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iSights – ‘Artistic Inventory’ By Janine Graf

Here it is, Janine Graf’s second article for her new Column with us, iSights. This is another great article in which Janine reflects on her images captured over the past 12 months and considers whether ‘out with the old and in with the new’ is really appropriate when considering your mobile photography portfolio. Over to you Janine. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).


Happy New Year!! I hope 2013 greeted all of you with loving open arms, flutes full of champagne and confetti falling from the sky! I admit I was asleep before 10:00 pm on New Year’s Eve so 2013 welcomed me with bed head, morning breath and sheet imprints across my cheek. Now since it is a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about doing an artistic inventory over the past year.

The idea to do an artistic inventory came to me during a recent conversation with my extremely artistic and supportive mother-in-law. While she was visiting in early December, I was going through my portfolio trying to decide which images to submit to the Mobile Photo Awards. She said she’d love to peruse my images and offer up her suggestions; lend a fresh eye for the selection process. While making her personal choices she asked, “Are you going to submit any older images?” My immediate response was a flabbergasted, “No!! Why on earth would I submit older images?!” and then I sat there silently for a moment, blinking at her from across the table, then continued with a now somewhat panicked tone in my voice,“ I just like my new stuff better . . . my new stuff IS better, isn’t it???” And so this got me thinking . . . and questioning . . . and even doubting, which is good; doubt keeps us on our toes.

Going back over my images for 2012 and comparing them to what I created during 2011, I have to say that all-in-all I am pleased. Of course there were some rough patches along the artistic way . . . some unfortunate Percolator app experiments, some abominations created with the Decim8 app, and not to mention a Slow Shutter app catastrophe, or rather, a “craptastrophe”. Oh yes, there were plenty of epic fails.

So I would like to share with you a few of my personal favorites from the year:


© Janine Graf – ‘Meet me at sled hill’



“Meet me at sled hill” was one of the first images I created in 2012 and would become one of my more popular pieces. It was taken after the first snowfall of the season in Seattle, WA. A couple of days later my son and I went to lunch with a girlfriend and her two kids. As we were all leaving the restaurant my girlfriend’s daughter stops and announces, “I have to go poop!” So while mother and daughter took care of “business”, I sat down on a bench and looked through my camera roll. I liked the composition of the image already, but it needed more. Figuring I had the time, I tweaked it in BlurFX and then finished it off in ScratchCam. Ahhhh, editing on the go . . . one of the great benefits of mobile phone photography!



© Janine Graf – ‘Cows Play Peekaboo’


“Cows Play Peekaboo” was created in the late spring and thus began my love affair with the Juxtaposer app. I had dabbled with Juxtaposer in the past, but it was the creation of this image that got me officially hooked. It would also mark the beginning of a new direction I would take creatively; incorporating animals in whimsical themed compositions.



© Janine Graf – ‘City Girl’


“City Girl” was one of the last images I created in 2012. This is part of a balloon-traveling series I’m currently working on featuring this rhino from the San Diego Wild Safari Park. This rhino got fed up with the daily grind at the Safari Park; every day it was the same old thing. Fashioning around her middle some helium balloons she stole from a souvenir kiosk, and with the help from a sympathetic giraffe, she made a hasty retreat and is now off seeing the world. Here she is peeping into windows in Boston’s financial district.


Janine Graf


© Janine Graf



It was fun to reflect back on these images; even the hideous ones that made me want to chuck my iPhone into the toilet, and appreciate their significance in the creative journey of 2012. I highly recommend you all do the same with your portfolios, if you haven’t already. You may just surprise yourself with how much you’ve grown in 12 months. Oh, in case any of you were wondering, I did not submit any of my older images to the Mobile Photo Awards . . . because my new stuff IS better, isn’t it???
Here’s to a happy, healthy and creative 2013 everybody!



Janine’s mobile photography has been exhibited in art galleries across the United States and in Europe, has been featured on various websites and in publication. She is currently a proud member of the traveling iPad photography exhibit called “Light Impressions” along with 40 very talented mobile photographers. In publishing news, Janine was honored and delighted to have participated in an upcoming book about creating surreal digital photography. This book is set to be released in the spring of 2013 by Ilex Press. Janine is a mobile photographer who enjoys belly dancing, bacon cheeseburgers, cappuccinos, the smell of old books, slapstick comedy, the color orange and movies about gladiators. Since discovering mobile photography in the early fall of 2010, Janine has set aside her professional DSLR and desktop editing programs in favor of the iPhone and its myriad of wonderful editing apps. In regards to subject matter, she tends to gravitate towards subjects that allow for a whimsy feeling or vibe; she likes to have fun!


  • teresa cesario

    Love your article! It was very inspirational and I could relate to it very much
    Love your work!

    • Janine Graf

      Thank you so much Teresa! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and were able to relate! 😀

  • Tommy

    Janine, you are the perfect combination of artist, comedienne and belly-dancing, mojito swilling, custardite. Thanks for another great read!

    • Janine Graf

      Tommy! Well, I aim to please! You are going to share a mojito with me one of these days! So glad you enjoyed the read! xo

    • Janine Graf

      You know, we definitely have to create some craptastrophes in order to get to the good stuff. 😉 I’m so happy you enjoyed the read Richard and may 2013 be your most creative yet! 😀

  • Keri Friedman

    Wonderful article Janine – I enjoyed learning about your self-review process, seeing some of my favorite images of yours, and reading that lovely, witty writing style as well. Good stuff! 🙂

    • Janine Graf

      Thank you so much Keri! That means a lot to me because you know how much I respect your work! 😀

  • Paula

    Oh my I love this Janine, such a wonderful read. It’s flows so well, like I’m having a pleasant conversation with you. Absolutely adore your Rhino series, however my favourite image is the one of you! How beautiful are you my dear, you should do more selfies, take care and I look forward to your next instalment. XOX

    • Janine Graf

      Awww Paula, you are too kind! I’m going to share an embarrassing secret with you about this selfie. I quickly took the selfie in the bathroom mirror without really paying attention to detail. Later on I’m looking at the image on my phone and thought, “What in the heck is that??” . . . toothpaste splatter on the mirror! Ugh! So instead of cleaning the mirror and re-shooting I decided to put it through ScratchCam to cover it up. Tee hee. I think ScratchCam should come out with a “toothpaste splatter” filter. I think it could be popular. 😉 My poor housekeeping skills aside, thank you so much for your lovely comment. You know I’m one of your biggest fans so it means a lot to me! xoxox

  • shane martin

    Great stuff Janine! I went through a similar process as part of the MPA’s. I think overall my work has progressed but I was happy to see that some of my older stuff I still liked and I did submit a couple pieces. The interesting thing for me to observe was how my subjects have changed. When I first got the iphone I was using it to take pictures of everything and anything. Over the past year my work has become very focussed. This was not a conscious decision but certainly a very observable one. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about that. Anyway, enough about me! Love the article. Shane

    • Janine Graf

      Thanks Shane! Oh I can relate with everything you said 100%! I was joking on a thread over on Facebook about how back in the beginning of my iPhone days I took pictures of everything without much rhyme or reason; was all over the place with my iPhone; slapping grunge filters on everything because that was about all one could do back in the early days. And like you eventually became more focused and mindful of what I decided to shoot. I think that’s a good thing that we’ve become more discriminating, you know? Anyhoo, I’m so glad you enjoyed the article Shane. I’m such a huge fan of your work, as you know! 😀

  • MaryJane Sarvis

    Great article again! I procrastinated my MPA entrees until I couldn’t even think. Really dumb. I’ll take your advise next time!

    • Janine Graf

      Thank you my Aquarian sister! Oh make no mistake, I procrastinted too! Isn’t that what we do though? 😉

      Isn’t that a fun word? So fitting for so many things too. 😀

  • Janine's Proud Dad

    Good column Beanie, keep’m coming and I’ll keep renewing my subscription.

  • Victoria Thornhill

    I so love the way you write!!! Humor is very appreciated by me at all times- including inappropriate times !! Not that this was one!!! Ok enough! Can I sign up to be notified when you have a new column- or what? Let me know- but definitely keep us all posted over at iPA like you did this time:) I really enjoyed this piece!

    • Janine Graf

      Victoria, thank you for saying that! I think humor at inappropriate times is sort of the best, isn’t it? I have this horrible habit of giggling when my girlfriend is scolding her kids for something they’ve done; I think it’s their facial expressions that set me off (oh, same kids I mention in this article in fact!!). They’ll do something mischievous, get caught then get scolded and nearly every time they’re sporting this, “I cannot believe I’m in trouble” look on their faces. Here I am, this grown woman, laughing at children getting yelled at by their mom. 😉 ANYWAYS . . . thank you so much for your kind comment here. I’ll definitely post future articles to IPA from now on. 😀

  • Cara Gallardo Weil

    Janine, I love your work and I love this column! Thanks Joanne for featuring this! Xxx

    • Janine Graf

      Thank you my dear sweet friend Cara! I’m so happy you like it!! 😀 xoxo

  • JennyA

    Janine, you ROCK! I tell you that all the time, but it just keeps getting truer and truer (or should that be, ‘more and more true’?). Keep the articles coming – such a highlight to read them!! Even if they do make me teary with memories…!! And by the way, YOU ROCK!!!!

    • Janine Graf

      Jenny!!!!!! You’ve always been so supportive of me!!! I so miss you and the kids . . . phooey!!!! Thanks again for having put up with my incessant iPhone picture taking during our walks to school and back . . . [cue sad music]. Who’d have thought it would actually lead to something?! Love you and miss you and appreciate you! xo