For the Love of Phoneography

Although I have tried many kinds of cameras in the past few years, especially as a blogger, I’ve finally discovered my true photography love. I feel pretty sheepish to admit that my favorite way to take photos is actually with my iPhone’s camera! Yeah, I’ve got a stack of discarded and disappointed point-and-shoots, and my mom and I share an almost-DSLR, but at the end of the day the majority of my photos are on my phone. Why? Not only is it convenient, but now they don’t all have to be meticulously loaded into editing programs for darkness and off color. I can now take cool photos from everywhere, the very definition of ‘mobile blogging’. It takes roughly one minute for me to snap a photo, edit it, and upload it to the web via Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. Talk about optimizing your content production!

Apparently a lot of people are in the same boat, and have even coined to the buzz-word ‘phoneography’, which is the art of taking and editing photos right on your mobile phone. Above is a collection of my favorite recent phoneography-photos – Misu, my friends, my Innocent World Pullip Tiphona, and my new Bodyline lavender dress.

While I’m still figuring out phoneography for myself, I do have a set of tried-and-true iPhone apps that I go to for editing my photos. These are my top picks!

1. Xiamen (???)

I don’t know the real name of this app, but it is definitely my favorite photo editor! (Search your app store for ‘xiamen’ and it will come up.) The app is entirely in Chinese but is pretty intuitive to use. This app can crop, rotate, flip, blur, sharpen, saturate, everything! It has the largest number of filters, including about a dozen lomo ones, and many vintage, sepia, or bokeh styles for adding hearts, glitter or stars. There is also a feature where you can choose multiple photo to make a photostrip style or small collage. The look it gives the photos is a fresh, sweet look like an Asian magazine. Good for food photos and item photos especially! After a few weeks, I have to say this is definitely my most-used photo editing app. I’m especially fond of the frames that give rounded corners or a Polaroid effect. (Most of the above are edited with Xiamen.) This blog shows screenshots of the app in depth. 
2. Pixlr-o-matic
This photo editor works just like’s vintage effects, in miniature and mobile. I often use Pixlr when I don’t have my image editing software but still want to have images edited in my post, like if I’m using my netbook. Mostly this app consists of vintage and lomography-style filters, but there are a few frames as well.
3. Instagram
Instagram is the app renouned for hipsters and is very popular right now (even my mom was reading her blog roll and asking me if I had heard of this ‘Insta-thing…’ – last week she asked me who this Adele person was winning all the Grammys.) Instagram is great for editing your photos easily and quickly, which I suspect is why it’s so popular. Pick a filter and maybe a frame and you’re done! For me I find that there’s just not enough options for photo editing like I get with Xiamen.
4. Pudding Camera (푸딩 카메라 By KTH)
I was wondering if I’d have a hard time finding this one, as it’s Korean, but you can search Pudding Camera and it will come up. This is a unique photo app – it’s not for post processing, but actually taps into your iPhone’s camera capabilities to alter its flash brightness and length. You chose from various camera models (some for motion, even some specialities like ‘fish eye lens style’ and panorama, and color filters before taking your photo. I especially like the panorama shot for skyscapes and outdoors, though it’s not as good as panorama functions on real cameras of course.
Want to know more about phoneography? Check out the sites below!
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  • Wow, so handy! I’m hoping that this year will (finally) be the year that I get a new phone, so I’ll be heading back to this post if/when I do! <3

  • pom mom

    love that phone dial lens….great post…

  • Yeah, it’s amazing how people are making a new photography niche with cell phones and iphones! It’s crazy but awesome! And I’m glad you found a new love for photography because of it! I hope you will be sharing photos on any of your blogs so we can see the awesomeness! :) And thanks for the list of apps! I’m always looking for new ways to edit my stuff :)

    ~ Kieli ~

  • I love using my phone camera and these apps are really good. I hadn’t used Xiamen before, it’s amazing! <3

    By the way, the Pudding Camera app is available in English now.

  • skapeish

     Ooh, I’ll try these app, they look sooo cool *_*

  • I love taking pictures with my phone! My favorite app is the Princess Cam one, it lets you make your pictures into pelicula ones!

  • Rocky

    I used instagram before and I found an app called Decopic. It’s very kawaii