- Name: 9th Sage
- Artistry: iPhoneography
- Instagram/VSCO/Twitter: 9thsage
- Tumblr: 9thSage.Tumblr.Com
I can't really give a specific event or anything like that to tell you what inspired my interest in photography, but I can tell you that my passion for art in all forms sparked it. Visual art fuels me like no other, to see how people see things & life through their eyes & perspectives. I can also say that a few of my core peers sparked my interests as well. My good friend Clyde Grant, who's a phenomenal chef, photographer, & aesthetic guru, really started me getting into it. His creative eye & ability to make almost anything seem so much more always inspired me & motivated me creatively. I can also say my close friend, and/or brother, Danny Watts, who I manage, inspired me to be emotionally free & creative as well. I can truly say Life, Clyde, & Danny inspired me to take on photography as one of my true passions & hobbies.
Linking up with Julian was fantastic, and I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to explain why I do what I do. iPhoneography wasn't planned for me, nor did I ever think it'd be something I'd just do or take serious. A lot of people ask me why I do it. A lot of people side-eye me because they think what I do isn't real photography. I'm here to set the record straight and tell you all that it's not what you shoot with, it's how you capture and present it. It's all about perception. Mobile photography is no less of photography than those with cameras that cost a semesters tuition. I can name plenty of people that have expensive camera equipment and can't produce a decent photo. But then again, everyone's perception is different. One of the most popular iPhoneography misconceptions is that the iPhone cannot be used for serious photography. While professional cameras have superior technical capabilities, the quality of any photo mostly depends on the photographer’s intent and creative vision. If equipment was all that matters, anyone with an expensive camera could take amazing photos, but we all know that’s not the case. I can honestly say that the person that inspired me to take iPhoneography seriously is Elise Swopes, a Chicago resident who has taken mobile photography to the next level, working and doing branding for major companies all from taking photos from her iPhone.
I love to shoot my surroundings. I love to shoot places, landscapes, objects, architecture, things of that nature. My whole focus is on simplicity, things people look over & don't really embrace or cherish. I find beauty in the simplest of things, & I feel that's one of the purposes in life, embracing the simple things & appreciating them. Whatever I see beauty in through my eyes & perspective are my favorite things to shoot; what my heart feels is beautiful.
iPhone photographers struggle a lot to find subjects for their photos. There are no limitations for me. Subjects can be found anywhere and anytime, you just need to learn to recognize them. You've got to be spontaneous, and don't be afraid to just take a photo. Snap away! That's the beauty of iPhoneography. It's convenient and easy. Just take your phone out, and voila! Haha. The more photos you take, the easier it will be to identify the subjects that you find easy to take photos of and the subjects that are challenging for you. I don't have a creative process at all, to be honest. I just go with my heart & my passion. I really try to find subjects that I would think would NOT make great subjects. I find beauty in things that are not traditionally beautiful.
The number one thing that helped me become a better iPhoneographer was shooting on a daily basis, whether I'm out exploring, or just around the house or outside. almost all my best photos were taken when I was going out with the sole purpose of taking interesting photos, or just sitting around the house and saw an interesting object, or I went outside and saw something that caught my eye. But all in all, I encourage all photographers to explore, explore, explore. I don't care if it's the same areas and places. You never know what you'll find or capture. There's many ways to make something so simple look so beautiful in a variety of ways. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing of interest to capture. If the weather is bad, or if you’ve already taken every possible photo you can, keep shooting. Think of ways to be more creative and different ways to capture the subject. Every time I thought I had already seen everything and captured everything, I could still find something new that was worth capturing. Taking a careless shot of a magnificent view or a great landmark can only result in a boring, low-quality photo, but when you go out of your way to find beauty and unique stories in the ordinary you can really grow as a photographer.
Another major component of good photos is how you edit. You can take an average photo, but if you edit it well enough, the entire vibe of the photo can change and become beautiful. I encourage iPhoneographers to use editing apps like VSCO, Snapseed, Art Studio, and especially Mextures. That's all I use. All the extra difficult technology the photography society tells you you HAVE TO use in order to have nice photos isn't always necessary. A lot of the time, less is more and simplicity is all you need.
All in all, my passion for music, art & human welfare overpower me. My MAIN goals in life are to help anyone reach their dreams in any way that I can, & to contribute the positive progression of humanity as a whole in any way that I can. As an artist, I just want to inspire people, thats all. I just want to touch people in positive ways, motivating & inspiring them to not sleep on their passions & to be who they are, entirely, without regretting it. I just want to inspire individuals to do what they want to do with their lives, period! Life is too short to live by anyone else's means but our own. Time is of the essence. How we spend ours on earth determines our destiny & our outcomes. We all have the same 24 hours, but the difference between one person's 24 hours & another's is what each did with that time. I aim to inspire our generation & generations to come to be all they can be & don't run from themselves.
This article is to just simply inspire. For those who think that their mobile photography can't match up to someone with an expensive camera, quit thinking that way. I want to do my part in emerging the culture of mobile photography. I'm not taking anything away from photographers that use cameras, I'm just trying to put it out there at it's not what you use, it's how you use it, and I've used my iPhone to my benefit.
- 9th Sage