Nov 10, 2012

Petyr Campos–City Slicker and Mobile Photographer

© Petyr CamposThis week’s featured Instagrammer is Petyr Campos – a self-confessed city slicker and iPhoneographer.  I don’t know if I could put Petyr in a box as far as defining his work.  It is unique, poignant and varied which is what I love about it.
The first piece I ever saw by Petyr was at the L.A. Mobile Arts Festival (below).  I was mesmerized by the possibilities of creating with the iPhone that I clutched in my hand. 
Skin No. 6 © Petyr Campos
Skin No. 6 (Above)

Petyr resides in San Francisco (I hope that I can visit that beautiful city soon!).  He began creating mobile art in November of 2011 when his DSLR broke and was in the repair shop for six months.  He turned to his iPhone 3G to take photos and I’m so glad he did!  He read Dan Marcolina’s iPhone Obsessed and was “off to the races”! 

My Town © Petyr Campos
My Town (Above)
Here is more of the conversation I had with the very talented Petyr Campos.

Geri: Do you have an art or photography background?
Petyr: I studied to be a photographer in college and did some work for the college newspaper, worked as a party pics guy, and briefly studied under fashion and free-lance photographers. However, I wasn't disciplined and focused enough at that age to follow through with my passion for photography. I put down the camera for a good length of time and didn't come back to photography until digital photography became widespread.
Geri:  What inspired your “skin” series, like the one I saw at the L.A. Mobile Arts Festival?

Skin No. 3 © Petyr Campos
Skin No. 3 (Above)
Skin No. 36 © Petyr Campos
Skin No. 36 (Above)
Petyr:  The original idea behind the skin series was to symbolize the different masks people wear throughout their day and/or lives. However, I quickly realized the images were better suited as a metaphor for beauty and how we perceive it as individuals and as a culture.  As a culture, I believe we place a high premium on people's outward appearance which the media constantly reinforces in ads, television, movies, etc. Oddly enough, this conflicts with the age old adage every parent, friend, teacher, etc. tells their children, friend, student..."that it's not what's on the outside that counts, but what's in the inside". The dichotomy of what we practice and preach is very interesting to me.

Skin No. 26 © Petyr Campos
Skin No. 26 (Above)
Geri:  Do you plan to exhibit more of your work?
Petyr:  Yes, whenever and wherever I can. I've submitted pieces of my work to various "call for entries" exhibits.

Inner Voice © Petyr Campos
Inner Voice (Above)
Geri:  What are some of your favorite apps?
Petyr:  For camera apps – ProCamera, Hipstamatic, 645 Pro and Slow Shutter Cam.  Editing apps -  Snapseed, Filterstorm, Pixlr-o-matic, Photo FX, FX Photo Studio, HDR FX Pro and PhotoViva.

The Witch © Petyr Campos
The Witch (Above)
Geri: Can you tell me a little about your process?  Do you edit on your iPhone or do you use an iPad or computer?
Petyr:  I shoot and edit my all my images within my 4S iPhone.  However, I do like to review my images on my iPad to see what they look like in a bigger format. Sometimes what looks good on the iPhone, at a closer look, doesn't look so good and it's back to the drawing board. I pretty much shoot anything but tend to lean towards taking portraits, city images and concert photography.  For concert photography, it has to be a small venue and you have to be in the pit. Regarding processing images, I tend to find recipes (apps to use and ways of using them) that seem to work well for certain types of images. So when I spot an image to shoot, I have somewhat of an idea what the finished product might look like.  I find for concert photography, some of the best images are ones which look like a mess at first look, but present a fun challenge in how to rescue them and make them interesting.

Yukon Blond No. 3 © Petyr Campos
Yukon Blond No. 3 (Above)
Red Hot Chili Peppers © Petyr Campos
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Above)
Geri: Do you think the mobile art movement is gaining momentum?
Petyr:  Yes, I think the mobile art movement is gaining momentum and will only continue to do so as more people continue to shoot photographs with their mobile devices. Like any movement, it takes time for people to adjust to and accept new tools and/or mediums for creating art. It took some time before rap was considered a legitimate art form in the music community, I myself was one of those naysayers. Mobile art is here to stay and I dare say in 10 years you may see exhibits on how the mobile art movement was started.

Is This Heaven?  © Petyr Campos
Is This Heaven?  (Above)
Looking Into the Abyss  © Petyr Campos
Looking Into the Abyss  (Above)
On the Go © Petyr Campos
On the Go (Above)
Geri: Anything else you’d like to add?
Petyr: I would just like to give a shout out to Dan Marcolina whose book iPhone Obsessed started me on my iPhoneography journey and showed me the creative possibilities of the iPhone. I would also like the thank my fellow artist in the Instagram and iPhoneArt communities who continue to encourage my creativity with their likes and faves while simultaneously keeping me humble with the beautiful art they create.
Geri:  I would now like to thank you Petyr for the beauty you create and add to my world.  I would also like to say I am particularly touched by the devotion you show to your mother.  As a Mom myself I would only hope that I would inspire the kind of respect you have for you dear mother.  I was moved by the words on Instagram you used in reference to your photo below:
Petyr“My mother has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was a young girl. The disease has completely deformed her hands and feet and disabled her. I've never know my mother not being sick and in pain, that's the way it has always been. Ironically, she has outlived all of her siblings though she was the most sickly of any of them. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have a mother without rheumatoid arthritis as a kid, but I can't because it's all I know. When seeing my mother, you may see what appears to be a very frail woman. However, she's one of the strongest people I know. I don't think I could deal with the constant pain has dealt with for the last 70 years, but she has and does. I guess she doesn't have much of a choice, but it still speaks to her strength. My mother's arthritic condition will always be one of the strongest images I have of her, but at the same time does not define who she is.”
Mi Madre Series No. 3 - Pain © Petyr Campos
Mi Madre Series No. 3 – Pain (Above)
Find Petyr:  Instagram / iPhoneArt.

All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Petyr Campos published on Art of Mob with the consent of the artist. 


  1. Wow so talented! Really enjoyed reading this. Amazing fantastic work, beautiful, moving and much more....

  2. Just WOW!!!! If you're looking for inspiration and someone to be your mentor, you've certainly found a master! His work is incredible. Thanks for sharing. xox

  3. Marvelous interview, Geri. I really like Petyr's work. His mother's hand is an incredible piece.


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