“The culture has changed. It is all gone. I really don’t know why we stick to the word photography any more. There should be a different term, but nobody cared about finding it.” (Wim Wenders, BBC News, 2017)
The year of 2011 was a booming year for mobile photography starting with I gaining millions of fans, major galleries showing mobile photography art and the first major mobile photography conference happened, Instagram just to name a few. From then on much more happenings regarding mobile photography have been unveiling.
Jos? Miguel, designer and content creator, has dived in mobile photography once he got an iPhone on his hands, he says that the fact to be able to carry a decent camera on a phone all the time has enabled him to take and make photos. And although it’s never been easier to make images Jos? thinks people are overwhelmed with visual information that he defines has “paralysis by choice” and putting the solution to this situation on the curators, Instagram hubs finally the experts to do the work for the interested people.
Thus, Jose goes on, to suggest that with the good the bad is around the corner, food-travel-cats-celebrities photography should be out of the equation. (Personal communication, May 17, 2019)
In a survey conducted by the World Press Photo in partnership with the University of Stirling (2018) that the number of photographers that work full-time has decreased from 74% to 59% in 2018 one of the reason being the increase number of “citizen photographers” with access to mobile phones that are able to take pictures.
(Hadland, A.; Barnett, C. – The State of News Photography, 2018)
Carla Sousa, a lawyer, recounts the day she got her first mobile phone that she discovered mobile photography stating “it brings me other perks, like meeting interesting people, pursue my inner self and grow as a person”. (Personal communication, May 7, 2019)
A new world was created – the mobile photography world. Major competitions like Sony World Photography Awards realized that they had to have a category on mobile photography due to the raising numbers of this platform, it couldn’t be ignored any further that was here to stay.
Mobile Photography Awards, created in 2011, as they describe themselves “if it’s true what Henri Cartier-Bresson says, that our first 10,000 photos will be our worst, them it’s safe to say that mobile photography has given people an historic opportunity to get past the 10,001. The MPA is a showcase for photographers and artists who have embraced this decisive moment.” (Mobile Photography Awards, 2011)
Exhibitions using mobile photography rapidly evolved to art level and again museums could not ignore that a new art form was developing as San Francisco Guardian would state regarding one of MPA exhibitions “with MPA· phone photos reach fine art proportions”. (San Francisco Guardian, 2018)
The majority of the interviewees that responded to the questionnaire for this study agreed that it doesn’t really matter the tools one uses to make photography it will always be photography anyway. Although some suggested that photography should have another name since it has evolve to another level of craft. Image- making, picture or simply image were the suggestions since the craft of taking, processing and delivering is totally different said Nuno Veloso. (Personal Communication, April 1, 2019)
Nuno goes further to say “a question that I miss people asking is ‘ what type of camera do you use?’ Nobody or rarely someone will ask this question. This means a lot, I mean it means that people are simply using the mobile phones. (Personal Communication, April 1, 2019)