Sarah Kuhn was born in Switzerland 37 years ago and she still lives there, in a small town, with her partner and her three-year-old daughter. Three days a week she works as a psychologist in a psychiatric clinic. She spends the rest of the time with her child.
Mobile photography accompanies her in both lives, as she tries both to keep the eyes open to capture the little miracles in everyday life, and to keep the mind open to capture the worlds beyond the so-called reality. Sarah feels like a hunter, constantly looking for exciting motifs, elements or textures for her later work.
Hello Sarah, thank you for join the interview.
How did you start with mobile photography?
I’ve been interested in photography for a long time, but since the birth of my daughter, however, I had neither the time nor the free hands to carry a DSLR with me. It started with trivial shots on my old smartphone, but then, pretty exactly a year ago, I got my first iPhone and bought the book “the Art of iPhone Photography”, which made me discover a new world. I was overwhelmed by the creative possibilities that the numerous apps offer and I started my own experiments.
I captured this picture while I was having a Sunday walk with my family. Thanks to my daughter, I stopped and looked into a fountain. It was just a case, I could have gone beyond without realizing I had a subject to shoot.
You have a particular style and many of the shots are digitally enhanced. What makes you choose this style?
I currently have two approaches. Since I am almost always on the road with a toddler when I photograph, I don’t have the time to look for the perfect angle or the perfect composition, but I have to shoot while moving. So I just try to get the best out of my shots by post-processing them.
Other images are created in a much more intuitive way, by combining elements of different images and composing something completely new. This way of working is like a sort of meditation and I forget myself and lose all sense of time.
This picture is the result of mixing several images of frozen hydrangea (shot with an Olloclip lense). I called it “Forever young”, because the transient flowers are preserved in two ways: first freezing, then shooting them.
Do you know what the final result will be when you take a picture? Or do you let yourself be inspired by the moment, during the postproduction?
Definitely the latter. I let myself be guided by the current mood. Then, I take a look at my constantly growing collection of pictures and I decide which image or which images to edit. The working process is then the most satisfying, when I let myself be guided by the image, like a curious observer. Sometimes I’m even surprised by what finally comes out.
How do you post produce your content?
Thinking about my approach in the “enhanced shots”, maybe the most important step is to crop the picture and show only the interesting part. Sometimes, I play with different looks in VSCO, but I use Snapseed in the main parts of the post production (coarse and fine work).
It is an example of my belief that, in my pictures, sometimes the photos are no more than “raw material”. This image was created starting with a white wall, which I processed with the masking tools in Leonardo and then I decorated with ornaments and pictures of blossoms.
In the collage, I apply the effects using many intermediate phases and often several apps. I want to keep the quality of the image. Then, I prefer using those apps that allow to work with tiff or png format, because jpeg file degrades every time it’s manipulated. My favorite ones are Leonardo and iColorama, which both offer infinite possibilities. For the finishing touch, I like Mextures and Stackables.
I took this photo the first working day after Christmas, in Zurich. The city was crowded and most of people seemed stressed. I felt like the only person without a concrete goal and captured the reflections in a tram window just before I jumped in for a small round trip.
Among the pictures you sent to Picwant, what’s the image which you mostly become attached to?
I think it is the shot I called “Boundless Floods in the Land of Dreams” (below). I somehow regret some technical imperfections, but I like the meaning it has for me, namely that the human mind has the ability to overcome confining walls.
Do you think to experiment other genres of photography?
Probably, there will come a time when I dig up my DSLR again. But at the moment I have deliberately decided to concentrate on mobile photography. It can be wonderfully integrated into my everyday life. I am so often impressed by the work of the mobile artists from all over the world, that I get inspired and motivated again and again.
Close up of a flower: I like macro photography, because the beauty is often in the details and the macro lens helps me to see the world with other eyes.
Thank you very much, Sarah! Keep shooting and creating original pictures 🙂