A note on Phone Things

by brittanychavez

On my desktop, there is a folder titled “Phone Things”


(shot with photo booth, to remember)

This folder has been growing larger and larger. I have been using my cell phone, which is something like 4 mp, to capture things. I have been using Steele’s iPhone, which is more like 8 mp, to capture things. I have been using photo booth. 

(Shot with my samsung phone, in Florida. Missing Steele and motion)

There is a tension in my stomach right now, to write this post the right way and get it out there in the way it is in my head. Not to screw it up. To adequately justify why I have been using my webcam instead of my Nikon. Maybe it is to justify it to you, maybe it is to justify it to myself. Maybe I just feel a tension because I’m on the edge. On the edge of something and I want to fall down the right ledge, land on the right canyon bottom. 

There are a lot of reasons why I have been using this media. Some of them are shallow. Some of them are “Because everyone else is using it.” Some of them are “Because it’s easy.” 

But under that I think, there is some truth to it. There is some sort of joy in the immediacy. Some wonder in seeing something instantly be captured. A moving mirror. The truth is that this technology is just like any other photographic technology. There are people taking good photos with it, people taking bad photos with it. I’d like to think I’m part of the former. 

The thing I like most about it is that it’s there, waiting, and if I have a creative whim I don’t have to pull out my trip pod and adjust my settings. Last night I pulled off my shirt and stood up and found that there was the impression of my jeans on my stomach. I wanted to keep that. So I opened up photo booth almost without thinking about it, and there it was. Then I sat down and put on the mirror function and that instant mirror makes it so easy to work things out. This way, not that. A little closer. Oh, how accidental, how imperfect, how strange. 

(Shot with photo booth, a small series titled Home and I think the beginning of my current work.)

My ideas don’t die. They are pushed forward and forward and so far forward that when I close the computer I have to stop and process and say, say: What did I just learn about myself? Because it was something. Now the way forward is clear. The way forward is to find what I learned and take that and apply it. 

Maybe this is just a way of sketching. Maybe these do become final images, scratchy and perfect with their low quality and pixelation and realness. 

 (Shot with Steele’s iPhone using instagram, this is Ali, and one of my favorite portraits. It is 100% Ali, and perfect in every way)