Some of you may recognize the name, Cora Edwards, if you own Mextures. She has some cool guest formulas that you should definitely try out. A couple of months ago, I noticed her awesome photos showing up in my facebook feed, and realized that I had added her at a friend, at some point this year haha. I decided to reach out to her and pick her brain a bit for you guys.
David: Hi Cora! Thanks for allowing me to feature your work and get inside your head a little bit. We’ll start with a few questions, and then go from there.
First, I was hoping you could clear something up for me, because I can’t figure it out on my own. Do you shoot with your iPhone, or do you just edit with it? And if you are editing DSLR images on your phone, what percentage of your edits are done on the phone? Mainly, I’ve been featuring iPhoneographers, but that would be super interesting if you’re just editing with it.
Cora Edwards: I shoot with both iPhone and DSLR. All of the edits you see on my Instagram feed (composites, snapshots and portraits) are edited entirely on the iphone. 100% of everything you see on my feed has been edited with my iPhone in one way or another.
David: I’m always interested in people’s backgrounds, and I see that we both started shooting film as teenagers. How long did you stick with film before switching to digital? What did you do before you decided to turn your photography into a business?
Cora: I still have my very first camera given to me by my parents in Christmas of 1997. I was 17 years old and I instantly became infatuated with all things photography. I still use that very camera from time to time, as well as my lovely Canon 5D Mark II and others in my growing collection of vintage/antique cameras. People started asking me to take their photos in a professional capacity in 2010, so I quickly decided to make it a business and so far it has been very rewarding!
David: I know you use Mextures a lot, but what are some of your other favorite apps?
Cora: Besides Mextures, my favorite apps are Artstudio (which is the app I use for all of my composites). It’s very similar to photoshop, so a knowledge of at least the basic editing tools in photoshop is extremely helpful if you’re wanting to use Artstudio. It’s not for the faint of heart.
My other favorite editing app is Snapseed for it’s fine-tune editing functions, and then finally the VSCO app, because for some of my photos I like the film look and VSCO is kind of the master of that.
David: Who are some photographers that inspire you?
Cora: I’m inspired by many different photographers! I created a pinterest board dedicated to the fact, which you can view here. I’m drawn to the story-telling aspects of photographers and their subjects. To be able to weave a story in one photograph is no small feat.
David: I just browsed your pinterest board, and you really are inspired by a lot of different people! Usually when people say that, its like 3-5 photographers. I was kind of surprised I didn’t find Brooke Shaden on the board because a few of your composites kind of have the same vibe, but you still have your own style.
Cora: Yes, there are so many photographers who inspire me! I don’t think I’ve ever had ONE photographer who I idolize or try to emulate – I have so many tastes and interests as far as photography goes. I don’t think I could ever do one style. You know how there are some photographers you can just look at their photo and know it was done by them right away? Yeah, I don’t think I’m like that. I hate routine and monotony. I always try to one-up myself.
David: What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Cora: Mysterious. Whimsical. Creative.
David: What is your process for your composite work? Do you come up with the idea for the image ahead of time, or do you just end up playing with images until you feel finished?
Cora: The process for my iPhone composites are largely due in part to my emotional state of mind. I find I do my best work when I’m feeling rather pensive or withdrawn. I’m quite introverted, so I think my composites are a way to communicate with the outside world.
I usually come up with the idea on a whim and run with it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I rarely do a photo shoot with a composite in mind, however I try to predominately use my own photos. I also use stock photos if I’m desperate for something in particular.
As far as the actual editing, I usually just try out different ideas and concepts and go with what I think not only looks the best to me, but what contributes to the “story” of a particular composite. I used to way over-edit until the image was just too busy. I felt like I needed to fill every square inch of the frame with something or else it wasn’t “good”, but now I’m sticking with the less-is-more approach.
I love negative space and simplicity. I don’t need a breathtaking sunset or crashing waves or towering mountains in every single composite.
David: Have you ever thought about teaching iPhone editing to other people, either one on one, or in a small workshop? If you haven’t, I think you should!
Cora: Funny you mentioned about teaching a tutorial or class, I’ve been contemplating that! I’ve had many requests for tutorials! I honestly keep putting it off because I feel like maybe there wouldn’t be enough interest? I would obviously love to help people though, if I can! It’s more a question of how I would go about it. I’m socially awkward and a terrible teacher, so I’m not off to a great start. haha
What do you guys think, should Cora jump into teaching people a little bit about editing on the iPhone? I think it would be fun to watch her edit an image from start to finish.
Go follow Cora Edwards online at the following places
Her website: www.coraedwardsphotography.com