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 ninetieth installment of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.
Today we are featuring Sharon LuVisi, Sharon’s combined love of technical craftsmanship and artistic creativity was the determining factor in enrolling in UCLA Extension’s Interior and Environmental Design program where she graduated as an interior designer with a specialization in kitchen design. In 2011, after enjoying a successful career as a kitchen designer, Sharon’s adventurous spirit then led her to Living Light Culinary Arts Institute where she graduated as a gourmet raw food chef and instructor.
Sharon’s transition to photography was a natural one as it gave her another opportunity to express herself both technically and creatively. Her education and experience as a designer, along with her unique eye, eventually enabled Sharon to develop her own photographic style.
When she’s not behind her camera, Sharon enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, entertaining, foreign films, dining out, fine wine, museums, music, and the performing arts. In a phrase, she is a perennial student of all things creative. The realistic and interpretive style of her images conveys Sharon’s joy of life in a thought-provoking way.
We know you’re going to enjoy reading this interview and viewing the inspiring images as much as we have putting it together. Many thanks to Sharon.
You can find all the links to the apps used or 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.)
‘A Mother’s Lesson – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, TouchRetouch HD
Joanne – Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
Sharon – I wake up very early to read my email and my blogs, catch up on the news, and drink my cup of coffee while sitting up in bed. Yes, I am a pampered princess! 😉
‘Ankle Deep’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – ProCamera, Snapseed, TouchRetouch HD
Joanne – Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
Sharon – I am in awe of people who head out first thing in the morning but I prefer to ease my way into my day! Unless I’m heading out to the beach, I typically photograph later in the day. Yes, I know that it contradicts the basic rules of photography but it suits my lifestyle.
‘For The Love Of Nature’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop? (pardon the pun)
Sharon – I only began photographing a few years ago when my parents gave me a Nikon DSLR as a gift. I began using an iPhone 5 just this past October after seeing the spontaneity and ease of creating daily images. That’s my formal way of saying that I was jealous that almost everybody had an iPhone and I didn’t!
‘Mask’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – Do you like to download new mobile photography and/or art apps regularly?
Sharon – Being my usual compulsive self, I purchased a ton of apps when I first started photographing with my iPhone. They were so inexpensive so how could I not? I’ve since whittled down my app list to include only those that I use fairly regularly and I now only occasionally purchase new apps.
‘Missing Wailea’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – ProCamera, Snapseed
Joanne – How often do you update your existing apps?
Sharon – I update as soon as they become available because it drives me crazy to see that little update button. I will be thrilled when iOS 7 updates apps automatically.
‘Morro Bay’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Superimpose
Joanne – Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot?
Sharon – Hand’s down: Any beach in the world! I live in Southern California and our beaches have a wonderful calming effect on me. I love seeing the appearance of a beach’s shoreline varying slightly from one day to the next depending upon the level of the tide, and I’m always delighted to see a new crowd of people at the beach for my iPhone to love.
‘Nacho and Quesadillas’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – Do you also use mobile photography tool apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris?
Sharon – I wish that I was disciplined enough to use this app but, unfortunately, I’m not. My concept of a photography tool app, if this is considered to be one, is TideTrac, which provides high and low tide charts for my beach photography. Low tide is such a magical time of day.
‘Nature as Designer’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – ProCamera, Snapseed
Joanne – If so, do you use them to plan you shoot?
Sharon – I wish that I was disciplined enough to use this app but, unfortunately, I’m not. My concept of a photography tool app, if this is considered to be one, is TideTrac, which provides high and low tide charts for my beach photography. Low tide is such a magical time of day. Without question, I use TideTrac regularly.
‘No Bird Soars Too High’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – What are your favorite, at the moment, mobile photography/art apps and why?
Sharon – For some reason, mobile photographers are on either side of the fence when it comes to Hipstamatic. I love it and it is my go-to photography app. I regularly use three or four combinations because they give me the effects I’m for without much tweaking necessary. When I was shooting with my Nikon, I used to work Silver Efex Pro 2 to death in Photoshop in order to achieve the images I had in my head. In contrast, my Hipsta combos are perfect, or nearly so, straight out of the can. What’s not to love about that?!? I am also very fond of ProCamera and 645 PRO.
Without exception, Snapseed is my first choice for basic and, at times, advanced editing. I’ve also recently become a huge fan of Mextures. Its featured artists’ formulas are outstanding, and I take full advantage of the option to adjust, add to or delete each texture within each formula, making the end result my own. Believe me, I have better things to do than reinvent the editing wheel! Add to that, Alt Photo, Lo-Mob, Jazz, Big Lens to correct an overly noisy background, and TouchRetouchHD to eliminate problem areas, and I’m good to go!
‘Oblivious’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – Where do you like to upload your photographs? Flickr, Instagram?
Sharon – Flickr has always been my favorite public posting site and I also post my images on Facebook for my friends and family. I have mixed feelings about Instagram. I’m finding myself presently short on time but I want to become more involved with our outstanding mobile photography sites in the near future.
‘On An Otherwise Colorless Day’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – 645PRO, Snapseed
Joanne – Do you take photographs with your mobile device every day?
Sharon – Yes, every single day. After completing my first 365 Project using my beloved Nikon back in 2010, I decided to commit to a new 365 Project this year using my iPhone this time. Wow…what was I thinking?!? I’m looking forward to photographing every day in 2014 but I will then post only my best images.
‘Passersby’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Big Lens
Joanne – What are your favorite subjects?
Sharon – My favorite subjects are landscapes, especially relating to the beach; nature, particularly trees and flowers; and, most recently, street photography, in particular, capturing respectful images of children. Discovering that I managed to capture a child’s innocence and purity in an image brings me close to tears because it reminds me of when my now-grown children were little.
The common denominator to my style of shooting is that I always photograph spontaneously and only in natural light. I probably couldn’t set up a shot to save my life, and I’ll jump off a bridge first before someone forces me to set up lighting equipment.
‘Perfect Imperfection’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – How did the teaching side come along?
Sharon – I don’t teach professionally, although that would be a dream come true for me. I do offer advice to other mobile photographers, but only if I’m asked! I’ve always believed that knowledge is meant to be shared so I’ve always been puzzled when photographers choose to keep their editing methods a secret.
‘Sassy’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Mextures, TouchRetouch HD
Joanne – What are you top five tips for mobile photography?
1 Photograph instinctively, and trust your mind’s eye and inner voice.
2 Feel free to edit an image as little or as much as you want in order to achieve the image you always knew was there.
3 Put yourself out there! Move forward into this growing community with confidence. (Yes, yes…I need to practice what I preach.)
4 Push your creative limits to the max, yet stay true to your own style of photography. I greatly admire the surreal/abstract/compositional style of imagery that other mobile photographers create so brilliantly, yet I flounder whenever I venture into that direction. Quite frankly, the realization for me that I really suck at those styles doesn’t limit my work; it gives me the freedom to further develop my own style.
5 And always, always be proud, while remaining humble, of your photography talent.
‘Stay’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – Do you edit images on your mobile device or do you prefer to do that on a desktop/laptop?
Sharon – I want to hug every mobile photographer who can edit from their mobile device because I have old eyes and can’t see what the heck I’m doing on that little screen! I edit on my iPad with inexpensive apps and that makes me a very happy gal.
‘Sunbathing’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Lo-Mob
Joanne – Do you enjoy videography with your mobile device?
Sharon – Yikes, no…my video app and I aren’t even on a first-name basis yet!
‘The Calm Of A Tree’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Mextures, TouchRetouch HD
Joanne – Where do you see the future of mobile photography?
Sharon – It’s clear to me that mobile photography has finally become recognized as a valid genre of photography; I really feel that anyone telling you otherwise is speaking from a fear-based place. I understand and respect the mobile photography community’s initial decision to separate themselves from the traditional photography world due to nonacceptance. However, I believe that assimilating into the traditional photography world will increase our exposure, creating greater acceptance and usage, particularly in the field of marketing and advertising.
I regularly post my images to mobile photography and traditional photography groups on Flickr. I want my images to be evaluated only by their quality, not by the camera that I use.
‘Those Who Do Not Weep’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed
Joanne – What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?
Sharon – Beyond the idea that mobile devices encourage creativity, I adore the fact that we have incorporated photography into our daily lives, thus creating our own personal visual diaries. Taking it one weird step further, second- and third-born children can now have their own childhood memories because they are documenting their own lives. There were so many kids my age who, as adults, sadly realized that there were few photographs of themselves when they were young because their parents were exhausted after capturing every nuance of their firstborn child’s milestones. Designing cameras into cell phones was a genius idea, and mobile devices are such a wonderful gift to the world.
‘To Myself I Am Only A Child’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Big Lens
Joanne – Do you think it’s country specific, are some nations more clued up?
Sharon – I had to look up the definition of “clued up”! Certain countries might have more information readily available to them, but exceptional talent is worldwide.
‘Vanishing Point’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Apps Used – Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Mextures
Joanne – What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
Sharon – Joanne is a dream come true for the mobile photography community. She has tireless energy in presenting the most current mobile photography apps, information, tutorials, photographers, and resources. Over and beyond that, I continue to be grateful for Joanne accepting me into this wonderful community and wish her continued success.
Links To Apps Used
‘The Sunflower Is Mine, In A Way’ – ©Sharon LuVisi – Hipstamatic, Snapseed