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TheAppWhisperer – Mobile Photography – Portrait of an Artist Interview with Cindy Buske

We are delighted to publish our ninth Portrait of an Artist interview to this special column within TheAppWhisperer, edited by Jennifer Bracewell.  This week Jennifer has interviewed Cindy Buske a very interesting and talented mobile photographer, you’ll love this. (foreword by Joanne Carter).

We also have a dedicated Facebook group set up for this Column too for chat and discussion – please join us here, Jennifer regularly adds and contributes to this.  In addition we have set up a Flickr Group dedicated also to this column. We would like you to send all your mobile portraiture images here and we will curate and create showcases of this group.  Please go to the Flickr Group here.

“Cindy Buske is a wonderful photographer with a great eye for composition and timing.  Cindy’s portraits of her daughter are particularly special.  She sees portraiture as a working relationship between the photographer and the subject, and also as a catalyst for helping people see themselves in a beautiful light. Let’s hear more from Cindy…”

Contact details for Cindy:



What are your earliest memories of photography and/or art?

My earliest memories of photography are probably of playing with my mom’s old Kodak camera that had cartridge type film in it and used flash cubes – the photos were pretty bad, but it fascinated me anyway. Polaroids certainly drew me in too, but our family never had one!


‘Blinded by the light’ – ©Cindy Buske

What have you sacrificed for your art?

I can’t say that I’ve really sacrificed anything specific for my art – in many ways, I think it’s quite the opposite – I get so much out of it. Photography brings a wonderful balance to my working world as a nurse, which can be rather tough. Photography is an outlet for me, an artistic counterbalance to the structured world of medicine. It’s possible that with my continuous habit of mobile photography, I’ve sacrificed a bit of socialization – sometimes I do annoy friends with my iPhone.


‘Pere Lachaise’ – ©Cindy Buske

What is it about portraiture that appeals to you?

Portraiture appeals to me because of the human connection involved – I love photographing people above all else. It’s a two-way street, a working relationship that has to be good or the images aren’t. When it works in the best way, it’s amazing. Being able to capture on “film” the stunning, gorgeous personality and features of another, especially so that they can then see it all for themselves, is super cool!!! I believe portrait photography can be therapeutic, and this is why – it can actually be a catalyst for helping people see themselves beautifully, as they should.


‘Poe’s Bride’ – ©Cindy Buske

Why do you think mobile photography and portraiture work so well together?

Mobile photography and portraiture work together well because of the instant-feedback nature of the device, and also because a mobile phone is less invasive and overbearing than a typical “real” camera. Mobile photography offers so much in the way of editing through various apps – it’s an art form so unique in the sense that everything can be done right there, from capturing the image to moulding it into a personalized masterpiece.


‘Autumn’ – ©Cindy Buske

Tell me about awards and recognition you’ve received.

I’ve experienced recognition for my mobile photography here and there – it always feels nice. The Hipstography Awards, this year’s MPA’s, and a few other mobile photography contests. My images have been featured in various publications and blogs as well – iPhoneography Central, Mobiography, GRRYO, and The App Whisperer. Recently I was offered the opportunity to feature some of my work through Lens Culture – showcasing projects there made me think about my images in a more organized way and I loved it!


Untitled – ©Cindy Buske

Which of your own images are you most proud of and why?

As far as recent photography work, I am quite proud of the images I create with my daughter. We work so well together as a team, it’s almost seamless. I especially love a series we created last fall in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris – “Angel of the Mourning”. We planned it out for months, I bought her a flowing vintage dress, and by the time we actually got to shoot, it was a blast. We took the Metro there from our hotel early in the morning and did our thing in beautiful late fall sunlight. To me, the pictures are spellbinding – surreal in a way, like it didn’t really happen.


‘Angel of the Mourning’ – ©Cindy Buske

What have been the high points and low points of your career so far?

I can’t say that I have a career in photography, my work is actually as a nurse. But once again, it’s the wonderful balance that photography offers. I’m not able to stay away from it for long. Before my nursing career, I worked as childbirth educator and birth doula. Over time, I began photographing births, and eventually had a small maternity photography business in Seattle as well. It was always an honor and an intensely wonderful experience to be able to document and share those images with the moms and their families. I did it all before digital – shot everything on my two film cameras, one with color and the other with black & white. I kind of miss it, both the photo business and the cameras with film! I never did get comfortable with digital, though easily caught on in the mobile world.


‘Belinda’ – ©Cindy Buske

What would you say the biggest myth is about mobile photography?

I would say the biggest myths about mobile photography are that it’s not real and it’s not art. Bull! It definitely is, on both counts. When the photography world made that big leap into the digital realm, there was all kinds of rumbling about digitally-enhanced images and how they weren’t “pure”. So what? And now here we are again with this new medium. Yet one of the greatest attributes of photography is its versatility. The options for creating beautiful, moving images are endless. If we define them too distinctly, we’re missing out. That kind of strict definition may have its place in the medical world, but not in the world of artistic photography (I sometimes question the over-zealous medical definitions too, but that’s another story!)


‘Shannan’ – ©Cindy Buske

What/whose work of art would you most like to own?

Work of the past, I’m a huge fan of Sally Mann’s family portraits. She saw her kids through her lenses in such an amazing way – you could see love, intimate knowledge and understanding in the resulting images. She also went through much controversy with strength and grace, due to a culture that just couldn’t grasp her beauty. For these reasons, I deeply admire Sally. Work of the present – Jade Beall. I need to own The Bodies of Mothers, her book of women through the phases of motherhood. Jade’s focus is on empowering other women through therapeutic photography and that is where it’s at, as far as I’m concerned!


‘Joleen’ – ©Cindy Buske

What song would work as the soundtrack to your life?

Oh geez, I don’t know! But I’m pretty sure Annie Lennox sings it. And then there’s Matt Pond, my default music for most any day : )

Thanks for the opportunity to share my mobile photography story!


Jennifer Bracewell is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she is a mother, an artist, a photographer, an iPhoneographer, and music lover. Much of Jennifer’s work is an exploration of self and image: the manipulation of self-portraits to bring out elements of humor, angst and beauty. Jennifer’s other works are an eclectic mix of country shots, animals, and captures of ephemeral moments in everyday life. Her images have been featured and displayed at Pixels at an Exhibition where she was featured artist for July, 2011 as well as other sites like Mashable , featured artist on iPhoneogenic in September, 2011, and major iPhoneographic blogs. Her work was recently featured in an article about iPhoneography in the Sydney Morning Herald. her work has been exhibited at the Adobe Shop in San Francisco, the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley (September 22 – October 30, 2011), ArtsEye Gallery in Tucson in October-November 2011 and was featured at the Stephane Vereecken Gallery in Belgium in November, 2011 through January, 2012, a solo show with another scheduled for July, 2012, and at the SoHo Digital Art Gallery in New York City in December of 2011. Jennifer’s work was included in the iPhoneography Miami 2012 show in January, 2012. Five of Jennifer’s images were selected for display at Miami’s cutting-edge Lunchbox Gallery in their “iPhoneography: Updated Visual Dialogs” show, hanging from March 8 to April 7, 2012. Jennifer also has pieces in gallery shows this April at Orange County Center for Contemporary Arts and a three-month show this spring in San Francisco at the prestigious ArtHaus gallery, and these were recently featured in the San Francisco Examiner and the local CBS News 7.