The Mobile Photography Community
Mobilography (/mōbə’lägrəfē/ n : mobile photography) has never been about any one individual. It has always meant community for me since I began exploring and later promoting the art form. That is why I am here introducing The Mobile Photography Community on Google+.
I know there are many other communities for mobile photography available, both on Google+ and other corners of the web. These are all good in their own ways and I have no wish to compete with them. What I do hope to offer in The Mobile Photography Community, and with your help, is a place to share and to act as a resource for learning.
Back when Google+ was young, I joined a Creative 366 Project (it was a leap year) in which I participated with about 300 other individuals in producing or doing one creative work per day for the whole year. I couldn’t keep up the pace with my art, writing or my experiments with my wife’s DSLR. Suddenly my phone stood out from the crowd of pencil, paper, ink and lens. This of all creative tools could keep up! One thing led to another. Within only a few months, I had discovered and began interacting with other mobile artists on Google+. We organized, used the hashtag #mobilography, and critiqued one another’s work regularly.
AMPt (Advanced Mobile Photography team), a group that was originally based on Instagram, got wind of my efforts over on Google+. They invited me to join them, their first Android user. And so I joined Instagram as well. There, Android users doing mobile art and photography was practically non-existent. iPhoners had been pushing the limits of mobile photography and art for several years, and so, there were some strong artists with critical eyes to this newbie with an Android phone. I wasn’t that good on the phone yet. It was embarassing. I also had very few people to talk to about apps, techniques, etc. All there was to improve was my comparison with the skilled work of other artists using iPhones. So I sought out others on Instagram who used Android.
That’s when I encountered Atle Rønninge. Some of our conversations led Atle to found the group Android Editors. He went to Josh St. Germain and the both of them went to me. Those were some of my most memorable times in exploring mobile photography. Android Editors curated images, featured people, had open forum discussions, and really helped many Android users get up to speed in the art. Within a year, many more Android users were gaining recognition in the competitive Mobile Photography Awards. Google perfected its Google Play market, phone variety expanded, and photography apps bloomed.
Me? I was a wreck, and was going through hard times. I was tough to deal with in both of those groups. I finally left Android Editors, overloaded with stress as life was crashing in around me. (You can read about why things were crashing here and here.) Fortunately, I put my life back together. (You can read about how things worked out here.) For whatever reasons, Android Editors didn’t continue much longer. What a great team it was, and what a great community we started! AMPt too would go through various changes and tumult before finally ending, website and former accounts becoming dormant places for people to post random images with the #AMPt_Community tag.
While AMPt was in its last iteration, I created mobilography.net and on Google+, started The Mobile Photography Community. This community is in some ways built on the foundation of those original members I was in contact with on Google+ for so long. I’ve gained quite a lot of experience in curating images, building community, and have learned a good deal about what makes for a great and well functioning community. We now have 1,500 members. The group is increasingly active, and I have hopes that it will become a strong center for dialogue around mobile photography.
The Mobile Photography Community
What is the community about? It is about you and your phone and the beauty you can create with it. The community tag line reads
Capture your world. Share your artistry.
It’s a place for everything from the pure photographic to the more artistic and even abstract. We currently have a weekly theme for members to shoot, and are starting up a discussion forum to get everybody talking. I hope you will join in.