We had a quick chat with 27 year-old Russian photographer Eugene Ivanov about his mobile photography, which he shares on Instagram as @benerotto. We found Eugene’s work perusing the #FotoMobile feed – it now counts more than 60,000 images! – and were quite impressed with his approach to street life in Moscow and his preference for subdued colors.
Hello Eugene, thank you for this interview. Are you a photographer, or is photography a hobby for you?
Hello and thank you, it’s a great pleasure for me. Photography isn’t my profession – I’m a graphic designer. But photography has always been my biggest passion.
Do you only shoot with your phone or do you use a camera, too? And what do you particularly enjoy about mobile photography?
I use the camera quite often, but I feel that using cameras to take pictures of everyday life can take away the instant quality and spontaneous charm from a photograph, which are preserved when shooting with a phone. That’s something I really like about mobile photography – its immediate response to the surrounding reality.
What should a moment or situation have to get you to take out your phone and shoot?
I am often drawn to combinations of contrasting color or plays between light and shadow. I love reflections. You can also stumble upon very theatrical and grotesque moments out there in the streets. Things like these always make me take a camera or my phone and start shooting.
Do you intentionally go out “hunting” for photos, or do you shoot what catches your eye while you’re going about your daily activities in Moscow?
I never go out for the sake of taking photos. I just live my everyday life and try to reflect on what I see, what passes me by and anything that attracts my attention. It has become a habit already – or a disease, you might say :)
You have a good sense of color and composition. Did you do any art studies, or is it a natural thing?
Thank you! For several years while enrolled in the design academy I graduated from, I’ve done exercises using color and composition in different ways and techniques, including painting and drawing. I also ponder such things daily in my work as a graphic designer, so it has become a natural inclination.
What phone and mobile apps do you use?
I use an iPhone 6s. When I bought it I thought it was going to be an excellent device for taking pictures, and I counted on being able not to carry my heavy camera with me all the time. I was wrong!
As far as apps go, I use VSCO a lot. I try to keep away from common color schemes in favor of something unique (I hope I have succeeded in using this technique so far). I also use Pixplay pro, which provides several adjustment tools such as curves that work kind of like Photoshop. It comes in useful sometimes.
Choose your #threewordsforphotography.
Red. Timeless. Scene.