A Day In The Life Of Cara Gallardo Weil – A Graphic Designer With Passion And Talent For iPhone Photography
Welcome to our very exciting new column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ and this 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 thirty-second installment of the series, you can read the others here if you have missed them so far. Today, we are featuring Cara Callardo Weil a Graphic Designer and amateur photographer with a passion for iPhone photography. Cara Gallardo Weil was born in Hong Kong to Filipino parents who moved there in the early 60s to work in publishing. Her early life was spent in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. She studied graphic design in London and spent more than 20 years there before returning to Hong Kong, where she currently resides.
Her Hipstamatic work has been featured in the global photography project, ‘Adventures in Hipstaland’, run by the developers of the Hipstamatic app, ‘Adventures in Hipstaland Hong Kong’ in November 2010, ‘Adventures in Hipstaland Tuscany’ in July 2011 and ‘Adventures in El Nido, Palawan’ in January 2012.
She was recently included in the list of ‘5 Amazing Hipstamatic Photographers’ by Business Insider and one of her images ‘Double Crossing’ was selected for inclusion in Mashable’s ’10 stunning Hipstamatic iPhone Photos’.
In July 2011, one of her photographs, “Waiting for a Train” was included in the top 20 of the National Geographic/Hipstamatic contest “Life in a Day”. 18,000 submissions were narrowed down to 100 by Hipstamatic, and from that selection, National Geographic chose their top 20 hipstamatic photographs which were screened at the premier of the documentary “Life in a Day”. Her book, ‘Moments in Hong Kong, A Hipstamatic Journey’, was a People’s Choice nominee in Blurb’s Photography Book Now 2011 contest.
You can read more about where Cara’s work has been exhibited at the end of this article.
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 – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘5.45 am’ – Apps used – iPhone default camera, Autostitch, Snapseed
JC – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
CGW – I’m usually up somewhere between 5.30 and 6am. I check email and Facebook sometimes the other sites if I have time. If my step kids are staying with us, I get everyone’s lunch ready including my husband’s as everyone is out of the door by 7am, and sometimes that includes me too as I like to get all my exercise done first thing. Because most of my clients are in the UK and Europe, I use the mornings to get some work done so that I’ve dealt with all emails and design revisions and by the time they get to work, they have what they need from me. The time zones really work in my favor in that respect. If I have some time after all that, I will do some app’ing and upload work. I find that I do a lot of app’ing on the go… if I have to wait for anyone, for appointments or if I’m not driving, I app when I’m on the bus or train.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Kyak at rest’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Iris Photo Suite, PhotoToaster
JC – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
CGW – In an ideal world, I would love to be able to do that! It doesn’t happen very often occasionally on weekends, and sometimes when we’re on holiday. Most of my photography happens when I’m walking around, getting to and from places, running errands and when we travel. My husband travels a lot for business and I tend to tag along, which is only possible because of the internet. I can work wherever I am in the world as long as I have my laptop with me and do not miss deadlines.
Photographer vs Mobile Photographer
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Repulse Bay, Hong Kong’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic Melodie lens, Ina’s 1935 film
JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop?
CGW – It all started when I discovered Hipstamatic. I think I probably had the iPhone (the 3s) for maybe 6 months, but I never used the camera. One day I downloaded hipstamatic after seeing a couple of photographs that were posted by a friend and I was hooked. For 18 months all I did was shoot only with hipstamatic. I did a 365 project, and I was invited by the developers to participate in their ‘Adventures in Hipstaland’ series (I’ve done 3 Hong Kong, Tuscany and El Nido in the Philippines). After I completed the year, I started to experiment more with other apps. I used to not want to edit my hipstamatic shots, but now, unless I’m really happy with the image, I will process it to make it better. Sometimes it’s just a matter of cropping or straightening. It really bugs me when the horizon isn’t straight!
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Gatsby’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Iris Photo Suite
JC – Do you like to download new mobile photography apps regularly?
CGW – I will only download ones that sound interesting for the type of work that I do. I have many apps that I never use.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Untitled’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Iris Photo Suite
JC – How often do you update your existing apps?
CGW – Probably not as often as I should! The only one I am religious about updating is hipstamatic. I usually let the update notices build up to about 10 or 12 before I do anything about it.
Location, Location, Location…
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Secret Canyon, Arizona’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic – John S lens, Blanko film
JC – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?
CGW – I love Paris and New York for street photography, the Philippines for beach scenery and Utah and Arizona for landscapes. But there are so many wonderful places in the world to shoot it’s really hard to pick a favorite. I haven’t been to South America yet I would love to go there.
Tools Of The Trade…
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Liberty’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
JC – Do you also use mobile photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?
CGW – No must find out what it is!
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Blues’ – Created for the ‘Spirit of the blues’ challenge (Appstract group, Facebook) – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, PhotoWizard, PhotoStudio, Iris, Juxtaposer
JC – What are your favorite mobile photography apps currently?
CGW – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Iris, PhotoToaster, Touch Retouch and Blur FX, Blender, Juxtaposer and Diptic. I went mad with MarbleCam when it first came out… very addictive! I find that I often use several apps to get to the final image and I don’t always remember the steps. I have a habit of clearing out the ‘in-between’ stages from my phone. There are lots of other apps that I may use occasionally, like Filterstorm, ScratchCam, TiltShift, Cameramatic and Wood Camera. But my ‘go to’ apps are definitely the first ones listed above.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘La Tour Eiffel avec crème glacée’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, John S lens, Blanko Noir film
JC – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?
CGW – Primarily Facebook and Instagram. And when I have some time, I upload to IPA, Eye’em, Pixels, Flickr, Red Bubble and 500px.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Street scene, New York’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?
CGW – Yes. It has become a habit.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘La Defense’ Paris – Apps used – Hipstamatic – John S Lens, Blanko film
JC – What are your favorite subjects?
CGW – I love the challenge of street photography, and I love architecture lines and reflections. I also love nature flowers, landscapes, trees. But Hong Kong is not the best of places for shooting nature – it is such an urban environment. However I am lucky as it can be quite rural where we live – there are beaches nearby and a huge country park, so I do have some access to nature. It’s easier to shoot nature when I’m in the UK there are more opportunities and the English countryside can be really beautiful.
Top Five Tips…
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Sunday stroll in Hong Kong’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic – Dali lens – Blanko film
JC – What are you top five tips for mobile photography?
1. Try to be aware of what is around you and develop a keen eye.
2. Take lots of photographs.
3. Join iPhoneography groups that interest you and take part in challenges, if there are any – it’s a great way to learn and to push yourself outside of the box.
4. Be inspired by other people’s work. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Some people don’t like to share, but most are very forthcoming with tips and guidance.
5. Try to discover what feels right for you and have fun with it.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Double Crossing’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic – Dali lens – Blanko film
JC – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?
CGW – I do all my editing on the iPhone 4s or my iPad if I need to work in more detail. I even edit photographs taken with my DSLR on the iPhone or iPad because I find it easier. The only time I may use my laptop to edit is when I have to resize images in Photoshop for something specific like a gallery show.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Prior Park’ – Bath, UK – Apps used – Hipstamatic – Libatique lens, Blanko film
JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?
CGW – I never use the video.
The Future Of Mobile Photography…
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘untitled’ – Created for the ‘AppMondrian’ challenge (Appstract group, Facebook) – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, PhotoStudio, Diptic, Blender, Wood Camera, Iris
JC – Where do you see the future of mobile photography heading?
CGW – I hope that it will continue to thrive and develop. There is so much amazing work that is being produced – not just photographic in the traditional sense of the word, but also artistic work. Roger Guetta, who you interviewed recently, set up a Facebook group called ‘Appstracts’ and being part of the group has been instrumental in challenging me to think outside the box. It has helped me to produce work that I would never have expected from an iPhone (thank you Roger!) I just wish I had more time to spend on the challenges – I end up missing some of them because I just do not have the time. But I love to check in and see what everyone else is up to. It is very inspiring. I would like to think that iPhoneography as an art form can only continue to grow and hopefully receive more recognition.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘New York’ – Created for the ‘Scene to Soul’ challenge, (Appstract group, Facebook) – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Cameramatic, Juxtaposer, Diptic
JC – What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?
CGW – Probably street photography and nature.
Where In The World…?
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Offerings’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic – John S lens, Blanko film
JC – Do you think it is country specific, are some nations more “clued up”?
CGW – Probably – access to the internet and information can be limited in some countries. The community does seem to be pretty global though, which is a good thing.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘The flower and the butterfly’ – Apps used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, PhotoStudio, Juxtaposer
JC – What do you hope for in the iPhone 5?
CGW – I would be happy with any improvements – camera, processing speed, memory.
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Street Scene’ – East London – Apps Used – iPhone default camera, Snapseed
JC – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com
CGW – It’s a great resource for the mobile phone community. I love the ‘Day in the life’ series and the ‘Extension of the I’ both are great reads and it is lovely to have more insight into people’s inspirations and personalities. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate, and thank you for all the work that you do to promote iPhoneography it is much appreciated!
Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article…
Copyright Image – Cara Gallardo Weil – ‘Callas II’ – Apps Used – iPhone default camera, Snapseed, Touch ReTouch, Filterstorm
Iris Photo Suite
Cara’s work has been included in the following exhibitions:
Hipstamatics: An exhibition for Hipstamatics, 11 January–13 February 2011, Orange Dot Gallery, London, UK
Pixels, the Art of iPhone Photography, 31 March–28 April 2011, Orange County Centre of Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA, USA touring to the Arty Gallery, Los Angeles and the Giorgi Gallery, Berkeley
Hipstamatic Exhibition, April 9, 2011, Space Gallery, Chiaravalle, Italy
Hipstamatic! Retro pictures with your iPhone App, 29 April–26 June 2011, Kunsthall, Rotterdam, Holland
WiAM (Worldwide iPhoneography Art Movement) first exhibition, 24 February-26 February 2012, Naples Italy
iPhoneography exhibition, IX Gallery in Toronto, 27 April – 25 May, part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Hipstamatic International Exhibition, 3 – 25 May 2012, Porto, Portugal
Add On, 18-26 May, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney, Australia, part of the Head on Festival of Photography
Great interview….wonderful images!!! I am always inspired after reading “The Day In a Life…”
Cara Gallardo Weil
Thank you David!
Great read !! Congrats Cara 🙂
Cara Gallardo Weil
Thanks Roger! xo
Great interview. I really enjoyed this and some excellent insights…thank you!
Cara Gallardo Weil
Thank you Susan!
I love these interviews because I just love getting to know my favorite iPhoneographers better!!! Facebook is a bit limiting in that way, so the biography set-up in the beginning is what I really appreciate! …of course the images are awesome as well!
Cara Gallardo Weil
Thanks Shea!! 🙂
Cara, I’ve been a fan of yours since laying eyes on your gorgeous Hipstas over at IPA. Really enjoyed reading your interview! xoxo
Cara Gallardo Weil
Thank you so much Janine! You know I’m a fan of yours too!!! xoxo
Great interview Cara. And beautiful images as always! xxx
Cara Gallardo Weil
Thanks so much Sarah xo