What has our experience with photography become as a culture? Has the art of photography been boiled down to the act of sitting at a computer, or phone in hand, the intimacy of sharing an image lost to a click of a send button, our emotional reactions to those images substituted for the clicking of a like button? A photograph is physical. It is the very thing that makes photography, well, photography. So what has photography become? What does it continue to be?
By printing my images, created with an iPhone 4, in a large format it is my intention to show you smartphone photography in a way you’ve never seen, or ever believed was possible, large prints on paper. I want to challenge your perception of what photography is by taking the very images we experience, that only exist on a small digital screen in the palm of our hands, and make them real. Organic. Some people believe that images created with a smartphone are not true photography. This validates mobile phone photography by proving that these images we are creating with our phone-enabled cameras are in fact a true form of photography, coming full circle. We are creating images and completing the photographic process by printing them. No matter what device we are using to capture the image it is still, and always will be an organic process, unique to the individual. Without that final step in the process of making that physical print, the process lies incomplete. And lets face it. There are a lot of people out there who don’t believe a good quality print can be pulled from the images being created on these smartphones. This is proof that they can.
André Hermann is a San Francisco bay area documentary photographer and full time educator at the Academy of Art University. He got his first taste of documentary photography at a young age exploring and photographing abandoned houses in the High Desert town of Lancaster, California. His fascination with these domestic remnants grew into a life-long passion for documenting the lives of people. He has covered many diverse social topics, from homeless metal thieves, rare diseases, and food justice to underground dining events. His fascination for street photography and the iPhone has grown into a love affair that has spawn an occult following on Instagram, a city-wide book project, and an exploration into combining old historical processes with new technologies to challenge the viewer’s understanding of what photography still is and what it has become. André’s work has been featured in the New York Times Lens Blog, NPR’s nationally broadcasted radio show, “The Story,” Travel & Leisure magazine’s travel blog, Creative Quarterly magazine, and various other magazines and photo blogs.