Jul 27, 2015

Dramatic iPhone Portraiture by David Booker

What is your name and where do you live? 

DB:  My name is David Booker and I live in Belper, Derbyshire, England

How did you get started in mobile photography? What device do you use? 

DB:  As a keen photographer all of my adult life, I began taking mobile images pretty much as soon as cameras were available on the earliest smart-phones, but I guess it wasn’t until the release of the iPhone 4 – and the significant increase in camera quality – that I began to see the potential for using it as a serious tool for creating more artistic images. I’m currently using the iPhone 6 Plus.

Do you have a traditional photography or art background?

DB:  Since the age of about 14 I’ve progressed through using film (and learning about developing) through to digital photography (and Photoshop) through to mobile photography, but all for my own creative outlet rather than professionally or with any formal training. Both photography and art (in the wider sense) have played an important part in my life and remain something that I’m always drawn to.

Do you see any advantages of mobile over traditional camera photography?

DB:  Aside from the obvious answer of ‘convenience’, I think that there’s becoming less and less of a distinction – or need to differentiate – between the tools that are used to take photographs. As far as the viewer’s concerned, what does it matter? A good photo is a good photo and whether it was taken on an iPhone, a Canon DSLR, a Polaroid camera or a Kodak Brownie, then this really is of no real importance. I think as the novelty of knowing that an image was shot using a ‘phone camera’ wears off (as the quality of such cameras improves, it surely will), then the viewer will be more concerned with asking why rather than how (to paraphrase Man Ray).

Who or what inspires you?

DB:  I take in inspiration from all forms of art, from painting (Picasso) to literature (Murakami) to music (David Sylvian) to photography. Some of my favourite photographers include Kristamas Klousch, Francesca Woodman, Susan Tuttle, Eloise Capet, Rimel Neffati and many of the obvious masters. 

There is a woman featured in most of your photographs, who is she?

DB:  All of my images feature my partner (now wife), Eve.

How did your particular editing style (blur, texture, etc) develop?

DB:  This came quite early on and reflects my need to always distort – or blemish – my images in some way. I’ve always found it much more rewarding to have to search for hidden beauty in something, whether in a photograph, a painting or in music. It’s always seemed so much more interesting and satisfying that way. It’s about appreciating the light more when it’s contrasted with the shade. When I first discovered the work of Kristamas Klousch, it was so refreshing – I felt inspired to create almost immediately!

What apps do you use to edit your images?

DB:  I have many, many apps and almost always run my images through several before I’m done processing. Snapseed has always remained my go-to app when starting though.

Any tips for organizing and storing photos?

DB:  I'm quite obsessive when it comes to organizing my work (and everything else for that matter). I have things in specific folders that relate to what's on my website, social media or that have been used for particular interviews, features, etc. I also make regular back-ups (iPhone/MacBook/cloud/external hard-drive).

I'm an avid user of Evernote and that's where I also tend to organize and compartmentalize all aspects of my life, not just my photography! In terms of the iPhone itself, I have folders that contain images from different photo shoots. I also then have a folder for selected images that I feel have 'potential' and one for 'works in progress'.

Are all of your images mainly saved on a computer somewhere or do you display printed versions in your home or elsewhere?

I have a few of my favorite images on display at home, but they only make up a small percentage of the large number of pictures that I like to have around me.

Please tell me about your solo exhibition that just launched.

DB:  This has been incredibly exciting! Louise Shipley, owner of a brand new gallery in Wirksworth, approached me earlier in the year as the gallery was being set up, and asked if I’d be the first artist to exhibit there, which was a great honor. The exhibition contains around twenty-six of my images and runs until the 30th July.

Do you regularly enter your work in juried competitions?

DB:  Other than the annual Mobile Photography Awards (MPAs), no, not really. But it’s something I really should make more of an effort to do!

What advice would you give to mobile photographers who are just starting out?

DB:  First and foremost, shoot for yourself, your own creativity. Create something that YOU love and never have an end goal other than that in mind. If someone else happens to like it too, then great.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

DB:  Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk to you. x

Find David: blemished eye / Instagram 

Apps Mentioned:

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