Interview: Android Editors Photo Sharing Community

One of our favorite photo-sharing communities has to be Android Editors. They always get high-quality submissions, nearly all of which are taken with smartphones. You may have encountered a few of them in our Pixlr on Flickr group, or you may have seen some of their work when we teamed up with them for the #AE_Pixlr Challenge not too long ago. We’re always seriously impressed with the quality of work their community creates — some of it quite carefully edited using Pixlr Express and similar photo apps to create beautiful works of art. We wanted to find out a bit more about what they do, so we sat down with two of their founding members, Josh St. Germain and Jessii Powers.
How did Android Editors start?
Josh: It all started a few months after Instagram hit the Android market. I quickly became impressed by what people were doing with photos taken and edited with their smartphones. I would look for all these apps that the iPhone Instagrammers were mentioning, but with no luck. I struggled to find a handful of decent editing apps (Pixlr-o-matic was one of my first favorites). I started bumping into other people who were app frustrated like myself. One of those people was Atle Ronningen. Last September, Atle asked if I wanted to team up and start a group that would share Android mobile photography knowledge.
Who else helps runs the community?
Josh: It didn’t take long before we started bringing on other influential droiders. Our first recruit was Jacob Dix, an AMPt member from Sweden, followed by the fabulous Pernille Scheele from Norway. Once we were set on our path, we brought on Jessii Powers, Tom Nussbaum, and Edu Cambra. Tom and Edu were iPhone users who were huge supporters of the mobile photography community, as well as friends of ours. We felt it was necessary to show our support of all mobile photography, no matter the type of device. We scouted around for some writers who could add quality articles — Nakeva Corothers and Hannah Teoh — the two newest members of Android Editors. We each have our strengths and contribute where it’s most beneficial.
Your community participates in a lot of places online. How do all of these spaces work for you?
Josh: Instagram will always be our most interactive platform, seeing that we got our start there. Once we developed, we began using Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook,, and EyeEm for article “teasers” that would bring our audience back to the main website to view the entire article. We still run specific projects on certain channels that function as community engagement tools, much like the recent #AE_Pixlr challenge. There are three Android Editors who are also on the admin panel of AMPt has been one of the most influential groups on Instagram (and for the entire mobile community) since before Instagram even hit the Android market. AMPt and Android Editors are like family members.
One of the things that impresses us about your community is how explanatory community members can be when describing how they edited an image. How do you get people to be so thoughtful when they’re sharing?
Jessii: I have yet to meet a single person who wouldn’t explain their editing process if you asked them, and generally they tell you more than you could’ve ever hoped. There really isn’t anything we have to do. It just sort of happens. When we feature members we are always as detailed as we can be, and when we reach out to them they do the same in the spirit of sharing, learning, teaching, supporting one another and growing as artists.
I occasionally see an event halfway across the globe that brings together phone-based photographers for a gallery exhibition. Are there any events like this you think others should check out?
Josh: Absolutely. In spring of this year three Android Editors members were speakers at a mobile photography conference in Spain called D-ive. This was the first taste of “real life” involvement that we had been part of. One of our goals is to take a more local community-based approach and host photo walks, workshops, etc. The future is full of potential.
What are some of your other goals?
Josh: In a simple sense, or goal has always been to be the number one source for Android photography and editing knowledge. Even if that means sharing links to other groups or blogs, we want to share that information. We have to constantly be scouting for new talent that needs to be highlighted, news about devices, news about apps, writing or facilitating tutorials, events. Basically, we need to absorb all things Android and share it with our growing audience in as many ways as possible.
Another major goal of AE is to connect app developers and device companies with our community. Our community is a rich resource of beta testers. We want app developers to know to come to us if they want quality testers and feedback on their product. Being able to be the middle man in those circumstances is something that brings a huge smile to our faces.
What’s the best way for people to get involved with the Android Editors community?
Jessii: Follow us everywhere or anywhere. We’re always hosting something, whether it be a theme week, a challenge like we did with Pixlr, or weekly discussions hosted by Josh.
Join Android Editors for a photo challenge
Android Editors is always offering up a new photo challenge, so consider joining in. They just wrapped up their latest challenge, which encouraged people to turn an everyday sign into an exceptional photo using a smartphone. Check out some of the featured entries: