‘It was such a contrast to all of the noise and mayhem’: Judith Jockel’s best phone picture

“Bruno has always been a daydreamer,” says German photographer Judith Jockel. “Even as a little kid, he could be happy alone.”

Related: ‘I’m not that woman any more. I am stronger’: Tinatin Jabanashvili’s best phone picture

Jockel photographed her eldest son, who was then 10, on Oranjezon beach during a holiday in the Netherlands. “It was a busy summer’s day, with all these people and families running in and out of the sea. By the water’s edge were these shallow puddles of seawater, and I spotted Bruno lying in one. It was such a contrast to all the noise and mayhem around him; there he was, in his own little world. In the low, late afternoon sun he looked so relaxed, so beautiful.”

Jockel tried a version with the seaweed on his elbow edited out, but says, “It became too slick, too composed. I like little details that give a photograph friction. The viewer can use their imagination to create a story; it could be a pond, or a tropical river.”

Jockel uses a Canon for her professional work, and her iPhone mostly as a diary or scrapbook for ideas. “When you shoot with a digital camera, you’re in full control of all its tools to make a photo the way you want. It’s not predictable what a phone will do, but that’s part of the charm.”