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A Day In The Life Of Cindy Patrick – The iPhone Photographer That Puts The Art Back Into 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 sixty third installment of the series, if you have missed our previous interviews, please go here. Today, we are featuring Cindy Patrick an award-winning professional photographer, iPhoneographer, and fine artist whose work has been exhibited globally, most notably in February 2012 at the Latitudes International Photography Festival in Huelva, Spain.  There, she was one of only six iPhoneographers whose work was selected to be shown alongside that of many world-renowned photographers from the esteemed Magnum Photo Agency.

Her work has also been exhibited at the prestigious Arthaus Gallery in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art in Los Angeles, the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley, the Santa Monica Art Studios in Santa Monica, and The Lunchbox Gallery in Miami.  Her work has been published on all the notable iPhoneography blogs including of course, The App Whisperer. Cindy is a contributor to a forthcoming book on iPhoneography, entitled  “Mobile Digital Art: Using the iPod and iPhone as Creative Tools” by David Scott Leibowitz, which will be published by Focal Press in February of 2013.  She will also be a presenter at the annual Macworld/iWorld convention in January 2013, where she will speak about “The Fine Art of iPhoneography.”

Read more about Cindy in the following interview. You can find all the links to 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


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Beach Impressions #2‘ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – With coffee. Always! I like to watch the morning news and peruse IPA or Instagram on my iPad to see what I might have missed from my friends while I was sleeping. I may also use this time to work on an image or two to post during the day.

Magic Hour


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Beach Impressions – The Shell Seeker’ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – I’m not one of those photographers who photographs every day. I wish I had that luxury, but I own and operate my own wedding and portrait photography business so I am often too busy to touch my iPhone during the week other than the occasional snap (or to make an actual phone call:) I prefer to work in series and develop bodies of work. Like my swimmers or beach series, for example. I’ll shoot a bunch of photos at various times throughout the summer and then work on them as time allows. I also like to shoot a lot while on vacation or a weekend trip somewhere, building up a large volume of images to work on later.

Photographer vs Mobile Photographer


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Beach Impressions #11′ –Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – For my wedding work, I use professional DSLRs and lenses, but I’ve always loved using smaller cameras and toy cameras for my personal work. I used to love to shoot with my Diana and Holga plastic cameras, but darkroom space was always an issue so I turned to Polaroid instant cameras and films and worked with them for many years. When those materials became harder and harder to obtain, I basically put my fine art pursuits on the back burner and focused my attention on my professional work. Then along came the iPhone, and a whole new world of creative possibility opened for me. The app store to me is like a candy store to a kid!

New Apps


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Beach Impressions #12′ –Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


Joanne – Do you like to download new apps regularly?

Cindy – In the beginning, I purchased and downloaded every app I read about. Now I’m a little more selective, and will only add an app if I think I’ll use it and only if it allows me to save my work in high-resolution. I currently own over 200 apps, and I love discovering new ones so I’m sure that number will increase.



© Cindy Patrick – ‘Beach Impressions #13′ –Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


Joanne – How often do you update your existing apps?

Cindy – Whenever I see the little number above the app store icon:)

Location, Location, Location


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Grow’ – 6×6, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – Hands down, Turks and Caicos. I cannot get the color of that ocean out of my head. I think that’s why the color turquoise makes its way into so much of my work. That location has definitely made an indelible mark on my soul. I love beaches in general, and I also love shooting in the city. I live very close to Philadelphia and less than two hours from NYC, so I do a lot of city shooting as well.

Tools Of The Trade


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Red Lifesaver’ – 6×6, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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?

Cindy – I had to Google that:)) I am not a “techie” in the least. I glazed over the minute I read, “It is a map-centric sun and moon calculator.” I don’t really plan shoots. I love to just wander around and photograph the people and things I encounter.

Favorite Apps


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Come with me to visit the Sunflowers’ – 6×6, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – At the moment, Slow Shutter, 6×6, and Hipstamatic are my favorite camera apps for capture. Shock My Pic, Blur FX, and Iris Photo Suite are my primary editing apps right now. I also love Scratch Cam and Modern Grunge. I’m sure that will change as I discover new apps.



© Cindy Patrick – ‘Water Was My Strange Flower’ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – My favorite iPhoneography community by far is IPA (iphoneart.com). I’ve been sharing my work on IPA for two years, and I was recently named second runner up in their annual Grant Competition, which was pretty exciting! A close tie with IPA is Instagram. I also share work at Pixels and Flickr. I especially like Flickr for all the different groups available for sharing work and having my work seen and discovered by a wider audience and getting published on blogs, like The App Whisperer!



© Cindy Patrick – ‘Colors Passing Through Us’ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


Joanne – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

Cindy – I don’t shoot every day, but I definitely work on an image or images daily. I tend to work and re-work an image, trying a variety of different apps and combination of apps, until I feel it is finished. I’m one of those artists who has 10 or 20 or more versions of a single piece on my iPhone or iPad. I almost always use multiple apps — sometimes 6 or more — to create a final image.

Favorite Subjects


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Water Colors’ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


Joanne – What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Cindy – Someone needs to look at my work for only a second to discover that I love water and the beach primarily. I’m a Scorpio, so perhaps that explains it:) On a deeper level, I love color and I love sharing what I see in my mind’s eye with others. More than subject matter, my work is about creating images that surprise people.  Taking an ordinary image and making is extraordinary somehow — usually through color.  I love capturing the world around me and showing it to people through my eyes.  For me, showing what something looks like is not enough.  I want to express how I feel about it, which is usually about light, color, beauty, and joy.



© Cindy Patrick – ‘Let The Fish In You Escape’ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


Joanne – How did the teaching side come along?

Cindy – I don’t presently teach, but I have some plans in the works to change that in the near future. I also just learned that I will be a presenter at Macworld’s annual iWorld Conference in January, which is such a thrill! They are devoting an entire day to iPhoneography. Dan Marcolina, the author of “iPhone Obsessed” is the organizer and he invited me to speak about “The Fine Art of iPhoneography”, which is quite an honor!

Top Five Tips


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Into The Light of a Turquoise Night’ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – Well… I’m not an expert but here are some things I learned along the way that have helped me so, perhaps they will help others:


(1) Find your passion. (Shoot subjects that interest you and those you feel a natural affinity for. Your passion will shine through in your work.)

(2) Develop a recognizable style. (Even though I have around 200 apps, I only use a handful on a regular basis. My work has a consistent look and feel, and I think that has helped in getting my work recognized and published online and exhibited in brick-and-mortar galleries.)

(3) Use only high-resolution apps. (If you’re interested in exhibiting, use only those apps which allow you to save high-resolution versions of your work. You don’t want to create a masterpiece only to find that it can’t be printed at an acceptable size for exhibition.)

(4) Develop a workflow. (Keep your original images and finished pieces organized. Find a sensible workflow and stick to it!)

(5) Find a way to share your work and seek feedback. (I’ve heard people say that they are intimidated by IPA and that their work isn’t good enough to show. IPA does have some of the most amazing art on its site, but the artists there are not only generous with their comments and advice, they are also willing to share their app recipes, which will help you learn and become a better artist.)




© Cindy Patrick – ‘Street Corner Concerto’ – 6×6, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite, Scratch Cam


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

Cindy – I thought it was against the (iPhoneography) law to edit on a desktop/laptop? Everything I shoot with my iPhone is edited on either my iPhone or iPad. It may be a function of age, but those of us over 40 really appreciate the larger screen of the iPad for editing and fine detail work, so I prefer the iPad as my primary editing tool. I have a Wacom Bamboo stylus as well, which I absolutely love.



© Cindy Patrick – ‘Private Idahoes’ – 6×6, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite, Scratch Cam


Joanne – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

Cindy – I think I pressed that button once by accident. I really have no interest in videography, but I appreciate those who do it well!

The Future Of Mobile Photography


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Jazzman Take My Blues Away’ – 6×6, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite, Scratch Cam


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

Cindy – I think we will all look back one day with puzzled expressions and wonder what all the fuss was about. I think the “new medium” debate comes into play because the camera we are using just happens to be attached to a cell phone! It’s going to take the public and the mainstream art establishment a while to take the iPhone seriously as a creative tool, and to recognize that it’s just another tool in the artist’s toolbox. Personally, I see no difference between art created with a paintbrush, a pencil, a lump of clay, a Leica, or an iPhone. These are simply different tools artists use to express themselves.

I believe it’s up to us — the iPhoneographers, the bloggers, the app developers — to educate the public through writing, exhibiting, and promoting the art and the artists. The recent Los Angeles Mobile Arts Festival (LA-MAF) hosted by iPhoneArt.com was a groundbreaking event that took a giant step toward educating the public by showing the amazing art that is being created. I’m also starting to see iPhone photography in mainstream magazines and being used commercially. Through our efforts, I strongly believe that iPhoneography will untimely find it’s rightful place in the world as a serious art form and the iPhone as a serious camera.



© Cindy Patrick – ‘Pool Poetics #1‘ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


Joanne – Why do you think it is so popular?

Cindy – You just have to take a look at the work being shown on IPA or being published at Pixels to see that there is a preponderance of “apped” images being produced — intricate collages, heavily apped self-portraits, photo paintings, etc. There’s certainly nothing wrong with a “straight” un-manipulated photograph taken with an iPhone! It’s all iPhoneography for sure, because iPhoneography is really defined by the tool being used. But for me, it’s the use of apps — whether it’s a straightforward image using a favorite lens/film combo in Hipstamatic or an image created through multi app stacking — that makes iPhoneography unique and appealing to so many of us.


Worldwide Phenomena?


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Pool Poetics #2′ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite


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

Cindy – I truly believe that iPhone obsession is a global pandemic and that there is no cure. Seriously, I am constantly amazed to see artists from all regions and walks of life becoming involved in the iPhoneography community. People both young and old, from big cities and small rural towns are finding their artistic voices — many for the first time in their lives — through this new medium, and I think it’s absolutely fantastic!

iPhone 5


© Cindy Patrick – ‘Pool Poetics #3′ – Slow Shutter, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite

Joanne – Are you happy with the iPhone 5?

Cindy – I am very happy to see the larger screen and some other great features, like the retina display and better battery life. I can’t wait to get my hands on one, in spite of all the woes surrounding the maps app. I am a severely directionally-challenged person, so it might be a problem for me to search for the Statue of Liberty and wind up in a parking lot in Hoboken, but I think I’ll take my chances.




© Cindy Patrick – ‘Flight Matters’ – 6×7, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite, Scratch Cam


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

Cindy – I love you, of course:) I love anyone out there who is investing their personal time and energy in promoting this new art form, and you are one of the best of the bunch, Joanne! Thank you for this incredible opportunity to share my thoughts with you and all of your readers. It has been both an honor and a pleasure!

Joanne – Thank you too Cindy for your kind words and of course all your time and support in putting this interview together.


Links To All Apps Used And Mentioned In This Interview


© Cindy Patrick – ‘The Lovers and the iPhoneographer’ – 6×7, Shock My Pic, Iris Photo Suite, Scratch Cam


Iris Photo Suite
Slow Shutter

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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]