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

A Day in the Life of Lee Thatcher – An Inspiring Mobile Street Photographer

Welcome to our very exciting column on theappwhisperer.com. This section entitled “A Day in the Life of…” 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 eighty sixth installment of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here. Today we are featuring Lee Thatcher. Lee is an amateur photographer living in the UK and working in the IT field. Lee has been taking photos since 2011 and shoots and edits exclusively with his iPhone or iPad. He has had work featured in the LA Mobile Arts Festival, in the Google Plus 2012 Year Book and on other popular mobile photography websites.

Links to all apps mentioned in this interview are at the end. 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.


Lee Thatcher


Lee’s work can be found:


on IG, IPA, EyeEm, Google+ or Flickr. Lee also has his own site www.leethatcher.com

First Things First…


‘Young Once’ ©Lee Thatcher -Apps used:  Hipstamatic, Lo-Mob, ScratchCam, Blender, Noir, Snapseed


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

Lee – Usually I’m up at 6:30, I have a young daughter who is an early riser so no time for laying about. I usually check my IG and EyeEM feeds on my iPhone first thing if I have time. Its great to start the day seeing what others have posted


Golden Hour…


‘Blown’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps used: Hipstamatic, Snapseed


JoanneDo you like to head out and take photographs early on?

Lee – I’m usually too busy first thing so no. I like street photography and in my town the streets are usually quiet until 9am or 10am. I like to go into town on my lunch break and get some shots in for an hour. I also try to get out or a couple of hours on a weekend too.


Photographer vs Mobile Photographer…


‘Carried Away’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps Used: Hipstamatic, Noir


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

Lee – I’ve never been a traditional photographer. I have only come to photography in the past year or two, I really started with iPhone photography and then became interested in straight street photography. I usually switch between the heavily apped shots and the straight shots to give myself a little variety. I always shoot with my iPhone though as I don’t have another camera.


New Apps…


‘Dark Angel’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps used: Hipstamatic, Noir, Snapseed


Joanne – Do you like to download new iPhone photography apps regularly?

Lee – I do, although I find that these days I’m sticking to the same few; Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Noir, InfiniCam and recently SwankoLab.




‘Embroidery’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps Used: ProCamera, Blender, ScratchCam, Pixlromatic


Joanne – How often do you update your existing apps?

Lee – As often as updates are released, I hate seeing the badge icon on my App Store app. I’ve been bitten by this in the past when updates have been a bit buggy but most of the time I’m happy with the updates and the better features.


Location, Location, Location…


‘Goodbye Autumn’ ©Lee Thatcher -Apps used: Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Lo-Mob


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

Lee – I go to London on business a few times a year and I love to see the buildings and people there, but even though my city is small I like the familiarity of it, I like knowing the streets well and I’m beginning to know where the light will be. So I guess I would say home is my favorite place.


Tools Of The Trade…


‘Half the Story’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps used: Hipstamatic, Plastic Bullet, Snapseed, ScratchCam


Joanne – Do you also use iPhone photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?

Lee – No. I have never heard of this. I’ll look it up.


‘John’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps Used: CameraSharp, Noir, Pixlromatic


Joanne – If so, do you use them to plan you shoot?

Lee – I’ll have to take a look at this but really my shoots are rarely planned. I am a dad first so everything fits around that. I love it if I can get out to shoot and its great weather but really I just take what I can get. Sometimes its good to be in this position, it forces me to get out in the rain and poor conditions which can make for some interesting shots.


Favorite Apps…


‘Learning’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps used: Hipstamatic, BlurFX, Noir, Snapseed


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

Lee – Probably SwankoLab and Hipstamatic. Oh, and InfiniCam and Snapseed.



‘Lost in Thought’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps used: Snapseed, Hipstamatic, Pixlromatic


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

Lee – I upload everywhere; IG, Flickr, EyeEm, Google +, Tumblr, IPA, SquareSpace. It’s just so simple and easy it seems silly not to. I have found that I get so much inspiration from different photography on each platform. I did decide to simplify things at the beginning of the year by just sticking with EyeEm and trying out Flickr, that decision didn’t last, I missed the other platforms and people on them.




‘Moments’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps used: Hipstamatic, BlurFX, Noir, Snapseed


Joanne – Do you take photographs with your iPhone everday?

Lee – I do. Even if it is just pictures of my daughter that I don’t think I’ll use. I’m either trying new techniques, lenses, films, apps or thinking about composition.


Favorite Subjects…


‘My Tunes’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps Used: ProCamera, Noir, Snapseed


Joanne – What are your favorite subjects?

Lee – I like street photography and I like sort of heavily app’d shots of my kid. I often have a image in my mind when I edit a shot and I try to get the picture to look that way. Sometimes along the way something different comes out and I go with it. I like surprising myself.


Top Five Tips…


‘Old Friends’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps used:  Hipstamatic, InfiniCam, CameraBag2


Joanne – Are you interested in teaching iPhone photography?

Lee – I have never taught, I would be a terrible teacher. I’m terrible at explaining myself.


Top Five Tips…


‘Reflecting’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps used: Hipstamatic, Filterstorm, Blender, Pixlromatic


Joanne – What are you top five tips for iPhoneography?

Lee –
Shoot what you enjoy. Think about what’s in the shot, not just the subject. What do you want the image to say, or what do you want the viewer to feel Slow down (Hipstamatic is great for this) Let the image marinate. This was a tip I heard from one of my favorite street photographer Rinzi Ruiz. Just let it sit for a while, I have so many that I would have normally posted straight away. After leaving them for a while I have realized that they are not very good or they don’t say what I wanted. It’s not to say I haven’t posted bad images but I’m probably posting less bad images as a result of this tip.




‘Remembering’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps used: Hipstamatic, Snapseed


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

Lee – I edit on my iPhone or iPad, I never edit on a desktop. I really like how it feels to touch the image and move it, It feels like I make a connection with it. It’s difficult to explain but the thought of editing on a desktop doesn’t interest me right now. Also, the cost of desktop editing apps is very high, I couldn’t justify this cost because I know I can get what I need from a $2 app on my iPhone or iPad.




‘Smoke Break’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps used: Hipstamatic, Snapseed


Joanne – Do you enjoy videography with your iPhone?

Lee – Yes. I have made a few iPhone videos of my daughter. The camera is really very good and gets better and better. Although I do admit that these videos were shot with the iPhone but edited on my iMac with Final Cut.


The Future Of Mobile Photography…


‘Street Life’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps used: CameraSharp, Snapseed


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

Lee – I think it is just going to get bigger and better as more people come to it with fresh ideas and approaches. Everyone views the worlds slightly differently, so each of us can create our vision and present that through the many different social networks.




‘Waiting’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps used:  Hipstamatic, BlurFX, InfiniCam, Noir, Snapseed, Pixlromatic


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

Lee – Street photography seems to be very popular. I think this may be because of how discreet the iPhone is. People are less conspicuous taking shots with an iPhone and as a result the get braver and more daring which is creating some unique shots.


Where In The World?…


‘Wandering’ ©Lee Thatcher -Apps used:  Hipstamatic, BlurFX, Noir, Snapseed


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

Lee – I think there is a lot of great photography coming from Asia. The people in this area seem to embrace the tools and create some amazing shots.


iPhone 5…


‘Weight of the World’ ©Lee Thatcher – Apps used: Hipstamatic, Snapseed


Joanne – What are your first impressions of the iPhone 5?

Lee – I was concerned when the rumors came out that it would be too big; I was pleasantly surprised by the size. And even though it’s only a little bit bigger than the iPhone 4 I do find that I’m doing more editing on the iPhone 5 rather than just the iPad. The camera really is amazing too, but the cameras on the iPhone 4 and 4s were also very good.


The App Whisperer


‘Winter on the Streets’ ©Lee Thatcher- Apps used: Hipstamatic, Noir


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

Lee – I’m quite new to the appwhisperer.com site although I am finding it really useful for the reviews. The interviews are always interesting and I think Joanne is playing an important role in the iPhone photography community. Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions.


Links To All Apps Mentioned Or Used Within This Interview


CameraBag 2
Noir Photo
Plastic Bullet
Image Blender


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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]


  • Janine Graf

    Wonderful interview! I’m a big fan of your work Lee so I really enjoyed learning more about you. 😀

  • JQ Gaines

    I am such a HUGE fan of your work, Lee! Reading this interview is a real treat… it’s so nice to “hear” your voice and get a glimpse into your work process 🙂

    • Lee Thatcher

      I’ll get this response thing right eventually 🙂 Hi JQ, thanks for taking the time to read my interview. It was such a privilege to be asked to take part.

      I also just got chance to look at your awesome website, your images look amazing. Real top notch photography.

  • Tracy Mitchell Griggs

    I don’t post to many sites so had not seen your images. I don’t do street photography as there are no streets or people where I live 🙂 but enjoyed a peek at your streets. You seem to use Hipstamatic which I just started trying – do you have favored lens and film combos to share?