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iPhotography Tips and Tricks - love these ideas on how busy parents can easily capture great memories

How To Capture Memories with Your Phone While Still Being a Part of Them

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Since today’s all about love, I thought what better to share today than ideas on how best to document all of those loving (also funny, exasperating, etc.) moments we experience as parents.

When I stumbled upon the description of Kristin Roger’s The Inspired Home photography course, I was instantly smitten. As a mother in the trenches, I find her approach so very appealing, “fundamental yet inspiring topics related to photography, home life, and managing it all with joy and thankfulness.” – Um, yes please!

So I did what any good blogger would do.

I stalked hounded pleasantly and persistently implored her to stop by MPMK and share some of her tips for capturing memories while still being a part of them.  And I also asked her to share some of her favorite iphone apps – I LOVE asking professional photogs what apps I should be using to spruce up my iphone and instagram photos.  Luckily for all of us, Kristin very graciously acquiesced to all my demands.

How many times as moms have we said about our kids, “wow, how did they get this old, it’s going so fast!” If you are anything like me, when looking back on years it seems to fly, but when you think about the day to day, a tiring one can feel like eternity and bed could not come soon enough. But those years that pass so quickly are made up of these moments that are lived out one day at a time. They will slip away without intentionally being present in them.

I don’t just mean your body – but your heart. When I make an effort to be present with my children, I enjoy them and our day much more. I soak them in, I’m inspired to create with them and most of all I don’t view them as a distraction to what I need to get done. THEY are what I need to get done – I was present.

Some of the things I have found that are common thieves of that, ever so sweet, present mindset with our children include:

  • Scheduling too much time to unnecessary obligations which leaves us rushed and overly busy.
  • Spending too much time on social media when they are present. Our time and frame of mind gets quickly off them and distracted to what others are doing or a project we need to plan.
  • Simply not being close to them as we go about our day. I have found that if I physically get into their little world by crawling in their fort made of sheets and welcoming them to get into my world by letting them “help” me with the laundry, it knits our worlds together and feels very natural to be present in the moment when you are close to each other.

When I am present with my children I can appreciate the moments more. The day to day unfolding of silly, playful, messy, cute and not-so-cute moments are before me and then, of course, I want to capture them to remember forever.

iPhotography Tips and Tricks - love these ideas on how busy parents can easily capture great memories

photo credit: Kristin Rogers

I use my iPhone to capture our days. I have found that no moment is too small or insignificant to want to remember. Playing, eating a bowl of cereal, doing chores, rolling around in the grass, taking a bath, books we’re reading and messes we’ve made…. I want to remember it all. I may forget why I walked into a room or where I set my glasses, but I always know where my iPhone is to whip out and snag the shot.

Ideally the more natural and nonintrusive way of going about this is best. Most of my pictures are natural moments that I simply take as they happen and some are ones that I have created.

When I say “created” I simply mean I asked them to sit, stand or play in a particular area. I still look for pretty light, fun angles and quickly kick out of the frame a distracting object. All this is usually not distracting to what is naturally happening so I don’t feel I am disturbing the real moment (though I am totally guilty at times of disturbing a moment). But when my daughter has a yellow tutu on dusting and happens to be 2 feet away from an amazing back lit window shot opportunity…. a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

iPhotography Tips and Tricks - love these ideas on how busy parents can easily capture great memories

photo credit: Kristin Rogers

I then will throw it into one of my two favorite Apps which are Cameramatic or VSCOcam to get the look/color I want and then straighten or sharpen as needed in PhotoForge2. Wala! If I want to post it to Instagram, it’s ready to go so I do not apply any filters on what I already did. Quick and fun!

As moms, we can tend to separate ourselves from these moments in a couple ways. We can get so busy documenting the moment that we aren’t present in them. We need to snag the shot, tuck that phone back into our pocket and get right back in it with our kids.

We also either forget or absolutely refuse to be in some of the pictures too. I’m sure that when our children get older, they would love to see the face of their mother in their pictures. We are connected to so many of their memories – I’m sure they would love if we could remember, or lay aside our insecurities, to be present in them too. Plus, it’s really fun to look back years later and laugh at our funny hair and “stylish” sweaters.

The effort to be intentional and present with your children is worth the sacrifice, you will enjoy your day and children more. With that frame of mind you will be aware of those sweet simple moments which will in turn move you to want to capture it. Your heart, relationship and pictures will thrive!

Question of the day

What percentage of the time do you actually make it into the photo with your family?  (Confession time, as the designated family photographer I’d say my number’s about 10%).

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kristin-rogersKristin Rogers is a stay at home, homeschooling mom of 2 girls ages 4 and 7.  She’s also a professional photographer based in Southern California and a teacher at The Define School. Her heart does a “pitter-patter” for nature, adoption, reading, coffee, thrift shops, messy hair and her husband.




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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate February 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Great advice, thanks so much! I follow Kristin on Instagram and I just adore her photos!


eleni February 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Kristin Rogers is inspiration.


mpmk February 14, 2013 at 6:16 pm

I agree ladies – Kristin’s work is amazing.


Emily February 14, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Thanks for the tips! I’m saving my pennies to take her class :-)


mpmk February 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Psst… keep an eye out, a little birdie told me there may be a class giveaway here in the future 😉


Shalene February 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I can’t recall the rabbit trail I followed that led me to your blog, but I’m so glad I found this post. These word were just what I needed to hear! Thank you and God bless!


mpmk February 18, 2013 at 3:46 am

Thanks and glad you found some inspiration here.


A Day in May Design February 17, 2013 at 12:21 am

Absolutely wonderful post. This is such great advice! I don’t have children yet, but with my lifestyle being so busy I already wonder about how I’ll be able to manage being a good parent as well when it happens and to be present with my future children and not treat them as something to check off a list each day. I’m going to have to tack this to the refrigerator for future reference!


mpmk February 18, 2013 at 3:47 am

Being present with our kids is something every parent struggles with – we live in a fast-paced world! – but being aware of it is half the battle :).


Johanna February 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

Great tips! I love to let my kids play with a couple of different photo apps on my phone too, simple ones like Monki Mi or LINE camera. It’s great to have them walk around the house and take photos of things or people they like, and then add fun stickers and stamps and text to those pictures. I then add these collages or what you want to call them into our semi-yearly family album as their contribution.
What I like to do is to once a month go through the pictures I took that month (mostly with my iPhone) and add them to an ongoing album (on my computer), then twice a year I order an album online. It’s just so much fun for the entire family to look at all the fun stuff we’ve done, and I do it a little at a time so it’s not a big effort either.


Jess Cudzilo February 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm

That is a great idea, Johanna! I am so inspired by that idea and may just have to copy you. 😉 xo


mpmk February 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I agree – I might steal this idea too and also add photos of some of my kids’ favorite artwork from the year. The final book would be such a great representation of how they’ve grown and what they were interested in over the year.


Lisa February 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I really make a point to capture her “performance” moments – like your tutu dusting example – and forget about trying to shoot anything while we are actually playing together. Even the shortest break to snap a pic, is still a break.

I wonder how you keep your kid from wanting to see the photo(s) since I find that much more of an intrusion than me actually snapping a pic.

It’s also another reason why I’ve cut way back on my photos: I’ve realized how self-conscious and image-conscious it makes my child. She hasn’t reacted in a bad way, and I don’t mean self-conscious to mean that she is uncomfortable. I mean instead of her just playing or doing, she is also thinking about how she looks while doing it. I don’t want to feed that beast too much.


mpmk February 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I totally understand where you’re coming from Lisa – my kids are the same way. I also find that sometimes a sweet moment, or a time when they’re really engaged in something, is disrupted if I try to get a shot of it on my phone because they immediately want to see it.


Lesley February 1, 2014 at 10:14 am

Just a quick “editor” comment: “Wala!” is a really funny way of spelling the French word “Voila!” which is what was actually being said. (Although we can argue that we so slaughter our pronunciation of it that perhaps we should just write it as a whole new word.) I know my mother says it as “wala!” as well, but if I was to write it down, I’d change it to “voila!” for her.


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