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The App Nerds Workshop – Learn, grow, believe – By Lola Mitchell

We’re delighted to published the latest article to Lola Mitchell’s App Nerds Workshop Column. This is an inspiring article and we are sure you will love it, over to you Lola…(foreword by Joanne Carter).


This is my love letter to Apple, the iPhone/IPad as well as all the amazing people behind the amazing photo apps out there.

Without them I would not have had the means to finally express myself. For years I had these images in my head and no time or money or the courage to make the jump and start. In hindsight it all happened at the right time.

It is such a satisfying feeling and I feel very happy to have taken this path.

I still am constantly learning which is how it should be if you are doing anything creative and that you love doing.

You dig deeper and deeper into the craft and your mind. I still am nowhere close to where I would like to be but the journey is so much fun!

Ironically as I am learning a new tool (photoshop, documented on my site along with little step by step tutorial on most of my photos

I am also seeing the possibilities that lie ahead in the iPhone/ipad only. I watch photoshop tutorials and it gives me ideas that can be achieved on my ipad. I read books, watch movies, walk in nature and watch my kids play and it gives me ideas. Ideas that can be achieved with many tools.

I, however am saddened by the negativity I have found is very real in the ‘traditional’ photography world.

Just because I work on iPhone, I do not think everyone is good at it, it also depends on how much time and work you want to put into it.

It is not because I do iPhone/ipad photography that I think that firing all the photographers of a newspaper is good. I do think it is an insult to people that have worked hard to learn their craft. It is also pretending that the iPhone takes the pictures and not the people holding it.

Yes, now people that would not have been able to afford to buy an expensive digital camera and photoshop can now dabble and find a hidden talent or pursue the passion they thought was not accessible to them. But there is passion and thought in it.

That does not mean that everyone that does is good at it. Mainly not everyone is that interested in doing it either. So pretending that giving journalist that have not asked to do this, an iPhone and a few classes will produce good photos is I think a huge mistake.

There is such a misconception that all that is done is thanks to the apps. The apps are the tools, the same as photoshop, aperture, Lightroom and all the other tools available to photographers out there. They are there to help make a photo, they do not make the photo. There is thought, love and passion behind it.

I often read just because you take a pic and add 3 filters does not make it good, that’s true but a good photo with 3 filters is still a good photo. And a filter added in photoshop, aperture or any of the iPhone or android apps are the tools we use to enhance what we believe to be worth working on it.

Montages and collages take time, what looks like a simple photo often requires many layers and thoughts behind it.

And there is amazing photographers in our mobile world, and some bad ones, there are good photographers in the ‘traditional’ photography world and some real bad ones too. Because it is not about the tool but it is about how the tool is used.

I think what I am trying to say is that there are many ways to get where you would like to go. Do not let anyone dictate it or try to make you ashamed of what you have accomplished or where you want to start. If you have the will, the passion and are willing to do the work it does not matter where you start.
There is a lot of love out there and a lot of negativity. you can choose to focus on one or the other.

Hard work pays off as long as there is passion and love behind it. And a real thirst to learn, grow and evolve.

On that note here are my favorite photos posted by very talented photographers on our App Nerds workshop Flickr group:

Photo by Gizemkarayavuz


‘Dock of the bay’ by Scott A. Woodward


‘Bali.’ by Pat StH


Lola discovered iPhone photography shortly after getting her first iPhone a year and a half ago. Her love of photography started early, thanks to her father who was a professional photographer – Jorge Damonte. Through him, Lola learnt about other photographers and artists. He taught her the ropes and she dabbled in the darkroom. Lola explains that she always took photographs but never felt the urge to share or do anything further with them, that all changed with the iPhone. Lola’s career, pre-kids was in production of documentary television and once she had kids she kept on taking photos and the iPhone gave her an outlet for more artistic montages.


  • Gerry Coe

    Oh how I agree so much with what you have said Lola, Personally it does not matter how you get to an image as long as it is a good one. Although you put it very politely the use of apps does not make a good photograph alone…. “Crap in is still Crap out, with apps” In my talks to both professional and amateur photographers they are amazed at what can be produced by a very simple poor quality camera. The best camera is not the one you have with you…. but the one behind your eyes… Cheers.. Gerry

    • Lola Mitchell

      Exactly Gerry. Honestly I learned that from my dad who was a professional traditional photographer. A week in the dark room for one photo was the custom. He never really went for the fancy cameras. In fact he had the same one for years and now It is sitting in my house.

  • Andrea Rees

    Well said Lola. For me, as a professional photographer of 10 years, the iPhone is another camera in my toolbox, the one that is always with me and the one that has renewed my love of photography. I believe a good photograph comes from much practice, knowing how to see the light and composition. It’s no different than traditional photography. Apps enhance what is already there.