Welcome to another new series of interviews and insights that we are running on theappwhisperer.com. This new section, entitled, Extension Of The I, goes deeper into the photographic aspects of mobile photography. It delves into the lives and thoughts and influences that our artists experience from their photography. No other mobile photography website reaches the depths and emotions of the mobile photographers as we do in this new series of interviews, if you’ve missed our previous interviews of this series, you can read them here.
We think you’re going to enjoy this, a lot. Today, we are featuring Elaina Wilcox, we recently interviewed Elaina in our A Day In The Life Interview series. If you missed that you can read it here. Elaina started working as a professional photographer in the early 90′s as an event and music photographer. She moved to Austin Texas and her music photography career went into full bloom. in 2010 Elaina moved with her husband to Los Angeles and along with music photography, she pursued portrait photography. Her journey with iPhone art photography was born out of love of art and technology. The artistic ease of using the iPhone as an extension of her photography along with the amazing apps available make creating art photography a true passion for Elaina.
Read more about Elaina in the following interview. You can find all the links to the apps mentioned at the end of this article.
(If you would like to be interviewed for our new ‘A day in the life of …’ section, just send an email to Joanne@theappwhisperer.com, and we’ll get it set up.)
First Things First
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘GEMINI IN REPOSE’ – PHOTOSHOP TOUCH/BLENDER/ICOLORAMA/MAGIC BULLET
Joanne – How did you get started in photography?
Elaina – I went to a few photography classes early on when everyone was using a film DSLR and although I have attended workshops and digital courses over the years, most of my original photography skills are self taught – I worked as a hair stylist & makeup artist for over 20 years (still do in a freelance capacity) so my work with design,color and composition started there.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘IN HER WAY’ – SNAPSEED/ICOLORAMA/COLORMANIA
Joanne – Who and what are your influences?
Elaina – My main influences as an artist is my Mother. She is a fine art figurative painter in the Cincinnati area. Her work is amazing! It’s being featured in a gallery as I write this! That said, I love the abstract master painters like Picasso & Joan Miro. Their work h inspires me.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘THE LADY OF THE FIELD’ – SNAPSEED/BLENDER/PHOTOSHOP TOUCH
Joanne – What draws you to the subjects you seek?
Elaina – I love watching people – always have. The human presence is fascinating to me. Every person on earth is unique in their own way. I love to capture a person or a scene that lets the viewer attach their own response and emotion to the image..it’s all subjective. No matter what my subject is, my goal is to move the viewer. I want to tell a small story with light,color,texture and form.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘LEMON DAY’ – PHOTO WIZARD/PHOTO COPIER
Joanne – What is it about these subjects that you want to capture/communicate and ultimately convey in your images?
Elaina – I have always been intrigued with taking something that is very normal to the eye and and recreating it in a unique and unusual way. Be it a portrait, landscape or an inanimate object. It’s the escape from the normal everyday grind that I’m looking to capture with my iPhone art.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘MANIC’ – BLENDER/PHOTOSHOP TOUCH/ICOLORAMA
Joanne – How did you ‘settle’ on this subject?
Elaina – As I said above I’ve always been drawn to people and nature, so these two subjects naturally attract me.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘SPIRITUAL’ – INSTAGRAM/PHOTO WIZARD
Joanne – Is there another are/subject that you would like to explore, if so, what and why?
Elaina – I’m fine at the moment as I’m still trying to in my iPhone photography journey. I’m still perfecting my style and editing skills…there is ways more to learn and explore…I LOVE music photography so that is an area I am still pursuing. I would love to get into doing more press kit/ PR photography with bands.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘THE DREAM’ – SUPERIMPOSE/JUXT/ICOLORAMA
Joanne – Which photographers (not necessarily mobile photographers) do you most admire and why?
Elaina – I have so many influences in the iPhone art world but a few that influence and encourage me to stretch as an artist are: Sara Jarrett, Paul Toussaint, Knox Bronson, Sara Tune, Max Frame, Cindy Patrick & Roger Guetta. I have found a lot of support from these individuals plus their shooting and editing style to resonate with my soul.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘THE MAGICAL PLAY DAY’ – ICOLORAMA/PHOTOSHOP TOUCH
Joanne – Henri Cartier-Bresson is in many ways, the Godfather of street photography, even in the 1930’s he enjoyed using a small camera for discretion in order to capture people and tell a story – do you feel this way regarding mobile photography?
Elaina – Henri Cartier-Bresson is in many ways, the Godfather of street photography, even in the 1930’s he enjoyed using a small camera for discretion in order to capture people and tell a story – do you feel this way regarding mobile photography?
The small size is an advantage, people respond in a a more relaxed manner to the iPhone camera. It’s less intimidating than a huge DSLR. I find I capture very natural expressions easier when using my iPhone to shoot.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘THE RITUAL’ – PHOTO COPIER/BLENDER/ICOLORAMA
Joanne – Tell us about your photographic technique – do you rely on intuition or do you believe in a more formal/trained approach?
Elaina – I live my whole life replying on my intuition…when I ignore it, I usually regret it! So yes, I’m more intuitive in my approach and editing technique.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘THE RULER’ – JUXT/BLENDER/PHOTO WIZARD
Joanne – How has your photography evolved?
Elaina – I love to shoot so many things that finding my own signature style has been a challenge,but I’m now finding my own voice and style with my shooting skills. I’m finding a lot of satisfaction in portrait photography…the apps available for adding light to eyes, smoothness to skin and texture to the whole photo is amazing!
All For One
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘TREE ON FIRE’ – BLENDER/SNAPSEED
JC – Many of the great photographers, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier Bresson described only shooting images for “themselves”do you see this attitude with mobile photographers?
Elaina – Yes, in my personal art photography I agree. If the subject and composition doesn’t resonate with me, I will loose interest in capturing that moment in time.
© Elaina Wilcox
Joanne – Do you take risks with photographs, push boundaries? If yes, please give examples, if no, why not, would you like to?
Elaina – Yes, for example, with my nude portraits I push the boundaries with what is considered ” traditional beauty” I have a hard time making someone look too normal I like unusual poses, textures and expressions. The above is an example of a shoot where I used texture as a main element.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘LOVELY DAUGHTER’ – PHOTO WIZARD/PHOTOSHOP TOUCH
Joanne – What is your favorite picture, of your own and why?
Elaina – My favorite iPhone picture is of my daughter. I think the app style creates a mood of wonder and vulnerability that she was embodying at that stage in her life.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘VICTORIAN REST SNAPSEED/TOUCHRETOUCH/BLENDER
Joanne – Do you get emotionally involved with your photography?
Elaina – Oh yes! My photos take on a life of their own. I may start out editing a certain way, but then the photo might take on a different mood, so I then will switch up the colors,texture and light effects.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘FRACTURED’ – COLORMANIA/PHOTO WIZARD/ICOLORAMA/PICTURE SHOW
Joanne – Does your life become entwined with your subjects?
Elaina – If the subject is a family member,friend or place that makes me feel happy then yes.
Post Production (Processing)
© Elaina Wilcox
Post Production (Processing)
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘Fighting The Static’
Joanne – Do you have a special post-processing style?
Elaina – It really depends on what I’m shooting, if its a traditional DSLR portrait shoot, my goal is to let the face stand alone. I’m not big into over processing a portrait shoot. I like the skin to look natural, the eyes bright and sharp,but not overly so…in other words, the person needs to look polished but real. With my iPhone photography, that’s a different matter altogether! I go for etherial, textured and dramatic light effects. I’m always on the hunt for unusual effects with texture and color. Above are two examples of my different editing approaches.
Tips For Processing
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘I AM MORE THAN MY SCARS’ – SNAPSEED/BLENDER/PHOTO WIZARD
Joanne – Do you have any tips for processing?
Elaina – Know you’re apps inside and out. Practice constantly! Always use the highest res. apps on the market, and keep you’re work organized in folders – I have a folder for textures, reflective etc. it helps when you’re trying to sort out the layout and feel of a piece. Last, if you’re new to iPhone photography, don’t try and download every app in the first couple of weeks. You will become overwhelmed. Stick to a few that resonate with you’re style and editing skills, then gradually acquire more as you’re editing skill increases.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘LONELY TREE’ – BLENDER/PHOTO COPIER/ICOLORAMA
Joanne – Do you have a digital workflow system to sort your images, if so what is it?
Elaina – Yes, as I mentioned above,folders. They help keep me sane. I also delete any photo that I’m absolutely sure I won’t use again, or in the future. It helps cut down on clutter.
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TREE/PHOTO WIZARD/IBLENDER
Joanne – How do you think photography has changed over the years?
Elaina – With the invention of mobile phone cameras everyone wants to take photos. So with more people taking more images, we are inundated with visual energy all day. That’s a double edge sword. With social media we have become almost desensitized to the beauty of an amazing photograph. There is so much coming at you at all times so, as a photographer that forces us to bring our best game to the field. I know with music photography, it’s so much harder to make money because (sometimes) the musician and record companies are willing to accept sub-par photos for less or sometimes no money out of their pocket. It is just a different world for media and photography in general.
35 mm Film Days
© Elaina Wilcox – ‘THE SOLITARY PATH’ – SNAPSEED/SUPERIMPOSE/PHOTOSHOP TOUCH
Joanne – As a mobile photographer you’re at the cutting edge of technology, do you ever hanker for the 35mm film days?
Elaina – Yes, I love film cameras, there is something about not having that immediate gratification that makes a photographer work harder to get that one special shot!