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iPhoneography with Instagramer Inked Fingers

We’re back with another awesome Instagramer interview…check out what Instagramer @InkedFingers (aka Carli and Jonny) have got to say about iPhoneography, Instagram and all the rest!



Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your background in photography?

I’ve always been into some form of art. As long as I can remember I’ve cut out pretty pictures from magazines and made cards from them or taped them to my bedroom walls. Before I knew how light entered a lens I would fill disposable cameras as fast as my parents could develop them. But the truth is I only took one photography class in college before dropping out. I tried out for the Univeristy of TX newspaper 3 semesters and didn’t make it. (Film days.)

Inked Fingers


But I was shooting so many gigs for friends , all of them for free, that my boyfriend at the time (now husband!) kept saying “You need to charge people!” and “You’re going into debt to get a degree for something you’re doing NOW” So… because I was paying for my own education and my loan money ran out, I quit school, worked more at Starbucks and started charging people. That was 2007. Now Johnny shoots with me and we own a lifestyle and wedding portrait studio where we work full time! A huge blessing!

Inked Fingers


How and when did you catch the iPhoneography bug? What makes the medium so special for you?

2010 was our biggest year to date in our business! It was exhilarating but also extremely exhausting, at times we were pulling 80 hour weeks. I saw a big decline in photography for my personal life because I didn’t want to pick up the heavy camera after shooting 12 hours over the weekend! Anyway the middle of Nov 2010 Johnny & I went camping and out of boredom laying in the tent one night, I started downloading new apps. That’s when I discovered Instagram. We spend hours editing on our computer and here was an app that I could make the image look “pretty” with the touch of a button! The creators of IG have really changed the photography world, I think. If I could, I’d make a job just being on IG all day because there is never a moment I open up that app and am not inspired… every person I follow is a ridiculously great photographer in their own right and inspire me to be creative in my own life and what I post!!

Inked Fingers


We really love the layered images you’ve posted recently on Instagram, what is the inspiration behind these images?

Adrina + Alexa (Instagramers @i_am_alive & @hello_love) have posted layered images for some time and I’ve been drawn to those in particular. My perception was they were these complex photos that took a long time and honestly, I don’t like learning new technology. I can’t stand editing, although it’s a necessary evil. I’d rather be cutting out pretty pictures or making cards or… I just didn’t know there were apps on the iphone that would be so easy to use! Recently I had a friend challenge me to take images beyond “simple, pretty” things (which pretty much is my IG feed :) “Move me” she said. It was when I read an interview posted by @nickspud that I actually downloaded a few other photography apps outside of just IG and hipstamatic! It’s so easy to create these collages, it feels like I’m cheating.

You have a real knack for choosing the right treatment to suit the photograph, do you spend a lot of time choosing ‘the look’?

Ha! Well thank you! Really?? I don’t spend a lot of time choosing the look, but I will tell you that I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my own style. If I feel like it’s not me in any way I won’t post it. Even if someone else says “Yeah! I like it!” It’s really hard for me to put it out there. I want every image to reflect something that’s real, that’s genuine, something without labels or confines. I want everyone that looks at the image, no matter what country or race or creed to say it spoke to them…

Inked Fingers


What tips and tricks would you share with other iPhoneographers? Do you have any favorite apps and treatments?

There’s never been an easier time in history to become a photographer. Don’t be afraid to download new apps and try them and most importantly, try new things. Some of the best photos I’ve posted have been mistakes… like when I took a photo when I was jogging and it looks like the forest is painted because of the blur… I didn’t know it would turn out that way! The more photos you take, inevitably, the better photographer you will become. There’s something to learn from every shoot!

I’m also really loving camera + as of late. They have a wide variety of filters and great borders! I’m into image blender right now, but who knows how long that will last…. Since IG just updated their filters, I might go back to them more, too. For me, simple is always better!

Inked Fingers


What do you envision for the future of iPhoneography for casual photographers? For professionals?

That’s a huge question! Our most recent wedding this weekend I was asked three different times after I took photos, “Hey! Can you take one with ours please?” and they thrust their smart phone my way. Of course I don’t say no! Along that vein there are countless times other IG-ers have persisted I’ve taken the image I post on IG with my dslr, but I didn’t! I took it with my iphone! If used in the right light, smart phones can really take some fantastic images! I know five years ago no one would have guessed we would have had one device that is a cell phone, calendar and legitimate camera! It’s mind-boggling. That said, the iphone images right now can’t be blown up larger than 8×8, I don’t think. That could change. Who knows!? I see a lot more smart phones and less point and shoots these days, as the combo of iphone + IG has made art a lot more accessible to the lay man! I love that.

That said, whether iphone or dslr, the camera is only as good as the person using it. We JUST had this discussion on a photog forum I belong to…. Being in the business of photography is much more than the image. As long as people are happy with the entire customer experience, they will pay for art, no matter the price tag. I believe that. Iphones right now cannot even begin to compete with full-frame sensored dslrs. The business of photography will outlive smart phones, only as long as the quality of the image cannot compare.

Inked Fingers


Tell us a little bit about your current and future iPhoneography projects.

Iphone projects? I just try to post something new, that everyone else isn’t posting! I’m not a big planner. 😉

To check out more of Carli & Johnny’s work visit inkedfingers.com, or check out their blog and etsy shop.


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