A Day In The Life Of ...,  News

A Day In The Life Of Brendan Ó Sé – A University Teacher With A Passion For Mobile Photography

Welcome to our very exciting column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled ‘A day in the life of …’ and this is where we take 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 fifty sixth installment of the series, you can read the others here, if you have missed them so far. Brendan is an amateur photographer from Cork, Ireland. When he’s not taking photographs or sitting in front of the computer working on photographs, he is a language teacher/teacher trainer in his hometown university. He has a patient and loving wife. She is by now well-used to having to wait while he gets ‘that shot’. Together they have two small children, a little girl – Sumi-Anna and a boy – James. Photography is Brendan’s passion. He ponders, ‘perhaps it makes up for my lack of talent to paint or draw. I need to create and photography allows me to. Always, trying to see what can be seen and how to see it’.

Read more about Brendan in our exclusive interview below…

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 Joanne@theappwhisperer.com, and we’ll get it set up).


First Things First


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘A new week’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – My day usually starts with the sound of either laughter or crying. I have two little children a five-year old girl and a two-year old boy. Once the sun is up, they are up, and once they are up, they want us to be up. Each day, I try to post one DSLR and one iPhone photograph to my Flickr accounts and catch up with my contacts’ posts. I like the discipline of trying to post each day to Flickr. My day job is teaching at university. As such, I don’t follow a strict 9 -5 day. It allows me flexibility. I am lucky.

Magic Hour


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Always the future’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – Very rarely. If on holiday, I may do so. But usually, I am too lazy.

Photographer vs Mobile Photographer


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Arousal’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – I guess it was my last trip to Asia that I really got into using the iPhone as a camera. For street shots, as it is not singularly recognizable as a camera, the iPhone allows you get shots that may be very difficult to get with a normal camera. Since then, I have been using it more and more. On a recent trip to Barcelona, I had the DSLR with me all the time, but I rarely used it, preferring to use the iPhone. I can see this becoming the norm in the future, especially as the technology improves.

New Apps


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Barcelona’ – 100 Cameras in 1


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

Brendan – Not so much anymore. In the past I used to, but now I like to simplify things. Instagram is a one-stop shop for me at the moment.




© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Certainty is never fun’ – Instagram


Joanne – How often do you update your existing apps?

Brendan – Whenever an update appears, I update.


Location, Location, Location


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Committed to the future’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – Of the places I have visited I would have to say Tokyo. It has everything. The iPhone is perfect for street photography, and I cannot imagine a better place than Tokyo for street photography. One other place I keep coming back to is a corridor in my workplace. It has a wonderful, long, curved pink-painted wall, and when the sun streams in through the windows, the light and colors are magical.


Tools Of The Trade


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Committing to a red future’ – Instagram


Joanne – 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?

Brendan – No. I had to check that app out. It looks interesting, but I am not sure if I would actually use it.


Favorite Apps


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Descent into Busan’ – Instagram


Joanne – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhoneography apps?

Brendan – Instagram! On my iPhone I have AutoStitch, Toon Camera, Slow Shutter, TiltShiftGen, Cross Process and 100 cameras in One. But the one app I use is Instagram. I find editing on the iPhone to be tedious. I used to use Cross Process and liked it, but I dislike the frames it puts on images. I have used 100 Cameras in One and have liked some of the results, but 100 cameras! As I always say – too many choices makes life difficult, and 100 is far too many.




© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Diversions’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – Flickr, Instagram? Flickr. I’ve been on Flickr for five years and it has been a wonderful experience for me. I have made friends with some very cool people and I have learnt so much from them. I am on 500px too, but I dislike the “I don’t like this photo” button. Utterly unnecessary, in my opinion. I upload to Instagram and interact with the handful of contacts I have on there.



© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Forfeit’ – Instagram


Joanne – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

Brendan – Yes. I am framing shots as I go, mentally constructing compositions and if time permits I whip out the iPhone and shoot.


Favorite Subjects


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Healing’ – Instagram


Joanne – What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Brendan – I like abstract things. I like lines, colors, curves, shapes. In big cities, I love street photography. I love taking photographs of my two children, but I respect their privacy and do not post photographs of their faces online.


Top Five Tips


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Keeping dry in Tokyo’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – 1. Remember you have a camera with you if you have your phone with you. 2. Take photos. 3. Look at others’ photos study them. This is how I have learnt. 4. Experiment, take risks, make mistakes. Most of the best things in life are the results of mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others! 5. Photograph the things that interest you and work towards developing your own style. And enjoy it! (is that more than 5?)




© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Leaving the past behind’ – Instagram


Joanne – How did the teaching side come along?

Brendan – I am still a learner, but probably am on the innovate stage of the ‘imitate, assimilate, innovate’ spectrum.




© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘My Little Angels’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – All iPhone photos go through Instagram. I may be a purist in this sense, but I will very rarely reprocess an iPhone photograph on my Mac. I use Lightroom for all DSLR photos.




© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘One Day My Ship Will Leave’ – 100 Cameras In 1′


Joanne – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

Brendan – Yes, mainly for family stuff, though. I have used the Toon Camera app, that my friend Seiya put me on to, for some iPhone video work and it is great fun for that.


The Future Of Mobile Photography


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Radiator – Wall – Window sill – Blinds’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – I think it is brilliant that photography is something that more and more people are engaging with. It is an exciting time. As the quality of the iPhone camera (and other mobile cameras) improves and more and more ‘regular’ photographers come on board I can see it becoming more mainstream and the quality of the art work getting better and better.




© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘River Lee Reflections’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – The immediacy of it, in that you can see what you have taken and share it instantly if you want. That and the myriad of ways to process what you shoot. And, of course, the fact that wherever you go we take our iPhone with you. Those days when you wished you had a camera with you; they are gone. You always have it with you now.


Worldwide Phenomena?


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘So!’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – In the developed world it is pretty much the same, but there is the cost and availability factor. iPhones are not cheap. I cannot imagine iPhoneography being popular in North Korea, to name one country.


iPhone 5


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Stay In The Light’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – On the photography side of things, I would like to see higher resolution, a better zoom and a larger screen. Other improvements – I would love to see improved sound quality. This is an area that Apple has neglected.

Joanne – Hope you’re pleased with the results Brendan 😉




© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘The Truth Does Not Matter Anymore…’ – Instagram


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

Brendan – I am honored and very grateful to be have been chosen. The work she is doing is admirable and inspiring. Onward and upwards! Thanks Joanne!

Joanne – Pleasure is all mine Brendan.

Links To All Apps Used Or Mentioned In This Article


© Brendan Ó Sé – ‘Trying To See What Can Be Seen’ – Instagram


Toon Camera
Slow Shutter
TiltShift Generator
Cross Process
100 Cameras In 1


Contact Details For Brendan



Flickr Contact/PhotoStream


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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: joanne@theappwhisperer.com


  • Trina

    Hi Brendan!! It was a nice surprise to see your interview this morning. A wonderful read with my coffee. I knew you were in Ireland … but I didn’t know you were a teacher! But thinking back on some of your Flickr posts … well, it all makes sense now!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! “Onward and upwards!”

  • Geri

    I enjoyed the interview and am amazed at the images created with just the iPhone and very little filtering or app use!

  • Lisa

    Great interview and fab images!! The photo of your children at the airport is precious!

  • Nadine

    What great images! They do appear a little brighter than on your flickr stream, however.
    So interesting to read the interview.

  • zanimo (fred)

    Interesting interview Brendan… To see these images alltogether gives another dimension.
    Cheers! 🙂

  • Janine Graf

    I’m so sorry I missed this when it was first released Brendan! I really enjoyed getting an inside glimpse of your world, outside of Flickr! 😀

    • Brendan

      Janine, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them a lot. Must say thanks to Joanne again, as I was privileged to be invited for the interview. The site just gets better and better too, by the way.