A Day In The Life Of ...,  News

A Day In The Life Of… Sonya Sanchez Arias – A Talented Commercial Photographer Loving Mobile 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 our fifty fourth installment of the series, you can read the others here if you have missed them so far. Sonya is a professional photographer and graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in photography. Sonya also specializes in Styling with her Commercial and Product Photographer husband, Fernando. Sonya opened her own Commercial Studio in 1993 and has won several photography awards for her work.

Read more about Sonya 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 [email protected], and we’ll get it set up).


First Things First


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – After The FireFlies – iPhoto, Moku Hanga


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

SA – I usually wake up early, grateful for a new day, I hug my boys, that is, (my husband, my 2 Yorkies and my cat), who are usually all still cuddled in bed. I turn the TV on to get the early news and go straight to my iPhone or iPad to check my emails. I am a certifiable iPhone and iPad addict’…so lets just get that out of the way now.

My iPhone is always right next to my bed…..never out of sight. I use both my iPad and iPhone…to keep track and stay in touch with my friends, family, vendors, and clients. My iPhone and iPad have given me the flexibility of not always having to be in my office, I can run so many of my business operations with either device including accessing any of my office computers remotely. That’s a big deal for me!

Magic Hour


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Beam Me UP- iPhoto, Auto Painter II


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

SA – My husband and I are Commercial Photographers so we shoot or deal with images almost every day….we are extremely competitive with each other and create iPhoneography assignments that we try to shoot at least once or twice a week. Outside of work…..I am constantly shooting with my iPhone… At cafes, restaurants, book stores, the supermarket, gas station, wherever my life takes me, that’s were my iPhone images come from.


Photographer vs Mobile Photographer


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Beat It – iPhoto, Moku Hanga


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

SA – Once a Photographer always a photographer… large format 4X5, medium format, DSLR, Point and shoot, iPhone….they’re all just tools….you tailor your work to the tools you use.

My photography world is separated into two types of photography:

1. Traditional photography – deadlines, rules, restrictions, calculated, technical, problem solving. Finding a way to be creative….”within the box”.

2. iPhoneography – breaking rules, experimentation, unlimited possibilities, total creative freedom, no problem. What box? “There is no box” ; )


New Apps


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Cantelope – iPhoto, Shock my Pic, HDR, Painteresque


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

SA – Definitely- I’m an app whore (am I allowed to say that? 😉 My iPhone is starting to look like my clothes closet – lots of clothes in there, but only a few that I wear all the time. But every so often I’ll put something on that I haven’t worn in a while and have fun with it. APPs are like clothes for me there’re just a way to dress up the “Woman Within”




© Sonya Sanchez Arias – I See Coladas – iPhoto, Shock my Pic, HDR, Painteresque


JC – How often do you update your existing apps?

SA – Whenever the update icon winks at me 😉


Location, Location, Location


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Just A Pear – iPhoto, Moku Hanga


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

SA – People think they have to travel to exotic places to make great images….but everywhere you are is a great place to shoot. I could find something to shoot in a cardboard box if you left me in there long enough. LOL! I like to shoot found objects….things left behind or discarded by humans….so that pretty much covers most of the planet.


Tools Of The Trade


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Laying In Wait – iPhoto, Moku Hanga, Photo Artista Haiku


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?

SA – Oh no! There’s enough of that going on at my studio with my commercial work. I don’t want to overcomplicate my iPhoneography. I’m trying to get away from the rules…..I know they’re there if I need them….but I prefer my iPhone images to be more spontaneous and less calculated.

The only plan I have when I start a shoot is: Where am I going and what do I want to focus on? Color, angles, form, movement etc…other than that I pretty much keep my mind open to all the possibilities.



© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Lilly Pads – iPhoto, Moku Hanga, Photo Artista Haiku


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

SA – Mostly IPA….I started posting some of my iPhoneography on Facebook, Instagram and Flicker then discovered IPA in December of 2011. I remember thinking “Oh this will be fun”.

I uploaded several images and after a week or so I started to explore some of the member’s galleries. I immediately went back to my gallery and deleted everything. That site is no joke “plenty talent and inspiration there for sure”. I shoot way more than I show – it’s really important for me to make the images right now. I’m only now beginning to get comfortable showing some of them.

For now I use my IPA gallery as a visual journal a way to look back at my journey into iPhoneography. But IPA is much more than a gallery of work – it’s a whole community of fabulous artists who share their talent and techniques.


Favorite Apps


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Melon Maze – iPhoto, Moku Hanga


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

SA – Ooh I’m glad you added ‘at the moment’ to that question…..it changes depending on what I’m shooting and why.

Hipsta is what got me hooked for sure. IPhoto, dynamic light, snapseed (for tweaking) the original capture. 645Pro (if I want to change my iPhone into a DSLR) Haiku, Moku Hanga, Shock my pic, Simply HDR, HDR+, Painteresque, those are some of the main ones for sure

My IPA friend Tombo introduced me to Leme so that’s a fun new one for me.There are lots of fun apps out there but with some apps the files export at a really low resolution, so I’m hesitant to use those too often. I like printing my work and collecting it in iPhoto books that have now become journals of my work…. so I like to have as much resolution and image quality as possible.




© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Red Onion – iPhoto, Shock my Pic, HDR, Painteresque


JC – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

SA – It varies sometimes I’m a binge shooter, sometimes a binge apper! But it’s always close by if I need it…that’s for sure.


Favorite Subjects


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Shark Fins – iPhoto, Moku Hanga


JC – What are your favorite subjects?

SA – Definitely found objects, still-life, things discarded and forgotten…I find the objects I shoot, often speak volumes of the people who made, used or discarded them. I do shoot lots of people too but I rarely post those. Angles and color are also really important in my work.




© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Side Walk Market-Venice Beach CA – Leme, iPhoto


JC – How did the teaching side come along?

SA – I’ve only ever taught class on product photography, the business of photography and photographic styling….and of course many interns and assistants….have learnt lots from working with us at our studio and gone on to have their own careers…..maybe I’ll be able to give workshops of iPhoneography one day.I think it’s so important to share our knowledge.

There’s a quote I use all the time that pretty much sums up how I feel about teaching photography:“I think photography should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.” ~Author Unknown


Top Five Tips


© Sonya Sanchez Arias – Sign Sealed Delivered- Venice Beach CA Leme iPhoto


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

SA – Be yourself,
Notice the details,
Don’t be afraid to break the rules,
Have mad fun!




© Sonya Sanchez Arias – The Ritual- iPhoto, Simply HDR


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

SA – iPhone and iPad….and more so on the latter. I use my desktop to archive, back up and double check if I’m not sure about an image. When a photograph is live and large and in your face at 100% it helps you be more decisive about that image. When I’m trying to decide between 2 images…seeing it large on my desktop will help me choose instantly! All of our commercial work is shot tethered to our desktops so they get plenty of use in that world.




© Sonya Sanchez Arias – The Time of My Life- iPhoto, Auto Painter II


JC – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

SA – I have not ventured into that arena as yet..home movies..and the occasional blackmail video of my husband doing something silly…I have a wicked sense of humor, so one of my videos just might end up on America’s Funniest Videos…..but that’s about it.


The Future Of Mobile Photography


© Sonya Sanchez Arias -Cow Vase – iPhoto, Simply HDR


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

SA – I think collectors of this new media should start buying iPhone Art now….I hope iPhoneography will soon have a presence at major art show like Art Basel! The possibilities are endless!


Where In The World?


© Sonya Sanchez Arias -Cow Vase – Snapseed, HDR


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

SA – No, brilliance and artistic ability are not country specific….every nation has it’s DaVinci or it’s Picasso…..we just haven’t met them yet.


iPhone 5


© Sonya Sanchez Arias -I See Spots – iPhoto, Moku Hanga


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

SA – When I stop to think of how amazing the technology That I hold in the palm of my hand when I use my iPhone 4S I’m already blown away. I’m really grateful for things as they were….but if you must improve ; ) a slightly larger screen (get rid of the dead space). A longer battery life, and even higher pixel resolution.

Steve… I hope your are still orchestrating it all from the iCloud : )

JC – Looks like most of your wishes have been granted Sonya 😉



© Sonya Sanchez Arias -Succulent- iPhoto, Simply HDR


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

SA – She’s Fabulous!

A real crusader for iPhoneography and iPhone Art….she constantly provides so much valuable information, and introduces us to so many talented iPhoneograpers and artists. It’s an honor to be invited for an interview. Thank you so much for all you do to spread the word.


Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Interview


© Sonya Sanchez Arias -Wheels of Misfortune- Simply HDR


AutoPainter II
Moku Hanga
Photo artista haiku
Shock my Pick
Simply HDR

Additional Images


©Sonya Sanchez Arias -Orange Bicycle- iPhoto, Moku Hanga


©Sonya Sanchez Arias -See Me – iPhoto, Moku Hanga


©Sonya Sanchez Arias -Type Cast – Shock My Pic, HDR, Painteresque

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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: [email protected]