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Featured, Tips, Travel

Re-running this post because it’s the absolute, one thing, that will make a difference in your iPhone (or any camera phone) photography — I promise.

April 4, 2017

In the Summer of 2014 my husband and I went on an amazing trip that included Prague and Budapest. My parents went as well and my dad (a man with a great eye and who loves to take photographs) forgot his “real” camera at home, so he says to me…

“Well, you use your iPhone and I love your pictures! I’ll just use your mother’s phone on the trip. Better than nothing right?” (Wink)

Right.

Fast forward to the two of us standing at the front of this beautiful church in Budapest.

Dad: (Whispers) “Okay, I just stood next to you and took the same shot but it doesn’t look like yours. Why?”

Me: (Whispers back) You didn’t take the same shot. You took (a) shot. One that I knew (the second you picked up the camera) wasn’t going to be what you wanted.

Dad: (Not whispering as much and sounding a tad offended says) “What?! How could you know that?!”

Me: (Suppressing a giggle) Because you were missing two things: intention and a tip.

Dad: (Actually, not whispering at all now, says) “I definitely intended to take a good picture! Now, what’s the tip?!”

Me: (Poking the bear) I know you wanted a good picture Dad but did you believe you could get it with that phone?

Dad: (Now squinting) “Little girl.”

Me: (Uh oh!) Okay, okay! All I’m saying is…I can always tell what kind of a shot someone is about to get with their phone by the way they pick it up.

My dad’s trouble started when he said, “Better than nothing right?”

Why intention matters?

I’ve never watched a single photographer that picked up their camera to take a shot (they really, really, wanted) that didn’t pick it up with a swagger of confidence that their tool…ruled!

Wait. What?! Hahaha! (Moving right along).

So Dad, if you’re going to use your phone to take photographs—own it! Once you intend to take a photo with it, it’s no longer your phone, it’s a camera and, by the way, the absolute best camera you have at your disposal so treat it that way. 

Friends have heard me say that it’s important to examine your heart (always) because the spark of your true intentions will still be burning in the flames of your results. Turns out it’s true for taking photographs as well. 😉

And the tip? 

Some people don’t realize that when you take a regular photo with your iPhone the image doesn’t fill the width of the screen. It only fills about 70% of the screen. So when I want a shot that’s wider (where the image goes all the way to the edge of the screen) I first turn on video, focus on the area I want and then take the photo (when video is engaged, a white button will appear below the record button and that’s what you’ll use for taking stills). Because it’s taken in video mode the shot is wider. This is also a good trick for when you want something closer (without having to use the zoom—please, please, don’t ever use the zoom on an iPhone.) LOL!

Dad: (Smiling, whispers) “Now, was that so hard?”

Hahahaha!! Nope. 😉

Matthias Church, Budapest and  Shot with my trusty iPhone.

Featured, Nature, Travel

The Summit of Mt. Haleakala. Maui, Hawaii

April 4, 2017

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like that about spare moments.

Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Travel

A moment in India I’ll never forget.

April 4, 2017

When my son was very young, say four or five years old, I told him that one of the greatest gifts a person could ever receive was the chance to say I love you too. “Because if you get to say, I love you too it means that someone else said, I love you, first.” After that he would often follow up his “I love you too” with “Hey mommy, I win!”

At this writing he was much older, a much more taller than me, deep voiced, hulking, athletic teen—with a girlfriend, friends, team mates, school, video games, interests, etc. You know, a life of his own and with a lot of childhood things left behind…

Then one day, a few years ago, my husband and I were traveling in India and something about standing alone amongst the many, in the din of this Indian street corner, caused me to miss the few—my children. Finally, I managed to get enough signal to send a text home, so I sent my son an “I love you” text. A few minutes later I got an “I love you too” response and then, a second later, a second text that said: “Hey mom, I win!”

I lost my breath and my heart fluttered…he remembered. I let him think he won but, in that brief moment, I had my five year old boy, looking up at me and holding my hand (as we crossed a busy street) and telling me…he loves me too.

Hey son…I win.

Black and White, Featured, Travel

The edits I make are how I get you to sense me in my images.

April 3, 2017

For me, editing an image is personal, no matter how much (or how little) is involved I hope to do it in a way that makes you understand how I felt in that moment. More than anything else, I want you to feel it.

“We ate well and cheaply and we drank well and cheaply and we slept well and warm together and loved each other.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Nice, France.

Featured, Moments, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Travel

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions but in the spirit of the hour I can always remind myself of these things…

March 31, 2017

If you want to do something to improve your happiness this year work everyday to be less judgmental.

If you have the chance to lift someone up — take it.

When things get difficult find a way to laugh.

Celebrate your wins and celebrate with your friends when they win.

People will mess up — forgive them.

You will mess up — forgive yourself.

When someone is speaking to you listen and listen well.

Everyone you know is more special than you know — treat them that way and watch the world change.

And…

Time doesn’t stand still but sometimes we should.

I wish you genuine moments in the coming year — moments that will fill you with such joy, peace or happiness that they get placed securely in your hearts and minds forever. 

Happy New Year everyone! 🌟