iSights – ‘Artistic Inventory’ By Janine Graf

Here it is, Janine Graf’s second article for her new Column with us, iSights. This is another great article in which Janine reflects on her images captured over the past 12 months and considers whether ‘out with the old and in with the new’ is really appropriate when considering your mobile photography portfolio. Over to you Janine. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).


Happy New Year!! I hope 2013 greeted all of you with loving open arms, flutes full of champagne and confetti falling from the sky! I admit I was asleep before 10:00 pm on New Year’s Eve so 2013 welcomed me with bed head, morning breath and sheet imprints across my cheek. Now since it is a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about doing an artistic inventory over the past year.

The idea to do an artistic inventory came to me during a recent conversation with my extremely artistic and supportive mother-in-law. While she was visiting in early December, I was going through my portfolio trying to decide which images to submit to the Mobile Photo Awards. She said she’d love to peruse my images and offer up her suggestions; lend a fresh eye for the selection process. While making her personal choices she asked, “Are you going to submit any older images?” My immediate response was a flabbergasted, “No!! Why on earth would I submit older images?!” and then I sat there silently for a moment, blinking at her from across the table, then continued with a now somewhat panicked tone in my voice,“ I just like my new stuff better . . . my new stuff IS better, isn’t it???” And so this got me thinking . . . and questioning . . . and even doubting, which is good; doubt keeps us on our toes.

Going back over my images for 2012 and comparing them to what I created during 2011, I have to say that all-in-all I am pleased. Of course there were some rough patches along the artistic way . . . some unfortunate Percolator app experiments, some abominations created with the Decim8 app, and not to mention a Slow Shutter app catastrophe, or rather, a “craptastrophe”. Oh yes, there were plenty of epic fails.

So I would like to share with you a few of my personal favorites from the year:


© Janine Graf – ‘Meet me at sled hill’



“Meet me at sled hill” was one of the first images I created in 2012 and would become one of my more popular pieces. It was taken after the first snowfall of the season in Seattle, WA. A couple of days later my son and I went to lunch with a girlfriend and her two kids. As we were all leaving the restaurant my girlfriend’s daughter stops and announces, “I have to go poop!” So while mother and daughter took care of “business”, I sat down on a bench and looked through my camera roll. I liked the composition of the image already, but it needed more. Figuring I had the time, I tweaked it in BlurFX and then finished it off in ScratchCam. Ahhhh, editing on the go . . . one of the great benefits of mobile phone photography!



© Janine Graf – ‘Cows Play Peekaboo’


“Cows Play Peekaboo” was created in the late spring and thus began my love affair with the Juxtaposer app. I had dabbled with Juxtaposer in the past, but it was the creation of this image that got me officially hooked. It would also mark the beginning of a new direction I would take creatively; incorporating animals in whimsical themed compositions.



© Janine Graf – ‘City Girl’


“City Girl” was one of the last images I created in 2012. This is part of a balloon-traveling series I’m currently working on featuring this rhino from the San Diego Wild Safari Park. This rhino got fed up with the daily grind at the Safari Park; every day it was the same old thing. Fashioning around her middle some helium balloons she stole from a souvenir kiosk, and with the help from a sympathetic giraffe, she made a hasty retreat and is now off seeing the world. Here she is peeping into windows in Boston’s financial district.


Janine Graf


© Janine Graf



It was fun to reflect back on these images; even the hideous ones that made me want to chuck my iPhone into the toilet, and appreciate their significance in the creative journey of 2012. I highly recommend you all do the same with your portfolios, if you haven’t already. You may just surprise yourself with how much you’ve grown in 12 months. Oh, in case any of you were wondering, I did not submit any of my older images to the Mobile Photo Awards . . . because my new stuff IS better, isn’t it???
Here’s to a happy, healthy and creative 2013 everybody!




About Janine Graf

Janine’s mobile photography has been exhibited in art galleries across the United States and in Europe, has been featured on various websites and in publication. She is currently a proud member of the traveling iPad photography exhibit called “Light Impressions” along with 40 very talented mobile photographers. In publishing news, Janine was honored and delighted to have participated in an upcoming book about creating surreal digital photography. This book is set to be released in the spring of 2013 by Ilex Press. Janine is a mobile photographer who enjoys belly dancing, bacon cheeseburgers, cappuccinos, the smell of old books, slapstick comedy, the color orange and movies about gladiators. Since discovering mobile photography in the early fall of 2010, Janine has set aside her professional DSLR and desktop editing programs in favor of the iPhone and its myriad of wonderful editing apps. In regards to subject matter, she tends to gravitate towards subjects that allow for a whimsy feeling or vibe; she likes to have fun!