A Day In The Life Of ...,  News

A Day In The Life Of Richard Koci Hernandez – Simply, One Of The Worlds Greatest Mobile Photographers

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 our forty second installment of the series, you can read the others here, if you have missed them so far. Today, we are featuring Richard Koci Hernandez. Richard is a national Emmy-award-winning video and multimedia producer who worked as a photographer at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. A two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, Hernandez is currently on the faculty at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he teaches various new media courses, including mobile reporting. In 2011 he presented a mobile photography master class at the TED2012 conference.

Richard is huge in the mobile photography world and works closely with Lynda.com producing some incredible mobile photography tutorials. He is at the cutting edge of this new era of photography and has incredible insight. In this interview, Richard explains, among other things, how the term ‘iPhoneography’ will soon become obsolete, how it will all be deemed ‘photography’ instead. We know this is a very popular thought and one we share too. After all, no one says Nikonography, Canonography, Leicaography so why should they say iPhoneography? No reason, it is all photography and that’s what counts.

Richard also explains how in this interview that he is ‘addicted’ to theappwhisperer.com and that is definitely one kind of addiction we would advocate. Read more about Richard and his work in this exclusive interview below, you’re going to love it…

Each image is titled with the apps used to create it in sequential order. You can find all the links the 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 [email protected], and we’ll get it set up).


First Things First…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves’ – Buddha – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Filterstorm


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

RKH – Coffee! Strong coffee, 2 cups, lots of half-and-half then I un-dock my iPhone and immediately launch Instagram.  Normally, I post an image in the morning. Finally I  cruise my feed for inspiration, which is never in short supply and I feel ready to take-on the day.

Magic Hour…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair- Kahlil Gibran – Apps Used – Hueless, Filterstorm


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

RKH – I rarely purposely head out to make photographs. My photographs are a product of the natural rhythm of my life, so in this case to properly answer the question my first photograph of the day is generally a photograph of one of my dogs during our morning walk since that is the first thing I do in the morning. I like to think that I’m purposefully aimless in my approach to photography. I love that my photographs are a product of my daily routine. It takes off the pressure of feeling like I have to do something special to make images.

Photographer vs Mobile Photographer…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” – Eleanor Roosevelt – Apps Used Hiipstamatic, Filterstorm


JC – How did the transition from traditional photographer to iPhoneographer develop? (pardon the pun).

RKH – My transition from “traditional photographer” to iPhone photographer started in late 2007 during my work as a photojournalist. I was sent to the scene of a police action and was pressured to send a photograph back ASAP so that we could post something to the website. Instead of trudging back to my car and taking out my laptop and firing up the Wi-Fi card, I realized that there was a faster way to get the job done. There was this new device in my camera bag called an iPhone and it actually had a camera. I immediately shot a picture of the scene and attached it to an e-mail and it was immediately sent back to the picture desk. So for me, it started as the realization that the iPhone was a fantastic photojournalistic tool for immediacy not particularly photography. After that incident it was then that I began to play around with the camera and apps and really started to think about the device as a potential for serious photography on my part.

New Apps…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – “Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people” – Albert Einstein Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Lo-mob, Filterstorm


JC – Do you like to download new iPhoneography apps regularly?

RKH – Yes and it’s a bit of a sickness, not only do I download tons of apps regularly, I scan the photography category and sort by release date to see if there is anything new in the pipeline. I am notorious for impulse buying of photography apps. App developers must love me.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Lo-mob, Filterstorm


JC – How often do you update your existing apps?

RKH – That little red icon that notifies you of updates really freaks me out so every time I see it I tap on it and update immediately. Just so I don’t have to see it.

Location, Location, Location…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party’ – Jimmy Buffett – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Lo-mob, Filterstorm


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

RKH – That’s an easy one, the busiest area of any downtown metropolitan city.

Tools Of The Trade…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’ – Leonard Cohen – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Lo-mob, Filterstorm


JC – Do you also use iPhone photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris and if so do you use it to plan your shoots?

RKH – No, I’m not much of a planner. I just happened to like photographing where I happened to be at the moment, so there’s no planning involved on my part.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – “The timeless in you is aware of Life’s Timelessness. And knows that yesterday is But Today’s memory. And Tomorrow is Today’s Dream” ― Khalil Gibran – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Lo-mob, Filterstorm


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

RKH – I upload to Instagram and turn-on the wonderful feature of having it automatically post to my Flickr and Tumbler so those are my three outlets. I love that I can do it in one post via Instagram.

Favorite Apps…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision’ -Dali – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, CameraAwesome, Filterstorm


JC – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhone photography apps?

RKH – I can’t seem to shake the love of Hipstamatic, also absolutely love Filterstorm, Hueless is a new one I’m liking a lot for it’s controls, and this great little app called Instablast, while not particularly photo-related, it goes hand-in-hand with Instagram. It lets you choose certain people that you follow and alerts you when they post. It’s my new favorite way to make sure I don’t miss a post from one of my favorite Instagrammers. I would also add Lo-mob and Scratchcam apps.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘Simplicity, clarity and singleness’ – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Lo-mob


JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?


Favorite Subjects…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘kisses are a better fate than wisdom’ ~ e.e. cummings – Apps Used – Hipstamatic


JC – What are your favorite subjects?

RKH – Street photography in general, but specifically, men in hats!

Top Five Tips…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful’ ~ Agnes De Mille – Apps Used – Hipstamatic


JC – What are your top five tips for iPhone photography?


1.STUDY light!

2.Find the proper exposure for your image, then LOCK it down. One of the real keys to good-looking mobile photography is proper exposure.

3. Practice EVERYDAY, It’s the only way to get better.

4. Learn from others, be part of a community of image-makers and ask the the ones you admire to give you advice.

5.Follow YOUR passion.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘PAST and PRESENT’ – Apps Used – ProCamera, Camera+, ScratchCam, FilterStorm


JC – How did the teaching side come along?

RKH – Quite by accident. It wasn’t something that I planned, but an opportunity that started with a few guest lecturers at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. I guess they liked me because the lectures turned into a fellowship and now a faculty position. I do have to say that I never saw myself as a teacher but having recently been put into this position, I’ve discovered a wonderful sense of sharing, community and enthusiasm. The inspiration and enthusiasm I receive from students is infectious and heart-warming. I’m just feeding off of all of this knowledge and energy here at the school so I’m absolutely in love with teaching.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘After you’ve done it for so many years, you have to find a new direction. You have to find something in your soul that’s going to push you towards – to find your inspiration’ – Elvis Stojko – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, ScratchCam, Lo-mob


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

RKH – I do all my editing on the phone.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring’ ~ George Santayana – Apps Used – SlowShutter+ Lo-mob, Filterstorm


JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

RKH – Absolutely! For journalistic stories you can’t beat Filmic Pro, with its audio meters and for fun I’m in love with 8mm.

The Future Of Mobile Photography…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – “There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast” – Charles Dickens – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, ScratchCam, Lo-mob


JC – Where do you see the future of iPhone photography?

RKH – I feel very strongly that very soon we will drop the segregating title of iPhoneography. I think the future of iPhoneography is just plain photography. I think our fascination over the fact that an image was taken on a small mobile device is waining, at least I hope so. A more direct answer, I see Apple devoting more resources to the device as a camera.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security’ – John Allen Paulos – Apps Used – Hipstamatic


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

RKH – I think that the most popular area of modern photography (iPhoneography) is the social aspect of the device. The immediacy and share-ability is uber popular! It’s about the device as a form of instant visual communication. You can shoot and share with the world instantly.

Where In The World…?


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” – Calvin Coolidge – Apps Used – Hipstamatic

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

RKH – Yes I see varying levels of excitement and engagement all over the world.

iPhone 5…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress’ – Bruce Barton – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, ScratchCam, Lo-mob, King Camera

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

RKH – Boy that’s a hard one. The natural response from any photographer would be a better camera , more megapixels, etc, but I have to be honest I’m pretty damn happy with the way it is now. From here on out, I will always see any new upgrade to the iPhone is just icing on the cake.



Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see’ – Martin Luther King Jr. – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, King Camera, Scratchcam Filterstorm

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

RKH – A damn fine resource! Great, all I needed was another new addiction. Damn you! ,:)

JC – So pleased to hear that Richard, thank you!

Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Article…


Copyright Image – Richard Koci Hernandez – ‘Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay’ – Sallust – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Lo-mob, Filterstorm


Camera Awesome

Filmic Pro






King Camera





Contact Details For Richard


Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]