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March 3, 2014

The stories behind the photos from the We Are Juxt Lumia exhibition

Looking at the Nokia Lumia 1020, it’s hard to believe that it’s just fourteen years since the world’s first camera phone was sold.

Since then mobile photography really has taken the world by storm. In fact, nowadays, an estimated 27,800 photos are uploaded to Instagram every minute! But it’s not just the quantity, but the quality of photography that shows how far we’ve come. One very tangible example of this is We Are Juxt, an online mobile arts community based in Seattle, USA. The brainchild of four friends, the community was “formed with intentions to learn and share more about this emerging and amazing world of mobile device artistry.”

Clearly they’ve nailed that objective as a new exhibition, called Windows: Art Meets Technology, opening in New York tomorrow shows. These photographs, taken on Nokia Lumia 1020 and 920s, underline artistry and sophistication of today’s mobile photographers. To find out what inspires these photographers we asked them to share the stories of their favourite photos. Here’s what they had to say.


“Delivered” by Joel Aversing

We Are Juxt // Flickr // AMPt // Backspaces // VSCO


“Delivered" Rural Louisiana, February 2014, Nokia Lumia 920 by Joel Aversing

How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

I have an artistic background and have always been involved with one form of art or another. In 2011, I purchased a mobile phone with decent camera capability and began shooting random shots, not really doing much with them. I soon discovered sites like and Flickr and discovered this movement of mobile art photography. I was immediately inspired and have been hooked ever since.

Where was this photo taken and what inspired you?

“Delivered” was taken on a railroad overpass during a photowalk I did with my son, in rural Louisiana. I hadn’t had my Nokia Lumia 920 for very long and really wanted to put it to the test. My inspiration for this photo is my son, and my attempt to capture all his teenage angst while he still allows me to, along with an odd R.E. Meatyard-style of odd portraiture and gritty Americana.

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

I like having a nice overcast when shooting in black and white, it really helps enhance the mood in my photos. I steadied my 920 w/ an adapter on my tripod and began snapping away shots with the phone’s native camera. Once I found the one I liked I ran it through the Windows app Fotor for slight contrast and sharpening, then used the Windows app SophiaHD for the B&W filtering. I then uploaded the app to cloud service OneDrive and re-downloaded it to my PC. I then used VSCO for the medium “fade”.

“Yawn!” by Matt Coch

We Are Juxt // Instagram // Twitter // Flickr // Facebook



How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

Photography is photography, whether you shoot film, a high-end digital camera or a mobile phone. I first became a fan of photography while flipping through the pages of National Geographic Magazine. I became a fan of mobile photography after purchasing a phone that had a camera and made phone calls too.

Where was this photo taken and what inspired you?

It was taken in Midtown, Manhattan, NYC.

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

Light is and will always be my most inspiring of subject matters. The way it carves up the cities buildings and streets. The way it hides flaws exposes secrets. The way it bounces off of windows and reflects unusual patterns on opposing buildings… visual echoes… And, of course, those long dramatic shadows it casts early in the mornings and late afternoons.

“Best Friends” by Mike Hill

We Are Juxt // Website IPA / Flickr / Twitter / G+ / Instagram / EyeEm


How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

I’m a fan of photography, in general. I started taking photography classes in high school, but back then it was all film and time spent in the darkroom. Then digital came along, which I never really got into much, and now it’s mobile, or phone photography. To me, it’s just the next step in the evolutionary ladder of photography. There’s no denying the potential of the cameras on these little devices, plus it’s convenient and just fun!

Where was this photo taken and what inspired you?

A few days after Thanksgiving my dog, Voodoo, had gotten sick. All of this was pretty scary for me, this dog and I are extremely close and are rarely not at each other’s side. I even take her when I go out of town for vacation. Luckily,  we were able to treat her before it got life threatening. Bull Terriers are tough dogs, no matter how bad she was feeling if I’d look at her and talk to her, that little tail would still wag anyway. The medication made her laid back and drowsy, so I took advantage of that and decided to redo an old photo from a few years ago, but this time using the Lumia 102o. Voodoo is doing fine now, she’s done with her medication and back to following me everywhere I go, just as it should be. I seriously don’t know what I’d do without her.

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

I got a large solid black cloth to use as a background, carried her into the backyard and found a nice spot in the sun to sit. I draped the cloth over my lap and sat her on top of it, I angled us with the sun so that our shadow would cast over the cloth, but not over our hands. Using auto settings on the Nokia native camera I snapped a few shots holding her paw. I edited it in Fotor, first making it black and white, then I lowered the brightness a lot and upped the contrast a little. Thanks to having the bright sun on our hands they stayed lighter while everything else got dark. So then I raised the sharpness to about 50, and used a sepia filter. Next I lowered the saturation on the sepia by about 90% to give it a darker, golden and more aged look, but not too dark. Lastly I finished in Fhotoroom where I added a slight vignette to darken the lower parts of our hands and give it some depth.

“Stand Guard” by Josh St Germain

We Are Juxt // Email // Website // AMPtCommunity // Twitter // IG // EyeEm


How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

Since I was a child, I have always enjoyed playing around with cameras and taking photos. I never really thought about it as anything more than a random interest of mine. Once I got my first smartphone and found Instagram, I found myself constantly looking for things to photograph. This took what was a small spark of passion and poured gas all over it haha! I finally realized how much I truly loved photography. The fact that I had my camera in my pocket at all times, allowed me remain in a perpetual state of creativity. If I wasn’t out shooting or editing, I was absorbing all the images from people experiencing the same thing I was. That was where I started connecting with the online community. Now when I’m asked what I love about mobile photography, I often forget to mention the actual photography aspect because I’m so busy talking about the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned about the world. Not to mention that my wife and kids can get into it as well. They love going on adventures! You can be a photographer with any type camera in your hands, but mobile photography isn’t mobile photography without the worldwide creative community that comes along with it!! So, to answer your question simply, it started with taking photos and turned into connecting with fellow mobile photographers.

Where was this photo taken and what inspired you?

This image was captured atop an old military fort near my house in southeastern Massachusetts just as a snowstorm moved in. After Fort Phoenix was rebuilt in 1778, the cannons were placed there and later helped defend the harbor from invading ships in the war of 1812. Standing at the edge looking out over the water, I feel the history and sense of pride in where I live. This image was meant to convey that sense of reflection on our history and being thankful for the life we have today thanks to the battles fought back then. The snow was a nice dramatic surprise to have in the image 🙂

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

This one is a great example of why I’m loving the 1020! Since this was going to be a self portrait (because I didn’t have anyone willing to go out in the snow with me haha), I needed to use a tripod. I have a compact travel tripod that I usually bring with me just in case a situation like this arises. I love being able to quickly attach the phone using the Camera Grip case that has the universal connection for a tripod shoe mount. It only takes me two seconds to securely attach the phone to the tripod and get on with my shot. After that, I opened the Nokia Camera app, lined up the shot using the rule of thirds as a compositional guide and then manually set the brightness slider down a tiny bit. I left all the other settings on auto (the flash was off too) because the lighting conditions were nice and the 1020 does a great job with auto settings. All I needed to do then was set the timer to 10 seconds, press the camera button, and run fast to get in position. I took three or four shots to make sure I got a good one, but it was the first that turned out the best. I processed it very minimally by decreasing the contrast and saturation slightly.

“We All Need Rest” by Jean-Brice Lemal

Twitter // Instagram // Website


How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

I became a fan of mobile photography with another smart phone because it was the first phone to be able to produce good pictures. I love using mobile because it’s hard; you must be close to your subject and you have to think before taking a picture. It’s only a story of feeling, not a story of material. So, for me, the real instant moment is possible by way of a mobile picture..

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

I don’t use anything specific apps with my phone. My technique is about light, so I lock the lightest point of my scene before I press the shutter release. Today, with the Lumia 1020, I always set it on 100 ISO and select my speed. I never use the zoom. I like to edit pictures in Adobe Lightroom.

“All Black Everything” by Brad Puet

We Are Juxt // Email // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook


How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

I’ve always loved photography. My brother was always the photographer in the family. He was the visual storyteller. I always wrote my stories out. With mobile photography, I was able to put the stories I usually put on paper out into photos via my smart phone. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Where was this photo taken and what inspired you?

This photo is of three street performers in Seattle’s Pike Place Market as they were on their break. So many times I’ve come through the market to take street shots and every time I’ve walked away with a few shots of street performers, well, performing. Catching them on break was something that I wanted to do, but never had the luxury of being there. It was a photo that evaded me when I went out shooting. This time around I was able to watch them on break and how they still interacted with people without the performing aspect.

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

I shoot in Nokia’s native ProCam. Before I go out I set my manual settings based on the time of day and the amount of light present. For edits I usually tweak very minimally. Contrast boost here, shadows and highlight decrease there and I’m pretty satisfied. I felt that BW was a good post for this image because I wanted to give it a nostalgic feel like the old school jazz albums.


“Stay Connected” by Bridgette Shima

We Are Juxt //  Email // Twitter // Instagram // EyeEm // Website // Flickr


How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

I started taking photos with my phone when I moved to London. I was in an unfamiliar environment and everything was new to me. Living abroad opened my eyes to a whole new world – the city, the people – I wanted to photograph it all. It became an even more important part of my life once our son was born. With family being overseas it was my way of documenting his life and letting them be a part of it despite the distance. Many of his milestones were taken with a phone – I’m so happy I was able to capture and share them.

Where was this photo taken and what inspired you?

This was taken at the Seattle Central Library located on 4th Avenue. As I looked down, the splash of red immediately caught my attention. It was then that I noticed the gentleman using both a phone and tablet, surrounded by all the computers – a definite sign of the times.

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

Phone settings for this shot are: EV -0.7,  ISO 250,  WB Fluorescent. Once the camera was set, I made sure the “V” shape was perfectly aligned with the corners.

“The Adjustment Bureau” by Richard Koci Hernandez

We Are Juxt // Website // Twitter // IG // EyeEm // Flickr

“The Adjustment Bureau” Oakland, CA October 2013, Nokia Lumia 1020 by Richard Koci Hernandez

To say that I’m obsessed with men in hats, is an understatement. So this image is kind of a double whammy! This image unfolded at an Airport. I was riding up an escalator and once I got to the top, immediately noticed a cool historic poster of a man in a hat on my right, and a ‘real’ man in a hat not far off on the left. What luck! I put my bags down and worked on trying to get both in the same image via a reflection in the glass. It took a bit of moving or should I say contorting, to get it right. But I think it worked out.

“Lowlight” by Andre Hermann

We Are Juxt // Website // Instagram // EyeEm // Flickr // Twitter

“lowlight test, no flash! This camera is pretty awesome!” Alameda, CA, October 2013, Nokia Lumia 1020 by Andre' Hermann

How did you became a fan of mobile photography?

I was already a photographer the day I began making pictures with my first mobile phone camera. It just felt right to me. I don’t know how else to explain it. I got the bug early on, and the rest is history.

Where was this photo taken and what inspired you?

This particular image was made at my favorite bar in Alameda, CA, ‘Lucky 13.’ My buddy Phil, and I went out for a drink one night. I had just received the Nokia Lumia 1020 to test. Nokia boasted an almost unbelievable lowlight capability from the device. As we sat there on the patio I saw the interesting light, and composition right there in front of me.

Which specific setting, technique or accessories, if any, did you use?

I used the Nokia camera app, a pint glass as a tripod, and the available light.

Stunning photos, awesome insights and top tips. What more could you ask for? If the answer is more of the same, and you’re in New York, why not head on over to the Artifact gallery tomorrow evening. Alternatively, keep an eye out for their next exhibition destination or share your thoughts in the comments below.