Vintage The Guardian Smartphone Article, by Me

As many of our regular readers know, I have been a camera/photography technology journalist for many years. From my earliest days starting out at Which Camera? magazine through to now with my dream website,

I thought some of you might like to read one of my very first articles for The Guardian, from 2005, when ‘cameraphones’ were becoming very popular. This is four years before the advent of the iPhone and apps were not even thought of. Did any of you have these handsets? How times move on, take a look at this….




Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— 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 - 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:


  • Egmont van Dyck

    I still can recall when the phone’s battery pack was the size of a handbag one carried over the shoulder. Now we have a mini-computer in our back pocket. Maybe the next step we will wear glasses, where the rims are our computer and battery components and lenses our screen.

    • Joanne Carter

      I remember them Egmont, I didn’t have one though, my first mobile was a Sony, it was about 5 cm thick and you had to pull the aerial out the top. Obviously it couldn’t take photos, and that’s why this article was such a ‘big deal’ at the time. I had been writing a cameras from analogue and the advent to digital for years in tons of other publications and then all of a sudden you could use mobile phones to take photos. No one took it seriously at all. It was not a question of what make you were using, or platform even it was just the fact that you could not be ‘serious’ about photography.

      We still battle with that problem now to a certain extent but for the future? Well I think you’re going to find most cameras being ‘controlled’ by apps, watch this space…;)