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‘Brought to Light’ – Mobile Photography / Art Interview with Armineh Hovanesian from California, USA

Our ‘Brought to Light‘ interview section explores the mobile photographers and mobile artists behind their art. Each question has been carefully crafted and is designed to allow us to get to know them a little more intimately. To view others that we have published in this series, please go here.

Today, we are featuring Armineh Hovanesian from Glendale, California, USA.  There is a lot I could say about Hovanesian and I will. Hovanesian has been a loyal supporter, follower and contributor to TheAppWhisperer since our inception, she’s also a good friend, which is a bonus (for me). It was her art though, that attracted me first to Hovanesian and there’s a reason for that. She is one of Mobile Photography’s most influential artists, totally obssessed with the process of making art and as a result, it stands apart. She has reinvented self portraiture through mobile art, she is a mobile artist’s artist and her reputation continues to grow.

There’s a deeply feminine and feminist identity to her images, an exploration of her own femininity and themes of transformation and metamorphosis seem significant.  There’s a book, authored by Erving Hoffman entitled “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life”, it details the ways we all have “front-stage and backstage personalities, that we perform all the time, when we walk down the street, when we go into a shop. And when we are behind closed doors we go into a bit of a slump”. With this in mind, I can see that Hovanesian is a performer, one whose work is deep and heavy weight. I am not convinced that Hovanesian sees her portraiture as therapeutic, as such or even particularly voyeuristic. Hovanesian is not a full time artist, yet, her path to becoming an artist could be seen as painful and hard but it is balanced within her self portraiture, her vast output reflects a deeply considered creative process, focused on intuition and improvisation.  Hovanesian’s boundless artistry explodes in all directions and we want more.

This body of work drew us to Armineh Hovanesian

All photos ©Armineh Hovanesian

Describe a moment that changed your life

The birth of my daughter was the biggest life changing moment for me. To this day, sometimes when I look at her I still can’t believe that this amazing human being is my daughter.


Describe a childhood photographic/art memory

I have been very fortunate to have had the pleasure of growing up behind and on the wings of theater and opera stages, thanks to my grandmother and aunt. One of the distinct memories I have is the smell of paint on stage decors and the color teal which was used for Turandot’s opera sets.

Describe a childhood photographic/art memory

My mobile studio is comprised on my iPhone6 and my iPad. I still do my edits on my phone however since eyesight has been diminishing throughout the years, sometimes I end up using my iPad for edits.

What do you like to think about whilst you are creating images

Depending on the photo I’m working on, I tend to place myself in the photo and observe the changes around me as I edit.

Share one photo tip

Big Photo! As all of us are aware, when using various apps for effects, the saved files tend to get smaller and smaller in size. Big Photo is one of my most go to applications to resize my photo so it is “print worthy”.

Who or what ignited your passion for mobile photography

I fell in love with mobile photography with my LG Xenon phone. For the first time I was able to use a tiny device to take photographs. Then I got my first iPhone (an iPhone3) and the rest is history.

What is the most unusual subject you have photographed

Myself! It’s been a challenge and an eye-opening experience. One of my best therapy sessions are when I have a self-portrait project in the works.

What are your favourite accessories for mobile photography

My Muku Shuttr, my mini studio (which is in storage at the moment) and my waterproof case.

Describe your dream Photography assignment

I have two dream assignments. I would love to be able to photograph the bands, musicians or dancers that I love and admire. I would love to tour with them and capture the moments. I would love to travel the world and photograph people and places.

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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: joanne@theappwhisperer.com