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phonephotos4As a mom on the go, these days the less I can pack with me on my family adventures, the better. Even though I own the big fancy DSLR camera and I love it, there is this ebb and flow that tends to happen with my photo taking where I’ll go weeks without picking up the big camera, because it’s just so…..BIG.

The iPhone in my pocket is truly the star of the show these days.  I love the ease the phone brings to our family memory preservation, because it’s always right there with us wherever we go!

The phone is our family’s storyteller.

phonephotos3It’s so simple to whip it out when we’re running around our backyard, observing the change in seasons on a walk around the neighborhood, or hanging out on playdates with friends. I also absolutely adore that there’s no prep work of packing a bulky camera and figuring what settings to try, while also wrangling busy kiddos to ‘sit still for a few more seconds’.

(shhhhhhh…sometimes I even think my iPhone takes better photos than my other cameras too).

Even so, the mobile phone has it’s limitations when it comes to photo taking and I’ve had to learn some tips and tricks along the way to make me fall head over heels in love with the photos it produces.

phonephotos1Perhaps you’re finding that, like me, you always have your phone with you, but the photos you snap don’t have that ‘extra something special’ to make them print worthy.

First let’s get something straight. The mobile phone doesn’t have the crispness and clarity that a DSLR can bring to the table. And that’s ok. But that doesn’t mean it still can’t take great photos.

phonephotos2But, maybe you’re struggling to get your kiddos to look at the phone during your photo taking and you’re getting goofy grins or scowls, or perhaps they’re moving so fast that all the pictures appear to be blurry bursts, or the images don’t seem to have the vibrancy you’re hoping for from such a tiny wonder of a device.

Let’s change that together, shall we?

Today I’m bringing you 5 of my best tips for telling your family’s story with the camera that’s always with you, the one on the phone in your pocket.

1) Enlist all 5 senses

How do you want to truly remember the moment you’re currently experiencing? The smells, tastes, sounds, feelings? How can you express all your senses in your images?

2) Discover the details

Don’t just focus in on the kids and their faces. Get in close and capture fingers, toes, toys, snacks, blankets, clothes, etc…Those are all part of the memory too. Those details may even help you remember the moments even better.

3) Experiment with light

Flip open your camera app and watch the light and your phone play together. Sometimes we gain a new perspective for how the light can shift and change by watching it from the camera as we move around and frame our shots in difference ways. You can also work with the light and your exposure by trying the ‘tap rule’ on an iPhone if you have one.

4) Know the shortcuts!

When you have kids in action you need QUICK ways to take your shots. One of my favorite shutter shortcuts are being able to use the volume up button on your phone OR on your mic headphones to take a shot. Knowing you can use those headphones as remote shutter release just made selfies with your kids a whole lot easier, eh?!

4) Seek out inspiration

Following other inspirational mobile phone photo lovers can help you train your own eye and dream up new ideas to try with your own family. If you want to follow me, you can do that right here: @berylaynyoung. Or come discover 10 of my favorite mommy photo lovers, bloggers, and Instagrammers that I think you should start following right NOW for an instant photo mama inspiration boost.

Darrah, Darrah Parker Photography: @darrahparker

Tracey, Our Collective: @traceyclark

Me Ra, Me Ra Koh @merakoh

Courtney, Click It Up A Notch @clickitupanotch

Jennifer, Plain Vanilla Mom @jenniferpvm

Zina, Let’s Lasso The Moon @letslassothemoon

Jenny and Josh, Happy Family Movement @happyfammvmt

Alissa, Creative With Kids @alissamarquess

Shawn, Abundant Mama @awakeshawn

Jamie, Hands On As We Grow @handsonaswegrow

Once you’ve tackled taking better phone photos, how about printing them? You’re in luck because next month I’ll be hosting a completely FREE mini class where we’ll finally sort, organize, and preserve all your phone photos in print. Sign up in the box below and I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as all the details are ready. Happy snapping!

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photo(1)Dear Bella,

As I watched the fog blanket our tiny town this morning, you were on my mind as I cautiously drove away from home. Your sister in the backseat couldn’t quite comprehend the inability to see what lies ahead. “I can’t seeeeeee mommmmmmmy!” she whined, both frustrated and fascinated in the same breath.

5 years ago was when the fog of your passing covered me and it’s haze left me wondering if I’d ever see a way forward again. Like your sister, the not knowing and not seeing frustrated me too.

Losing you felt like losing myself, but was I truly lost? Here I was awake and breathing and walking and talking. I didn’t need to be found, did I?

I simply needed patience as I waited for the fog to lift.

My camera became the way out. The healing. A fresh pair of eyes to see differently. The lens couldn’t see forward but it helped frame and focus in on what was right in front of me.

The present matters.

It showed me that right now, this moment, might suck. But if you wait it out, the moments after can still be amazing.

My frustration made room for fascination as I realized I was never lost I was simply shedding an old layer of me to become something new. I didn’t have to carve the same path as my parents, my friends, my colleagues, or my idols.

The path was mine for the choosing.

The fog forced me to see differently. It pushed me towards my new path. One where I was grateful for the little things and for new opportunity. I was nudged in the direction of my unfolding dreams. I was taught what it meant to truly be living.

I learned it is OK…

…to choose JOY. Because what is a life lived with out joy?

I learned it is OK…

…to walk hand in hand with FEAR. Because fear can be our friend.

I learned it is OK…

…to have HOPE. Because hope is the lifeline of desire.

I learned it is OK…

…to have DESIRE. Because desire creates space for joy.

And the cycle continues.

Every time I am out of alignment I come back to these lessons that you and the fog and life have taught me, my angel. Standing here 5 years later, on the anniversary of your birth and death I can finally see the fog has lifted, my Bella Rose.

And the view from here is amazing.



photo(3)Are you ready to explore a path to even more connection to your family, life, and photography this year? Hop on the VIP list below for my brand new e-course Embrace. Details are coming soon for how you can get a free sneak peek next month as we mine our life for meaning behind the lens and discover the the perfect pictures, are printed pictures.


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