibe what makes it unique. You need a few days to see it.

6.  How would you describe the people of Montevideo?

Well educated, humble, peaceful.


7.  Have you had any professional training in photography?

I started as a professional last year working with some magazines.

8.  Are you involved with any collaborations or projects you’d like to share?  

Not yet.

9.  If you’re not taking photographs, you are… 

Playing soccer, diving and cooking.


Federico Racchi 

About the photo set:  Montevideo is a small port city which lives and looks to the sea. As a lucky “montevideano”, I grew up living one block from the “Rambla” of “Punta Carretas”, then moved to “Buceo” and finally to “Pocitos”, living always only a couple of blocks from the sea. This place is like our backyard. We have experienced many things there, first football shoots, swimming, fishing, kissing, drinking “mates”, beer or having our first cigarette and more… A magical place from which to observe calm and feel relaxed.

Bio:  I work and live in Montevideo as a graphic designer and freelance photographer. I have lived a few years away from my hometown, first in Dominican Republic and then in New York. In 2009 I came into photography and started going out to the streets looking for emotions, lifestyle and anthropological shapes of the city and citizens.

Contact: Instagram // Twitter // Flickr // Website

1.  Are you originally from Montevideo? What is your line of profession?  And how does it influence your photography?

I live and work in Montevideo as a graphic designer. My career has taken me to the visual art field and experiment with all kind of cameras, film, lomo, dslr, mostly while on vacation or other travel experiences. Besides, I have lived a few years in Dominican Republic and New York.

2.  What do you feel makes Montevideo unique?

The city which looks at the sea, the mild climate and the people which I think have a taste, education and creativity in all art levels, like music and poetry for example making Montevideo, with its 1.5 million people, unique.


3.  What is your favorite typical dish?  Is there a local restaurant which you recommend that serves it just the way you like it?

The typical dish here is the ‘asado’ (meat ribs), you can have it at any ‘parrillada’, but for me the best in town is called ‘La Otra’ in Pocitos neighborhood. Also you can have the most tourist experience, going down town to ‘El Mercado del Puerto’.

Besides, you can find fresh fish everywhere 🙂

4.  Is there a place which you classify as a “hidden gem”?

There is a dock in the Buceo’s bay thats is a gem and another one in ‘Punta Brava’ .

5.  What tip would you give to someone traveling to Montevideo for the first time?

Well I think like in most other cities, it is in food workers where you will find the real answers about the city. However one tip I can give is to don’t miss the ‘Tambores’ experience (F. Sardi will tell you for sure). Because like my friend @pendehooo tattoo says “Music is the answer” and Films too!!!

Some Uruguayan films you must see are: “25watts”, “Whisky”, “El Baño del Papa”.

6.  How would you describe the people of Montevideo?

I think we are simple middle class people, with stronger values in social justice and compromise in politics. We are very extreme in our beliefs as well as very passionate for soccer….hehehe.

We are quite conservative in our way of dressing but very forward thinking in topics like equal same sex marriage and legal abortion rights. Besides our country has innovated education by the “one laptop per child” program, from which we feel really proud.

7.  Have you had any professional training in photography?

Not in depth, but during my graphic designer graduate degree we had a couple of courses to introduce us to the photography field, which we then experienced for most of our projects.


8.  Are you involved with any collaborations or projects you’d like to share?  

I took part in the 24 hour project in March. It was an amazing experience which you can check in the post by @Koci, which was published in here. Besides, I’m about to start the 100strangers on flickr group to improve the streets conversations. On the other hand, I also have a food project in progress, together with my chef and designer friends.

9.  If you’re not taking photographs, you are… 

While taking photos and or not I spend the time with my love @marusilva and my dog #edmalab. We enjoy walking by the beach everyday. And I have an obsession with auteur cinema, like watching 7 to 10 films a week.


Federico Sardi

About the photo set:  My passion with mobile photography began almost accidentally. As an orchestra musician I travel a lot to study and perform abroad. As I’m always carrying my instrument, accesories, music stand and lots of scores, the only camera I can carry with me is my iPhone. I started documenting all my travels with that little device and found that its camera could get in many places where a “real camera” could not. That’s where my passion for street photography started.
After coming back to Uruguay I started looking at it with “tourist eyes”.  I started discovering new details every day, just like if I was visiting a new country. From that moment on I’ve been photographing Montevideo daily, getting to know its architecture, its people, its little secrets from a completely different perspective. Through candids I’m capturing slices of life, I’m documenting life from an artistic point of view.

Thanks to my camera-phone, I discovered a new passion I couldn’t live without; photography.  I think these pictures are a good sample of what I want to portray; fractions of a second of the life of ordinary people, doing ordinary things, that turn into magic… into an honest (but nonetheless artistic) documentation of life, here and now, as seen through my eyes.

Bio:  Federico Sardi is a bassoonist of the Montevideo Philarmonic and OSSODRE orchestras, a passionate iPhoneographer and a MPA Honorable Mention (Performing Arts 2013)

EyeEm ambassador: @federicosardiInstagramers Uruguay‘s manager, Instagram Artistry moderator, Mobile Artistry contributor & AMPt member

Contact: Instagram: @federicosardi & @estopasaya // Backspaces: @federicosardi // Twitter: @SardiFederico // Blog:

1.  Are you originally from Montevideo? What is your line of profession?  And how does it influence your photography?

I was born in Montevideo, in November 1990, and I’m a professional musician. I’m a bassoonist of the Montevideo Philharmonic and OSSODRE (National Symphony) orchestras.

Music is one way of expressing myself, photography is just another one. It is something that I need to do almost as much as make music. When my job gets too demanding and stressful or when I feel I’m not having enough “artistic freedom” (as an orchestra musician is more or less a soldier under the conductor’s command), I tend to shoot even more, as a way to find a balance over my “artistic needs”.

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance – – E. E. Cummings 

2.  What do you feel makes Montevideo unique?

The beautiful “rambla” (promenade) by the Río de la Plata and the Ciudad Vieja (Old City) neighborhood are emblems of the city.

The Ciudad Vieja keeps all Montevideo’s oldest secrets in its ancient buildings, narrow streets and beautiful plazas. It has a huge concentration of offices and government buildings and its also always full of turists what makes that part of the city a gem for street photographers.

Tango (as many other “urban music styles”) was born in the outskirts of Ciudad Vieja, close to the docks where the poor people found a way to express their pain and nostalgia through dance and music. It still has some “dark” areas that I think contribute to its magic.

La Rambla which frames the southern part of our city is a beautiful place to take a walk or just enjoy the view of the Rio de la Plata and the beautiful summer sunsets over the water.

I’ve put up a Foursquare list with must-see places of Montevideo (historical, turistic, bars and restaurants) that won the Foursquare Cities contest.  If you use Foursquare and have the chance to visit our city you can even get the Mateína badge by checking on 5 of those places too!

3.  What is your favorite typical dish?  Is there a local restaurant which you recommend that serves it just the way you like it?

There are many typical dishes. I should say that “asado” is the principal. My personal favourite is Chivito. If you want to know what a Chivito is, you’ll definetly have to see what Anthony Bourdain has to say about it.

If you want to eat asado you’ll definetly have to go to Mercado del Puerto on Ciudad Vieja (listed on the Foursquare list), that is a huge old food “market” that has many “parrilladas”, the places where asado is best made. About chivitos, I’d recommend you to try chivitos in every bar and restaurant until you find the one that you like the best. Every place has some disctintive way of preparing chivitos. My favourite chivito will most likely be the next to come!

4.  Is there a place which you classify as a “hidden gem”?

I think Montevideo is full of “hidden gems”, it’s just a matter of being adventurous and looking for those gems. If you saw the full Anthony Bourdain episode on Uruguay you’ll surelly know what I’m talking about.

If you come to visit Montevideo you’ll have to visit Palermo and Barrio Sur neighborhoods to hear some candombe (a beautiful rhythm  legacy of the slaves, that used to call eachother with the sound of the drums), and visit the Feria de Tristán Narvaja (Sunday mornings), a traditional flea market in which you can find anything from old wrecked cameras and used clothes, from fine antiques and first editions of old books that may worht thousands but be misslabeled at just a few dollars. Great place for street photography too!

5.  What tip would you give to someone traveling to Montevideo for the first time?

If you’re adventurous, go off the “prestablished tourist route”. Learn the codes of the city, dress like a local, go out and explore! Most distances in Montevideo are short so grab a map (traveler tip: take screenshots of the places you’re planning on visiting on the map application and use that. Don’t rely on wifi networks! You wont’ find many) and go explore!

There are a few more tourist tips on the interview I gave to the romanian site TukTuk.

6.  How would you describe the people of Montevideo?

I always describe and “judge” the people of a city when I’m there as a tourist. Can’t say the same about Montevideo, but I’d like to think that people is gentle and always willing to help a lost tourist!

I believe that the best way to get to know the people of Montevideo without actually visiting the city is through candid portraits. You can take a look at my feed on Instagram or EyeEm and Federico Racchi’s feed on Instagram to see candid portraits of our people from two different perspectives.

7.  Have you had any professional training in photography?

No, my passion for photography began with my iPhone. Since I discovered the world of mobile and iPhone photography (iPhoneography, coining Glyn Evans therminology) I’ve been self teaching myself by constantly shooting and reading all I can find, exploiting all the resources that internet provides.

I’m actively involved on the iPhoneography world, beta testing apps, taking pictures (literally) every day and diving in many many projects. I found a new passion and I’m serious about it. I’m putting as much effort on it as I do on music.

Going back to what was asked, I attended one of the excellent online Mobile Photo Workshops (the one on street photography) by Anton Kawasaki and Sion Fullana. I must say I absolutely loved it. It was also a great thing to be able to have them following closely your work, interacting with you and making full use of what technollogy has to offer. Most of the “action” regarding mobile and iPhone photography is happening in the US and on Europe in a smaller degree. It’s very hard to us, south americans, to be a part of it so I celebrate Anton and Sion’s decision to make the workshops online. They’re planning on bringing back the workshops soon, so stay tuned!

Pity the country that needs heroes – – Bertold Brecht 

8.  Are you involved with any collaborations or projects you’d like to share?  

I’m managing Instagramers Uruguay, the local igers network and that allows me to enlarge the mobile community by encouraging igers to use their mobile phones. That is a huge satisfaction, but it also takes a huge amount of work and effort. One of the main short term goals with@igersuruguay is to make a first mobile photography exhibition. On Instagram I’m also moderating the Instagram Artistry account (@ig_artistry) and contributing to Mobile Artistry (@mobileartistry).

I’m also an EyeEm ambassador but haven’t started anything in Uruguay yet, because I may be moving to Düsseldorf, Germany for a while, so that will be a great opportunity to start something there (although the language barrier would make things hard, I think it would be a great experience). I have to confess that I’d really love to work with the guys at EyeEm, the potential of the platform is amazing, and I found that there is a great team behind it. Can’t wait to meet them in person. I’m also on the process of becoming a Juxter (that’s supposed to be a secret…right?). I love what the community is doing and I’d love to collaborate with some bilingual content (spanish and english) to make everything mobile accesible to even more people around the globe. I also discovered recently that I really enjoy writing, so I’ll definetly be doing that more often!

9.  If you’re not taking photographs, you are… 

If I’m not taking photographs, I’m listening or making music (not only classical!) or I’m working endless hours on all my Apple devices (yes, I use a MacBook Pro, an iPad and two) iPhones  to manage, moderate and contribute to the different communities I’m into, besides processing and uploading my own images. I used to read a lot but now I barely have time to keep up with everything that’s going on on my life. On Sundays (every two weeks) I meet a group of crazy music lovers to play a music game that has a history of 60 plus years on Uruguay. In this meetings a host plays a carefully curated selection of classical pieces for the attendance to guess who composed them. Almost non of them are musicians, but their level of knowledge is absolutely unveliavable. Now I’m starting to think that interviewing and photographing them could actually be a great project to get involved into!



About the photo set:  I lived abroad for many years, and each time I would come to visit my home city I was surprised to see its cars. Montevideo remains a treasure of the past and, within it, a treasure of cars ‘with character’. So I started to work on a series of photos taken with the iPhone, based on those cars and the portraits behind them. This is a selection of the ongoing series.

Bio:  Fernanda Montoro was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. During the process of making documentaries, Fernanda discovered her passion for photography. Today she lives and works as a photographer between London and Montevideo, using mainly vintage Polaroid cameras. Her limited edition prints and original polaroid work have been exhibited in galleries around the world and published in numerous magazines and books.

Contact: Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

1.  Are you originally from Montevideo? What is your line of profession?  And how does it influence your photography?

I was born and raised in Montevideo but I lived most of my adult life abroad. I am a photographer and I work mainly with Polaroid and analogue cameras. Photography is an important part of my life.

2.  What do you feel makes Montevideo unique?

I think Montevideo combines the buzz of a capital city with the feel of a small town. Add to that mix long stretches of coastline, architectonic treasures and very laid back people.

Rosas Rojas

3.  What is your favorite typical dish?  Is there a local restaurant which you recommend that serves it just the way you like it?

I’m vegetarian and Uruguay is a famous meat- eating country. In the past there haven’t been many options for me to eat-out! But luckily things are rapidly changing now. No fave veggie place yet, but more options than before, especially in the old city.

4.  Is there a place which you classify as a “hidden gem”?

I often go to “El Faro” de Punta Carretas to watch the sunset. It’s a good vantage point, and usually there are only a few fishermen and lots of stray cats at that time of the day.

5.  What tip would you give to someone traveling to Montevideo for the first time?

Watch your bag, cameras and walk. It’s a beautiful city to discover by foot.

6.  How would you describe the people of Montevideo?

I think in general people are friendly and open to conversation. Not very used to foreigners though.

7.  Have you had any professional training in photography?

No, I’m a Self-Taught Photographer. I had professional training in film making.

Ana Paula 

8.  Are you involved with any collaborations or projects you’d like to share?

I am currently working with my partner Agustin Ferrando on a video series about Uruguay, which broadcasts on YouTube on Mondays: Tiranos Temblad.  It reflects Uruguay idiosyncrasy, so I would recommend it to people who want to know more about our culture. Photography-wise I am working on two new series of photographs and also on a book, a collaboration with my writer friend Fernanda Trias. It’s taking us long but we are enjoying the process.

9.  If you’re not taking photographs, you are…

I’m enjoying being back home, spending time with Agustin, making and watching videos with him, cooking, playing videogames or reading.

I’d like to thank the photographers for showing us their wonderful city and for being a part of this series. Hopefully one day I’ll get to visit 🙂 – Bridgette

Take Us To Chicago

Bridgette‘s Introduction

The beauty of photography is that it brings everyone one step closer to each other.  Not only does it have the ability to open our minds and our vision but it also makes it possible for us to see the world at any given moment.

Since joining the world of photo and social sharing, I have been “meeting” people from all around the world, that live in places that I categorize as, “have been to”, “not  yet discovered” or “wish to discover”.

When I first joined Instagram, I searched for cities that I had recently traveled to and started following some local photographers in the area.  It was my way of revisiting those cities without having to actually fly.  But then it got me thinking that I’m certainly not alone on this quest.  There are billions of people that love to travel and there are those who have never left their hometown.

Every month, a different city from around the world will be showcased by photographers who are not only exceptional artists but also community leaders, from all walks of life.  My aim is to feature photographers who I feel share a true representation of their city, from a local’s point of view.

I hope you enjoy our first stop to Chicago aka the “Windy City”.

So please… relax, sit back and enjoy the ride…


Please take a moment to learn more about Chicago and the photographers featured. 
Fayth = F, Ivan = I, Jason = J, Ruth = R, Ryan = Ry

Where are you originally from? How long have you lived in Chicago and what do you do for a living?

F:  My early childhood was in Chicago, but I grew up in Los Angeles, CA.  I’ve lived in Chicago since 1995.  I am Principal Director of Operations at a technology consulting firm.

I:  I’m Puerto Rican, born and raised in Chicago’s Mexican community, La Villita/Little Village. I’m an actor and co-founding executive director of UrbanTheater Company (UTC), a non-for-profit based in Humboldt Park. I also work for Food For Thought catering as well as other jobs here and there for supplemental income.

J: I am from Phoenix, Arizona. I lived in downtown NYC for 20 years and relocated to the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago 2 years ago. I am the chief creative officer of Havas – a 400 person full service advertising and marketing company.

R:  I’m a lifelong Chicagoan. I’ve tried to escape from the harsh winters many times but Chicago is home. I’m a film editor who has the good fortune to work on many types of projects, including commercials and independent films. Most of my career has been spent editing commercials shot the classic way, on 35mm film.

Ry:  I am originally from Seattle, WA but moved to Chicago when I was 13. I have now lived in Chicago for 17 years. I am a film editor/producer and now specialize in the healthcare field.

How does your profession influence your photography? Are there any other interests which attribute to your love of photography?

F:  In general my profession has no relation to my photography.  I have had a love of photography since childhood.  Music, modern art, architecture, journalism, photojournalism, and social psychology are all interests of mine, and I’d say they all directly or indirectly influence my photography.

Old Style Jazz by Fayth 

I:  My first love is theater/acting, but it ties in perfectly with my love for photography. It’s a perfect platform to express my creativity, plus, they both carry the commonality of storytelling. I’m fascinated with peoples journey. Everyone is on a path to get somewhere and I’m very intrigued with how they’re getting where they are going.

J:  Advertising is all about social media. I tell all my clients and employees that if you can’t succeed at social media platforms for yourself then how do you expect to do it for brands. I use shooting photos on IG as white noise therapy for my crazy hectic day. I usually disappear at lunch time to shoot shots. My assistant recently told me an intern asked why she saw me kneeling down in a Chicago alley with my iPhone.

R:  My profession makes me appreciate the extreme attention to detail in much of the cinematography that I’m exposed to. But there are large teams of highly creative professionals who bring those images to the screen. My photography, in contrast, is very random, unplanned, lit only by the sun or other available light and really does rely on what I happen to ‘come across along the way.’  For me, the lack of ‘production’ and the focus on a quiet and still image, rather than a moving one with sound and music, makes photography really feel like a peaceful hobby and not ‘work.’

I love process and detail, architecture and travel, the human figure, light and geometric shapes, and also technology, and all of this comes together in my photography.

Ry: Photography is something I did professionally for a number of years early in my career. Corporate work became stale and uncreative and I ended up focusing my work in film editing instead. My current work in producing and editing moving images is extremely related to composing a photograph and I try to take the same approach in both avenues: let the image speak for itself as much as possible. My main focus is to edit as minimally as I can.

With the changes to Instagram and the emergence/popularity of other apps, do you feel as if your interest to connect with the mobile community has remained the same or changed? Are you as active on these sites as you were when you first started sharing photos?

F:  Instagram was a much smaller global community when I started using it in 2010 – about 1 million. It was much easier to connect with people who were genuinely interested in mobile creatively through Instagram. Along with the changes to Instagram itself, came millions of users who use the app in less creative or thoughtful ways.  That, coupled with the uncertainty of Facebook’s impact drove me to at least try other apps as a backup. I definitely became more interested in connecting with the mobile community outside of Instagram, but I’m not as active on other sites or apps as I am or back when I first started using Instagram.

I:  My interest is still the same as when I first started experimenting with mobile photography on Instagram about a one year in a half ago. Change is good and you have to adapt, but it definitely does not stop me from continuing to stretch myself outside my comfort zones. It’s all about learning and growing in everything I do. Instagram is my main photo sharing app, but there are other apps that I use such as EyeEm and Tadaa to name a couple.

J:  For IG it’s the same just a bigger scale. It always had the same pros and cons they just get louder as it grows. I like EyeEm, it’s the best next to IG. I tried them all, Tadaa is cool. Starmatic has a cool thing going. The rest are whatever.

North Avenue Beach by Jason

R:  Over time, I find that my interest in mobile photography and the various apps that I use for photo sharing keeps evolving. What I ‘see’ or wish to ‘see’ keeps changing and over time my desire to share keeps changing too. For me, it is critical that posting on IG and EyeEm and other apps remains feeling fresh and unconstrained so that it never feels like ‘work.’ I post less often than I did when I first started. I think it’s for various reasons, including time constraints and that I find it harder and harder to find a shot that feels original.

I still love to connect with the mobile community. I am inspired by the creativity of others in some way every day. IG has gotten so big, with so many users, that I often find myself unable to keep up and to enjoy the beautiful work of so many others. That’s what I love about EyeEm, for example, it’s a much smaller community, more intimate and for me the focus is really more on the photography itself and less on the social aspects.

Ry: Instagram is a constantly evolving community and it certainly is very different from what it was over 2 years ago. Change is good. Competitive apps are good. It keeps us challenging ourselves in and we should never be complacent. With that said, I find it difficult to manage more than one app. My involvement has grown over the years and I find the most satisfaction from going to meet ups and meeting complete strangers to find inspiration.

Have you had any professional training in photography? What devices/cameras do you use most?

F:  I had taken general photography classes long ago, and was trained on an old Hasselblad medium format film camera by a friend who is a photographer. I have a few friends who are professional photographers in media and entertainment, so in some ways I feel as though I’m constantly being trained each time I need help – particularly for dark-lit or night photography.  Which is great!  Primarily I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (I prefer a big screen), shooting with the Fotor app.  I also use a Nikon DSLR, but less and less frequently for Instagram posts. Most of my editing is on an iPad or on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

I:  I have not had any formal training in photography. What I know today, I’ve learned on my own, while being inspired by others and their work. While in college at Roosevelt University, I bought my first camera. It was a Nikon D60 film camera. Since then, I’ve never stopped taking photos. It came naturally to me. I’ve always enjoyed capturing moments and being able to instantaneously document how I see the world around me. After going through many digital point and shoot cameras, I purchased a Nikon D80 from a good friend and a very talented photographer, Anthony Aicardi. I’m currently looking to upgrade my equipment and take things to another level. In the meantime, the device I use most often is my convenient and unobtrusive iPhone4S.

J:  iPhone only. I did get a tripod for Xmas but don’t usually lug it around. I took photography through college. I have shot every format in the past and have a closet full of expensive equipment I haven’t touched in 3 years.


R:  I have not had any professional training in still photography, per se, but I did go to a very theoretical film school where we shot 16mm film. Plus, I’ve been working with gorgeous imagery for my entire career. I take all my pictures with my iPhone 4s or with my Nikon DSLR.

Ry: I had quite a few photography classes in high school and college, and I even taught a couple in college, but nothing compares to just grabbing a camera and challenging yourself. I am certain that my photo-a-day project I did a few years back taught me more about photography than any class I’ve taken. I use a Canon 7D for my non-iPhone work.

#theresultofmissingthetrain by Ryan 

Fayth is a manIger for the @IgersChicago team. Have you joined any of their (or other group’s) photowalks/events? Am curious… have you all met each other in person?

F:  Luke (@agentluke) was the very first person to reach out to me when I first launched IGers Chicago!  We became friends before the first instameet, and we have been friends ever since. In terms of everyone else who is being featured on We Are Juxt from Chicago, everyone has attended instameets except Ruth, and we know each other through Instagram.

I:  I have been on several photo-walks with Fayth and others from @IgersChicago. It’s been great to meet and connect with a diverse group of mobile photographers through this “little” photo sharing app called Instagram.

J:  I have gone to a few. I like all those people they are a diverse group all centered around love of photography. I met @ryanpostel and @kevinkuster through Chicago IG and consider them friends.

R:  I have not participated in any of the IgersChicago events..yet. I really look forward to meeting some of Chicago’s incredible talent. My free time is limited and I love the quiet of taking pictures alone. Interestingly enough, I have met Ryan Postel. We met through IG when we were both relatively new and I hired him to help me edit a feature-length documentary that I was working on at the time. It was a great pleasure and my luck to have met Ryan through IG.

Ry: I have attended nearly every Chicago meet up over the last year and a half. I really love them. I have met everyone in this feature and call these people my friends. Chicago has such a solid group of talented IGers and we are very open and collaborative.

What tip would you give anyone traveling to Chicago for the first time? Is there a place that you consider a “hidden gem”?

F:  The tip I’d give someone on their first visit to Chicago would be: Bring walking shoes because Chicago is best experienced by walking from neighborhood to neighborhood, or hopping on public transit and seeing as much as possible.  Despite all the news hype about crime in Chicago, there are really only a handful of pockets of the city where the majority of crime occurs, and one would have to go out of their way to find it.

There are a ton of hidden gems in the is city depending on one’s interests.  For staying on the beaten path, the Alfred Caldwell Lilly Pool is definitely a gem.  It’s adjacent to the Lincoln Park Zoo, but few people, including Chicagoans, know it’s there. Built in the 1930’s, it is touted as a premier example of Prairie style landscape design which functions as a bird sanctuary with winding paths surrounding a lily pond with a wooden shelter designed in the architectural Prairie style on one side of the pond.

Off the beaten path, the Pilsen neighborhood is Chicago’s hidden gem because it was one of the only neighborhoods that withstood the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Now home for many artists, this neighborhood is not glitzy or even very well maintained, but for an Instagramer with an eye for historic architecture, this it’s definitely a hidden gem.

I:  Exploring downtown is a must, but if you want to take advantage of the diversity, history, food and rich culture Chicago has to offer, do yourself a favor and visit: Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Pilsen and Hyde Park. I really like the West Loop in the Near West Side of Chicago. It’s very industrial area with a wonderful and gritty playground.

J:  Lower Wacker is the best. Also wake up early before everyone is up. Also don’t be showy with your iPhone, Chicago is a tough town.

R: Chicago is a city of hidden gems. The beauty is everywhere. I would tell any travelers to not miss the obvious beauties: downtown’s skyscrapers, the Lakefront, Millennium Park, The Art Institute but to also take the time to explore Chicago’s ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods and to eat their way across the city. Some of the greatest food in the world is right here.

Some of my favorite gems include the view of Chicago’s skyline from Montrose or Diversey Harbors, the stairwell in the Museum of Contemporary Art and Jeanne Gang’s Nature Boardwalk Pavilion in Lincoln Park. It looks like nothing until you stand inside it and see the perfectly framed skyline. I would also really recommend a summertime kayak tour of downtown along the Chicago River. There really is nothing like the view of Chicago from there.

Nature Boardwalk Pavilion by Ruth 

Ry:I would say go up and down the Lakefront as far as you can. Most people take for granted the beautiful parks and views from Evanston all the way down to Hyde Park.

Name one thing you love and dislike about Chicago?

F:  The one thing I love about Chicago is that is an amazing “walking city”.  Walking throughout this lively city of architecture, a variety of neighborhoods, the lakefront, and urban life is fantastic.

The one thing I hate is that the best weekend escapes from Chicago involve a flight. I guess I was spoiled as a Californian since there are a number of good weekend escapes within driving distance up and down the coast or to the mountains.  In Chicago, in order to get into better weather or a place with as much creative diversity and nightlife, you pretty much need to fly out.

I:  It is hard to pick just one. I love Chicago’s food, architecture, history and the many different neighborhood’s that exist throughout the city. I dislike Chicago’s pay box’s hands down, which you will find everywhere.

J:  I love the modest Midwestern work ethic. I hate winter.

R:  I love Chicago. It’s a city of great contradictions and Chicagoans are no exception. Tough and real and proud, both honest and corrupt, but with a real soft spot for beauty. I dislike the weather. It is Chicago’s greatest contradiction.

Ry: I love how alive Chicago becomes with street and music fests in the summer. I hate the negative 20 degree winter days.

If you could pack your bags and escape for a week or two, where would you go? And why?

F:  I would go to Vancouver, British Columbia because it is everything packed into one diverse yet small, city.  What I mean is, there’s urban living, rainforests, beaches, and mountains all in one beautiful place.  Everything is easily accessible and there are people there from around the globe.  It’s naturally beautiful, yet has a vibrant urban atmosphere.

I:  I would go to Paris with my wife, then make our way to Florence, Italy; Barcelona, Spain and then end our stay in Santorini, Greece. These are places that encompass rich culture, tradition, history and food. As you can tell, these are common themes that I’m drawn to.

J:  Palm Springs. I love the desert.

R:  I’m ready for a long trip to Asia. Japan or China or Thailand or India. I’ve never been east of Turkey and Israel.

Ry: Thailand. Not really sure why, but that’s where I would go in a heart beat.

Have you been involved with any collaborations or projects? Is there anything you’re working on at the moment (related to photography or not) that you’d like to share with us? 

F:  As far as IGers Chicago goes, we have collaborated with a few our members and other Chicago groups for instameets.  For instance, one of our members who is an architect with a world renowned architecture firm, guided us on a Chicago Loop architecture tour.  Currently, by April 1st we begin collaboration with a company called InstaThis for a big challenge, which will potentially lead to a bigger planned project involving a City of Chicago arts organization.

Personally, I am collaborating with Javier of IGers Boston and Bridgette of IGers Seattle to launch IGers USA, which will not only be an Instagram feed, but a webiite hub for existing IGers communities as well as users who don’t currently have a local community in their area.  We’ll have a wealth of blogs, tips, events, and more as we move on beyond our launch.

I’m also collaborating with some music industry friends to move forward with the Chicago SoundCloud meetup community, which is designed for musicians, DJ’s, and lovers of music. I launched myself into this in 2011 with the help of some radio and music industry professionals, but that project was stalled by me due to my involvement with Instagram! We have some big plans for this summer.

Lastly, over at Tribune Media’s, ChicagoNow, I’ll be re-launching my old blog-site to focus primarily on the Instagram community. There I’ll be focusing on Chicago sights and sounds by utilizing the help of Instagramers as well as SoundClouders, app reviews, and other Instagram and Chicago topics.  ChicagoNow-Relaxocat

I:  I’m blessed to have a wide variety of things I’m working on right now. Photography wise, I was chosen to appear in Shooter, The First Photomobile Magazine. My work will appear in the third issue. On the acting/theater end, here is what I have going on:

I’m currently rehearsal for a play with Adventure Stage Chicago called “Augusta and Noble” by Carlos Murillo, directed by Tom Arvetis. We open April 13th. For more info go to:

UrbanTheater Company has a reading series that recently kicked off called R.A.W. (Real. Aggressive. Writing.). We’re presenting work from playwrights of color, while maintaining a Community Conexión and making quality theater easily accessible to the Humboldt Park community. –

Lastly, I’m a finalist for Ketel One Vodka’s Modern Hispanic Gentlemen for my work with UrbanTheater company and community. It’s a People’s Choice Award and voting goes until April 15th. If I win, a donation goes to my charity of choice, which is La Casa Norte. Their mission is to help families confronting homelessness. So please vote to help me win! –

City View by Ivan 

J:  I run @thepublicimage #publicimage with @ryanpostel we high light out favorite IG shots.  I curate the public lobby at 35 E. Grand and have a few events planned including an IG event that will bring the biggest and best of IG shooters to Chicago.

R:  I’ve never done a photography collaboration until recently where I edited a beautiful abstract shot by @dpicts (IG). He’s 14 and I felt honored that he asked me.

Ry: I regularly do collaborations and always welcome it. Nothing else I’m working on at the moment that I can legally share.

Give us an inside look as to what a “typical” weekend is like for you. Are you a planner or a last minute type person?

F:  I’m both a planner and a last-minute type.  Whenever I have a plan, someone will inevitably tell me about something else that’s interesting. My typical weekends involve some time set aside on Saturday afternoons for impromptu photo-walks. I spend a lot of time with friends. The evenings are filled with either music, art, or my other favorite pastime, dining!  Sundays for the last several years are centered around brunch with friends – a tradition I’ve been organizing since 2007.  Sunday nights are generally about planning for the upcoming week of social media tasks or catching up with friends who don’t live in Chicago.

I:  My schedule is all over the place, so typical doesn’t exist as often.

On the weekends, I’m either rehearsing or working an event. But, despite my schedule, I always try to spend some quality with my wife. I’m a mix between being a planner and a last minute person, but definitely lean more towards the second one.

J:  Have two kids so I work around what ever they have going on. Lots of pick ups and driving. I wake up every morning and walk to one of my favorite  coffee shops. Take the dog to Montrose Beach.

R:  I really have no typical weekend. It really depends on what my kids have planned, what my work schedule is like, what the weather holds and whether I’m in town or not. I really don’t like my weekends to be overly scheduled.

Ry: I’m a very last minute person. Theres no typical weekend for me. It all depends on what my friends and family are doing. If I have any free time I try to find a part of the city to go shooting in.

Feel free to answer a, b and/or c:

a) Who’s on your music playlist these days?

F:   Portugal The Man, Trombone Shorty, Massive Attack, RJD2, Savages, A Place To Bury Strangers, Social Studies, Atoms For Peace

J:  My bloody valentines new lp, ASAP rocky, and maybe Gorilla Biscuits (to keep it real)

Ry: Ben Howard, Kendrick Lamar, Of Monsters and Men.

b) Which blog/site do you check regularly?

I:  I really like and listening to peoples big ideas. The Big Picture on is another site that I frequent.


c) Which movie, released in 2012, would you say is a “must see”?

J:  Argo (and my step brother is in it)

R:  Beasts of the Southern Wild. It’s a gorgeous, gritty 16mm film with an outstanding performance by a child and a story of magical realism set in the American bayou.

Ry:  Life of Pi

And finally, is there an area of photography that you would like to further explore? One that would push you out of your comfort zone?

F:  I’m in the process of exploring film photography, specifically through a medium format Lomo camera. Many photographic styles found with mobile photography seems to mimic the look of Lomography. Through mobile photography we’re able to manipulate and edit our photos to look like they were taken from old analogue cameras.  Lomo’s analogue cameras tend to give that appearance, but on film. .

I:  I’ve been playing with idea of diving into the headshot market. This is an area that I’m familiar with as an actor, but haven’t tapped into. I would like to begin experimenting soon once I upgrade my equipment.

J: I don’t really have a comfort zone, I don’t really know what that is. I want to have a viable style without repeating myself.

R: I would really love to master black and white photography. I find it quite challenging to see in shades of gray. Also, comfortably taking shots of strangers and street photography is something that I find out of my comfort zone and I constantly push myself to take shots that feel like a challenge to me.

Ry: I have always wanted to take a crack at sports photography and a couple years ago a friend of mine got me down on the field to shoot a Major League Soccer game. That was pretty wild. I would love to do something like that again. It’s fast paced and such an adrenaline rush!


Fayth aka Relaxocat – A Chicagoan for over 15 years, I’m originally from Los Angeles. Photography and photo journalism have been my interests since childhood, with first camera at age 8.  In 2010, after a few years of online media blogging at NBC Online and Tribune Medai’s Chicago Now, I took a break and joined Instagram for the fun of it. I also became an organizer of the Chicago SoundCloud group.  Instagram and mobile photography became primary interests, which led me to launch Insstagramers Chicago. I’m now part of the founding team of Instagramers USA. I’m still on break from blogging, but not for long.


Instagram, Twitter & SoundCloud: @relaxocat

Blogs: and


Photo by Omar Robles


Ivan Vega

Ivan Vega was born and raised in Chicago. He is a husband, an actor, producer and Executive Director of UrbanTheater Company (UTC), which he co-founded in 2005. He’s also a self-taught photographer and a foodie (with hidden desire to be a chef). *My Personal Motto: *Be bold. Be fearless. Take risks. Make a difference. Love. Contribute. Create miracles. And above all, smile while doing so.

Instagram, EyeEm & Tadaa: @ivanvega

 Photo by Anthony Aicardi


Jason Peterson

Jason Peterson lives in Chicago, IL with his wife and 2 kids.

Jason is the chief creative officer for Havas, a global advertising and marketing company. He creates national campaigns for major American brands. Prior Jason ran Translation, a youth marketing agency in NYC, founded by JayZ.

Some of his professional work can be view here:

Instagram & EyeEm: @jasonmpeterson



I’m @80degrees everywhere:  IG, EyeEm, Twitter, 500px, Flickr, Streamzoo & Tadaa.

Although I am mostly active on IG.


Ryan Postel
My name is Ryan and I live in Chicago, IL. I produce and edit content for a healthcare TV network and I have a puggle named Robocop.
Instagram & EyeEm: @ryanpostel


I would like to thank Fayth, Ivan, Jason, Ruth and Ryan for contributing and for taking the time to show us what Chicago means to them.  And, a special shout out goes to Fayth for making the music portion of this video happen – it’s a perfect accompaniment!

Next up is Johannesburg – the largest city in South Africa.  So stay tuned.


* If you’d like your city featured, please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me via twitter, Instagram or EyeEm.

In The Kitchen

Welcome to part 1 of our In The Kitchen series.  Today we are featuring Dave Nguyen, a fellow Seattleite who blogs about food, fashion and travel over on food hipster 206.

If you follow Dave on Instagram, twitter or via his blog, you immediately get a sense of his love for the above.  He’s constantly out and about, checking out new venues and sharing his favorite Sunday dishes with the family.

Kim chi fried rice with kalbi beef and a fried egg @ Marination Mobile – Seattle, WA

In this new series I welcome all food bloggers, photographers, home cooks, restaurant goers and owners to share your In The Kitchen experience.  You don’t have to be the cook but you can certainly share your foodie pics with us.

In the second part of our In The Kitchen series, Dave will take us around Seattle and show us his favorite food truck and restaurant spots; but for now, let’s kick things off with a little background info…

B: Bridgette D: Dave

B:  Do tell… are you originally from Seattle?  What do you do for a living?

D:  Born and raised in the 206, Southend! All day reppin’ Sonics, Huskies, and Seahawks! Biggest influencers growing up were my dad and GP.

I’m the Social Media Manager at the Get Schooled Foundation, where we use educational initiatives and pop/hip-hop culture sizzle to inspire students to get to school and do well in class. In my free time, I like to eat out, take photos of food and post them on my blog,

B:  What brought about your love for food and fashion?  Aside from the fact that we all loooooove both ; )

D:  Food is a part of my ongoing education. It is a gateway to understanding culture, people, and tradition. I love food whether it’s from hole-in-the-walls or high-end restaurants, as long as it’s inspired and made from the soul.

I’ve always loved fashion. It started with Jordan sneakers and baggy hip-hop clothes, and then evolved to selvedge denim and tailor-fitted urban menswear. Fashion has always been my art and freedom of expression.

B:  When did you begin blogging on Food Hipster 206?  Are all your photos taken with your mobile device?

D:  I started my blog at the end of 2011 to document my appreciation and continuing education in food.

About 95% of the photos on my blog are taken with my SLR. All my mobile photos are on Instagram. I can’t capture every experience with my SLR so the Iphone comes through in those tough situations. My blog is to tell a story and my Instagram is to document an experience in the moment.

Grits with Chinese sausage and prawns @ Joule – Seattle, WA 

B:  I see that Revel is listed #1 in your FH Top Picks section.  How do you determine who makes it on the list?

D:  I love goooood Asian food! What impresses me the most about Revel is their homage to delicious street style food from the homeland, but improved upon as next generation fare.

The list highlights the food in Seattle that really speaks to me with its flavor, quality, execution and creativity (or tradition). I haven’t tried every restaurant in Seattle, so the list is always evolving.

B:  In your Instagram gallery, you share photos of mom’s cooking.  What has been your favorite dish of hers growing up?  Is there a family tradition you’d like to share?  Perhaps a holiday meal or a recipe that’s been passed down through generations?

D:  No Vietnamese restaurants in Seattle can beat my mom’s cooking. My favorite mom dishes growing up are Oxtail Pho, Bun Bo Hue (spicy beef noodle soup), and Mi Quang (turmeric yellow rice noodles with shrimp and pork in a pork bone broth with fish sauce, garlic, and shallots).

Mom’s dish – Mi Quang 

A memorable family tradition is Thanksgiving because there’s always Vietnamese food served alongside American food. You would have turkey, gravy, stuffing, mash potatoes, fried rice, bun (rice noodles), banh bot loc (tapioca dumplings), and goi (salad). No cranberry sauce but we always had fish sauce. When you plate your dish, the fish sauce always ends up in the turkey giving it quite the flavor. I love it!

B:  How has mobile photography influenced your love of food photography?  Do you find yourself having to take a picture everywhere you go?  Are people open to you taking their photos while dining?

D:  My work in mobile photography has significantly improved my eye, technique, and creativity for my food and overall photography. Instagram showcases some of the world’s best food as smartphones make pictures easily accessible. I’m constantly sourcing it for inspiration.

I’m very selective when taking pictures of my dishes to post on Instagram. I want the pictures to articulate the same feelings I get when seeing, smelling, and eating the dish. The only people I impose on for food photos are my friends and family. They understand my blog hustle, yet some laugh at me. I even had a friend post a picture of me on the I totally embrace it.

B:  How do restaurant owners and staff react to you taking photos?  Have you ever had anyone question you?  Do you introduce yourself as a food blogger when dining out?

D:  About half of the time the restaurants will inquire and talk to me about what I do, who I shoot for, and ask about my blog name. It’s nice to engage with the restaurant staff, but unless I’m asked, I usually don’t introduce myself as a food blogger.

Kitchen @ Matts in the Market – Seattle, WA

Chicken adobo sandwich @ Matt’s in the Market 

B:  Name 3 of your favorite cuisines and tell us why you they’re your faves.

D:  Vietnamese – distinct home flavors; spicy fresh soups; charbroiled grilled pork; and pungent fish sauce.
Taiwanese – melt-in-your-mouth soup dumplings, sweet yet savory pork belly baos, and excellent sautéed vegetables.
New American – creative, freshly sourced ingredients; fine techniques and execution; and food that constantly challenges the norm.

Pork belly bao (Taiwanese pork burger) @ Facing East – Bellevue, WA  

B:  Is there a Seattle spot that you haven’t been to yet but would love to check out?

D:  Spinasse, Hue Ky Mi Gia, and Sitka & Spruce are next on my to- do list.

B:  And finally, can we find you in the kitchen? ; ) Do you consider yourself a good cook?

D:  Sorry, but you cannot find me in the kitchen unless I’m putting up the groceries or taking out the garbage. My fiancée is a good cook and she makes most of our meals.  She usually cooks different variations of Asian stir-fry rice dishes or soup noodles.


I love Seattle. I’m a food blogger and social media enthusiast. I enjoy sports, clothing, coffee, eating, taking photos and spending time with friends and family.


IG and Twitter – @davenguyen206
Blog –


Please feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like to be featured or if you know of someone who you think makes the best kitchen creations.

And, if you’re on Instagram, you can tag your pics with #Juxt_InTheKitchen.


Snow Day: Seattle Fights For The Guinness World Record

Snow Day: Seattle Fights For The Guinness World Record by Bridgette S. 

If you weren’t there this past Saturday during Seattle’s record breaking Snow Day you’ll have to try and envision 5,834 participants all geared up for the largest snowball fight in Seattle Center. This number beats Korea’s record of 5,387 participants set in 2010 – all of this made possible by the crew who hauled in over 160,000 lbs of snow!

It was a crisp, cold day in Seattle but that didn’t stop everyone from showing up and having some fun.  Rich Kids Brand set the tone with music pumping all day long.

There were people dressed in full on ski suits and some were even equipped with helmet cams – it was THAT insane.  I, myself, went dressed to withstand the cold but forgot one important thing: goggles!  Thankfully, organizers of the event thought to stock enough for those of us who weren’t fully prepared.  We all made sure we were protected before heading out into the war zone!

About an hour before the fight began, medics started rolling in and that’s when we realized it was about to get serious (and dangerous!).  If you haven’t already seen the news footage, then here’s a quick video I took behind the Carters Subaru fort – unedited and uncut ; )

The event, which benefited the Boys and Girls Club of King County, raised more than $50,000.

Community supporters, REI, Attendible, Concur, Jawfish Games, Comicon, Walmart, Portent, Rainier, PCF and Washington Athletic Clubeach teamed up to build the largest and most durable forts and castles.  The idea was to make one that would survive the massive snowball fight and keep those in it sheltered.  Some went down even before the fight started and others withstood the heavy hitting – just barely.

Local photographers, Barbro, BP, Michaela, Rachel and Victoria, were there with me to help document the event.  

Here is a collection of their images and reaction:

Photos by Barbro

“I walked off of snowless streets in beautiful sunshine into Seattle SnowDay, and the first thing I saw was a Walmart sponsored snow fort, and people all over the snowfield working busily to the tunes of Deadmau5.  Wow. Huh. I thought, as I shaded my eyes from the bright winter sun.  YES.  The sun was out that day, and the temperatures below freezing.  If there had been precipitation, it would have been snow.  I gave up right away being upset about Walmart. Because, only in Seattle can you schedule a perfect winter’s day with brilliant sunshine, trucked-in snow, and make it the best day ever, with friends.” – Barbro


Photos by BP 

“At first I wasn’t going to join the team as I was out shooting another event.  After the first finished, I texted B and Rachel and even though the sun was just about gone and I was cold and dog tired, I said to myself, ‘Self, this is for the World Record…you have to go and join the team.’  I got there and ran into Matt, a dope pro photographer, and we walked into the “gauntlet” together.  It was nuts.  Press release was a wrist band and so the big cameras had their cameras to keep them somewhat safe from getting pelted.  Those of us from the IGers Seattle/Juxt media team, had our iPhones.  I got in there and no joke, got smothered by snowballs.  It got me excited for the opportunity.  I went to the sponsored snow forts for cover.  Rainier Investment first:  Bad place, it was in the middle and the fort was surrounded.  I got PELTED.  Moved on behind the REI fort.  A bit better, got some shots, This shot with the guy and the space needle, he took the brunt of all the snowballs being he was higher up.  I told the team when I got there, ‘this is nutty and it makes me feel like I’m 12 years old…’  I didn’t know if I wanted to take photos or get into the snowball fights. I opted for both and by the time the bell rang for us to put our snowballs in the air, I had already gotten a few bruises from stray snowballs.  Rachel and I stayed close to Carter Subaru’s fort and in retrospect, wasn’t the greatest idea.  Lots of ballers there, but the cool part is I got to throw, Rachel took the dope shots.  It felt like New Years Eve.  Bell rang and boom, snowballs lit the sky.  On the way out, I got hit in the mouth and like when I was 12, I laughed and scooped up some snow and tagged the next person.  Being a part the night, being a part of making history in the city I love, being a part of all that with some great friends and shooters…it was a great feeling!” – BP


Photos by Michaela

Rick from Slick Lasers 

Team Copius Love

“It was so awesome to be a part of something so unique that will go down in the history books.  I loved walking around seeing all the different teams and their spirit, especially the 12th man that was out in full force supporting the Seahawks.  12th man flags, jerseys galore, blue and green snow spelling out the beloved call, “SEA-HAWKS,” the team pride and playoff excitement was contagious!   Seeing these fans take their pride and apply it to their snow forts just proves even further that the Seahawks truly do have the best fans in the NFL and the 12th man will show their spirit everywhere they go.  Go Hawks!” – Michaela


Photos by Rachel

“Initially, I wasn’t scared at all by the concept; I’ve been in snowball fights. Well, after taking that first shot to the back of my neck… a little voice in my head called out: RUN YOU IDIOT!”  I didn’t. And I’m glad. Thanks to BP, the fearless bodyguard who shielded me while I shot the fight, I managed to capture that surreal moment when the snowballs started to fly and a world record was broken.” – Rachel


Photos by Victoria

“The childlike sparkle in the eyes of hundreds was contagious as they bundled up and started the trek not into the mountains, but into the very heart of their city.   The teams, eager to show me their work, would pause proudly beside (or on top of) their forts before resuming in their preparations for the evening’s battle. The event sold out and I watched as dozens got turned away, feeling lucky to have my little wristband and made a mental note to register early to the next few events on my radar.” – Victoria


Instagramers Seattle and JUXT would like to thank Melissa Fry and her team for making this possible.

A huge round of applause goes out to the Snow Day organizers and event staff as Seattle now holds the Guinness World Record for the Largest Snowball Fight!