Photographer Meg Greene Malvasi shares a whimsical, dreamlike portfolio featuring her two best friends, and talks about iPhoneography.
ABI: Describe your photography and what makes it different.
MGM: Right now, I work with an iPhone (currently an iPhone 7) and an iPad to create my images—nothing else. I like the portability of using mobile devices. I can take pictures, edit and post most any time I want. And I must admit as a frustrated painter, the magic of the camera and the numerous apps allow me to edit my photographs in such a way that lends a subtle dreamlike or painterly quality to the images.
If I have one rule, it is that “nothing is ordinary.” For me, everyday life in all of its perfect imperfection is worthy of a second look. The world can be a very abundant resource in terms of inspiration and creativity—all one has to do is look and be open to what is around you. Keeping that in mind has been an immeasurable influence on my work.
ABI: What is the concept behind your series of dog portraits?
MGM: All my dogs are rescues that have come from pretty hardscrabble circumstances. Taking their photograph is as much as about building a bond of trust as it is in creating a memorable image that illustrates what I like to think is an “inner life.” The whole experience has brought me closer to my dogs in ways I could have never imagined.
Hubble, who is the smallest, helps me explore childhood and imagination. Placing him in scenarios where he interacts with stuffed animals and toys has made for some wonderful images. I could not script it if I tried. Jack Henry is a very dignified dog—he is a gentleman—and so I try to create images that illustrate that dignity and personality. Anna is very leery of the camera, so I take photographs of her that show her in a more relaxed state and incorporate them into other images.
For me, the dogs act as mirrors into our own hopes and imaginings. The photographs show dogs—like people—have moods and dreams. What little dog does not dream of being the big dog for once?
When Jack Henry and Hubble see the iPhone, they know it is time to work, after which there will be a treat or two waiting. And people seem to enjoy seeing the photographs and getting to know the dogs. One of the comments I hear is how much someone enjoys a photograph, even though they are not “dog people.” That tells me that I might be tapping into something that resonates.
ABI: How have you found Instagram valuable for sharing your photography?
MGM: I love Instagram.
It provides a window to connect with other photographers and artists from all over the world–it is just fascinating to see what people are doing. There are certain hubs that I follow that showcase photographers and their work everyday. I have been featured a few times, which has really helped with having my work reach a greater audience.
I post daily which helps me not only maintain a kind of discipline but also helps “fill the well” in terms of inspiration. There are so many excellent mobile and digital photographers out there. As a writer and a photographer, I can get a bit isolated, so Instagram is a terrific resource for me. I love asking, “How did you . . .?” and thankfully, many photographers and artists are quite generous in describing their processes. All of this pushes me to stretch and experiment within my own work.