Anyone who knows me knows how in love I am with my iPhone. Honestly, it’s a little ridiculous. One of my favorite parts of having this magic machine in my hands has to be the camera. On our recent trip to NYC, I brought my big ole’ monster camera and lens, but I never even took it out of our hotel room. I have found that I tend to take better pictures with the iPhone for a ton of reasons.

1. I’m unobtrusive: We all know I’m a fake photographer. I can capture a good shot now and then, but I have no idea what I’m doing. The technical side is hard for me, and if I find myself getting caught up in settings, I can miss the moments that are really special to capture. With the iPhone, I just point and shoot. No one needs to know what I’m doing, so I can photograph special moments without interrupting. This is especially important with two little ones who hate my camera.

2. I’m always camera ready: No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I almost always have my phone with me. This makes it much easier to capture real images, and is less stressful, since I don’t have to lug my huge camera bag everywhere. Imagine if I’d had the iPhone 4S when we did the NYC + KC project!

3. It’s about the apps, dude: I’m a camera app junkie (send help or iTunes gift cards!), which is no surprise since I’m a Photoshop junkie. I love transforming images into something more. Just taking a simple snapshot and evoking some emotion via a simple color palette change. And what are my favorite apps? I’m glad you asked!




Snapseed is an app you can use for the iPhone, iPad or even on your Mac computer and it works a lot like Photoshop or Lightroom. You can change sharpness, brightness or ambiance, and you can even add texture if you’d like. This app also has some full image actions, but I tend to like the simple tweeks a lot better. (Costs $4.99)

IMG_0858Blog Drive In Playground


Instagram is by far my most used camera app, mostly because it’s not only an app to edit images, but an entire social media network. I have friends that refuse to have anything to do with Twitter or Facebook, but love Instagram. I even have friends who stay in touch with family via Instagram, sharing little shots of their day with loved ones. For me, Instagram is a social tool that just happens to have image editing capability as well. In fact, I rarely use Instagram filters on their own, usually combining images that have been edited elsewhere and then posting them to Instagram for the social aspect. But I would highly recommend Instagram for newbie iPhone-ographers, and for anyone who loves to share their images. (Costs $0.00…yup, it’s free!)


Blog Drive In Collage 1

PicFrame is my favorite app for putting images together in collage form. You can use this app to take several different images and split them up into pretty much any composition you’d like. You can also edit the images within PicFrame, which is a really nice addition.



This is actually an app I used quite a bit with the old iPhone (circa 2009), but I have recently rediscovered it with my new 4S. With Hipstamatic, you can choose from multiple lenses, film treatments, flashes, etc. and when you find the combo that works for you, it’s just magic. (Costs $1.99)




Lumie is an app that adds super-fun light patterns to your photos. You can choose from a ton of different patterns, some that are subtle and some that are a little crazy (hello disco ball), and it adds a whole new dimension of whimsy to your images. It’s one that can get pretty cheesy if it’s over-used, but in the right moment, it’s perfect. (Costs $1.99)


What do you think? Are any of you app junkies? What are your favorites? Should we create a support group? I’ll bring the doughnuts!

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