A Day In The Life Of MaryJane Sarvis – The Most Astounding Mobile Photographer And Artist
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 seventy third installment of the series, if you have missed our previous interviews please go here. MaryJane graduated from Bennington College majoring in painting, printmaking and ceramics. Growing up with a passion for Matisse and the many other colorists who involved textiles in their paintings, she chose to continue her evolution as an artist by developing methods of applying paint and dye to silks and velvets. Along with designing for a few major labels beginning in 1986, she grew her own fine art couture business. Her work is in many collections in the USA and the UK. She’s been featured in several publications including Ornament Magazine and has been involved in numerous shows and exhibits over a 25 year career. She’s best known for her knowledge and command of color.
Always enjoying photography for both business and pleasure, MaryJane discovered the IOS system of editing and shooting with an iPhone in 2010. Thus began a whole new investigation into color imagery. Documenting the beauty of nature and Vermont, then editing to achieve the look of old oil paintings and textural color studies became a whole new fascination. She has also done a series taking 19th century wood engravings of women and collaged them with photos of her own fabrics. MaryJane feels that although this new realm of expression is in its infancy both personally and in the Art world, there is an excitement and depth that’s palpable. She plans to continue to develop new series including more abstracts and mixed media works on paper.
MaryJane lives with her daughter, an up and coming artist/photographer, and cat on top of a high hill in Vermont, USA. They have a beautiful studio on their land.
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 Joanne@theappwhisperer.com, and we’ll get it set up.)
© MaryJane Sarvis
First Things First
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Across The Marsh’ – 645 PRO, Snapseed, Image Blender, Glaze, PhotoFX
Joanne – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
MaryJane – I begin my very early morning by checking my iPhone as I open my eyes. I always like to see what images people from other time zones have posted. I often drive my daughter to school or work at the break of dawn, which I don’t love in the winter, but it gets me up and out to shoot. Most of my best work stems from the earliest morning shoots.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Ballet Pink’ – 645PRO, Snapseed, iPhoto, Shockmypic, TouchRetouch, Paintfx
Joanne – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
MaryJane – If I’m out and there’s beautiful light or fog I take my time on the way back home and shoot. I have a few spots that I pull off and walk around to shoot regularly. Sometimes I’ll take an extra ride to catch a view. This summer my daughter worked at a farm so I did a study on hay rolls in the amazingly beautiful fields. I followed them throughout the summer and fall. I love ponds and wetlands too so I often make trips off the beaten path. Vermont is so beautiful in every season it’s impossible for me to not document it.
Photographer vs Mobile Photographer
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Branching Out’ – Hipstamatic, Stripecam, Shockmypic, Percolator, Image Blender, Artrage
Joanne – How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop? (pardon the pun).
MaryJane – I carried my DSLR as often as possible but certainly not everywhere. When I got my first iPhone 3 in 2010 I just happened to try a photo app or 2. I was in NYC for a show and started to shoot everything. I still have the images from that first day. I was hooked. After that I began searching the App Store and found IPA. Had no idea people made art with an iPhone until that moment. It became an immediate obsession. I still love my Nikon and carry it occasionally but there’s no comparison in the frequency of use.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Dorset Back’ – 645Pro, snapseed, Shock, Blender, PhotoFx, Phototoaster
Joanne – Do you like to download new apps regularly?
MaryJane – I’m an admitted app addict. I’m more sensible these days and try to not repeat apps with functions I already have. I test the freebies and buy a few if they’re highly recommended by people I trust. I read up on app info almost daily.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Dutch Corn’ – 645Pro, Snapseed, Shock, Blender, Photo Wizard, Photo Toaster
Joanne – How often do you update your existing apps?
MaryJane – I update every day. I get excited by the possibility of new features on my favorite apps.
Location, Location, Location
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Edie’s Tree’ – 645Pro, Snapseed, Moku Hanga, Blender, Pixlromatic
Joanne – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?
MaryJane – As I haven’t been traveling as much as I’d like since iPhone shooting and editing. I’d have to say the Vermont countryside. I live high upon a hill on 80 acres. We have fields and a stream with rocky waterfalls and a swamp. Somewhere out my door is my favorite, usually weather dependent. I love to travel and I did enjoy a brief trip to Mexico last winter. I documented every moment. I dream of traveling to Italy in the future.
Tools Of The Trade
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Fauve Yard Folly’ – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, MokuHanga, Pixlromatic
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?
MaryJane – I have looked at them but have no desire to use them. I prefer my eye and intuition.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘First Peony Gold’ – Lomora2, Blender, Snapseed, Scratchcam, Jazz
Joanne – What are your favorite, at the moment, iPhoneography apps?
MaryJane – Snapseed is an every shot app. Love the new update! Image Blender is daily. Superimpose, Juxtaposer, Scratchcam, photo forge, photofx, Vintage, Grunge, photocopier, icolorama, iPhoto app, and now that I have an iPad – Laminar and Artrage. Determined to learn Procreate. I also like Shock My Pic and Moku Hanga. I could go on! – Just realized I didn’t add camera apps. Hipstamatic, 645pro, 6×6 and ProCamera.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Golden Years’ – 645PRO, Snapseed, Percolator, Modern Grunge
Joanne – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?
MaryJane – I upload to Instagram often. I enjoy the casual feeling and sometimes post partially finished work to get reactions. Im quite dismayed by the recent TOS announcement at IG, though I know it’s always been that way. I’m backing off IG and FB posting on principal. I’m dedicated to IPA but am very behind posting. Ill spare you from my rural Internet dysfunctional issues but I’m often not able to upload from my home. We’re supposed to be hooked up this year. I also have a Flickr account I need to update. My New Years resolution is to keep up with Flickr, IPA and finish making my website dedicated to photography and works on paper.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Opening’ – 645PRO, Snapseed,Shock, Jazz, Blender,Vintage
Joanne – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everyday?
MaryJane – I do shoot every day. Even during dry spells, though not many when I’m not in sync.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Passion Continued’ – Shock my Pic,Pic Grunger, Snapseed, Laminar, Image Blender
Joanne – What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
MaryJane – I love shooting nature mostly because of my love of color. Landscapes and flowers. I love doing abstracts just as much. Color and texture are my true passions more than particular subject matter. I would love to shoot portraits more often but frankly there are not many people around.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Pawlett Postcard’ – Hipstamatic, Dynamic Light, Picfx, Photoforge
Joanne – How did the teaching side come along?
MaryJane – I taught painting to high school students after college and decided I wasn’t a teacher. Jump 20 some years of running an art business and now I love teaching here and there. I have had several interns and have enjoyed that kind of one on one. I hope to do more artist residencies in both fabric printing, painting and hopefully IPhoneography. I am now tutoring an artist friend who’s reworking her pastels on the iPad. Since my approach to IPhoneography is more from the painter aspect than photography per se I think I can be more valuable to”fine artists”. I wish there were better names and titles/descriptions to all of these aspects.
Top Five Tips
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Rainy Day Snow Crab’ – 645Pro, Snapseed, Jazz, Filterstorm, Shockmypic, Camera+
Joanne – What are your top five tips for iPhone photography?
1. Start by learning one of the top editing apps like Snapseed very thoroughly. Experiment with all the possibilities within that. Then move on to more.
2. Get organized. Save your original shots and make systems for your phone, iPad and computer. Save your important edits with all the info you might need to research back from final edit to original shot. If I could restart and organize better I would. Know that some shows or groups might want to see the progression of an image.
3. Develop your library of textures and images you might want to blend with. If this type of editing interests you.
4. Shoot often and a lot, even if nothing in particular is singing to you. Sometimes these odd images turn into your top pieces. Trust your intuition.
5. Join a site like IPA. Even if you’re not ready to share start by looking at lots of work, styles, types of photos that might not even seem applicable to your own work. You never know what might strike you and start your wheels turning. Plus iPhoneographers are often willing to discuss apps and techniques and help get you started.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Red Winter’ – Hipstamatic, Photoforge, Photoshop Express, Blender, Scratchcam
Joanne – Do you edit images on your iPhone or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?
MaryJane – I never edit on the computer. Strictly lOS.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Rolling’ – 645Pro, snapseed, shock, Blender, Refine, Modern Grunge
Joanne – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?
MaryJane – I take personal family videos only. I’d like to try some editing and some creative videos someday.
The Future Of Mobile Photography
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Rothko and Corn Hipstamatic, Shock, Blender,Pixlromatic
Joanne – Where do you see the future of iPhone photography?
MaryJane – I think more and more people are getting involved and excited about it daily. It’s really quite different in just 2 years. I think that it will be blending with all digital art and photography and eventually the delineation won’t be discussed.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Salem Creek’ – King Camera, Iris,Photoforge, Image Blender
Joanne – What do you think is the most popular area of iPhoneography?
MaryJane – It seemed that Street was really popular for a while. Now I’m seeing more Surrealist style collage work. Certainly Portraiture is the most popular, be it selfie or shooting street street style. I like to watch trends on Instagram. It’s also interesting to notice age group trends and styles.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Shadow Peony’ – 645Pro, Shock, Jazz, Blender, Vintage
Joanne – Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?
MaryJane – I do see trends, for example Great Britain, now Italy and other European nations being strong contributors. Certainly Japan and Singapore are hot spots. That’s the other great thing about Instagram and Facebook Groups. I enjoy flipping through to check out the international trends.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Silo Play’ – Camera+, Picfx, PicGrunger, Decim8
Joanne – What do you hope for in newer versions of the iPhone?
MaryJane – Looks like I want one. The larger screen, fast speeds and low light camera power is all good. I’m waiting for the 5S which should be out when my contract is up. Someone pointed out that the S series iPhones usually have the most camera improvements and that’s helping to keep me patient. I’m pretty happy with my 4S.
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Snow Crab Mist Lomora’ – Iris, Crop Suey, Photoshop Express, Scratchcam, Jazz
Joanne – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
MaryJane – Let’s see, I think Joanne is just fabulous! She gets an amazing amount of information out in such a lovely way. Theappwhisperer is the go to site for everything iPhone/mobile art. I’m specially fond of the interviews and tutorials. Free and on-sale app announcements are invaluable too! Thank you Joanne for this wonderful opportunity to be involved!
Joanne – Ahhh, thank you MaryJane, I so appreciate your support.
Links To All Apps Used Or Mentioned In This Interview
© MaryJane Sarvis – ‘Sycammore Inn’ – 645Pro, Snapseed, Modern Grunge, Iris, Shock My Pic, Color Lake, Image Blender
Iris Photo Suite
© MaryJane Jarvis – ‘Trotter’ – 645Pro, Snapseed, Shock, Pixlromatic, Photogene 2, Blender, PhotoWizard
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I absolutely adore you and your work my Aquarian sister! MJ, you were one of my very first contacts over at IPA and I’ll always remember and appreciate how welcoming you were. I also remember being absolutely blown away by your gorgeous landscapes and how your colors and textures were (still are) almost palpable! Keep up the great work! xoxo
Belated thank you Janine! Really appreciate your sweet comments here and there!
great interview! nice to meet you MaryJane Sarvis.. !
Tracy Mitchell Griggs
Just lovely – and I could eat your inages three meals a day but will be satisfied that viewing feeds the artistic soul. Keep up the great work~
Old master using current tools. Awesome images and filtering. Look forward to seeing more of you work. Cheers, Carlos
Mary Jane, your work is absolutely amazing! The depth and color that you are able to produce are incredible! I have always admired your sense of color and pattern in your textiles, but your I-Phone photography has taken all of that incredible talent and knowledge to a whole new level! I love every single piece you have shown SO much, and can’t wait for your upcoming show! Congratulations! Wow!!!!!
MJ, I first fell head over wheels in love with you at IPA, who could resist you! You are able to capture the sweetness of the bud and lazy of the day like no one else. Now, I’m the proud owner of “Rainy Day Snow Crab” and sorry folks but BACK OFF, she’s mine.( I’m available for adoption and eat only veggies…)
Big thanks to Joanne for bringing you to the attention of the worlds mobile art community.
Much respect, your faithful supplicant, Tommy xxxx
Such a beautiful set of images MJ and such a lovely interview! So fun to learn more about your life and your app loves!!! I remember you from my first days and was impressed then and am still!! Gorgeous work!!!!! Congratulations!!!
Great Interview Mary Jane! Nice to see all together this beautiful collection of your works!
Just loved reading this and looking at your glorious images. Well done!
Maryjane… enjoyed the interview and your work is absolutely stunning. i am a HUGE fan.
Thanks so much Donna! Right back at you!
Congratulations MJ, so lovely to read about you! Love your images!
Thanks to everybody here! Starting with Joanne of course! So lovely of you all to stop and comment. I seem to be in a bad connection time here in the back woods. So it’s a mass THANK YOU!!!
What a great read! I love you, MJ, you already know that, and I’m really proud of you. It’s fantastic to get to know even a bit more about you here and to see so many of your beautiful works in one place. It’s been a while. Bravo!!! xoxox and good choice, Joanne!! xxx
Such beautiful work Mary Jane. Great interview!
Apologies! I just noticed I had failed to reply to your lovely comment. Sometimes my uploads don’t take. Thanks very much. Honored!
Beautiful interview and artwork. Wasn’t familiar with MaryJane’s work, so thank you Joanne for an exellent spot on 🙂
Beautiful interview and artwork. Wasn’t familiar with MaryJane’s work, so thank you Joanne for an excellent spot on 🙂
Great interview MJ! I haven’t seen a number of these pics before – beautiful as always!
Thanks Shane! I’ve been having bad Internet problems for months. I’m behind posting everywhere. Finally getting caught up. Thanks for being such a great support.
Lovely interview and fantastic images.
Great interview MJ…and your work is so beautiful 🙂 I hadn’t even seen some of these before!
Thanks so much Jeanette. I’m finally getting caught up posting so, yes, many of these are just getting out. Rural Internet issues, again.
Loved your interview M.J.Spectacular and great images .
Thank you Maria!
Hi MJ, Thank you so much for sharing your breathtaking pictures and your photographic ideas with mobile phones.
Belated gratitude for your kind comment here. Thank you!
Glenda aka Butterflyblue
Your work is of the highest standard MJ – such gobsmacking beautiful images- all the best and congrats
Glenda belated apologies for missing this comment. You’re always so wonderful. Hope we both get a break and some time to catch up. I realize I haven’t seen you’re work since the SS images and video, which blew me away. x
Hello Mary Jane,
How do I purchase your amazing art ? How do I get prices?
I’m so thrilled you like! I do have quite a few framed and ready to ship. I’ve faked miserably at building a site for this. Soon to try again or just hire someone. I’d be happy to discuss. My email is email@example.com. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm!
There are 4 pictures my daughter and I love.
Pawlet Postcard, Rothko & corn, Edies tree and Dorset Back
Could you please advise prices, both framed and unframed?
Thank you so much