Aug 1, 2011

Spotlight on.... Laura Zimmerman! | Iphoneography

I dont have an iphone... though I sure wish I did!  I've noticed all the seriously cool photos being posted on facebook and whatnot taken by iphones and have been intrigued... to say the least!  Photographer Laura Zimmerman contacted me recently in response to my call for submissions to tell me about her obsession with iphoneography.  Her photos were so fabulous that I asked her to speak here on the blog!  So without further adieu...

Name: Laura Zimmerman
Website or blog:
Instagram: LauraZim 

How did you get started in photography? 

I got my first SLR when my first daughter was born. I didn’t want to let any moment of my children’s first years go unrecorded, and have been shooting ever since. It’s been just within the last few years that I’ve gotten more serious about it.

As far as my start in iphoneography, I am always looking at photo sites, and this past spring I saw a reference to Instagram, which is the gorilla of iphoneography apps. It’s both a filtering (photo effects) app as well as a photo sharing app. I downloaded the free app and was hooked immediately. People from all over the world upload photos to Instagram as they go about their day. Not only do I get to see great photos, they are of everyday life in places like Moscow, Japan, Hong Kong, northern Scotland, Malaysia -- places I may never get to visit.

Do you shoot professionally?  Describe what you do and why.

 I do shoot professionally. I photograph mostly graduating seniors and some families. I got started about three years ago when a friend of mine asked me to shoot her daughter’s senior pictures. From there, it grew by word of mouth. I also do some art shots that I sell at a local art gallery.

For those who may never have heard the term, what exactly is iphoneography?

Iphoneography is the capturing and editing of photos, all with the iphone. There are dozens, if not hundreds of iphone apps for this, from capturing to editing.


What do you do with the images you take on your iphone?  Can they be printed and how big?

The main thing I do with the images is to share them on Instagram with other iphoneographers. I also have them on my website for sale. Although the native iphone resolution is high, after going through filtering, the resolution is often reduced by quite a bit, but you can get a nice 5x5 print out of them. (Instagram uses a square crop, even though iphone pictures are rectangular.) I have enough now that I plan on printing some for the art gallery, as well as making greeting cards.

What are some of your favorite iphone filters or effects?

I love Dynamic Light, which is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) app that has a lot of neat effects. One of the effects gives a softness to photos that I really like. I also have been using SwankoLab, Camera+ and qbro quite a bit. I just downloaded Iris and the early results are promising! I often like to layer effects, sometimes using up to three different apps to get the look I want.

What else is in your bag, and what one piece of equipment could you absolutely not live without?

Amazingly, there is actually a macro lens for iphones. It’s only $20 and you can get it on You attach it with a magnet and the quality is simply stunning. But otherwise, I think that is one of the huge draws of iphoneography -- it’s just you and the iphone and a handful of apps. And the real advantage is that I may not have my camera with me, but I always have my iphone!


Was there ever an “aha” moment when you knew you had found your photographic voice?

 After I joined Instagram, I was always looking for things during my day to share and so I started to look around me in a different way, a more creative way. It made me realize just how much art there is in everyday things. I’ve become aware of naturally-occurring patterns, leading lines, reflections, silhouettes and shadows -- my favorite compositional elements -- as well as how the light interplays with them. Since Instagram, I can’t even go to the grocery store without looking for those things. My kids are even starting to pick up on it: “Look, Mom! There’s repetition in those coffee bins!!”

What is your best advice for those who are new to photography?

Take a class. Once I learned the relationship between aperature, shutter speed and ISO and how you could change them to get different effects, it opened up a whole new world for me. Also, look at other photographers’ work. See how others use light and compose a shot and how you might want to apply that to your own work.

If you could spend your life doing anything you wanted to do with no concern for money, what would it be?

 This is a fun question – but truly, when all is said and done, I love spending time with my family, traveling a bit, shooting portraits a bit, and doing iphoneography every day. I wouldn't change a thing!

Show us your favorite image taken with your iphone.

With this photograph, everything comes into play that I look for – light, shadows, patterns, leading lines. We were on a train trip and stopped at a depot in Oregon. We had a little time to explore the area and this bridge was over the tracks. When we climbed the stairs to the bridge and I saw the gorgeous light and shadowing and patterns, it stopped me in my tracks. It was a bonus that an elderly couple was making their way across the bridge. Fortunately, I had my iphone with me!!  

 Wow... seriously cool images right???  Thank you so much Laura for sharing your amazing "iphoneography" with us here on the blog!  Be sure to leave Laura some love in the comments... and check out the rest of her work at the links above!


lee said...

I follow Laura on Instagram and enjoyed reading your interview. I also enjoyed discovering your blog, and look forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

Great piece on my friend, Laura Zimmerman. Now I think she wears permanent iPhone glasses because she always sees and captures the coolest images!

Cindy Harter said...

I love that you featured iphonography :) SOOOO COOL ! I LOVED this !!

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