"Instant Mobile Photography is an Art Form in its Own Right"

We spoke with Jess Angell aka Miss Underground about her new book in the Trope Mobile Edition Series. Get to know Jess and her fascination with the London Underground and how it all began, below! You can purchase your copy of Vol. 3 here.

You’ve been practicing mobile photography for some time now too. What was it like to be a mobile photographer when you were just a beginner and what does it mean to be one today?

Being a mobile photographer to me means the tool you use is on you all the time. You can maybe capture moments that you couldn’t with a DSLR. It’s hard path to carve a career being a mobile photographer, opportunities usually go to professional photographers but if your passionate about your subject you can have huge success.

What do you like most about this medium of photography?

The speed. I can take a photo of an escalator and edit it on my mobile on the tube train before I get to the next station. I love working fast and knowing I got the shot.

Would you mind telling us how your iPhone photography journey began?

I have always taken photographs, Polaroids or used film cameras but when I got my first iPhone everything changed. I took photos of everything I saw that interested me. At first I used filters to make my underground spaces more colourful and interesting but with the development of better editing apps I learned to control my photos and make them cleaner and more appealing. 

You’ve often described Miss Underground as your alter ego and, 'Miss Underground,' as a 'girl who just loves the look, feel and history of the London Underground'. How exactly did this fascination with London’s Underground start?

It was a slow process learning to admire and look more closely at the London Underground stations and spaces. First it was getting the spaces empty but eventually it was looking at the design and showing off the architectural details. When I moved to Southwark I always smiled as I walked through the station and learned to admire its details. It was my first underground station romance! 

You’ve been interviewed and featured in publications and podcasts, and now we fast forward to 2021 and you are launching a book solely in the form of your love of the London Underground and your love of the mobile device. How does that feel? 

I feel so lucky that people like my images, I remember my family and friends all saying I was weird taking pictures of stations but now after my huge body of work I think they can admire what I was trying to achieve. I never imagined that I would ever have a book published and I am over the moon with it.

Do you think mobile photography will change the way we think about photography in the future?

Capturing the world around you instantly on your mobile phone is an incredible thing, capturing history as it happens, documenting the world as it changes showing your corner of the world to everyone. Instant mobile photography is an art form in its own right.

Lastly, how does photography allow you to see the world around you?

I tend to capture my photos in my head before I take the pictures. This used to be in square format but when Instagram introduced vertical images I saw more opportunities to capture more details in these very special spaces.