Aug 10, 2015

A Conversation with David Hayes - iPhone Photographer

© David Hayes
What is your name and where do you live? 

DH:  My name is David Hayes. My wife, our Brittany, and I live in the small city of Milford, OH that is a bit northeast of Cincinnati. 


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

DH:  I have been a photographer for quite sometime...trained in film and all that. I didn’t go over to digital right away and even when I did, I still leaned towards my film cameras. It wasn’t until I started hearing about “iphoneography” and saw the images people where creating that I caught the bug. I started with an iPhone 4 and now am using an iPhone 6. I also have an iPad 3 that I use for most of my editing work. 


© David Hayes



© David Hayes

© David Hayes


Do you have a traditional photography or art background?

DH:  Yes to both. My undergraduate days where spent at Ohio University (Athens, OH) which has a fantastic photography and film program. (This is where I fell in love with Diane cameras and 120 film!) I majored in Communications taking massive amounts of television, film, and photography classes. After moving to the Cincinnati area I started taking studio classes at the Cincinnati Art Academy...painting, drawing, life studies, etc. All of this has certainly been a big factor in how I approach a composition. 


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

© David Hayes

Who or what inspires you? 

DH:  I would like to say that it’s my life that is my major inspiration. Not that I have this awe inspiring lifestyle...rather the opposite...but I do let my life experiences, past and present, influence a given image. Beyond this I am always taking in other artist’s images whenever I can. If I see something that really inspires me I will keep that in mind for my future images. 


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

You've been around the mobile photography world for a while and I'm very familiar with your work. For this article, I'd love to focus on your recent July Faffing Project. Please tell me what it is and how the idea came about?

DH:  Towards the end of June I was feeling a little undecided on what and where I wanted to take my work. Rather than over think it, I decided to just “faff” for the month of July. While there are many definitions for “faffing”, to me it’s just throwing something together, taking the shot, and then see what happens when it comes to processing the final image. July came and I started doing just that...throwing some elements together on my board and grabbing a shot with my iPhone 6. After the first week I realized I was having a lot of fun with this and decided to give the series some continuity. That’s when I started adding a Polaroid board and dating each image. I did go back and redo the first images to fit this concept. Each day was approached differently from the last image...with a few exceptions. All in all I will have to say that this project turned out great and helped get my creative juices flowing again! 


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

© David Hayes


Did you use the native camera app to shoot the images or did you also use other apps like Hipstamatic or Camera+?

DH:  For the most part I did,  which was just to keep things simple. Occasionally,  I used ProCamera to take advantage of its Tiltmeter function while shooting straight down and I did use Hipstamatic for one image. 


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

How did you select the subject matter for your series? 

DH:  With a few exceptions, I would wait until I decided it was time to set up for that day’s shot and then go with what my “muse” guided me to do. I spend about an hour each morning looking at my Instagram, Flickr, and Tumblr streams over a cup of coffee so I’m sure I was inspired by whatever I saw. I have a treasure trove of “stuff” that I go to for my still life shoots so I’d dive in, pull out whatever caught me eye and went with it! 


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

© David Hayes


Was part of the project to shoot and edit one image each day? Did you ever have trouble coming up with an idea for the day's shoot?

DH:  My goal was to be spontaneous with each day’s shoot and for the most part I kept it that way. It wasn’t until towards the end of the month that I started planning shoots ahead of time but that was rare. The perfect examples of this were the two ice cube images. I had to freeze the herbs and flowers I used in two large ice cube molds several days ahead of when I shot them. I originally only planned to use just one of them in the series but after I saw the finals of each I had to use both! Same with the garlic and radish images...although those were set-up on the fly, I decided to use both after I was done. Trouble coming up with ideas? Not really. I found that once I stared putting everything together, it just happened! 


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

What apps did you use for editing in the series?

DH:  My go to was Adobe Photoshop Express just to keep myself from “over-apping” each image. I also used Snapseed, Enlight, PhotoStudioHD, VSCOcam, Hipstamatic, Formulas, Stackables, Laminar Pro, iColorama, and Mextures. I used Polamatic each time to create a Polaroid border and date.


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

© David Hayes


Do you plan to do another month long series? If so, can you give us a hint as to the theme?

DH:  This wasn’t my first long series so I know I will do another one soon. As to what it might be, I don’t know! So many possibilities!! I have wanted to work with the video apps on my iPhone and iPad so perhaps that’s what I’ll go with next. Now that could be interesting!!


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

© David Hayes

Regarding your mobile art in general, have you ever sold or exhibited your work?

DH:  I have sold a couple of images via my Etsy and Society6 shop but nothing to write home about. As much as I’d like to make “big bucks” selling my images, I’m happier with my work when I don’t focus on saleable images. No exhibits to date although my images do show up from time to time in the bigger online showcases which always makes my day. I did take an Honorable Mention award in the 2014 IPPAwards in the Flower category and again in 2015 for my image in the Seasons category. And, just this week I learned that my Radish image earned a VSCO Distinction award. Cool stuff!! 


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

© David Hayes

Do you print a lot of your work, or does it stay confined to its digital format?

DH:  I have mixed thoughts about printing my work believing that iphoneography images were meant to be viewed digitally. After saying this, I do from time to time print my work.


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

© David Hayes


What is the best advice you ever received regarding either mobile photography or photography in general?

DH:  Take the shot, damn it. Don’t over think or over plan. Just take it. Film is cheap, file space is incredible...don’t worry about wasting a frame...take the shot when the instinct says to do it. Worry about quality of that image later. You can always throw away negatives or delete images but you can’t go back and take that shot!


© David Hayes

© David Hayes

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

DH:  Just to offer a huge thank you to all the photographers and artists that have given me advice and support over the years. I learn something new every time I take in your work so a big thank you for putting it out there!


Find David:  Instagram / Flickr / Website


Apps Mentioned

ProCamera
Hipstamatic
Adobe Photoshop Express
Enlight
FX Photo Studio HD
VSCO Cam
Formulas
Stackables
Laminar Pro
iColorama
Mextures
Polamatic


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