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Mobile Photography Interview – A Day in the Life of Elaine Taylor from Leeds, UK

Welcome to our very exciting interview column on 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 139th interview of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.

Today we are featuring a highly accomplished British mobile photographer, Elaine Taylor, we have long been admirers of her work.  You will love this!

If you would like to take part in our A Day in the Life interview series, please send an email to myself at [email protected] and I will get back to you.


Elaine Taylor

Contact Details:





Image ©Elaine Taylor



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

Mornings are primarily about getting my two boys (Charlie 14 & Billy 11) up and ready for school or weekend activities. There are rarely any lazy mornings in our house. 

Before the boys wake up and the day starts proper, I have a cheeky few minutes glancing at my social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). My days are pretty busy with all kinds of stuff but I always find time at some point to sit down with a coffee to look in a bit more depth.

I find I spend most of my time navigating through Facebook and Instagram discovering new people and images.  Most days I post for at least one of the groups I moderate for so I look through specific tags. I find myself on some quite interesting Instagram journeys doing that. I’ll glance at my phone quite often as the day progresses but I try not to look at it so much when the family are back home. 

I take a lot of photos but I don’t spend much time doing anything with them. One of the ways I’ve motivated myself to be more active is to start a Hipstamatic 365 project on Instagram this year. So every day I’m looking for a shot to take and post.  The process is reminding me what I love most about mobile photography and Instagram.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

I just take photos as I go about my day, usually when my kids are with me. 


Image ©Elaine Taylor


How did the transition from traditional photographer to mobile photographer develop?

I’ve always loved taking snaps of the people, places and events in my life. I would use whatever point & shoot camera was to hand – never anything fancy (I couldn’t afford it). My passion for mobile photography kicked in when I got my first iPhone. A friend recommended Hipstamatic to me, and then I discovered Instagram.  From that moment my iPhone has been my only camera – it’s perfect for capturing the kinds of images I like. 


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

Oh yes. I will try any app if I see someone else has used it with great/interesting results, although usually they don’t stay on my phone for long and I gravitate back towards my favourites.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


What is your preferred platform, Apple iOS, Android, Windows? Would you consider changing platforms and why?

Never say never but highly unlikely. I live in an iHouse and I love my iPhone.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


How often do you update your existing apps?

As soon as I see update is available. I don’t hesitate.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

I adore Hipstamatic and Snapseed. They are my go to apps. I have loads of other apps on my phone, but if I were to highlight a few that I use most often they would be Union (for blending/masking), Stackables (for textures/layers), TouchRetouch (for getting rid of blemishes/unwanted items), Blackie (for B&W edits).

I’ve only dabbled with video using iMovie and Cinematic but it’s certainly something I’d like to do more of. 


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

Wherever my kids are, preferably outdoors open spaces. My favourite places are the beach, open moors or rocky landscapes. I love capturing the boys running around having little adventures without a care in the world.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

Mainly Instagram. I share randomly on Twitter and Facebook, and less regularly on EyeEm and Flickr. It’s something I need to look at improving. I worry about boring people with multiple posts of the same image (which is the reason why I don’t share regularly to Facebook groups). 


Image ©Elaine Taylor


Do you use your mobile phone everyday to take images?

Yes. My images are really about my ‘every day’. My phone’s camera roll is bursting!


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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?

Apart from a battery pack (always have one with me!) I haven’t really used any other products. I like to shoot in the moment so wouldn’t want to risk losing a shot while I faff on with equipment/lenses. Having said that, I’ve been considering getting a macro lens and a waterproof case for a while. 


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

I only ever use my iPhone. 


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

Who knows? I don’t have any major aspirations – hopefully it’ll just keep ticking along nicely, although my main subject matter might need to change as my kids get older.

Mobile photography is a fun thing for me, but I pinch myself when I think about the opportunities it’s led to.  I’m actively involved with a number of mobile photography communities, I’m on the Shootermag team, I moderate for a few Instagram groups, I’ve had my work exhibited and published and I’ve received awards/mentions in mobile photography contests. Oh, and I delivered my first mobile photography workshops last year. I’m surprised but very happy about where it’s taken me so far. 


Image ©Elaine Taylor


Where do you see the future of mobile photography?

Just getting bigger and better. I’d love to see children encouraged to use their mobile phones more creatively in terms of photography.  Mobile photography modules in schools would be great.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

I’m not sure if there is one. My senses are tickled every day by a whole range of images, subjects and techniques.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


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

I’d love to see further improvements to the flash and zoom functions on the iPhone, but I’m sure Apple are working on that.


Image ©Elaine Taylor


What do you think of Joanne and

Joanne and The App Whisperer site are absolute gems.  Joanne has worked hard and passionately to create something really special – a fantastic community and a valuable source of information, support and inspiration for anyone interested in mobile photography.  


Image ©Elaine Taylor


While you’re here…

TheAppWhisperer has always had a dual mission: to promote the most talented mobile artists of the day and to support ambitious, inquisitive viewers the world over. As the years passTheAppWhisperer has gained readers and viewers and found new venues for that exchange.

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Please consider making a donation to TheAppWhisperer as this New Year commences because your support helps protect our independence and it means we can keep delivering the promotion of mobile artists that’s open for everyone around the world. Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future.

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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]


  • vondav

    Such a great article about one of my favourite mobilephotographers (iphoneographer). I had a wonderful time reading the interview. The relaxed style of Joanne to manage the interview and the concise way of Elaine to answer the questions. Regards to all.

  • Meri Walker

    What a treat to see so many Elaine pieces in a row! I just adore the way you use your phone to capture your life and your boys!