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Mobile Photography Interview – A Day In The Life of Armineh Hovanesian – An Incredibly Expressive and Creative Photographer

Welcome to our very exciting interview 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 and art world… people that we think you will love to learn more about. This is our 110th installment of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.

Today we are featuring Armineh Hovanesian, born in Paris and raised in Tehran and Boston, Hovanesian is a mobile photographer now based in Los Angeles, capturing moments since 2009. She has had no professional training however her vision has been the driving force behind her creations. Presently photography is her hobby, she has had shows at various galleries and events and has won numerous challenges and competitions.

Hovanesian explains in her own words, ‘My photographs are not generally planned in advance, and I do not anticipate that the onlooker will share my viewpoint. However, I feel that if my photograph leaves an image on the viewer’s mind, something has been accomplished’.

We couldn’t wait to find out more about her, her images are much revered, we invited her to take part in this interview. We think you will all enjoy this a lot, it’s full of truly incredible images and insight.

Under each image you will find the title and a list of all the apps used, links to these apps are at the end of the article.

(If you would like to be interviewed for our new ‘A Day in the Life of…’ section, send an email to [email protected], and we’ll get back to you.)


Armineh Hovanesian


‘Faces (Dreaming of Man Ray)’ ©Armineh Hovanesian – App Used – Oggl: Tinto 1884 Lens + C-Type Plate Film



Pink Tulips’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – App Used – Oggl: Florence Lens + BlacKeys XF Film

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

On weekdays, my alarm goes off at 4:50am and I drag myself out of bed to get ready and go to work.  The rest of the day pans out as it will.  To be anchored I take photographs whether it is for myself, for a project or a challenge.


‘Soul’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – Oggl: Tinto 1884 Lens + D-Type Plate Film

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

I do not have that luxury. Most of my photographs are taken later in the day unless we are on vacation somewhere where I have more freedom, time wise.


‘New Confidence’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – Snapseed, Fragments

How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop? (pardon the pun).

I have no “traditional photography” background. I delved into mobile photography from the get go then dabbled into traditional photography.  I’m intrigued with Rolleiflex cameras but since I cannot afford the real thing I got myself a Blackbird Fly 35mm TLR Twin Lens Reflex Camera and am learning and having fun with it.


‘All’s well at the Queendom’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps used – Oggl: Burke Lens + ShilShole Film, DistressedFX, Rain

Do you like to download new mobile photography and/or art apps regularly?

In the beginning, I used to since I hadn’t developed a style and wasn’t familiar with what was out there and available but slowly, as years have passed on I tend to download less and less apps.


‘Elements of Vachag’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – iColoramaS

What is your preferred platform, Apple iOS, Android, Windows?

Even though I use my iPhone for photography and my iPad for edits, I prefer Windows for everything else.


‘Fragments of me’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps used – Snapseed, Fragments, Rain

Would you consider changing platforms and why?

I doubt it. My husband is an Apple iOS person and I have the most difficult time operating and using it.  I know and am much more comfortable with Windows.


‘Come’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – Contrast

How often do you update your existing apps?

Whenever there are updates available, I make sure to have the latest version at my disposal.


‘Half face’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – Contrast

What are your favourite photography apps and why, what features do you look for in a new photo app?

There a few favorite apps I tend to use when I need edits on my photos. Snapseed gives me the option to adjust brightness, contrast, ambiance, and saturation, not to mention the grunge and the black and white alternatives. Photowizard is another one where there are various effects I can use to modify a shot.  There’s also iColoramaS which is a genius of an app. The creators are beyond amazing and it has hundreds of choices, styles and capabilities. I am constantly learning when I use iColoramaS. Glaze is another one of my favorites where the juices of creativity can flow in many directions. ProCamera has excellent filters one can apply for various effects.  And then there’s Oggl which is another brilliant app with its lens and film choices and I love the fact that one has the ability to mix and match them in order to achieve the desired outcome.  As for a new app, the only one thing I would love to see would be the ability to save photos in a larger format.  I am not sure if there’s anything else any new app can provide that hasn’t already been done.


‘Connection’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – Snapseed

Where’s your favorite place in the world for a shoot and why?

This is indeed a challenging question. Hypothetically, Paris would be IT but since that is not the case at the moment I use my daily surroundings whether it is near my work area or other locations in Los Angeles. The one place that is dear and near to my heart is the Disney Concert Hall which is a Frank Gehry masterpiece. That structure is one of the most amazing and one of the most photographs venues.  Each corner, each angle and each view is breathtakingly stunning.  A photographer’s dream.


‘Friday afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Oggl: Loftus Lens + Rock BW-11 Film

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

Initially all my photos are uploaded onto Flickr, where I save everything and later download onto a flash drive. I also upload to Instagram, EyeEm and on Facebook regularly.


‘Priceless Soul’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – App used – Snapseed

Do you use your mobile phone everyday to take images?

Every single day! It’s my therapy and it is what keeps me sane and balanced.  Not all photos are of quality or saved but nevertheless, I do take them.


‘Ancient Gods’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – App used – Snapseed

Do you like to use external hardware products with your mobile device for image and video capturing, such as lenses, tripods, external storage and battery packs? Please elaborate as much as possible.

I do own an Olloclip, a tripod and a softbox studio set but haven’t used them as much as I’d like. Lack of space and needed concentration have been the reasons why I haven’t used these products as much as I would have loved to.  As far as the Olloclip is concerned, I’d like to find an alternative to my Otterbox case so I can easily use the lens.


‘Cafe Trieste’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Oggl: Watts Lens + D-Type Plate Film

Do you edit images on your mobile devices or do you prefer to use a desktop or laptop computer?

Most of my edits are done on my iPhone.  I do use my iPad, as well since my eye sight has diminished throughout the years and I’d like to see what I’m doing!  My belief is that if edits are done outside their element then it is NOT mobilephotography!


‘Gateway to the portal’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps used – Snapseed, DistressedFX, Glaze

Where do you envisage your mobile photography passion will take you? Have you been involved with exhibitions etc?

At the moment I am enjoying the journey mobilephotography has taken me on.  I have been very fortunate and have had exhibitions since 2011. My photographs were on display at SoHo Arthouse in New York in March of 2013; I have participated in numerous group show in the Los Angeles area and at the present I am part of a group show in Glendale, California and have another upcoming group show participation in New York at the SOHO Arthouse in June of 2014, again.  I also have been privileged to have had my photos featured in Los Angeles Times.

I am also doing an on-going project called Elements of Vachag.  Vachag is an artist and has given me permission to use portions of his work and incorporate it with my mobilephotography.  We have published our first “book” on Blurb and look forward to more volumes in the future.


‘Me being me’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – Snapseed, Photowizard, Glaze

Do you also enjoy shooting videos with your mobile phone? If so, what do you do with them? Have you considered uploading them to our Mobile Movies Flickr group?

I have delved into shooting videos and find them challenging, fun and interesting. I love using the 8mm app and my favorite application is the Noir option.  I have uploaded my madness to App Whisperer’s Mobile Movies group and have been lucky and have been featured.  I am planning on delving more into this medium and see where it will take me.


‘A night at the gallery’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps used – LongExpoPro, Snapseed

Where do you see the future of mobile photography?

Mobile photography has grown immensely and it never ceases to amaze me.  I do see mobile photography being taken seriously by “traditional photography” giants, if you will.  Mobilephotography is not about what the general public assumes it is!  It’s not about people posting what they eat, what they wear, or non-sense selfies on Instagram.  Mobile photography is a movement.  It’s art.  It’s photography. It’s creativity.


‘Zoom’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – App Used – Snapseed

What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?

In my humble opinion portraits and street photography are very popular.  As far as portraits are concerned, I love seeing how various photographers interpret their visions in their edits. Still life photography is popular, as well.  Whether it is edited with apps or as is, many artists have their own styles.  I am always intrigued by all the styles and visions I see regularly.


‘Me, Agnes Varda and the People’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps Used – Oggl: Loftus Lens + DC Film

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

In the age we live in, I do not see the styles country specific. The internet has made the world a smaller place and everyone involved is on the same wave length.


‘Take my breath away’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – App used – Snapseed

If you could select a specification for a mobile smartphone, what features would you select, photographically speaking?

I would love to see the capability of having photographs saved in a much larger format, equivalent to a DSLR.  This would make a world of difference where printing is involved.


‘Others follow dreaming’ – ©Armineh Hovanesian – Apps used – Oggl: Loftus Lens + Rock BW-11 Film

What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?

Joanne has created an amazing haven for all mobile photographers.  TheAppWhisperer.com is the go to place for information, news, tutorials, research and news. I consider Joanne one of the pioneers in this movement and am forever grateful for her dedication.

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]