Rosa Roth is the chief editor – she’s actually the only full-time person on this project ― at ‘The Smart View’, an award-winning printed magazine about mobile photography. Currently, she’s working on the second issue scheduled for September 2016.
Rosa and I found each other at dinner in Milan, while she was visiting the country to work on her upcoming new issue. During her trip, she met some local photographers included in the publication.
Hi Rosa, what did ‘The Smart View’ mean when you first started?
I started working on ‘The Smart View’ in October 2014. It began with academical research. I was studying photography at this time and was struggling with the out of date content taught at my university. Black and white on film forever. At one point I thought that doesn’t apply anymore to what’s going on in contemporary photography.
Another thing I experienced during my studies was that there is still a lack of acceptance of art and photography. Photography is still not widely considered as being a part of the art. My reaction to that was an inner protest.
In December 2014, after creating a network of academics and mobile photographers, I had the idea to give this new movement of photography, which in my opinion has a great artistic potential, a voice.
I took the challenge and created this magazine, an intelligent view on the new generation of photographers and a reflection of our present age.
Tells us about your usual day as a chief editor at the office.
My usual day starts at 7am. I don’t have weekends. When I’m home and not on travel I’m getting a coffee in the kitchen and walk a little bit sleep-drugged into my small home office, which I actually share with my flatmate.
Then I start answering emails, keeping up with the artists, selecting pictures online, writing bills, delivery notes, sending out orders, caring for social media and the web page, doing interviews, organizing exhibitions… Ther are uncountable things to do if you’re running a magazine.
I like to hang pictures on my wall to see what creates a good series for the magazine. Late evening, I usually call my graphic designer Gerrit Holz from Zurich to keep him update about the project. My day at the office ends averaged 12–18 hours of work. I’m travelling a lot and then I feel like a digital nomad always on the hunt of good WiFi connection.
What’s the main struggle you’ve found while working on your project?
It’s hard to do everything in one person. Sometimes a day is too short to get everything done on time.
I had bigger struggle with a number of submissions I’m getting for ‘The Smart View’. For the second printed issue, I’ve got over 7,000 Instagram submissions and a hundred portfolios. I’m really happy that so many people are interested in the magazine, but I was viewing pictures for weeks and thought I wouldn’t finish in a month with that.
It took a while to get through all submissions but finally I’m done and the next print is coming up in September 2016.
Do you think the world is talking about mobile photography enough giving the same value as digital and film photography?
The most important thing is that it’s done. Currently, more pictures are produced by mobile phones each day than by other cameras. Mobile photography connects. Everyone has access to the camera. It’s easy to use. The mobile is always with us.
What makes mobile photography unique is its instant connection with social media and the web. This helps to immediately promote a picture after it has been taken. At the same time all over the world.
In earlier times promoting photography has been only possible in gallery spaces and such exhibitions reached only a tiny part of the audience a mobile picture can reach nowadays. No camera before had the feature to connect to such a wide online community.