23 June 2021

Mobile Photography Prize Behind the Picture Vol.3

23 June 2021 - Written by PhMuseum

With the extended and final deadline approaching on 24 June, get to know the stories behind other iconic images from last year's open call, which are now published in our second book on mobile photography.

From PHmuseum's Book + Exhibition INSIDE © Amina Gingold

Employing self-portraiture to feel closer to her mother, New York-based photographer Amina Gingold's meditative approach is about remembering and imagining. "In this image - she says - I am in my grandmother's house. Specifically, the third floor where the sun hits perfectly. My mother used to live here, eat here, bathe here, and sleep here. The list goes on and on. When I was ten years old my mother died. I would often come here and think, what would she be doing here now? I am interested in staging myself in scenarios that I create in my head. I place myself in each room as if I were her going about my day. In times that feel so isolating, this practice makes me feel the most connected. A feeling that we all know". The result is a moment that suggests how grace and fragility can tell us about the importance of relationships in the making of an image.

From PHmuseum's Book + Exhibition INSIDE © Svetlana Biryukova

This second image is instead part of a visual conversation that Svetlana Biryukova had with another photographer who she never met before. As she explains "we started our almost daily photo dialogue in early March 2020, during the first lockdown. This photo was a reply to one of her photos. It was a lovely spring day, pretty much the beginning of the new lockdown reality. I had bought herring. He and I were going to take a bath, while he was naked, he switched on his bike's lights which created this blue atmosphere. The lights were set up, he was about to open the shower curtain when these freaky mysterious shadows on his back - from my wooden hairbrush - caught my eye. Fascinated by how they reflected my feelings and the mood of these odd times I felt I had to catch that moment".

From PHmuseum's Book + Exhibition INSIDE © Ezio D'Agostino

Ezio D'Agostino and his partner decided to leave their apartment in Marseille, together with their 2-year-old child before the first lockdown started. "We quickly found accommodation in the heart of the countryside, cheap and easily accessible, and in the morning at dawn, we left for this isolated house in the middle of the Ardèche vineyards. In the first days, we took a siesta with the baby. One afternoon, opening my eyes, I noticed this mirror on the bedside table in the room, the reflection of the shutters, the floral wallpaper on the wall. I was intrigued by this sort of superimposition of visual references: the reflection of a threshold, the representation of an external world, the details of an intimate interior such as a bedroom. And then that bubble of light created by the convex shape of the mirror: a bubble like the one that, for a certain space and a certain time, that room has become for us". An image that reminds us that Poetic scenes of life such as this, are scattered in brief moments of existence and sometimes are worth being eternalized through an image.

From PHmuseum's Book INSIDE © Santiago Serrano

Ecuadorian photographer Santiago Serrano was at his friend's place in Quito, where he is also based when he took this mesmerizing photograph. "For a long time, I have been creating imaginary places and landscapes, gathering spaces and time that could not be together otherwise. The associations are sometimes made by luck, feelings, memories, or wishes. I really enjoy visiting aquariums, I spend hours watching the animals swim. Also, I like flowers. The image came out because my friend and I were talking about how we missed the ocean and what it would be like to feel lost in the open sea". By digitally manipulating the image, he then turned the corner of a room into an imaginary world.


This content is part of a series of articles that looks back at our last edition of the Mobile Photography Prize and what it meant for the photographers involved. To join the conversation and become an active part of our research project on the phenomenon, learn more and apply to the third edition at

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