iPhoneography: the new art of smartphone photography

Artists, ready your smartphones!

With the endless number of photo editing and sharing apps available for your smartphone, iPhoneography -- the art of taking pictures with an iPhone or other smartphone -- has because a new outlet for creative minds.

“I found that having a mobile phone with a camera in your pocket at all times really opened up some creative doors for me that weren’t there before,” John Matthews, an iPhoneographer from upstate New York, told FoxNews.com.

Matthews showed photos he captured and edited on his iPhone recently at the Stanley Center for the Arts in Utica, NY. On the citizen journalist front, he was at the right place at the right time when a Broadway show in New York City caught headlines.

“I was actually at the Spider Man show a year ago where one of the actors unfortunately fell," he said. Matthews posted the picture online and says he was contacted by hundreds of outlets seeking the rights to his image.

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"To be at the right place for me -- the wrong time for the actor -- that picture ended up getting picked up globally,” he told FoxNews.com.

Matthews says what he likes about mobile photography in general is “it’s a spontaneous type of creative effort where we can just be walking down a sidewalk and whatever is there, you can just snap a picture because your camera is with you.”

Stephanie Roberts, author of "The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity," said she likes the smartphone's ability to capture fleeting, magic moments as they happen. "I don't need a purpose to carry this camera, I simply lift it and shoot whenever I see something that inspires or intrigues me.”

You can just be walking down a sidewalk and whatever is there, you can just snap a picture because your camera is with you.

— iPhoneographer John Matthews

Roberts is an award-winning documentary photographer and the creator of LittlePurpleCow Productions, which works with photography and digital media to tell stories. She says using her smartphone “opened  up the creative potential and efficiency of not only shooting, but processing my photographs on the iPhone.”

Matthews' complete portfolio can be viewed on Posterous, a free social media site where users can share, manage, and customize their “spaces” with photos and video.

Matthews suggests tagging all of your photos when you upload, “because that’s how all of these mobile platforms index them and that’s how you can really become discovered.”

The iPhoneographers say they also post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, PhotoShelter and the SquareSpace website.

“Because I had been a photographer and social-media enthusiast, I was already comfortable sharing my images, discoveries and thoughts with an online community, so it was natural for me to want a way to share these iPhone images ... a visual documentary of my own observations and experiences," Roberts said.

“The big part of [iPhoneography] that I like is just the social feedback. You can really build some relationships with it that five years ago wasn’t really possible,” Matthews points out.

Roberts say she tries to experiment with new apps, but mostly shoots with Cameramatic. “I like to compose images in square format. I like the fact it's different from my SLR [camera's] viewfinder. I might edit the photo in Cameramatic, Photo fx, Camera+.”

Matthews used apps like Tilt Shift Generator, Camera Plus Pro, Scratch Cam and PictureShow to edit photos.