Featured Artist Interview – Jenny Markley @mennyj

In preparation for our upcoming FotoWeekDC partnered show on November 9th, we took some time to ask local mobile artist Jenny Markley some questions about mobile photography and her inspirations. Enjoy:

Deception by Jenny Markley


1. Where are you from and what do you do? (a little generic I know)

I grew up in Anchorage, AK, which is where my parents moved (from VA) shortly after I was born.  I came back to the DC area for college, and here I’ve stayed.  I haven’t been back to AK for several years, but I’m dying to go for a visit — during the summer.  For work, I do interactive management and development at a marketing agency.  For fun, I’m generally thinking about, looking at, or making pictures.

2. What inspired you to start making photographs on your iphone?

A couple things, actually.  I saw an iPhone photo taken by someone I follow on Flickr, shortly after I got mine in 2007, and was blown away by how nice it looked — the color and detail.  That got me thinking.  Around the same time, I discovered my first app, Camerabag, which I fell in love with.  Before that, I’d been occasionally using a desktop app called Poladroid, through which I’d run my digital pictures.  By making everything mobile, I was off and running.

3.  What other artists out there inspire you?

So many.  Since having the opportunity to participate in InstantDC last year, it exposed me to an incredible community of iPhone artists — locally and internationally — many of whom I now call friends.  I’ve discovered (and follow) a lot of great mobile/digital/film photographers on sites including Google+ and Tumblr, as well as on Flickr, where the whole photo sharing experience started for me.  Just to name (more than) a few:

Julia Schiller (I recently discovered her work on Google+):  http://julia-schiller.com

Sam Mullins:  http://samanthamullins.photoshelter.com/

Tony Zarella:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/lonely_heart_imagery/

Out of Reception:  http://outofreception.com/

(Out of Reception really makes me want to travel!)

Jim Darling:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/jim_darling/

Eric Einwiller:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitamin_e/

David Lindley:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/lowrevolution/

Jamesworks:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/53187589@N05/

Dirk Dallas:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirkdallas/

4. How has your work evolved and been affected by the inherently social aspect of mobile photography?

Having access to a vast array of photography and artists through so many different channels has definitely helped keep me motivated, and has influenced some of the directions I’ve gone with my pictures.  It’s been encouraging to see that so many people in the mobile community embrace the notion of sharing ideas, experiences, and techniques.  As a result, I’ve been inspired to try new styles, apps, and even cameras. I’m often drawn to the timeless, vintage style of photography, and I’m sure this has had something to do with why I got back into using (and acquiring more) film cameras.  It seems backwards, but my iPhone has been something of a gateway drug in that regard.

5. What seven things can you not live without?

  • My iPhone (surprise)
  • My film cameras, including a beat-up, ’60s Nikon F that used to belong to my dad
  • My cats (there’s just two, don’t worry)
  • Funny stuff
  • Feedly
  • A handful of old, family pictures
  • Cheese

Firego by Jenny Markley

6. Top five / ten photo apps & highlight a few to describe how they fit in your photo workflow.

1 & 2: Two of my all-time favorite camera apps are ShakeItPhoto and Crossprocess.  Most of my app’d iPhone photos have been processed with these two.  They keep things simple, which works well for me.  And the effects are very nice.

3. I’ve been using Cameramatic a lot lately.  I really like the square format, and the app offers many customizable filters and frames.

4. For minor editing/adjusting, I use PS Express or Photoforge.  I got a great tip a year or so ago about PS Express.  Most apps add the border inside the frame area, which can sometimes mean unwanted cropping.  PS Express adds the border to the outside, so if you start with that one and then add the one you want after that, there’s little-to-no cropping.

5. I use the Light Meter app for my film cameras all the time — very handy!

6. It took me a while to get the hang of Instagram, but I’ve been using it more lately.

7. I’m still on the look-out for an indispensable black & white app for standard-size photos, but I generally use Monochromia.


Thanks very much for this interview!

Jenny’s Links:

Website:  www.snapcophoto.com

Flickr:  www.flickr.com/photos/mennyj

Twitter:  @mennyj

Google+:  www.gplus.to/jennymarkley

Instagram:  @mennyj