A Day In The Life Of ...

A Day In The Life Of The Talented And Inspirational Mobile Photographer Sean Hayes

Welcome to our very exciting new column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ is where we’ll be taking a look at some hugely influential, interesting and accomplished individuals in the mobile photography world. People that we think you will love to learn more about.

This is the twenty sixth installment of the series; you can read the others here, if you have missed any so far. Today we are featuring Sean Hayes, who was interviewed recently in our in-depth Extension of the I series.

Sean is a Freelance Advertising Art Director by profession, and you can find out more about that here at www.wix.com/shonski/sean-hayes. Sean started shooting images with an iPhone in 2009 and began to submit work on a regular basis to sites such as www.iphoneart.com, www.eyeem.com and pixelsatanexhibition.com in 2010.

Sean’s iPhone photography work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Miami and Naples, Italy. Check out the full interview below…

We have included the app or apps that were used to create the final image, and as many of the images were cross processed we have listed the apps in the sequential order they were used in the editing process. We have also provided links for each app to the iTunes App Store, just incase you’re inspired enough to try them out for yourself as well as accessories used.

You can find all the links 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…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Coming of Age (My Son Dylan)’. Apps used – Filterstorm (preparation), Camera+ (HDR), Dramatic B&W, Image Blender (to combine Color & Black and white versions) Monochromia (for final version).

JC – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?

SH – The family cat usually wakes me at 5.30 am. I stumble downstairs, let the cat out, fire up the coffee machine and then back to bed to check-in on the matrix on my iPhone. Mail, Twitter, Facebook updates with a couple of online newspapers thrown in for good measure. Then my wife and kids wake up – and all hell breaks loose.

Magic Hour…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Horizon’. Apps used – Dramatic B&W (to pump details), Snapseed (Crop and Grunge).

JC – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?

SH – Yes, especially during winter months and if the weather allows. Sunrise and sunset can be the best times for photography and landscape photography in particular. Long shadows and the morning light are very interesting – depending on atmospheric conditions. I really enjoy landscape photography and with the late sunrise in winter, it gives me time to get to a location and prepare.

Photographer vs Mobile Photographer…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Study after Cézanne’. Apps used – Camera + (Crop and tint), Pic Grunger (Scuffed)

JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop?

SH – Very fast. I had recently started shooting again on a Canon DSLR after a hiatus of nearly 30 years. Then in 2009 I purchased my first iPhone and started noticing nascent work from iPhoneographers online. I was intrigued by the results. It seemed to offer the immediacy of photography with the artistry of Photoshop retouching, all in one handy little device. I started shooting on my phone and posting works to sites like IPA, Pixels and Eyeem where I received encouragement from fellow iPhoneographers like Nacho (who, unfortunately, has since died in tragic circumstances) and Knox Bronson. Then, I was hooked 🙂

New Apps…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Earth 1’ Apps used – Snapseed (Tilt-shift), Pic Grunger (Scuffed)

JC – Do you like to download new mobile photography apps regularly?

SH – Not nearly as much as I used to. The danger is that you can become disorientated with all the “new” techniques and styles that these great apps offer. As the composer/musician Brian Eno once said “there is a danger in having too many options in a technologically advanced world.” And I think this applies to all artistic endeavor. I’m an art director by trade and the golden rule in creating a compelling piece is “less is more”. It’s what you take out, rather then what you put into a piece of artwork that sometimes makes it come together beautifully. I try to apply this adage to all my iPhone images.



Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Spring’ Apps used – PictureShow (Flare), Camera+ (Tint, Crop & Frame)

JC – How often do you update your existing apps?

SH – Whenever my iPhone tells me to. Resistance is futile.

Location, Location, Location…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Watercolour Series’. Apps used – Autostitch (Pano), Cinemafx (Tint), Pic Grunger (Weathered)

JC – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?

SH- Ireland. Without a doubt. And, specifically the west coast. For landscapes and light, the place is without parallel, and I’ve travelled to lands as distant as the west coast of the USA, Japan and South Africa.

Tools Of The Trade…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘DMT’. Apps used – Cinemafx (Tint), PhotoStudio (Crop, Distortion)

JC – Do you also use mobile photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?

SH – No. I had to look that up. But I’ve art directed advertising shoots with professional photographers
who use similar tools to plan the position of the sun etc. Wasn’t aware that it existed, as a handy app. Now I do.

Favorite Apps…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Paralysis (Selfie)’. Apps used – SlowShutter (Motion), Pic Grunger (Grunge)

JC – What are your favorite mobile photography apps currently?

SH – I’ve recently started to use Filterstorm a lot to “prepare” my shots for further work with other apps. Great for scaling, cropping and auto exposure etc. I often use Dramatic B&W to pump details and then soften the final result with other apps. Old faithfuls include Camera+, Cinemafx, Blender, PictureShow, Photofx, 6X6, BleachBypass, Snapseed and PicGrunger.



Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Water Color’. Apps used – AutoStitch (Pano), Cinemafx (Tint), Pic Grunger (Aged)

JC – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?

SH – Where don’t I upload is a better question. It’s a long list. But if it’s fun and frivolous, I use Instagram. For pieces, where I’m really pleased with the result, I upload to IPA, Pixels and Eyeem. Flickr is like a “mothership” where I keep everything worthwhile in the cloud. I also upload to a Facebook site called BiiAM which I created with fellow Belgian based iPhoneographers; Thérèse Cherton and Massimo Bortolini. Everybody welcome. Exhibitions [are] planned for September.



Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Tractor’ Apps used – Cinemafx (Tint), Pic Grunger (Scratched)

JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

SH – I wish. Some days the muse takes me. Other days it’s stuck in a traffic jam.


Favorite Subjects…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Les Merveilles d’un Matin 1’. Apps used – Autostitch (Pano), Pic Grunger (Blotched), Rays (Burst)

JC – What are your favorite subjects?

SH – Landscapes, landscapes and landscapes. The natural world is a very beautiful place if we take the time to stop and look

Top Five Tips…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Winter Coat’. Apps used – Autostitch (Pano), Camera+ (HDR), Cinemafx (Tint)


JC – What are you top five tips for mobile photography?

SH –

1.    Listen to your intuition
2.    Look.
3.    Look again.
4.    Shoot
5.    Process




Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘As Above So Below’. Apps used – Dramatic B&W, Cinemafx (Tint), Pic Grunger (Weathered)

JC – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?

SH – Exclusively on my iPhone. That’s the beauty of iPhoneography – everything is literally at your fingertips.



Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Rust’. Apps used – Cinemafx (Tint), Pic Grunger (Aged)

JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

SH – I’ve started to toy around with a couple of video apps. I’ve posted some of my efforts online and they have been well received. I would like to do more.

The Future Of Mobile Photography…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘On the Road’. Apps used – Snapseed (Tilt-Shift & Frame)

JC – Where do you see the future of mobile photography heading?

SH – I think there are parallels with the Polaroid aesthetic. It might become less of a “fad” and more of an art form of it’s own with it’s admirers and detractors. I’ve dubbed it the “people’s photography” which leaves little breathing room for elitism. That’s a good thing.



Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Une Vie a Vendre’. Apps used – Camera+ (Crop & HDR), Cinemafx (Tint)

JC – What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?

SH – Street photography. Because it’s the most difficult discipline to get right. Yet at the same time the most accessible. Past masters like Henri-Cartier Bresson, Diane Arbus and Vivian Maier make it look easy – but it isn’t. Believe me.

Where In The World…?


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘I Love Summer’. Apps used – Qbro (Crop and effect), Cinemafx (Tint)

JC – Do you think it is country specific, are some nations more ‘clued up’?

SH – No, I don’t think so. I’ve seen work from all four corners that’s compelling and crafted to perfection.

iPhone 5…


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Toy Soldiers’. Apps used – Camera+ (Crop and Tint)

JC – What do you hope for in the iPhone 5?

SH – That Apple will give me a free one 🙂 As a product (camera) tester obviously.



Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Sol’. Apps used – Camera+ (Crop &Tint), Qbro (Tint )

JC – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?

SH – The website is a helpful and informative place for all things mobile photography. And, Joanne embodies the same qualities.

Complete Links To All The Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Angel’. Apps used – Camera+ (Crop ,Tint & Frame), Cinemafx (Tint)

AutoStitch (Pano)
Dramatic B&W
Photo Studio Plus
Pic Grunger
Slow Shutter
Bleach Bypass

Additional Images


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Blue Coast’. Apps used – Camera+ (Tint &Frame)


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘Killing Fields’. Apps used – Autostitch (Pano), Camera+ (Tint, Texture)


Copyright Image – Sean Hayes – ‘GForce’. Apps used – Qbro (Crop & Tint), PhotoStudio (Distortion)

Kevin Carter is Head of Technical Hardware for theappwhisperer.com as well as ED of Digital Journal of Photography (DJP). Not one to sit still for long, Kevin is also a Professional Photographer and Technical Editor/Lens Guru for a number of technology and photography titles. These include the British Journal of Photography, Professional Photographer, Digital Photo Pro, DSLR User, Digital Photographer, CNET UK, PhotographyBLOG, MacUser and PC PRO, as well as PC Format and MacFormat, among others. Recently he became the Lead Technical Editor for DxOMark.