Tori, also known as Victoria, is of one the most masterful composite iPhoneographers out there. While many composite mobile artists tend to collaborate with others, pull various parts and pieces from the internet or sourcing apps, Tori’s work is predominantly all her own. Her vision and scope are tremendous and translate beautifully into in dreamy, elegant, and surreal images. Tori is like an anonymous masked hero, which no one really knows much about, but her images speak volumes. iPh0 is honored to have Tori share a few thoughts and work here in an exclusive interview.
EC: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
T: I’m Tori and I live with my family in a county called Lancashire in England.
EC: How did you get into iPhoneography?
T: When I got my first iPhone 3gs, I noticed the quality of the photographs on family snapshots was quite good compared to other point and shoot cameras. Two iPhones later, it’s all I use!
EC: What does iPhoneography mean to you?
T: Well, since I’m addicted to photography these days, it means everything to me. My phone is always in my pocket, which means I can always get the shot. I can go anywhere and do anything, without having to carry a heavy camera bag around.
EC: I love the surreal beauty in your work. Has this always been apart of your process in your journey through mobile artistry?
T: Thank you! I don’t consciously plan to be surreal! I suppose I like soft, dreamy edits in other peoples work and this overflows into my own images. I’ve been told I’m a head in the clouds type of person, so I guess it’s an extension of my personality.
EC: I’m often surprised to see so many quality images you produce on a consistent basis. Can you talk a little bit about your source material. Is it all original work or are some elements in your images from composite apps like Filter Mania, etc.?
T: Nearly all the elements in my composite images are my own material. I think of an idea for a picture and then go and shoot all the little bits I need, be that a piece of flowing fabric or a bird etc. I do use an app called LensLight sometimes, which lets you add say, a sun or light rays, which is great when the image needs a little brightness or ambiance.
EC: How often do you work on your iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time working and reworking your photos?
T: I usually shoot at the weekends on family trips out and then spend time editing in the evenings after work, to relax and unwind. Sometimes an edit comes together really easily and sometimes it can take a while. The ones that take the longest time are usually the ones I never use, they just don’t gel. I’d say an average edit can take around an hour, maybe two.
EC: How has the power of social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on helped in the way you choose to share your work with others?
T: Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of social media. I prefer Instagram and Flickr for the relative anonymity and where the attention is on the photograph and not the person. But saying that, they do provide a creative outlet for me, and why spend time creating something if no one is going to see it?
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?
T: None what so ever! I’m self taught, learning from my inevitable mistakes along the way. Every endeavor is a learning experience and there is always room to improve and learn new skills.
EC: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?
T: Mostly nature and landscapes. There are a couple of beautiful beaches quite near to where we live and I love to take photographs there, the light is absolutely perfect. I also use a special little girl quite a lot, friends and myself. Sometimes I know just how I want a person to pose and it’s easier to do it myself, than prod and poke someone else!
EC: Who inspires you? Who are your artistic influences?
T: The list is endless! I love the romantic artists from the 19th century, John Waterhouse and Rossetti in particular. More recently, I love the work of Maggie Taylor and Lorretta Lux, amazing photo manipulators! A couple of my edits have been heavily influenced by those two ladies. My Flickr contacts list is also a huge inspiration, I aspire to be at least a little bit as good as some of those amazing people.
EC: When you’re in a creative block what do you do to break out if it?
T: Plug in the ipod and go for a long walk! Music is an important part of my life and quite often, a line from a song can give me a little bit of inspiration.
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the mobile community?
T: In short, no and no! It is a huge surprise to me that anybody at all has noticed my photos! I am in awe of so many great people. The consistent quality of some mobile photographers is staggering, and to be given compliments by some of these people is totally mind blowing!
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhonographic images?
T: More often than not, people are amazed with the things you can achieve with an iPhone. All it takes is a little imagination and an eye for detail.
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? What are a few of your favorite apps that you’re currently using?
T: I have way too many photo apps! Surprisingly, I tend to stick to a few trusty friends though. I use Juxtaposer to cut out and layer images, Blender for more or less the same thing but it has a softer end result. But my all time favorite app has to be Snapseed, the range of tools in that little app are wonderful!
EC: Where do you see iPhoneography/mobile photography in the future?
T:Hopefully, right up there with traditional photography! There’s room for everyone! As long as a shot is well composed and thoughtfully edited, it shouldn’t matter how it was shot.
EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish? A workflow so to speak.
Step 1 I choose a background image as a base, usually cropped square from the start. I hate spending time on an image and then cropping bits off when it’s uploaded to sites like Instagram. And I quite like the retro-ness of the square format. All the images I use are my own, taken with my iPhone 4s
Step 2 I open it up in Juxtaposer and add the photo of the girl and also a sunset to blend into the sky. It’s quite time consuming, erasing and blending, but you can save the top images as “stamps” to use again if required. You can also use as many top images as you like, building up quite a complicated image if that’s your thing!
Step 3 I saved to the camera roll and then opened the Blender app and added the cloud from another photo, resizing and erasing until I got the shape I’m happy with. Next to the LensLight app to add the lightening, making it smaller to fit the cloud.
Step 4 I save again and open the Noir app. I chose the the blue oval and changed the colour to greyscale. I positioned the oval as pictured, then turned the right hand dial down to around 30
Step 5 Saved again, then opened Blender. I uploaded the image from step 3 and overlayed it with step 4. Using the blend mode option, I used multiply to about 70% and then saved again.
Step 6 Imported into Snapseed and using the selective adjustment tool, made a large dark area behind the girl.
Step 7 Opened Blender again and using the mask option, I erased some of the dark area to create a shadow effect and saved. Then back into snapseed to tweak the colours and tones in the tune image tool and added a portrait vignette. Saved again, then imported to the BlurFX app to blur the background slightly, and that’s it!
EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?
T: I’d just like thank Edi for inviting me to do this interview and also to iPhoneogenic for giving me the chance to talk through my processes.
Thank you Tori, 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 Tori 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 Tori for copyright privileges.
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