A Day In The Life Of ...,  INTERVIEWS,  News

Mobile Photography Interview – A Day in the Life of Susan Detroy from Oregon, US

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 140th interview of the series. If you have missed our previous interviews, please go here.

Today we are featuring accomplished mobile photographer, Susan Detroy from Oregon, United States, 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.

Susan Detroy

Contact Details:






All Photos ©Susan Detroy



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

My mornings vary with several things that are important to me. I start my day with breathing and mediation. I like to use a timer or listen to a mindfulness podcast. I often work on my iPad in the morning, posting, viewing and commenting on Instagram. In the current political climate, I might take time to use twitter or FB. I have aged rat terrier dog who lets me know its time for a walk.



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

These days I use photographs as source material, taking them throughout the week and the day. My photo taking and image creating are integrated throughout my day/life, interspersing my photography into everyday life.

A few times a month I take dedicated photo time. And there is always that moment when I am doing something unrelated and a light comes through the window or a moment happens that pulls me into photographing.




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

My story has layers.

For a couple decades, I ran a business and worked as a journalistic, wedding, commercial film photographer. I was a black and white darkroom printer. I liked my work as a printer and film photographer. When digital technology started I was initially resistent. My attention to the changes was interrupted by a life threatening illness, lasting several years. Once I emerged from my illness, the photography world had changed. My business was gone. I decided to jump into digital, using a large Nikon digital camera. I continued part time with my commercial and artistic photography.

After a few years of trying digital work, I shifted careers to art consulting. I worked as an exhibit designer which I still do. During this change in careers, I had a fallow period in my photography and in my art making. After a life time of art making, I lived several years of no production of any art or photography.

A small shift happened when I bought a Samsung cell phone and I took an iPad story telling class.

The bigger change exploded into my life when I bought an iPhone and took a class with Susan Bien. Susan taught a two day workshop at Lane Community College.

During the class, my world shifted. Doors opened. The apps, the transformational app-inspired artwork spoke to me in a way that I had not experienced in years. My interior art self woke from a foggy slumber. That happened about four years ago.

Photographically, I am now completely mobile and loving it.



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

I download apps when I see something another mobile artist is doing or an iPhone enthusiast shows me a new app. I look at work several days a week on Instagram and Flickr.

I do not download photography.



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

Originally I used a Samsung Android, now exclusively Apple iPhone.

I use my iPad for editing and do a bit of editing on my desktop Mac.



Would you consider changing platforms and why?

I am happy with what I am doing. There is so much to learn and explore where I am now.

It brings me joy. I think I still have lots to learn and am excited with my work.



How often do you update your existing apps?

Some update automatically and I update and buy in-app upgrades.



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

My favorites currently are

Photo Blender


Photo Editor








What I look for usually are techniques that support the type of work I am doing, and ease of understanding. My iPhone work is similar to my layered/transfer hard copy art. I work in layering and am drawn to complex depth in my creating. I look for apps that lend to my way of seeing depth and deep into the creation.

The features I look for are ease of use and learning, apps that expand my vision and my artwork.

If the app has multiple layers of information and numerous pathways I may take a while to use it, in favor of less complicated apps.



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

I love to shoot in my neighbourhood and I like to wander at night. I enjoy working close to home and the lights and reflections at sunset and night intrigue me.

And any place in nature where I can combine being out in the natural world with my mobile art.



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

Yes I load to Flickr and Instagram.

I am most interactive on Instagram as it feels like a visual conversation.



Do you use your mobile phone everyday to take images?

Almost every day.



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?

I have an Olloclip… and use it occasionally.

I am about to purchase a gadget to hold my phone on a tripod.

I am most interested in in-camera apps.



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

I like to edit on my iPad and find it most satisfying. I like the size of the image.

Occasionally I edit on my desktop with online app such as Picmonkey.



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

I am thinking maybe I will do more sharing with others locally. I have wanted to set up a local group for iPhone app creators. I am considering teaching what I do and what I know.

I recently spoke with Meri Walker about a grand vision I have for a mobile photography conference/workshop event in Eugene.

I contemplate exhibiting my mobile work. For years I worked in black and white Infrared and exhibited in the US and Europe. I have yet to jump into hardcopies that feel satisfying enough to exhibit. I am just starting to think about how to translate my mobile work to hard copy. I have plans to reproduce a couple images as an experiment.

I have a single piece that will be exhibited in the Nashville, Tenn in July. The image and the show comes from publication is a book call Bared.



Where do you see the future of mobile photography?

Gosh, I like to think it will be a way for many of us who do not think of ourselves as creative to turn the corner on that old idea.

I imagine there will be more innovation in apps and hoping for more inventive ways to exhibit.



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

I am not sure what this question means. Perhaps the answer is in its limitlessness, its expansiveness and accessibility.



Do you think it is country Specific, are some nations more clued up?

Absolutely not. I notice on Instagram there are people from all over the world. I am connected to people in Spain, Japan, China, Brazil and more.

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

I would like a phone that is smaller with a great resolution that can move seamlessly between apps.




What do you think of Joanne and theappwhisperer.com?

I am in deep admiration for the amount of work Joanne has done in mobile photography.

I appreciate the number of projects, sharing information and the support to mobile photography. I am pleased to be in this innovative, fun, artistic community.


mobile photography


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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]