A Day In The Life Of ...,  INTERVIEWS,  News

A Day In The Life Of Tommy Vohs – An Intriguing, Liberating And Inspiring Mobile Photographer

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 ninth installment of the series, if you have missed our previous interviews please go here. Today we are featuring Tommy Vohs. Tommy is originally from the Channel Island of Jersey and has been living in Canada most of her life. She has worked as a train conductor at Canadian National and VIA Rail out of Toronto for 25 years and will soon be working solely at VIA as an engineer, driving the passenger trains along the Quebec, Toronto, Windsor corridor.  When she’s not working you’ll find Tommy playing ice hockey, guitar or with spending time with her girlfriend Erin’s two kids; Max and Phoebe.  The iPhone has a very important place in her life and she’s constantly in the ” iPhone position”; shooting, editing, squinting.

Tommy is honored to have had her work exhibited at the Red Church Gallery, CoeHill, Ontario; the MJG Gallery, Parliament Street, Toronto;  LA MAF, Santa Monica, California; the Kiernan Gallery, Lexington, Virginia and Akasha Art Projects, Church St, Toronto.

You can read more about Tommy in the interview below…

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.)


Tommy Vohs


© Tommy Vohs


Tommy’s website www.bloodshotmirage.com
Facebook/Tommy Vohs
Artist and IPA: www.iphoneart.com/tombo

First Things First


© Tommy Vohs – ‘A Different Perspective’ – Leme, Photo Power


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

Tommy – I’m a late riser because I work a lot of nights  and a lot of long shifts.  I usually get up just before noon, have some breakfast with my singing cats.  After that ill usually try to figure out which photos I accidentally deleted when I fell asleep on the couch last night with my iPhone in my hand.

Magic Hour


© Tommy Vohs – ‘City Cycle’ – Leme, Photo Power


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

Tommy – I see the sun come up regularly when I’m working and that’s my favorite time to snap nature shots. Otherwise, I usually shoot between 2 and 5 pm.

Photographer vs Mobile Photographer


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Bus Stop Unravelling’ – Leme, Phototropedelic, Dynamic Light


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

Tommy – I did not own a camera before I purchased my IPhone. ( I haven’t had a ‘ traditional’ camera since my teens.) I took to iphoneography like batter on a fish stick…a cohesive relationship only made stronger over time. It was natural and free flowing and came at a time in my life when I desperately needed a distraction.  Once I got my fingers into the App Store and saw all of the photography apps, I transitioned from playing Angry Birds all night to taking photos of transit and nature.

New Apps


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Crossing College’ – Leme


Joanne – Do you like to download new apps regularly?

Tommy – Oh yes. I’m always trolling the photography category at the App Store. I probably get a couple of new apps a week and then never use most of them. If they don’t save in high res I don’t keep them around.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘e-motion’ – Leme, Phototropedlic, Image Blender


Joanne – How often do you update your existing apps?

Tommy – Daily, blindly.

Location, Location, Location


© Tommy Vohs – ‘evulsion moodcam’ – Phototropdelic, Photo Power, Photo Wizard


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

Tommy – I have a two part answer.  Northern Ontario for nature shots and on board transit; be it bus, subway, tram or train in any big city.

Tools Of The Trade


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Flyby’ – Lomora, Photo Power


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?

Tommy – I do not use the Photographers Ephermis because I’m not that structured. I like to take risks with light, time of day and so I can’t follow orders. My idea of planning is seeing an opportunity and shooting immediately. I’m very attracted to candid photos; flawed, raw, and a real moment in time. If some one starts to pose or notice me I don’t shoot.  The moment is gone and so is my interest.

Favorite Apps


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Fly n Shine’ – Leme, Photo Power, Image Blender


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

Tommy – Photo Viva to paint photos and really accentuate certain areas.  Dynamic light for amazing definition. Photo Power for its infrared colors and Retinex option Jazz for filters. Leme Pro for the HIGH res output and double exposure camera. PhotoTropedelic for groovy lines. Lomora for filters.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘Headless In Toronto’ – Leme, Jazz


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

Tommy – iPhoneart.com and my Facebook page are it. Those two sites are all I have time to keep up with.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘Into The Sunset’ – Leme, Jazz, Dynamic Light


Joanne – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?

Tommy – No, not every day.  I’m very particular.  I won’t take pictures of just anything. My friends offer opinions on what I should be shooting but I pretty much don’t listen to them. I have to be inspired.

Favorite Subjects


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Jack Pine and Mist’ – Lomora, Jazz


Joanne – What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Tommy – Nature, flora and fauna, streetaffiti ( that’s my own classification for my street shots) and bicycles or other transit.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘Percolator, Phototropedelic


Joanne – How did the teaching side come along?

Tommy – I help my friends out with tips about apps and how to use them. In the future I certainly would be open to holding a workshop. I worry though that I’m just not structured and organized enough to be able to actually teach somebody.

Top Five Tips


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Medora Morning’ – Lomora


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

Tommy – Look for angles or turn your phone slightly for a more Interesting shot. Super Saturate!!! Choose high res apps and shun pixel-eaters. Don’t shoot what everyone else is shooting. Stand out. Print your work. It does amazing things to ones confidence to have a hard copy of your efforts.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘Osgoode’ – Lomora, Picture Show, Jazz, Image Blender, Dynamic Light


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

Tommy – I only edit on my iPhone and iPad without exception. I appreciate the limitations of mobile devices. I’m not looking to make my photos perfect in fact I like the flaws inherent to editing on mobile devices.  I have been criticized for not, supposedly, wanting to make my photo the best  it could be but people are entitled to their own opinions. This works for me and I’m satisfied.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘Partially Cloudy’ – Leme, Photo Power, Image Blender


Joanne – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

Tommy – Yes, I’ve used Super 8 to make great videos of my dog, Kiki but that’s about as far as my video experience goes.

The Future Of Mobile Photography


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Pick Up On The Empty Streets’ – Lomora, Phototropedlic, Photo Wizard


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

Tommy – It’s wide open, a gateway to creativity; easily accessible creativity for the average Joe like me.  I think iPhoneography deserves to be in fine art galleries and museums all over the world because it is worthy.  Evolution is necessary and imminent. It doesn’t mean the end of traditional photography to me, just a metamorphosis of the minds who appreciate the art of it.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘Platform Change Off’ – Lomora, Photo Wizard, Dynamic Light


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

Tommy – (I’m blanking out a bit here, so I hope I’m answering your question)

Apps like hipstamatic and social sites like Instagram seem to be very popular amongst my friends. Both of those apps/social sites have really opened up the possibilities for all interested people and are probably creating pathways to creativity much more easily than ever before. They are tweaking people’s photos, making them more appetizing to the eye and, in turn, sparking interest that might otherwise have not be ignited.

Worldwide Phenomena?


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Please Bring Joy’ – Leme, Photo Power


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

Tommy – I don’t know if its country specific. I think it depends on accessibility to technology.  I know on IPA, there are artists from Botswana, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Australia, the UK, as well as Canada and the US.  that said, I still go to print shops here in Toronto and have to break it to them gently that yes, in fact, my photos were shot with a phone.

iPhone 5


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Queen Of The Woods’ – Leme, Photo Power


Joanne – Are you pleased with the new iPhone 5 for mobile photography?

Tommy –  I’m holding out for the 5S myself because my 4 suits me just fine for the moment.



© Tommy Vohs – ‘York 3 Departure’ – Leme, iPhoto, Dynamic Light


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

Tommy – Joanne and the App Whisperer provide the best insight on everything “apps” and mobile information.  I’ve learned a ton about apps and artist techniques from reading her blog and visiting her page on Facebook. It is great to see and read other artists interviews from all over the world and be introduced to their work.  I think the App Whisperer is a staple for any mobile phone artist. She gets a 10/10 from me.

Links To All Apps Used Or Mentioned In This Interview


© Tommy Vohs – ‘Queenspark’ – Lomora, Photo Power


Photo Power
Image Blender
Picture Show
Dynamic Light
Photo Wizard
Photo Viva

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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]


  • Cara Gallardo Weil

    Lovely to read more about you Tommy! Great selection of images… I must get in to IPA more often…

  • Denise

    A terrific interview and story to read about your journey. I loved seeing the selection of photos here. “Please Bring Joy” is still my fave. Look forward to seeing new creations.

  • Catherine

    Wonderful insight into your colorful and creative brain Tommy! I am so glad I discovered you and your work. Your beautiful, vibrant colors and interesting compositions just make me happy. Big hugs!! xo

  • Tommy Vohs

    Thank you so much Cara, Janine, Denise and Cat. My photography has given me a new lease on life, the old me is long gone and thankfully so. My journey through life was almost over and then I got an iPhone. The colours I use represent my new found jubilation for what lies ahead. I’m so thankful to have made a connection with all of you. Xxxxx

  • CatMorris

    Great piece Tommy. I love seeing all your work together and seeing some I’d missed along the way! Here’s to the lovers of colors!!

  • JQ Gaines

    What a wonderful tour of your gorgeous work and thought processes!! And I also really appreciate your outlook on life 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Tommy Vohs

    Thanks Geri, I’m glad you like my work! Cat, from one colour-a-holic to another, I know you get me!! And JQ … Well, what can I say, I so appreciate your comments and input. There are times when this all seems like a blur to me; being in galleries and shows…then I realize it is all real and I have a fantastic community to support me. Thanks to my new family, especially you New Yorkers!!

  • Robert Lancaster

    Wow, the work presented is absolutely amazing. The vibrancy of the colours and the composition of the images and the brilliant use of the double exposures are a joy to behold. I am really glad that I found this article on theappwhisperer. I will definitely be looking out for more of your work too!

  • Tommy Vohs

    Thank you so much Robert! Double exposure holds a story within and I love a good story. From the first moment that I discovered a DX camera app I found it very difficult to stay away. A big thank you to Joanne for giving me the opportunity to show you my stories!

  • Michael White

    I’m getting to know you a bit more each day, Tommy. I’m thrilled seeing you here.

  • Sonya Sanchez Arias

    Just Fabulous!……. But I already knew that.
    I’m so glad that, others will get to see the amazing talent that I already know.
    Great interview….way to represent sista ; )

  • Tommy Vohs

    Michael White, thank you my fellow Torontonian! It was great to meet you in the flesh and I look forward to future collaborations, brainstorming, strategizing and shoulder to shoulder showings!!

  • Tommy Vohs

    Sonya Sanchez Arias, to have you as my inspiration and muse is one thing. To have you comment on my interview is the cats meow and to have such an incredible, awe-inspiring artist as my friend is the ultimate gift. I can say with all sincerity that you helped to push me further along in my confidence and vision. I’ll forever be grateful and I love your facey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sue Fagg

    Such vibrant and confident work. So great to have the opportunity to see it!

    • Tommy

      Thank you very much Sue, I’m so happy that you enjoy my work. All the best to you! Tommy