Open Call for Entries: Shadow Stories Presented by the MPAs

SHADOW STORIES: the art of Mobile black & white

The Mobile Photography Awards is pleased to announce an open call for entries for photographers and artists worldwide to submit Black & White photographs and images created on mobile devices (phone and tablet) for Shadow Stories: The Art of Mobile Black & White. The exhibit will have a digital premiere at the SOHO Arthouse in New York in May, 2014 and a print exhibit follows for a three week run at the Holcim Gallery near Toronto from June 9-28, 2014. If you already have an MPA account please sign-in or register and enter with a new account right here

The exhibit will feature between 25-30 images, as chosen by our jury, and will accompany the 3rd Annual MPA winners presentation at the Holcim Gallery.

We welcome all genres and styles of black and white mobile photography: from straight photography to the more painterly and illustrative. We want to feature the finest black and white (and duotone) images made on mobile devices.

Entry Deadline and Fees

The call for submissions is open for just under three weeks – from April 3rd through April 24th, 2014. Images accepted into the exhibit will be announced the week of May 10th, 2014. Submission fees are in US Currency and are $15 for 1 image, $30 for 3 images, $50 for 6 images and $100 for 15. You may purchase as many blocks of entries as you like. Further information on the entry process and terms of entry are available on our FAQ.

About Soho Arthouse

Named as one of the best contemporary art galleries in NYC, SOHO ARTHOUSE is a multi-purpose event space, art gallery and theater. Centrally located in an iconic NYC neighborhood, the gallery is the “heartchild” of John Ordover, son of the late lawyer Jerry Ordover, a leading figure in the Modern Art community. Jerry’s clients over the years included artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Nam Jun Paik and preeminent gallery owner Leo Castelli. “Growing up around the brilliant, spontaneous and off-beat crowd my father introduced me to,” Ordover said, “that creative energy drove my work as a writer and editor; opening a gallery is simply coming full circle.”

About the Holcim Gallery

A beautiful gallery space with clean lines and multiple viewing angles, the Holcim Gallery is inspired by the surrounding natural wonder of the Niagara Escarpment. Housed in the remarkable new Milton Centre for the Arts building near Toronto, the gallery draws crowds from the theatre, workshops and regional library as part of the arts complex. It has become a must visit space for arts patrons from the greater Toronto area. The MPA is thrilled to have been invited back following the success of our 2013 exhibits.

A Picture Perfect Match

I love a good romance, so naturally, it seemed fit to ask Scott and Irene to share their love story. Having met them separately on photowalks, I wanted to get the inside scoop on just what happened during the Be Mobile event!

Just like any other social network, love can be found anywhere – you just have to be open to it.  And I, particularly think that this love story is a very special one…


His story

It was the week of Labor Day, 2013. Fresh off a hectic holiday-shortened work week, and still recovering from a three-day stint at the Gorge, a decision had to be made. “What will I do with this weekend?”

Moving here from Ohio three years ago has taught me one thing: you have to take advantage of the short-lived summers and really get out and enjoy the sun while you have a chance. Caving in to the desire to sit inside all day and watch NCAA football while eating pizza and ice cream was not an option.

Days leading up to the weekend, I learned about an Igers Seattle photo walk. My daughter and I had been to a few of those in the past and always enjoyed our time together exploring more of this wonderful state and meeting some great people who shared similar interests.

The Igers Seattle BeMobile meetup (also hosted by KING5 and WeAreJuxt), Facebook invitation was staring at me. I asked my daughter, Allison, if she was interested in going. She said, “yes,” and the plan was set.

Once the day arrived, we resisted the urge to avoid the drive from Snoqualmie and made our way to Olympic Sculpture Park in our favorite city on earth, Seattle.

Little did I know that this single decision would change my life. Forever.

Igers Seattle has enabled me to meet many photographers from this great area. One of the many photographers I really admired was Irene. I enjoyed her thoughtful quotes, intriguing adventures around the globe, and her sense of humor. Oh yeah, I liked her photos, too.

There is one particular photo of the Seattle skyline that she took from Alki Beach that made me jealous. It is an amazing shot featuring a sailboat on Puget Sound in the foreground. There’s another one of the Space Needle (viewed from the ground featuring red tulips). Incredible. Her photo from the Tulip Festival inspired me to go there in the Spring of 2013 to see it for myself. I tried to best her photo but failed (this would prove to become a recurring theme)!

Irene and I had shared mutual admiration for each other’s IG galleries for over a year. Despite having a few close calls at IGers Seattle meetups, we had never met in person. This was about to change.

Allison and I made our way to the huge red sculpture at the park to begin the festivities. After meeting and mingling with a few of the attendees, I noticed Irene.

She had big sunglasses on and her hair was up (which was different from most of the photos I had seen of her). I didn’t want to be “THAT GUY,” who just assumed it was her based on her ethnicity, so I squinted at the name tag in the late day sun and confirmed it was indeed “Ireney128.”

As I was talking to Bridgette about fantasy football, Irene came up and interrupted, “Are you Scott/SeahawkSanders?” I was taken aback by this boldness and said, “Uhh, yeah.” Then she was like, “I’m Irene, Ireney128.” And then we greeted one another and I introduced her to Allison (they followed each other on IG, too), and Irene introduced me to Lisa, who was there with her.

At this point, Bridgette and I concluded our futile fantasy football strategy planning and the photowalk was about to commence.

After Brad, Bridgette, Victoria, and a couple others spoke to the group, everyone broke up and began their quest to capture some great shots before the sun set.

As people were going their separate ways, Irene saw me taking some video footage. I told her I was shooting some video and she said, “Oh, 15 seconds of video?” I laughed because I knew she thought I was talking about shooting Instagram video and was surprised since I was clearly holding a camcorder. I didn’t know what to say. Nerves got to me so I just chuckled. I began to question why I was nervous around her. Something seemed different. I had always looked forward to meeting her but didn’t expect to feel this way about it once it actually happened.

Not long after the event started Irene left. Before she left we passed by each other again (around SAM). She said goodbye to me and I was left with one impressive first impression and found myself disappointed in myself for not talking to her more and was hoping there would be other opportunities.

After going home that night I put together some footage from the event. It’s no accident that Irene appears (around the 0:28 – 0:35 mark):

I really enjoyed meeting her and wanted to talk to her more. In my mind my video would be a way in, a way to see if my initial impressions were validated. I had planned to share this with her, but something happened before I had that chance. I received notification to a tweet of mine…from @Ireney128.

Irene was not only on Twitter, but she had been following me, for quite some time. I am one of those people who will go on social media for a while and then just fall off the face of the earth for a month or so. Obviously she started following me while I was on a hiatus. How did I miss this?

Once I saw her response, I immediately followed her back and also started to back read her tweets (in-between Seahawks/Panthers plays – this was NFL opening weekend and during the Seahawks @ Carolina game)!

After the Seahawks win, I sent her a direct message to share some Dave Matthews Band footage I had shot at the Gorge (I also noticed, long ago, that we shared a love of DMB’s music and was envious of her since she had actually met the band).

Once that direct message was sent, it started a back and forth that lasted for hours, until 1 AM. The more I read from her and interacted, the more I wanted to read and the more interaction I was hoping for. The spark was lit, on my end at least.

The next day at work the messages continued. I was consumed by it and really discovering that I was starting to really enjoy conversing with her. It was taking top priority over work, sleep, everything.

Finally I got the courage to ask her out. I suggested other friends may go to help ease the nerves, but I wasn’t sure if they would join or not. I was hesitant because although I knew what I was thinking and feeling, I wasn’t sure if I was alone in this.

Many messages later, the plan was set. We would go out Saturday, September 14th. She knew how nervous I was and suggested we start out at Black Bottle in Belltown to help ease into the evening and get more familiar with one another in a friendly setting.


As I arrived at her Queen Anne apartment to pick her up, I was overcome with anxiety. This was it. Here we go. Time to tell if this was the start of something real or just friendly messages misinterpreted by a guy starving for something more.

The moment Irene walked out of that apartment I knew I was done. She had me. I instantly knew the attraction was there, but what about the personality? What about the chemistry? The skeptic in me was questioning what could go wrong and I kept waiting for it to happen and even trying to dissect it. Irene wouldn’t allow it, though. I never voiced this to her, but she wouldn’t allow it because with every conversation, every look into her eyes, and every action she made, she kept drawing me in, closer and closer. I was falling…fast. Like many others who have been hurt too many times in the past, I was also aware that I needed to keep my guard up. After all, I could still be way off on who I think she is, OR, more likely, she may not be feeling anywhere close to the same way.

After an hour or so having some great conversations at Black Bottle we moved down the street to Amber and things kept progressing. The chemistry was apparent, not only to us, but to everyone there. I didn’t want this night to end. Ever. So, I took a chance and suggested something I had always longed for. A romantic moment at Alki Beach. Yeah, it’s after midnight, but who cares. Let’s go to Alki! We arrived at Alki and sat on a bench and talked while waves crashed and we watched ferries passed by in front of us. It was incredible, I had chills. This is what I had always wanted, a connection like this. It was happening!

This fairy tale evening finally concluded, but since that night we have been nearly inseparable. I love her sense of humor, her beauty, the way she cares for me and listens to me. Talking to her about any issue is almost always a learning process. Driving with her in the car is a fun-filled event based on 80’s song trivia or just watching her laugh at something I say. I’ve never seen more love expressed for me and never wanted to see more of it. I love her so much and cannot thank Igers Seattle for giving me the chance to meet her and for changing my life. Forever.

Since the event and the night of our first date we have shared so many memorable moments together. In early November, KING5 featured Irene’s photo of us on a newscast featuring what you are thankful for. Weekend trips to Ocean Shores, Mt. Rainier, Crystal Mountain, and Las Vegas are just some of the highlights we’ve been lucky enough to share together. While Irene was away for work, I created a video of her to help pass the time until she returned and to always be reminded of the love we have for each other:

I just adore seeing how much life and love is in her when we are together. It’s so evident in this video (i.e. at 1:35, 2:12, 3:00, 4:18, 4:34, 5:48). She expresses perfectly what I feel and fail to fully show. How did this happen? How could we hold so much love and emotion for each other so quickly? “When you know, you know.” And it all started with one amazing photo walk. Unreal!

I often think back to the day we first met at that Be Mobile photo walk. What if Irene had not gone to it? (She just arrived back from an Alaskan cruise and went straight there from the ship.) What if Allison didn’t want to go, what if I had passed on this event? Where would I be now?

The thought of it instantly depresses me. Even though I experienced the first 38 years and 9 months of my life without her, I never want to think of experiencing one more day away from her. The love I found in her is something I can never fully express through words in this article. The years I have remaining is where I will try. Always. I am so lucky and thankful.

Thank you Igers Seattle, thank you so much. The community you have created has made such a huge impact on my life, it is truly amazing and I am eternally grateful.

Happy Valentines Day, Irene. I love you. – Scott,  Instagram // Twitter


Her story

Instagram has been a life-changer for me. For me, it’s more than just sharing photos. It’s also about discovering my community and the world I live in. It’s about building and developing relationships.

Boy, did it give me the biggest and most significant relationship of my life.

Nearly three years ago, I moved across the country from Miami to the furthest point away within contiguous United States to Seattle. With no friends or family in town – and only a handful of colleagues and acquaintances – I set out to begin this next chapter of my life in the Pacific Northwest. I realized that Instagram was a great way to discover the Emerald City. I was in awe of the scenery and landscape and sought after more photos on Instagram. A search of #Seattle and #PacificNorthwest quickly lead to #Igers_Seattle, and I began to see the same names pop up over and over again.

One of the first people I started to follow was @SeahawkSanders. I always thought his landscape images were stunning. The compositions, the colors, the comments – they all caught my eye. I liked nearly every one of his photos, and he became one of the few IGers whom I knew I wanted to meet one day.

After a year and a half of mutual likes and comments, that day finally came on Sept. 7, 2013 during a photowalk organized by Igers Seattle, King5 and We Are Juxt. I recognized Scott right away and introduced myself to him (in my defense, I don’t remember interrupting his conversation with Bridgette!). I was making friends with many local IGers that summer and thought it was super cool to have finally met him and hopefully become friends.

Well, needless to say, Scott quickly dashed away any hopes of a friendship between us. In the following week, my days and evenings were preoccupied with friendly banter and exchanges (and I emphasize on the “friendly”; there was no flirting, at least not on my part!). I kept it cool the entire time. After all, I thought we were just friends. We agreed to meet up one week after the photowalk. I didn’t know if it was a date or just two friends getting together. In fact, I remember talking to a friend about it that afternoon about it:

Friend: So what are you doing tonight?
Me: I think I have a date tonight.
Friend: You think you have a date? What do you mean?
Me: I don’t know if it’s a date. He wanted to meet up but said some friends were also coming.
Friend: Let me know how it goes!

Scott doesn’t know this but going into it, I treated it like a date. I did a few wardrobe changes, asked a friend for his opinion on what I should wear, took my time getting ready (instead of my usual hurriedness). Now … a girl doesn’t do all this if she didn’t want to impress. He picked me up and the rest, as they say, is history. It was the BEST. DATE. EVER.

We went from zero to 60 in like three seconds. We knew right away that there was something amazing between us. But I denied it, downplayed it. I didn’t think it was real. However, I inevitably gave in to the powerful feelings that were overcoming me at full force. I remember looking into his eyes one day and I knew that this was it. This was the real thing. I love him. I’m in love with Scott … with SeahawkSanders!

What is unfolding between us now is a fairy tale come true. Scott is my Prince Charming who has awakened me from a 36-year slumber and breathed new life to me. One by one, he is making my dreams come true and making my fears disappear. He gives me faith, he comforts me, he inspires me to be a better person.

“He makes my heart sing.”

This photo caught the attention of King5 when posted it with the #k5thankful hashtag. In turn, the station featured us in their social media segment! Here is a clip:

On a cool and crisp October night, I took the ferry to Bainbridge Island to meet Scott for dinner. While admiring the gorgeous skyline, it hit me for the first time: Seattle is my home now. Miami will always be my home, but that night, I was able to say without a doubt that Seattle is my home, too.  It’s amazing what love can do to you.

Instagram, especially Igers Seattle, has made a huge impact on me on so many levels: meeting new friends, helping me call Seattle my home now, and, most importantly, bringing Scott in to my life. Thank you, Igers_Seattle, and to KING 5 for introducing me to the love of my life. I count my blessings and lucky stars every day.

February 14 marks five months since our first “date.” It has been five months of new adventures, laughter, happiness and more love than anyone can ever ask for. Scott is my rock, my foundation. It has only been five months but it feels like I’ve loved him for years. And I cannot wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us … and to spend the rest of my days making him happy.

I love you, Scott Sanders. – Irene Lui  Instagram // Twitter


A heartfelt thank you, Scott and Irene, for telling your story! – b.

Abstracting the Essence

Abstracting the Essence: A Conversation with Kristine by Crystal Labbato

There is little more satisfying about participating in a mobile photography community than the joy felt while watching the way a favorite photographer explores and re-explores their own private corner of the universe.  Even better still is when that relentless pursuit of seeing continuously produces images that at once soothe and exhilarate the senses.Kristine Norlander (@kristinenor) is one of these photographers.

Kristine often describes her mobile photos  as “daily sketches.” Indeed there is something to this in the sense that she has developed a very personal vocabulary to describe the whats and wheres and hows of the way she sees. Her photographs have the ability to tell entire stories in a single breath.  She is able to capture all of the feelings of expansiveness and complexity in her environment, exquisitely reducing them to their most essential elements in a visual expression which is uniquely her own.- Crystal

Crystal: Will you share with us how you first became interested in mobile photography?

Kristine: A friend of mine showed me the app about two years ago, and my first thought was that this was a perfect place to collect everyday sketches of things that caught my eye. After a while I noticed that it was not only about collecting pretty stuff, but also receiving inspiration in different ways of seeing from other IGers all over the world. And then – I was kinda hooked. My ways of sharing pictures developed from shooting pretty things into a new way of communicating; expressing emotions and telling stories in my own visual language
Crystal: What is your usual process for creating one of your elegant mobile sketches?
Kristine: For me, mobile photography is basically about seeing. Looking at your surroundings with a different eye, finding beauty in the transformation of things as you place them into a new context. I shoot a lot – beauty is everywhere. And then the process continues as I edit; picking up pictures in Snapseed and check out what kind of cropping that works. What feels good. Straighten, tune – and I got this habit of desaturating the images, I guess. Colors tend to be too loud. Maybe a round in VSCOcam to see if it brings out some more quality. And that is basically it. Sometimes it is fun to play with different editing apps – like Decim8 and Woodcamera, but I tend to go back to my basic tools; Snapseed and VSCOcam.

Crystal: I feel like you draw inspiration from many sources, music, art, and especially the beauty and love in your life. Are there any particular themes or individuals influencing you especially right now?

Kristine: Inspiration like you say – is everywhere. Of course there are some kind of themes that I often find pleasure playing with; simple lines, empty spaces, shadowplay, reflections, wallportraits, transparency and so on… A theme I love to play with right now is the thing that is most common in this country during wintertime; the color white. How I can build images based on shades of white is really inspiring. And as far as individuals are inspiring me; posting and interacting on IG is all about being inspired by the perspective from users. I learn a lot from that

Crystal: The word “style” can sometimes be a limiting word… but I definitely see a distinct visual language in your photos, and ongoing themes that you revisit over time. What are the sorts of things you like to look for in your photographs? Do you have a favorite subject you like to explore?

Kristine: Well, I guess my visual language has been shaped by different aspects. I used to be a potter – made vessels and sculptures in clay – always in search of the perfect shape and texture. It was a powerful passion. The same passion is there when I shoot pictures; looking for shapes, surfaces and textures – the pure kinds. Perfection. Simplicity. Beauty
I have also been working as a teacher in visual arts in high school for over 15 years now. Teaching about subjects like composition for so long has brainwashed me, I guess. I am a sucker for compositions, loving the process of framing and balancing.

And I love abstract and minimal art; the idea of reaching towards some kind of basic, sublime truth. I love working with emptiness in my images. Something about quietness and how it allows associations to be noticed.

On Instagram, sharing pictures is much about communication. And I like the idea that other people can relate to my pictures in terms of their own memories, feelings or pictures seen. I think I really like the idea that we are all a bunch of sensitive people out there. And we all reach towards each other – wanting to know about ways to see and explore this life. And the visual language shared goes a bit deeper than words sometimes. I think we learn a lot by looking at our shared stories

Crystal: I know you share photos on EyeEm as well as IG. Sometimes IG seems to me very heavily influenced by American culture and trends. Will you talk a little bit about the landscape and culture of your beautiful homeland of Norway and how your environment shapes the images you make?

Kristine: Of course, as for many Norwegians, nature is a big inspiration for me too. Being outdoors, exploring deep woods or high mountains, being by the coast in summertime or go skiing in some big, white space during winter. We love that, and – we shoot it. Those pleasures along with the clean, Scandinavian design-style seems to influence the visual language of many Scandinavian IGers with me (for example @paldyb @elinlia @sannalin @ragnhildsvisuelle @dennishjelmstrom C: You have brought mobile photography to your classroom. What do your students come away with after a photowalk?

Kristine: That is an interesting theme, really. I am writing my masterdegree in arts and crafts these days – about how to use mobile photography as a creative tool. Mainly I write about my experience making my own work using IG as a case. But I also get to test it on some of my students. One of the subjects I teach is media design; where photography is a big theme. Traditionally the pupils use DSLR´s to shoot in school, but using their smartphones tends to change their ways of seeing. It´s more like sketching, which again tend to be more personal. The smartphone is basically a part of their body. They are used to shoot pictures, and post on IG – (aged 16-19 yrs) but when used in a context where I as a teacher give them simple subjects or themes to look for or work with, it makes them think a little different. And that is my goal. I give them something about which editing apps they should try and how they work, and I show them different IGer-artists. The wide range of possibilities and expressions that can be found out there. I try to give them inspiration, and to show them IG can be used to show so much more than pouty lips and party-pics.

So – before a photowalk, I give them different themes to look for. And then I use the account @ig_nvgs to post the themes as tags that they use on their pictures, and I highlight some of their work on that page  Crystal: Recently you brought some of your photographs out of the phone and exhibited in a group gallery show. What was that experience like for you

Kristine: That was a big honor and a great experience. It was the first time I have shown my phonepics as something else than pixels on a screen. And of course talking to real people about our pictures without touching a screen is pretty awesome sometimes!

 // IG  // EyeEm  //

you can not call it love, chiamarlo amore non si può

Interview written by Raffa one of The Minimals 

R: Tell me about the project “You cannot call it love” and AIDOS

TB: The project is an idea of 23 women, all known writers. We come together to create a book of short stories that speak about love but also about no-love. Because it often happens that what we believe love is not really love, remaining trapped in a situation of violence, physicaland psychological. It’s important for adults to reflect on the feelings and it’s important also help the youngsters to distinguish their emotions,because they will be the men and women of tomorrow.

Violence against women has ancient origins, but it is becoming increasingly popular, we need to start thinking about possible solutions. We believe that talk about love is the only real solutionagainst violence.

But love is not just something to talk about, it must be above all a factand that’s why we decided to donate the proceeds of the book toAIDOS, a no-profit organization that helps children who are victims ofviolence in Burkina Faso.

R: What about other initiatives proposed by AIDOS?

TB: AIDOS works to support women in the southern hemisphere. Its main purpose is the protection of women’s rights and the improvement of their  living conditions: Promoting female entrepreneurship in Tanzania,Education Fund in Afghanistan, Women’s Health Center in Syria (just to name a few). The rest can be found at:

R: Why IG to promote a book?

TB: Because we not only want to promote a book, we especially want to spread the idea that violence can be defeated. Art has the power toopen your mind and to give birth to new ideas. I believe that art can give us new eyes to see the world. And I also believe that through art wecan better understand the emotions and try to live them in the most beautiful way. Because art is beauty. I especially love writing, it’s myjob, but I also love photography. I always thought that these two formsof art are made to go together, united. Thanks to IG my idea mayfinally be realized. I’m so glad.

R: Parlami del progetto “Chiamarlo amore non si può” e dell’AIDOS

TB: Il progetto nasce dall’idea di 23 donne, tutte scrittrici già note. Ci siamo riunite per creare un libro di racconti in cui si parla dell’amore ma anche del non-amore. Perché spesso succede che scambiamo per amore ciò che amore non è, rimanendo intrappolati in una situazione di violenza, fisica e psicologica. E’ importante per noi adulti riflettere sui sentimenti ed è fondamentale anche aiutare i giovanissimi a distinguere le proprie emozioni, perché loro saranno gli uomini e le donne di domani.

La violenza sulle donne ha origini antiche, ma si sta diffondendo sempre più, occorre iniziare a riflettere sulle possibili soluzioni. Parlare d’amore è l’unica vera soluzione, secondo noi, contro la violenza.

Ma l’amore non è soltanto qualcosa di cui parlare, deve essere soprattutto un fatto concreto ed è per questo che abbiamo deciso di devolvere il ricavato del libro all’AIDOS, una Onlus che aiuta le bambine vittime di violenza in Burkina Faso.

R: Che altre iniziative ha proposto l’AIDOS?

TB: Si tratta di una ONLUS, un’associazione senza fine di lucro che opera a sostegno delle donne del Sud del mondo per la tutela dei loro diritti e il miglioramento delle condizioni di vita.I suoi progetti sono tanti. Promozione imprenditoria femminile in Tanzania, Fondo per l’istruzione in Afghanistan, Centro salute delle donne in Siria… solo per citarne alcuni. Il resto lo trovate su:

R: Perché IG per promuovere un libro?

TB: In realtà non si tratta solo di promuovere un libro, si tratta soprattutto di diffondere l’idea che la violenza può essere sconfitta. L’arte ha il potere di aprire la mente e di accendere nuove riflessioni e nuovi modi di vedere il mondo. E credo che attraverso l’arte si possano comprendere meglio le emozioni, per provare a viverle nel modo più bello. Perché l’arte è bellezza. Amo in particolare la scrittura, è il mio mestiere, ma adoro anche la fotografia. Ho sempre pensato che queste due forme d’arte sono fatte per procedere insieme, unite. Grazie a IG questa mia idea può finalmente realizzarsi. Ne sono davvero felice.

To take part in the contest tag your photos to #ChiamarloAmore until the 21st of November

R. Tiziana Bruno is a writer, sociologist and teacher. She is a member of ICWA (Italian Children’s Writers Association). She has published her books in Italy, in the United States and Spain.

R.Tiziana Bruno è scrittrice, sociologa e insegnante. Fa parte dell’ICWA (Italian Children’s Writers Associations). Ha pubblicato i suoi libri in Italia, USA e Spagna. Sito web:


Personal Tutors

Personal Tutors by Paula Gardener

The summer holidays have ended, six weeks of laughter, screams, fights and playful moments. For me however it has been a six week crash course in child psychology.

Even though their upbringing is the same, my children’s personalities have developed in such a diverse and complex way. Each one bringing to the table a different approach to life.

Everyday I’m learning new things from them, here I am thinking I have something to teach them.

The one characteristic that is prominent in all their personalities is determination. Let it not be said that my children lack ambition, their collective power of positive thinking have achieved wonders. If they want something, NO is not an option. I’m not suggesting they’re spoilt, far from it!

Everything they’ve achieved through the last six weeks has been done off they own backs, ingenuity is second nature to them.

I suppose I’ve learnt to be more positive about life, recession has affected everyone so badly that we’ve forgotten the basic rule….to have Faith! Especially in ourselves and our ability to create in abundance.

Faith, Josh, Jojo and Amaryah, my own personal tutors

[VIDEO] Seattle Party Camp: Bringing Smiles To Kids

On Saturday, August 17th, Seattle Party Camp sought to set the record for the World’s Largest Water Balloon Fight.  With close to 5,000 attendees, Seattle did not beat the current Guinness World Record but did raise $55,000 to benefit Camp Korey.

Located in Carnation, WA, their “mission is to honor the courage, strength, and determination of children living with serious and life-altering medical conditions and their families; and to provide them with a safe, friendly, medically sound environment in which to simply have fun and be kids”.

It was an incredible experience being part of this project to say the least. Our team is filled with driven individuals who still believe having fun and being yourself are the keys to success. Seattle came together for this one. Seeing the thousands of smiling faces for the 9 minutes of the water balloon fight was truly the most beautiful site I have ever seen. It reminded me that we are here for each other and that raising $55,000 for a worthy cause can be done over a few thousand water balloons!
Remember everything is possible.
Until next time,

The Party Camp Intern
Kelci Zile

If you’d like to learn more about Seattle Party Camp and help them reach their goal of $75,000 to send 35-40 children from Children’s Hospital to Camp Korey please see their Facebook page or donate by clicking here.


“Keep Closed” by Luke  


“Making It Official” by Bridgette S. 


“Back in the Day” 

Image by JJ Clark & Edited by Jen Mo


Image by Tracy 


Performances by Brothers From Another and Luc & the Lovingtons.

Image by JJ Clark 


People were dressed for the occasion and ready to take on their rivals.  Everyone was pumped!

“La Luchadora” by Scott Brown


“Verified” by JJ Clark


It all happened in a matter of seconds but it was well worth the wait!

“Fun, chaos and overall abundance of water” by Scott


Instagramers Seattle and We Are Juxt would like to thank Seattle Party Camp for the opportunity and we hope you’ll have us next time around!

More images can be seen here.

We Are Juxt Summer School: Assignment 2

This week We Are Juxt is grabbing a pencil and taking notes in summer school. Sam Smotherman of The 24 Hour Project will be leading this class every Monday. He will be teaching the fundamentals of street photography and giving assignments every week. Not a street photographer? Show up to class anyway, there is something for everyone in Summer School.

If you missed the first assignment click here to catch up 



This weeks assignment is not about shooting but about understanding shooters and what makes a great shot. This week you are going to be looking up a great in the field of street (or other genres) photograph. I want you to pay attention to what they loved to shoot and how they did it. Hopefully, through this assignment,  you will  learn about those who founded or expanded this art form. It is important to understand that street photography has a long history and deep roots in the photography genre. It is also important to understand that it wasn’t created with rise in popularity of mobile photography.

After looking at at least 20 images from the artist pick your favorite image and in at least 100 words tell why this one captured your attention. The deeper and more concise  you are in explaining why an image captured your attention will help you identify the characteristics that drew you in to the photo initially.  By doing this these masters of the genre will help you understand what you like in a picture and what area/s you can work on improving. It will also help you be more aware and critical of your own work. This is not to say you have to compare you work to the greats but will be able to say why you feel your own work is strong as well as articulating to others what you enjoy about their photography. Being able to have an educated conversation about Photography is one step of many to improving your own work.


Don’t know where to start? Try some of these names:

Eugene Atget

Herni Cartier-Bresson

Robert Frank

Walker Evans

Garry Winogrand

Helen Levitt

Dorthea Lange

Imogene Cunningham

Robert Frank
Eliot Porter
Paul Outerbridge
Alfred Stieglitz
Andy Warhol
Margret Bourke-White
Ansel Adams
Once you have found a photographer and completed the assignment come back here and leave a comment and share what you have learned.

At The Mouth of the Skagit: Poetry Challenge #MouthofTheSkagit

Poetry Northwest approached Instagramers Seattle and We Are Juxt to see how people would respond to poems visually and are working together for the rest of the year on a simple contest: monthly we post a poem and you have roughly thirty days to respond to it visually. At the end of the month we pick our favorite snapshot and the winner receives a year long subscription to Poetry Northwest.


At the Mouth of the Skagit 

The dock: ship mulch in the stick bed,
And I’m knee deep to the reeds.

Long-rot pilings blur under snowy mud
Dredged up at the tide’s lip

And the boat, what’s left of it,
Rests just out of reach.

Those lines come from Frances McCue’s poem “At the Mouth of Skagit,” our June mobile photography challenge. What does it look like to you? We want to see it.


Challenge Rules

From July 3 – July 31 we challenge you to respond to “At the Mouth of the Skagit” how ever you see fit.  Any element of the poem is up for interpretation.  Here are the particulars:

Instagram: #MouthOfTheSkagit

How it Works:

1. Post a photo to Instagram with #MouthOfTheSkagit

2.  Poetry Northwest, Instagramers Seattle, & We Are Juxt will pick the winner who will receive a year long subscription (2 issues) to Poetry Northwest.

3.  Submit as often as you want.

4.  Photos must be posted to Instagram to #MouthOfTheSkagit in order to be considered.

5.  Photos must be posted between July 3 and July 31, 2013. Any photos posted after the close of the challenge will not be considered.

6.  Poetry Northwest, Instagramers Seattle, & We Are Juxt reserve the right to remove any photo deemed inappropriate for any reason.

Virtual Instawalk 17 July 3-7th

With the next instawalk coming up in a couple days we wanted to take the opportunity to talk to the photogs behind the idea and spread the word. What is an instawalk you ask? Read on to meet the people behind the idea and find out how you can join in.

Tell us a little about the background of VIW

Well Virtualinstawalk was first created by Jenny @lowf about a year ago. Her ideas was, since a lot of us can’t meet up for instameets and instawalks in real life, why not still have a day where we could do a photowalk and share it with others on Instagram!?

From the very begining there has been no real rules to Virtualistawalk but Jenny made up the initial basic steps:

• Walk • Shoot • Grid • Edit • Post •

Then she drummed up interest and hosted the first walk. The grid idea started with people taking screenshots of their camera roll to give an overview of their walk and has now evolved into beautiful collages. The tag was just #virtualinstawalk for the first walk then they started adding numbers to separate the walks from each other. At the tenth Virtual Instawalk it was decided that the tag should be shortened to just #viw then the number.

 Over time the walks have grown and evolved. Each walk is hosted by a different person and every host has added their own special touches and ideas to the process. This is how the grid hash tag developed. We also now have multiple optional tags that people can choose to use, like personal tags (eg. #viw15_username) and a tag just for grids (eg. #viw15_grids)

 I would love to introduce the admins to our audience. Tell me a little about yourselves please.

The @Virtualinstawalk profile was created by @amudays and is managed by @leftcoastadventures, @gromitmagick, @chik_pea and @fooferann

 My name is Rhea (@gromitmagick) and I live in Airlie Beach, a small town on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. I mostly shoot my daily life so my feed is full of pics of my son, Felix, and my town. I also love capturing sunsets and macro’s. I have grown up around photography and owned cameras for years, but mobile photography has changed it from something for special occasions into something that is a part my everyday life. Mobile photography has also introduced me to editing, which facilitates a whole extra side of creativity.

Hi I’m Kris (@leftcoastadventures) I was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and moved to Southern Oregon 2 ½ years ago! Photography has always been a huge part of me. I love exploring and taking pictures just goes hand in hand with me adventures. I shoot a lot of outdoor pictures and close up nature shots. I feel like Instagram has changed the way I explore and see things in a different perspective. I never imaged that I would be laying on the ground getting the perfect shot of a dandelion or getting the real close to a rain drops on the grass.

Hey I’m Vicki (@chik_pea) and  I live in the beautiful decay that is Birmingham, Alabama. I love to shoot photos of my adopted city. It’s all here – natural beauty, fab architecture, sweet industrial sites and living museums like Sloss Furnaces. Nature – color – light – structure – symmetry – geometry are constants in my photographs. I like to photowalk and “live edit” post to IG. I My IG feed is my visual diary. Mobile photography has changed my life, for the better. I see the beauty of everything around me through fresh new eyes. Editing is my creative therapy. I use my iPad3 as both camera and as a mobile digital editing studio. My current focus is on creating a portfolio of bold graphic patterns for textile design. I do use my DSLR for capturing Hi-Res strong color images for this purpose.

My Name is Amy (@fooferann), I am a 39 y/o Wife to my best friend Kevin, and Mother to 3 wild, beautiful children ranging in ages from 6-10.  I live in upstate new York in a beautiful Log Cabin that my husband and I built together nearly 13 years ago now.  I live over 30 miles away from any town, store or otherwise and I wouldn’t change a thing!  We are still close enough to NYC that if we want the hustle and bustle we can go to it.  Most of my pictures come from my own life’s happenings, my children, and my surroundings mostly nature.  My father, who lost his battle to breast cancer at the age of 45, was a conservationist.  He worked with the New York State Department of Conservation for 20 years before he passed away.  While growing up he instilled so much of his passion for the outdoors in me, and as an adult I am so very grateful for that.  It makes looking at trees, lakes, grass, and even clouds much more interesting when you’ve been taught for as long as you can remember everything wonderful about them.  I absolutely love to shoot the sunset especially at White Lake, and Swan Lake NY which are only a few minutes from my home.

Where are you all headed from here?

Rhea: I think one of the exciting things about VIW is that we never know where we are gonna head next. By having a different host for each walk there are constantly fresh ideas, styles and input. As moderators of the VIW account we provide a little stability across all the walks by doing features and answering questions. We have just announced a new logo to help people recognize us and are planning on doing worldwide maps to show the spread of walkers for each walk, the first one is being published for the first time in this feature! But mostly it is up to each host to mold their walk as they like it and help us evolve over time.

Vicki: I would love to see local IG communities do Instameets and Photowalks within the framework of Virtual Instawalk. That’s what I am working on here with our @instagrambham community.  Rhea’s world wide map is brilliant! Would love to see it filled with walkers on very continent.

How has the instawalks changed how you view photography?

Rhea– I have always been a spontaneous, candid style photographer, capturing everyday moments. The instawalks have force a little more structure into my photography by giving me a specific timeframe and location. It pushes me to find great shots instead of waiting for them to pop out at me. It also stretches my creativity when it comes to editing too. I often try to branch out from my usual style, use editing apps I don’t often use, and create a bit of variety across the pics in my grid.

Kris– Virtualinstawalk and Instagram have opened up my eyes to a whole new way of taking and editing pictures. I have always loved taking photos and documenting my life but it wasn’t until I discovered IG that I started really exploring more of an artistic way of taking pictures. Editing pictures is also very new step for me. I always get excited when a new walk comes up because I get to think about where I want to walk. Some place new, or maybe one of my favorite place. I also like to try and put a little spin on each walk by either taking along a subject item to incorporating in my walk and almost always I have my dog by my side and in a lot of the pictures. I usually have to work on the days that the walks are held so I tend to walk on the days that I’m off and post my grid shot on the weekend of the walk with everyone else. It’s a really fun exsperience and I love meeting new IG friends and seeing new sides of the world from other walks.

Vicki – I discovered Virtual Instawalk at the end of VIW12. It was my first experience with a community on Instagram. i believe that the VIW model combines and expands on the best facets of the original Instagram model; community building, and the sharing of individual world views and editing techniques.

Amy– VIW is so important to me as it has given me the opportunity to make the most wonderful friendships with people from all around the world, and these friendships are something that I will have and cherish for the rest of my life.  Never in a million years did I think I would have friends from Scotland, to Alaska, Australia, and different parts of the states!  It’s a phenomenal project and I am extremely proud to be a part of it!  Mostly everything I shoot and post on Instagram is done with my ever faithful iPhone 4s.  However I also shoot with my Sony a58 camera that is my most prized possession!  I consider VIW to be a part of my life now.  When I first became involved I fell instantly in love with the process.  People like myself who live in very far away places rarely have the opportunity to share their little part of the world with others, and VIW allows me to experience that.  Not only that, but the members do not just look at your picture and move on, they compliment and join in with you on your moments.  My moments that start off small end up big and moving because of the wonderful members of VIW.  I would more call VIW a movement, rather than a walk.  It’s a beautiful community of amazing and creative people coming together with the common love of photography, and kindness for others.

VIW 17  will be hosted by Stephanie @stepherzme  so I thought it wise to get her take on the idea of a virtual instawalk
Stephanie: What I love about @Virtualinstawalk is that it takes an instawalk to a whole new level. My first virtual walk was #viw16 and we had a blast. I went to explore the river banks of the Mississippi River and downtown Memphis with a friend. It’s a really neat concept that brings people from across the globe together and I am happy to be a part of it. I’ve met some really supportive and talented friends along the way.
I am both honored and excited to be hosting the upcoming walk #viw17 and I look forward to seeing this project grow in the future. Hope to see you there! 🙂
Thank you so much ladies! I so appreciate you taking the time to tell me about VIW.  If you would like to take part in this walk head to @virtualinstawalk for the details.

Get Schooled: #TimesSquareYearbook Contest

The Get Schooled Foundation is helping students celebrate the end of the school year by giving them a chance to get a photo of themselves onto a New York City Times Square billboard. Get Schooled will select the best 500 photos and will email the selected students a picture of their photo in the bright lights.

To participate, please:

1. Tag your best Instagram photo with #TimesSquareYearbook (new pics welcomed too)

2. Share your photo on the Get Schooled discussion board

Deadline is Sunday, June 9th midnight ET

Dan Berman and the MPAs: A Chat about Rumors & the Intergrity of the Awards

Image by Marie Matthews, Honorable Mention Performing Arts Category

Dan Berman and the MPAs: A Chat about Rumors & the Intergrity of the Awards by Anna Cox

Recently, the Mobile Photo Awards held their yearly competition and many people waited with baited breath to see the winners in each category. The awards had a record number of participants this year and we were all very very excited when news outlets such as Huffington Post picked it up and published an article about the awards.  According to Huffington Post article about MPAs  The 2013 awards received entries from nearly 1,000 photographers from more than 40 countries. How awesome is that? The mobile community for the most part is a loving creative community that cheers on each and every victory for our growing art form. Publicity for things like the MPAs validates what we are doing and what we are collectively working for with every photo and blog post about the subject.

As the submission date came and went, we all waited on pins and needles for the judging process to finish and for the awards to be announced. We watched the official MPA twitter account for updates and finally the day (or tweet) arrived letting us know the winners would be announced soon. As the winners in each category were announced and I went through each genre, my heart sank more and more. It isn’t that the work that was chosen wasn’t fantastic for the most part, it was, hands down, but it was the amount of duplicate winners in each category that really tripped me up. To me, it seemed that the encouragement that could have gone to many went to few. Perhaps it is the mother and teacher in me that cringed at the amount of duplicates, perhaps not. Let me make clear that this article is not driven by my lack of winning. I have operated within the art world for many years and understand that rejection goes along with success and growth.  This article grew out of my concern for the amount of negativity surrounding the MPAs this year.

If we, as a community, are going to continue to grow in a healthy manner sometimes things have to be faced head on. In talking with multiple photographers, they also expressed frustration and a lack of understanding about the duplicates in the categories and cross categorically.  Funnily enough, upon doing a extensive internet search on the topic of the MPAs I didn’t find one negative statement. I began to wonder why this was. Do you think it is because people were afraid to voice any concern because they didn’t win? Perhaps people thought that if they said anything it would cast them in a negative light. Well, fortunately, I am unafraid of looking like a brat throwing a fit in the cereal aisle so I figured why not take the rumors and negativity straight to the source- Dan Berman, the creator and head of the MPAs. Dan graciously agreed to chat with me one afternoon to discuss the MPAs and the judging process.

We both agreed that getting all this out in the open is better than letting it fester.

The most important thing I came away with from our conversation is that Dan believes in the integrity of the awards beyond all else. When choosing his judges, he was careful to choose fellow artists that were in the public eye and actively contributing to their genre. From the moment the judging began, he had to trust them fully to take the responsibility as a judge seriously and conscientiously. Dan himself has no part in the judging and deals with the administrative side of the awards only. He described the process of judging to me in great detail and I appreciated his transparency immensely. He assured me that each entry is nameless and that the judging is blind as much as it can be. Of course, the judges are also a part of this community so odds are they had come across some of the work at one time or another.

Once the judges, working alone, whittled the entries down to short list of 30 the list was then sent to a 3 group team that would further narrow it down. The original judge chooses the best in the category. In talking about the duplicates in the catergories Dan’s reply was that he had to go with what the judges chose. In his words, “If I overrode their choices then I was destroying the process. It would be me saying to the judges “sorry your choices are not valid.” 

The amount of duplicates came in part by entrants being able to entry one photo into multiple categories. For example, a strong photo black and white landscape is a strong photo in landscape and black and white, thusly it would receive a nod in both categories. Entrants would also receive multiple nods within a category if the judge happened to blindly chose two or more of their photos.

The most telling part of our conversation is when I shared with Dan some of the rumors surrounding the MPAs. {I am not going to talk about those here because they are, as I said, rumors.} Dan got quiet for a second, perhaps gathering his thoughts, perhaps choking back anger. He let out a big breath and said he had never heard any of the rumors and was quite shocked by all of them. He pointed out that all of the rumors pointed to either the judges or himself jeopardizing the awards and ultimately, their reputations in the mobile community. He also mentioned that he wished people would come straight to him but my guess is that most people would not say anything for the reasons I cited above. No one wants to look like a spoiled sport, but I will say that our conversation was a great one and that Dan is open to discussing anything. So, if you are like me, hit him up. I bet you money you would find him warm and receptive to whatever you bring to him.

All we have in this online world is our reputation and integrity. If Dan, or any  judge, was to intentionally sabotage the awards what would it gain? In the immediate, whoever they chose would have the notoriety of winning a mention etc but in the long run, the awards would be impugned. Word would spread and the next time the entry call came people would be more hesitant to spend their money buying spots. For me, this is what it came down to- integrity. One of my favorite movie quotes of all time says, “Our integrity sells for so little, but it’s all we really have”. In a world that is connected by bandwidth and megabytes, we have to be cautious to maintain our respectability and  integrity. Does this mean that Dan and the judges aren’t fallible? Of course not, everyone makes mistakes every now and again. Does it sound like mistakes were made within the judging process? No, it doesn’t. Do I think that Dan would have put a stop to any hinkiness that he caught wind of? Yes, because again it is his time, integrity, and family he sacrifices for these awards.

I wrote to a few of the judges to get their take on the MPAs but unfortunately most didn’t respond so we  have only a small view on that side of things but I was able to snag a few of the winners from last year to hear about their stories.

Thankfully, the judges that I did hear back from were thoughtful and well spoken and I found their responses incredibly helpful.

Image by Cecily Caceu, Honorable Mention Beach Category

This is what Judge Andy Royston of the Beach category had to say when I asked him about the judging process and the MPAs:

This was my second year of judging on the MPA Awards. A great honour – even if it means I could not enter my own work, which I am intensely proud of.

Last year I chaired the Sunlight category, whereas this year I was – in theory in my comfort zone – beaches.

As chair of the group my role was to refine the entrants down to around thirty so the other judges didn’t have a huge set to work with. I expected the category to have images that might be superficially similar to my own way of shooting but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The category attracted everything from verité to conceptual to good old fashioned fun.

Although I’m known mainly for quite naturalistic photography rather than layered multi-app creativity I do have a good knowledge of what the iPhone can do. I run a course on iPhoneography at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and try to present the widest range of styles and skills to my students. I would show a collage piece to my class and one of the first questions would be “how do I do that…” As tutor it’s my duty to show and tell, so I’m quite adept as layered collage work even if I don’t share too much on the internet.

I worked late in the night to make sure that the selection was varied in approach, though images do tend to have a power regardless of technique. I’m a passionate colourist and do admire artists and photographers who are not shy with their color choices. But a strong black and white can be so powerful and at the end of the day my selections to go to round two were really easy.

The beach is a very challenging arena for photography. It can frequently be very bright, so controlling that and getting a strong emotive capture is part of the fun. Which brings me to the second aspect of beach photography. Fun, humour, spontaneity and chance have as much of a role to play as any carefully exposed natural scenic.

I’m a big fan of our genre and regularly look through the work of my favorite artists. So more than most I’m very much aware of trends in different iphoneography genres. I just love the medium and am fascinated by what can be done in this genre.

What surprised me was how few of the works felt familiar. Dan was careful to make sure that no names were associated with the images he passed on. I could hazard a guess or two but very often it turned out that I was quite wrong.

When my fellow ‘beach’ judges joined in a different dynamic came into play.

We used private Facebook groups to discuss the works, and my approach is always to write detailed analyses of each – partly to spark debate. I was seconded into two other areas including ‘landscapes’. I consider my own work as landscape even though I shoot the ocean all the time – I shoot it as a landscape not a ‘beach’ per se. The only challenge I had in this area was that so few color shots had made the cut, but otherwise it was all about doing justice to the shots in front of me.

The challenge of judging iPhone art is knowing the genre capabilities – not only of the iPhone as a camera but also the tricks used to turn a small photo into a big one. If anything this year the difficulty was being able to spot the easy textures and overlays from filter apps like Lenslight and Filtermania.

The use of filter apps was hotly debated. It was clear we needed to be across the differences between ‘out-of-the-box’ filter layers and work that was hand-done and original. Sure it’s possible to create great work via a simple combination of filter effects, but if all things are equal genuine artistry and invention must be rewarded.

That some artists won in more than one category is very exciting. I am in awe that different sets of judges could see quality in different criteria. I don’t see this as a problem, more an inspiration. I think the artists who took a win in more than one category are fantastic =- it was a thing of celebration that they took several prizes. The level of artistry was spectacular and all the category nominees are very worthy.

In the end we have to celebrate the whole of the iPhone oeuvre. Amazing photography and extraordinary multi-app collages. All fit into our movement which is still to be recognised as such in the collectable fine art world. At least a dozen of our finest are six-figure artists in my opinion. A huge challenge is to keep our nerve collectively and make sure that the fine art world recognise and collect the artists in our art/photography genre.

I guess next year’s challenge is to differentiate between iPhone and iPad, which have very different capabilities and challenges artistically. I guess Dan’s got that particular problem to handle! good luck mate!

A word from the people category Judge Dutch Doscher on the character of Dan and how much he personally invests into the MPAs every year:

Dan has always wanted the best for the MPA and when I say the best. I have seen the MPA spend more money than he should have for the prints. Rejecting prints that weren’t good enough and having them reprinted. I spent a week with Dan putting up the first two shows in LA and SF. If there is someone who should know it’s me.

In one day we framed over 70 images for 2 different shows then drove them to San Fran.

As far as the judging goes, I only want the best image in the category’s I’m judging in. We have no idea whose images they are, how many images the person submitted or anything else about the image or person.

I had the category of people and had to go though the literally thousands down to about 40. And every one of those 40 could have won. Then Dan has me weed out the top ten. When I say he makes me… This part hurts. People look and care for these 40 to 50 photos and you can tell. In some cases I’ve been moved deeply to see the care and honesty that went into them.

Ultimately its about capturing an image that is rare, moving and light.

There are other places in the community that have done shows, but the presentation has been on poster board or foam mounted. Dan gets the best frames for presentation and really cares about the prints.

Hope this helps.

Image by Amy Hughes, Honorable Mention Landscape

Now a word from past winners who share their moments of joy and success with us:

Melissa Vincent:

I entered the MPA/ArtHaus essay portion of the Mobile Photography Awards with a series of photos titled “The Rooms of William Faulkner”.  I shot them on my iPhone at the Pulitzer Prize winning author William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, MS. I was born and raised and still live in Mississippi today. It is very important to me as an artist to show a different side of Mississippi, one more positive than the normal, stereotypical one portrayed by the media. I took pictures of different rooms in his home and blended them with landscapes of photos I’d taken in Mississippi to create surreal, fine art pieces. Being chosen as the winner of the MPA/ArtHaus photo essay by gallery owners James Bacchi and Annette Schutz came as a big surprise to me. I am a self-taught photogapher/editor who began a journey in the fine art photography field only in the last year. The words that James and Annette used to describe my series and why they were drawn to it really motivated me and gave me the confidence I needed to continue making art. I went to San Francisco to the ArtHaus opening April 6 to see all five of my pieces in the series hanging. Daniel Berman, founder of the Mobile Photography Awards, did a beautiful job displaying my work. I was very pleased with how they looked. The opening was packed full of people who were interested in listening to how and why I created my William Faulkner series. It was definitely the most exciting adventure in the mobile photography/art world I’ve had to date.

Michał Koralewski:

I think I’ll remember this edition of Mobile Photo Awards to the end of my life. In just few days from a shy and overworked father-of-three I became a local celebrity and mobile photography expert, thanks to Dan and his contest.

Very late at night (it was the MPA results announcement day) I got some Twitter messages from my friends saying I won second prize in DPReview category and 3 honorable mentions in two other categories of MPA. I read these messages next day (it was friday, 1st of February) and it was just in time, because 10 minutes later I got first phone call from a journalist of the biggest local newspaper, who asked me for a comment about the prize and for an interview. Right after the interview I received few another phone calls – from two other local newspapers, one radio station and two internet magazines. Everyone wanted to know more about MPA, mobile photography, my passion, my prize, everyone wanted to show my photos on their websites and newspapers. It was very surprising and unexpected. I received a lot of e-mails, tweets and SMSes with congratulations from my friends, my family and even people I don’t know. When I finished my office work, went back home and opened my front door, I saw my wife talking on the phone and I heard “Yes, he just entered”. It was Onet, the biggest Polish internet portal, they wanted to interview me and publish the winning photo. Later this day I got an e-mail from Polish Radio, asking for an interview for their english language station. I have been receiving links to the news about my success for another 2 weeks. There were over 30 news and interviews about the winning photo, my mobile photography passions and MPA in many regional and national newspapers and magazines. I got tons of SMSes from my friends saying they heard about me in radio stations, tv news etc. I got even a letter from a member of the European Parliament with congratulations. Some days later I had a live interview in the biggest regional radio station about MPA and mobile photography. And after two months it’s still not the end of MPA impact on my life – thanks to MPA I had my first mobile photography exhibition, supported by the head of the municipality I live in, and another exhibition will start at 15th of April (it will be supported by the local Voivodship office). I know there is one more exhibition coming in the end of the month. I was also asked to be a main jury member of a nationwide mobile photography contest (which is a big honour for me) and to lead some mobile photography trainings.

I didn’t earn a cent on this craziness, but I met a lot of great people, wonderful photographers, known journalists and I feel the MPA contest opened many doors for my further photography career. And – what’s most important for me – I can see admiration and pride in my wife’s eyes. 🙂

Deb Braun:

My experience with the first MPAs last year was really great. I entered as a challenge. Deena Feinberg (deena21 on instagram) and I were talking about ways to push ourselves and we agreed to curate some images of ours to enter a contest. We thought it would be a good exercise in looking at our images critically. I think it was also her way of gently encouraging me to share my images in new places. So, I picked 10 images and worked with Deena to whittle it down to 5. I entered 5 images in a number of different categories and felt good about meeting my goal. I was shocked and thrilled to find that my image “into the wind” was shortlisted and then won the Landscape category.

Last spring was really fun, as a category winner. Daniel sent out the promised prizes for winning the category. My image had tons of exposure – HuffPo, a home design magazine, other print publications and online. I attended the ArtHaus Gallery opening, was on a local SF news station talking about the show and my work. The image was in another gallery show of MPA winners in southern California. I loved being at the shows and meeting so many kind, inspiring, generous, members of the mobile photography community. One of the best experiences I had during the whole thing was spending the day at the SF Fine Arts Fair, where select images from the MPA show were hung. It was amazing to talk to art dealers and collectors. Daniel Berman was a perfect spokesperson for mobile photography – letting the images speak for themselves to hone the point that this work is photography and art. I talked to people about my work, and as best I could, about the work of the other artists represented in the MPA booth. People were amazed, for a moment, about the whole “camera phone” thing. But they quickly got past that and saw the work for its intrinsic artistry. None of my prints sold at any event, but I still came away from the whole thing feeling really happy and excited about the whole experience and what the MPAs are contributing to the artists and the art. Daniel is one of the people really doing something about how the work we do is perceived by the general public, instead of just tweeting angry messages about how instagram is ruining photography. I think the MPAs and Juxt are both real forces for advancement of art in general. I also know that I grew tremendously by participating, last spring. Personally, I learned to let myself be vulnerable by sharing my work – I learned to look at my work more critically, but also more kindly – I learned that the people I looked up to in this art form are real quality people who share, encourage, take pride, work hard, and are great fun. And now I have the beautiful framed print of my image up in my house.

To see more of the winners head to the MPA website to be treated to multiple slide shows of the winners and honorable mentions. Also, if you would like to read who else inspires the MPAs check out the blog.

Decim8 This with Julienne

Welcome to Week 29 of #Decim8nday’s Decim8 This.

Every Sunday @Decim8nday will post an original / unedited image submitted by our guest editor of the week.

Decim8ors are to:

  • Screenshot the image and save to their camera roll
  • Decim8 the image using any singular or combination of effects
  • We ask that no other apps are used and that images are processed only with the Decim8 app
  • List each effect used and hashtag it with #Decim8nday and #Decim8this_( guest editor’s username)
  • Post by Tuesday, 9:00 AM PST for a chance to get featured here and on @Decim8nday Wednesday!

This week we welcome Julienne, @knoxmomi, as guest editor!

About the image:

The Sunsphere, in Knoxville, Tennessee, is an 81.07 m high hexagonal steel truss structure, topped with a 23 m gold-colored glass sphere that served as the symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair. It was also home to a full service restaurant and the Observation Deck, which cost $2.00 for the elevator ride up for a visit. The Sunsphere closed to the public at Fair’s end and remained vacant or underutilized for most of its post-fair life. The 4th level of the Sunsphere houses the Observation Deck and offers a 360-degree view of the original 1982 World’s Fair site (now World’s Fair Park), downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee River, the University of Tennessee, and the Smoky Mountains.

Taken with Hipstamatic combo Foxy lens/Blanko Freedom film

Her top 3 Decim8-ions are:

First off, I knew it would be difficult to decide on only 3 top choices and it was certainly agonizing! But I’m excited to be able to choose 4 Honorable Mentions which I’ll post on my feed because I loved them all! I feel so honored to be Guest Editor this week and so happy to see all the amazing, wildly creative edits of The Sunsphere. It’s been incredible seeing the outpouring of edits from talented Decim8ers out there. Kudos to all who played along I am in awe of you all! With that said here are my top choices in no particular order and I name them as I see them as immediate first impressions. Congrats to All!

1. @dfreeek ‘s Tower with shadowy twin.

The colors and patterns from veth, precog1 and graboid transformed it into a Gustav Klimt painting; quite intricate, intriguing and old-worldly all in one.

2 @arnoldengel ‘s Sharp Jagged-edged Spine, stacked and saturated in strong colors. A startling eye-catching piece l imagined radio waves on a screen.

3 @ketroot ‘s Scattered half-moon Golden Spheres.

The use of L225 and Beamrider magic propelled them in motion along a deep blue space.


The Cr8ors of Decim8nday [ @suz4nne_ and @david_baer ] and I thank you, Julienne, for playing along!

Note:  This article concludes our final installment of Decim8 This for the time being.  We thank you all for participating every week!