Robin Sweet on her image Catwalk

Another entry in the MPA iPhoneography StoryLines series:

Catwalk was the winning image in the 2011 MPA Fashion Category

I was living and working in New York City this past summer.  I am freelance and work sporadically but when I do work, the days are endless.  I had just discovered iPhoneography and was determined keep this creative outlet alive for myself throughout the duration of this job.  Though I didn’t know how I was going to manage an ounce of time for myself!  So I committed to a 365 project: taking a photograph a day and posting it on Flickr.  I tried not to worry about whether the photos were good or bad but to simply honor the process.  During my morning and evening commute, I would get on the subway a stop later and get off a stop earlier so I could shoot the streets of New York.  It was great: emptying my mind of the day’s stress, being in the zone, allowing my eye to wander.  I would then steal time to “app” late at night or over my morning cup of coffee. 

This particular image caught my eye on my morning commute.  I think it was Day 3 of my 365.  I passed a store front on the Upper West Side where a fashion video was playing in the window.  I kept walking but something nagged at me, so I turned back.  As I watched the video for a moment, I saw that the buildings and street were reflecting in the glass.  I loved the juxtaposition with the runway models and the twirl of this full pleated skirt was particularly dynamic.  I shot off many, many photos (I am not chintzy with my shots) until I knew I got it. 

The opportunity to walk the streets of New York with my camera was exhilarating.  And to be back after a few years allowed me to enjoy and to experience the city with fresh eyes.

I love the energy of this image.  It’s sexy.  Sophisticated.  To me it is the “promise of the big city”.  Having lived in New York for over 20 years, my family and I relocated to a small sleepy New England village.  Life there is lovely and serene but it becomes too lethargic over time.  I am so thankful I travel for work.  The opportunity to walk the streets of New York with my camera was exhilarating.  And to be back after a few years allowed me to enjoy and to experience the city with fresh eyes.  I was reminded of the feeling I had when I was young and in my 20′s arriving in New York to begin my adult life.  The world was my oyster.  At it’s heart, that is the feeling I wanted to convey with this image. 

My “real” camera has been sitting in my closet gathering dust since I discovered iPhoneography last summer.  My journey would be very different if I had not allowed myself the freedom of using my iPhone.  I have my camera with me all the time.  I can incorporate photography into the rhythm of my daily life.

I started photography a little over a year ago in response to traveling.  It was a way to process new experiences and to communicate them to my family back home.  Now I make images simply because it brings me great joy.  And many surprises.  About myself.  About you.  About the creative process.  About the world around me.  It’s become a lens through which I experience life, make it my own, and reflect it back.  I am always thrilled when someone identifies with an image I’ve made.  That connection is the reward!
    
My “real” camera has been sitting in my closet gathering dust since I discovered iPhoneography last summer.  My journey would be very different if I had not allowed myself the freedom of using my iPhone.  I have my camera with me all the time.  I can incorporate photography into the rhythm of my daily life.  It is light.  Spontaneous.  Unobtrusive.  As a result, I am always “present”, really looking at what’s going on around me…of course, because I want the shot!  I owe it to my family to have “photo free” outings and so on occasion my phone is just a phone.  But it’s not just about being spontaneous.  The iPhone’s size is really appealing to me for some of my documentary style portraits.  I think it will lend itself to greater intimacy.  I used my canon for an initial series on Street Kids.  But I’m anxious to go back and work with my iPhone.  I want to see how the relationship will develop when I don’t have a big lens in their face. 

Often, I will start with an image that is just the kernel of an idea and I app it like there is not tomorrow.  Then, when I get over saturated with apping, I will go back and challenge myself to get the shot in camera

.

I’d have to say I’m moved to shoot and/or app mainly by a feeling.  It’s always a mood that I’m after.  Though I do love street photography and capturing a moment or scene that’s right in front of me.  What a great feeling!  If I’ve caught the mood in camera, I app it very little.  I might adjust the exposure, convert it to black and white, play with the focus.  But I try to treat it delicately.  Often, I will start with an image that is just the kernel of an idea and I app it like there is not tomorrow.  Then, when I get over saturated with apping, I will go back and challenge myself to get the shot in camera.  Sometimes by playing with shutter speed or double exposure or Lomora…but trying to get it right in camera.  I find that refreshing.  But yes, I guess you could say how I do it is cyclical but that underneath I’m driven by mood and how that is expressed in all forms.

One Comment on “Robin Sweet on her image Catwalk

  1. Fabulous capture Robin! Love the ‘delicate’ hand you used in the apping…it keeps the image more ‘pure’ and accessible! And your writing..? Equally lovely!!!

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About the MPA

The Mobile Photo Awards were founded to promote the global phenomenon of mobile photography and art.  The awards are committed to presenting the art-form in galleries and exhibits. The MPA is the world's largest open gallery call and competition of its kind.
The Mobile Photo Awards were founded to promote and celebrate mobile photography and art. With fine-art exhibits, competitions and open gallery calls, the MPA is the world's largest event of it's kind.