It’s been awhile since we’ve published an article on featured artists. Things have been a little crazy around here for me the last couple of months. This interview was conducted several months ago and somehow got lost in the mix of things. I have revived it and thank goodness because this guy is top notch!
Tuana Aziz, a professional and mobile photographer, has been producing stellar photographs on his iPhone for awhile now. I love the quality and production value of his images. Aziz is inspired by movies and music lyrics which translates so well into his shots comprising of nature and models.
Lets let Tuana do some of the talking…
EC: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
TA: I was born 1987-01-03 in northern Iraq moved to Sweden 1996. I have lived there ever since. Now I work as a Commercial photographer, director and teacher.
EC: How did you get into mobile photography/iPhoneography?
TA: Since the first cell phone I bought with the camera I have shot things around me. But it was not until my first iPhone that I really started to use the mobile phone as an art tool.
EC: What does mobile photography/iPhoneography mean to you?
TA: Mobile photography has become a big part of my life for some time now. Being able to create such beautiful works of art with so little makes my heart beat faster.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that you yourself were blown away by and made you pursue mobile photography more passionately?
A: This has happens to me over and over again. But the first time was when I took this picture.
EC: Your images have a real romantic quality about them, from the scenery to the details in the garments on the models. Are you on set for an editorial or fashion shoot? Talk to me about the elaborate production behind your work?
TA: For about a year ago I started with a project I call “The Last Princess”. The idea was to create fairytale images with just an iPhone and iPhone Apps.
I love nature that is untouched, and a model in the picture makes everything more beautiful. I can show a feeling using the model, the clothes and the environment.
I shoot currently this because I think it is beautiful. I get inspiration from princess appearing in fairy tales. They are so magical, beautiful and brave.
To find a girl who meets my criteria can be quite difficult, It is not enough just to be beautiful. Therefore, much of my work is spent to find the right princess.
EC: How often do you work on your mobile photography/iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time working and reworking your images?
TA: I shoot with my iPhone as often as I can. Some weekends, I have several photo shoots. It tends to be thousands of images after a shoot. And these I go through in the evenings, I usually use 1 to 3 images after a shoot. And it takes about 15-30 minutes to edit an image. Sometimes it takes up to one hour.
The time has never been a problem, I love sitting on my couch and enjoy a good expresso, while editing my pictures.
To take pictures with the iPhone inspires me to create better images for my clients. Where I use a professional digital SLR. Wish I could use my mobile phone to take pictures for my clients as well. But sadly the iPhone is not on that level yet.
EC: How has the power of social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram helped the way you choose to share your work with others?
TA: I am one of them people who are on almost every social media out there. I want to share with you my thoughts and ideas. When I share a picture of instagram I get after a few minutes feedback from both professionals and amateurs.
The feeling that someone is taking their time and looks at my creation is absolutely incredible feeling. I can now reach people from all over the world using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Imagine someone who wakes up in Japan, opens instagram and see my picture on her mobile. It’s just incredible!
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography? Talk to me a little bit about your commercial work, where have we seen it?
TA: For the most part I am self taught. But I went 3 years graphic design in high school. And after I took one-year photography course. During the course, I could find my photo style.
I do not think we can be taught to shoot better pictures. We can be inspired but it is always up to the photographer to teach himself.
My commercial images can be found on my website http://tuana.se.
EC: Who or what inspires you? Who are you artistically influenced by? Does music play a role in your work?
TA: Most part of my inspiration I get from movies and music lyrics. I always try to think that I see things for the first time as a small child. Or a tourist who has never been in that place I’m at.
Inspiration is everywhere, the only thing we have to do is open your eyes.
Our eyes and imagination are our best tools, use them!
EC: When you’re in a creative block what do you do to break out if it? Do you look at the work of other mobile photographers/iPhoneoographers to be re-inspired?
TA: We all run into creative blocks, the important thing is not to dig too deep into the problem. If you do, you may not find the way out again.
When I encounter a problem that I not think of solution, then I do something completely different. Like going to the gym to work out or take walks. Most often, I found a solution when I do not think about the problem. Because I think if we focus too much on the problem we become blind to the solutions.
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
TA: Have not really thought that much about this. The pictures are not as good as my canon 5d mark II, but there is something romantic about it. That is exactly why I love take pictures with the iPhone so much.
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the art community?
TA: Swedish TV4 did a while ago a feature about what I create with my iPhone. I’ve also been with the Swedish radio a few times and local newspapers. Nothing major so far. But I have a feeling that I will succeed as an artist and photographer.
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your mobile photography?
TA: Many people often wonder if it really is just an iPhone I use. Because they often think that you have to have an expensive camera to create beautiful pictures.
I want to show that it is possible to create art with anything. It is not about equipment, it’s about the artist.
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag (apps)? What are a few of your favorite apps that you’re currently using and which ones don’t you like?
EC: Speaking of apps, I recently saw that you and two other mobile photographers developed an app called “How2Edit.” How did this venture come about? Tell me about the app in particular.
TA: I received many comments on instagram where people wanted to know how I edited my pictures. I answered as many as I could but after a while I noticed it was impossible to answer everyone.
Then I came up with the idea that I could develop an app where you can easily see how I edit my photos, what apps I use and step by step video tutorials.
I brought Martin and Myriam in the team because they have completely different photo style. I wanted to offer something to all photographers.
In January I launched How2Edit – http://how2ed.it.
In a few weeks we will release new version of How2Edit with brand new videos and new photographer will join the team.
EC: Where do you see mobile photography/iPhoneography in the future?
TA: I think it will happen a lot with mobile photography. There will be a completely new way to share pictures. Just imagine we document our lives more than ever. We know what happens in a person’s life through pictures.
We are making history with help of our mobile images.
EC: One last question…Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish?
1. Open image
2. Choose Brightness/Contrast
3. 60% Brightness
4. Choose Brush and do local adjustment
5. Press done
6. Export the image
7. Leave Filterstorm
1. Press Open Image and choose photo
2. Press Edit
3. Press Scenes and choose Square
4. Choose Clarity
5. Press Done
6. Press Save
7. Leave Camera+
1. Open the image
2. Choose “Studio” filter
3. Click on Special and Choose Tilt Shift
4. Adjust the blur with the circle
5. Press Done
6. Click on Style and then vignet
7. Adjust the vignetting with the slider
8. Press Done
9. Click Share
10. Click Camera roll
Thank you Tuana, for participating in this feature here on iPhoneogenic, our Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to get to know more about you and honored to have you share your work here on the blog.
For more on Tuana check out these links:
All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist and are published on all iPhoneogenic outlets with the consent of the artist, please contact Tuana Aziz for copyright privileges.