Mobile Photography Interview ‘A Day in the Life of Bobbi McMurry’ from Phoenix, Arizona, United States
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, newcomers as well as accomplished individuals in the mobile photography and art world… people that we think you will love to learn more about. This is our 126th interview of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.
Today we are featuring our very own AppArt Editor, Bobbi McMurry, she is an integral part of TheAppWhisperer and we value her and also her art very highly, as you will also, when you see the images in this interview.
We are sure you are going to enjoy this, if you would like to take part in our A Day in the Life interview series, please send an email to myself at Joanne@theappwhisperer.com and I will get back to you.
‘There’s Only One Way’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Let’s start at the beginning of the day, how does your day start?
My day begins with waking my son, feeding the dogs, making breakfast, packing a lunch and ushering my youngest out the door for school. I love being a mom and I’ll really miss this part of my day when, like his brothers before him, he heads to college. (He’s 17 so it isn’t that far away.)
Once he’s out the door it’s usually up to my studio where I’ll check email, social media, and work on art. Sometimes that means art, and other times it means uploading images, updating my website, or preparing work for calls and all the “administrative” aspects of art that I wish weren’t necessary.
Image ©Bobbi McMurry
Do you like to head out and take photographs early on?
While my work is photo based, the shooting aspect of my work isn’t the end-all. I do like to dive into making art early on, the only problem is that I often get so absorbed that I lose track of time and can wile away a day if I’m not careful! That would be a near perfect day, but little else would get done.
Whenever I have a free moment, you can find me on my mobile devices. I love the act of creating, I’m not always pleased with the results, but I always enjoy my creative time. While I wish that everything I finished turned out exactly as planned, I find that when I’m not happy with my work I’ve learned something and that too is good.
‘Bitter Not Better’ ©Bobbi McMurry
How did the transition from traditional artist to mobile artist develop?
The transition to mobile art is one of the most life-changing and positive occurrences in my life. After getting my first iPhone, my sons talked me into signing up for an Instagram account, I didn’t really get what IG was all about but wanted to see what they were posting. It quickly became something I spent a few quiet minutes enjoying over coffee in the morning. I’ve always loved art so my time on IG became less about checking my son’s posts to just enjoying the work I was seeing. One morning an image appeared that was clearly two images that had been merged. I stared at that image for quite some time realising that there was much more that could be done on this little mobile device in my hand. It was then a mission, researching how that was done – in the process I discovered the extensive world of apps, a complete and total game changer to my art and really … my life.
‘Community Garden’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Do you like to download new mobile photography and/or art apps regularly?
I’m always experimenting with apps, though I’m much more particular about the ones that I keep on my devices. When I first began I had too many to count. These days, I’m more discerning about which apps work well in my creative expression.
‘Dragonfly’ ©Bobbi McMurry
What is your preferred platform, Apple iOS, Android, Windows?
Apple, apple, apple. I have an iMac, iPad Pro, iPhone 6+ … my phone seems to be dying and I’ll likely replace it with one of the iPhone 7 products instead of any number of other options. I love being able to seamlessly go from device to device through the cloud, it’s so handy!
‘Eternal 2’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Would you consider changing platforms and why?
In my book, “never” is a really big word. While I can’t imagine changing platforms there may come a time when something comes along that improves the process, the artwork or the output. I’m open to new ideas, though at this time there isn’t anything that compels me to change.
‘Eternal 3’ ©Bobbi McMurry
How often do you update your existing apps? What are your current favorites and what features do you look for in a new app?
I usually wait until the kinks are worked out before updating my apps. I had a bad experience early on that I don’t want to repeat.
Currently, my favorite apps are Art Studio, Stackables, Snapseed, and Glitche
Art Studio – Nearly everything I do in the way of composites begins and ends here. I like the interface and the extensive capabilities for both photo manipulation, image blending, and the artistic capabilities of brushes, and pencils, etc. What I don’t like about it is that it is limited to 3000 x 4000 pixels and only three active layers at that size. I would really prefer working on a larger image with about ten active layers.
Snapseed is my go-to app for post-processing. I don’t think I’ve created a single image in the last year or two that hasn’t gone through Snapseed. (I’m working on some images that are quite different for me because there is no compositing at all, just single images that have been worked on entirely in Snapseed I know I’ve just begun to tap the capabilities in this app and look forward to being adept at them all.)
Glitche I use it for one purpose, grids. I love incorporating them into my work, I love the texture and the suggestion of organised structure they imply.
‘Eve’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Where’s your favourite place in the world for a shoot and why?
Wherever I am. The world is a big and beautiful place and there’s something to shoot everywhere. I shoot in my home, my car, my outings, and my travels. When I see something or someone that I find interesting or intriguing I take a photo. I don’t usually know how I’m going to use it; instead I add them to the library of images I’ve been building for years. While I can’t remember numbers to save my life, I have a pretty good idea of what images I’ve got stored.
‘Hidden On The Outside’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Where do you like to upload your photographs to Flickr, Instagram etc?
You can find me as “Bobbi McMurry” on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Saatchi, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Image ©Bobbi McMurry
Do you use your mobile phone everyday to take images?
Image ©Bobbi McMurry
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?
Yes to all…
I have external storage devices, tripods, both Olloclip and Moment lenses, and lots of different battery packs. I’m currently exploring Bluetooth storage devices I’d like to have one of those.
Image ©Bobbi McMurry
Do you edit images on your mobile devices or do you prefer to use a desktop or laptop computer?
At this time I do 98% of my editing on my iPad, 2% on my iPhone. I’m not opposed to using my computer I’ll probably buy a cyntiq or other drawing tablet this year, but my lifestyle is busy and the mobile aspects are important to me.
‘Indecision’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Where do you envisage your mobile photography passion will take you? Have you been involved with exhibitions etc.
I would love to sell my work, have solo shows, and gallery representation. At this time, I’ve shown in juried group shows all over the world and I’d like to grow that into a career.
‘Knowing’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Where do you see the future of mobile photography?
I began doing mobile work in 2012 and it seemed there was a general lack of acceptance in the “art world” at that time. I’ve seen it steadily gain popularity and acceptance and I expect that will continue. My feeling is that the medium doesn’t matter and mobile devices are just another medium. For art to be successful requires more than an understanding of the mobile cameras and apps, it requires the artistic eye and understanding as well. I think that curators and investors are taking notice more and more.
‘Little Girl Lost’ ©Bobbi McMurry
What do you think is the most popular area of mobile photography?
That’s hard for me to say. It seems that quantitatively, people like to take photographs and app them to something pleasing. Just about everyone with a mobile phone does that to one degree or another. The idea that people enjoy creating this way and sharing it with the world is great, I’m all for folks finding something in their lives that alleviates stress and provides enjoyment. Qualitatively though, I don’t view much of what is being done there … as art. I guess that begs the question “what is art?”. I won’t go into that debate here, but to me, intent and understanding need be present not mere aesthetics.
‘Only If You Stay’ ©Bobbi McMurry
Do you think it is country Specific, are some nations more clued up?
I feel that I’m more aware of work done in the United States because that’s where I live. My interactions on social media have exposed me to artists all over the world. I travel quite a bit and see people in 2nd and 3rd world countries using cell phones as that grows, so will the proliferation of mobile art from those areas.
‘Perceptions’ ©Bobbi McMurry
If you could select a specification for a smartphone, what features would you select, photographically speaking?
I would like my ‘dream phone” to have loads of storage, stellar low-light capabilities, increased abilities to capture moving objects clearly, great stabilisation features, beautiful interface and it must be really super fast. Oh, I suppose I would like the phone reception to be crystal clear, and dependable cell/wifi coverage everywhere on the planet!
‘Torso’ ©Bobbi McMurry
What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?
I’m sincere when I say that I know very few people who are as passionate and selfless in her love of mobile art and photography, in her desire to promote the “movement”, the artists, and their work. Joanne is one of a kind, and I’m really happy to know her and consider her a friend.
‘Eternal 5’ ©Bobbi McMurry
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