In the age of social media, mobile photography has quickly become perhaps one of the most significant and certainly one of the most consumed genres within photography. Millions of people globally are utilising the accessibility that the mobile phone has to offer when making imagery. Gone are the days of lugging around the weighty SLR, prepared to document a significant event or capture an important moment hidden amongst the mundane.
As part of todays societal practice we are almost required to have a mobile phone with smart capabilities on us at all times. Taking pictures has arguably for some become a subconscious daily act. But don’t think that the only purpose of the mobile image is as a platform of self-expression or persona curation through the ever present ‘selfie’.
Photographers and amateurs alike are making the most of the direct link to viewers and consumers that modern technology has provided us. Mobile photography has become an important platform for political and social issues where activists can directly reach their audiences without the ‘middle man’ curation in-between.
This is patent with Head On Photo Festival favourite, award winning photojournalist Andrew Quilty. Quilty has employed the mobile phone and Instagram to convey jointly the hardship of conflict and the visceral harmony of those living in a war torn environment of Kabul, Afganistan. His Instagram feed presents the viewer with somewhat of a contrast in regards to the visual beauty of images and the powerful content and correlating story that goes with it. With a significant following Quilty’s mobile images have reached countless viewers with resulting funds being set up to help Quilty’s subjects during a time of devastating need. Mobile photography has quickly grown as a powerful platform for activists and artist alike, a genre bound to becoming only more interesting and powerful over time.
The 2016 Head On Awards are now open to all. Entries are judged anonymously allowing amateurs and professionals alike a fair chance to let their image speak for itself. Entry for the Head On Mobile prize is $30 AUD (approx. US$21) per image with finalists cost covered by Head On Photo Festival (printing, mounting, gallery hire, publicity). Enter your best Mobile phone images at headon.org.au/awards/
Images by Andrew Quilty