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‘Brought To Light’ – Mobile Photography / Art Interview with Andrea Bigiarini

We have a new interview section for mobile photographers and mobile artists and hope to be filling it very soon with vast explosions of thought and imagery. These questions are designed to explore the artist behind the work, to get to know them a little more intimately.

We are delighted to publish our first one today with none other than Andrea Bigiarini, Founder of the New Era Museum and FIPA Florence International Photography Awards as well as writer, author, Imagineer and digital artist. He tells me he lives on the Appstore but lives in Florence, Italy. Enjoy…

Link to his blog

Describe a moment that changed your life.

During a lifetime there are several moments that change your life or I might say there MUST be moments when you experience consciousness, that is a very important time in your life. I may say what I’ve discovered is that women are different from men.  I’ve started to think that we are not bodies with a spirit but spirits within a body,  I’ve found that our lives are made of eternal “Now”. I think that you are interested in something more specific to art/expression so what follows is my answer…

“When I have had the opportunity to work outside the restrictions of a desk, a computer and a DSL connection. In other words when I bought my 1st iPhone”.

Image ©Andrea Bigiarini

Describe a childhood photographic/art memory.

Oh I love this question. I have this photo always in my my mind. When my Dad finally decided to let me use his Voigtlander 35 mm. No words were necessary. My face spoke very clearly. About art I grew up immersed in it. My dad was a painter so in my DNA flows turpentine too.


Describe your mobile studio

Well. Now? The old version of Hipstamatic (don’t pose me questions about the new one 🙂  ) – Oggl (Old version), Filterstorm and Instaflash.  I think these are my basic apps and all that I need. I am in the business since the first iPhone so now, after years of experimentations with any form, style and apps, I’m only oriented to capture the moment. Well this happens when you’re getting old and you want to freeze moments without any shamanic interventions (AKA apps).

Image ©Andrea Bigiarini

What do you like to think about whilst creating images?

10 – maybe 12 parameters or elements – I call it archetypes. I’ve studied story-structure for years. I am amazed at how humans tell stories. I am more amazed knowing that these stories have the same elements/structure. From Papuasia to the straight of Bering, humans tells stories in the same way: using 12 parts. But this is a very dull story and I don’t want to bother your readers …

So 21 visual archetypes that fit on how we observe images and their meanings bump in our heads. I’m sorry that I can’t write fluent English and you can’t read Italian because I’ve defined these archetypes in this post on Medium.


Share one mobile photography/art tip

Yes. The most important: INNOVATE. There’s no art without an innovation of contents – there’s no art without the technique of innovation. In few words: don’t do what others do. I think that a “Messenger” is more powerful than an “Artist”. The “Messenger” is more powerful than a mystic because they use a new vocabulary in every form of expression before the people. A mystic has a restricted vocabulary because is not oriented to the people. This is the difference: who is able to create something for the people is a “Messenger”. Who create things for themselves is only an onanist and not people oriented so we have to redefine who is not an artist and what is not art.

I have a very long post about this argument but, I’m sorry, is only in italian.

Image ©Andrea Bigiarini

What or who ignited your passion for mobile photography/art?

The Apple Store in Miami 🙂

No, I’m just kidding’

The truth is, what I’ve discovered is that I am able to share in a snap my private universes/visions with other visionaries on the other side of the globe. That’s why I’m thinking that Mobile Art is made by Messengers and Visionaries floating over the waves of the mediocrity presented by common media.


What is the most unusual subject you have photographed/painted?

Unusual … hmmmmm let me think. I might say the most dangerous photo I’ve shot.

In Haiti to a Tom Tom Macout (the bloody police of Haiti – like the Nazi S.S.) that was using a sewing machine. He looked at me and asked for the camera in a very tough way. I replied to him cold as steel that I was working for the Haiti government and to not use this behaviour with me. I was bluffing but sometimes this may save the situation.

Image ©Andrea Bigiarini

What are your favourite mobile photography accessories?

Accessories? Maybe the Selfie-Stick. I think that the real revolution of mobile photography is the Selfie. After years we have learned how to modulate/tune our expression in front of a camera. If you look at old photos, you see people frightened by cameras. They didn’t know how to react in front of a camera. Yes, Selfies is a way of know their, body and mostly faces. In NEM Self, curated by the great Brett Chenoweth – a real Messenger – you may see fabulous photos of people that finally after years and years have learned how to use their faces/expression in a very artistic way.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

I have well understood the question the role that fit in my mind is the “Underdog” or the the Arcane of the Tarots: the Fool.

Quoting Wikipedia so I’m sure my english is perfect:

“In many esoteric systems of interpretation, the Fool is usually interpreted as the protagonist of a story, and the Major Arcana is the path the Fool takes through the great mysteries of life and the main human archetypes. This path is known traditionally in cartomancy as the “Fool’s Journey”, and is frequently used to introduce the meaning of Major Arcana cards to beginners”

Image ©Andrea Bigiarini

Do you have a favourite app?

Yes X-Con – The Enemy Unknown but I’m sure you’re asking me for an iPhonic app.

My choice goes to Filterstorm or Filterstorm Neue and I still I haven’t understood the difference between the two apps 🙂

I think that when you have mastered this app you can do everything you need.

The other one, my work-horse is Snapseed but it is too obvious. Snapseed is the perfection in simplicity.

The third (or the first at this time) is MyLightMeterPro. This app is a fantastic light meter and the measurements are precise. I’ve compared it to my Lunasix 3 light meter and I can say that for $3 you have a very good light meter in your pocket without having to spend lots of money.

For doing what?

For shooting with my Hasselblad C500 1966 model!

I love analog photography because after thousands of shots with my various iPhones I convinced myself that it was the right time to learn analog photography.

The iPhone was my school and finally after years of simulated analog photography I’m able to shoot with a real vintage analog camera.

What I know is even when I shoot with a Hasselblad, I still remain a Mobile Photographer because my way of framing a picture, I still remain in the Mobile art domain.

Image ©Andrea Bigiarini

Describe your dream mobile photography/art assignment.

Jesus this is a great question and I have to think on it for a while …

Ok. I’m back.

For sure a portrait.

For sure someone who’s really trying to change the game.

For sure someone that is not famous.

Oh, I’m unable to visualize that moment or maybe I don’t want to visualize because i know that when you reach your peak, your goal in everything you lose all the energies that have pushed you to that exact moment.

Do you understand me?

Before I leave I want to thank you Joanne for your fantastic work during these years for making Popular Photography available to everyone.

Thank you. Your work is priceless and you’re a great Messenger because you ignite the spark in potential and future Messengers.

I love the AppWhisperer


Thank you Andrea, your words mean a lot to me, Joanne.

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— 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 - 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]