In 2013, I co-organised and created a pop-up group exhibition, “Ordinary (extra)ordinary” with Johanna Bodewes, exploring the storytelling possibilities of iphoneography with 10 women, some of whom were artists and some of whom had never thought of themselves as artists.
We are fascinated by those moments that appear ordinary but are made extraordinary either through the visual telling or in the story behind the image.
There is a lot of debate right now around whether mobile photography and tools such as Instagram are really photography. It is said that as photography becomes increasingly accessible to everyone and anyone, the skill involved is being lost. But as technical skills are removed, photographers are freed up to concentrate on composition, storytelling and meaning.
For us, the concept behind the image, why it was taken and what is important about it, are its value. The meaning and story behind the images are increasingly important, as the ‘culture’ of iphoneography often centres around ‘selfies’ or the adding of a filter to transform an ordinary photo into art.
The advantages to iphoneography are that it’s instant, accessible, easy, cheap and light-weight. We always have our phones with us, making it much easier to capture those fleeting moments that we may not necessarily get with an expensive, clunky SLR. Mobile photography frees us up to be more experimental, allowing us to experiment with lo-fi, playful effects, shooting from unusual angles and getting unobtrusively into the thick of the action. It’s the experimental nature of iphoneography, coupled with what’s special about that particular moment, that takes a shot from ordinary to extraordinary.
June 2013, Mona Vale Music