Jennifer Quinn DeMarco is our new photo challenge winner! Mom to two boys and a business owner, Jennifer has been part of the Photosanity community from the very beginning and has seen a transformation in her photography.

She is excited to share photos now with friends and family of the moments she captures with her family.

This photo is an example of Jennifer's photography before Photosanity, when she shot exclusively in auto and "didn't touch anything other than the zoom on my kit lens (yuck!)."


About Jennifer's photography...

What are your favorite editing tools for photos?

God bless Aperture! I almost always crop, curves, and increase black point. Additionally, I may increase exposure or fuss with the white balance and color sat/lum.

Once in a while I straighten. And I like to sharpen, repair and clone as necessary but not as a habit. It sounds like a lot but it's really become quite natural.

It's when I see my photos really come to life so it's rewarding. And especially since I no longer feel compelled to attempt to edit the entire deck. Confession: I typically only edit my best photos, the ones I share immediately. The others will be there to edit someday {never?} when my kids are all grown. For now, I edit the ones that I simply cannot keep to myself, the ones I am practically bursting to share with friends and family.

Did you edit the winning photo at all, and if so, what tools (program, filters, etc) did you use?

Crop, White Balance, Black Point, Curves, Sharpen. I feel like a fraud taking credit for any of this since I learned it all from Alethea! She outlines the steps in the workshop and I simply listened, experimented, and practiced.

What is your favorite location for taking photos and why?

This photo was taken in our dining area which is connected to our living room and has plenty of southern facing window exposure. I often shoot there because we are, well, often there. Our playroom also has beautiful light, too, with plenty of northern facing window exposure.

Like most, I prefer to shoot outdoors, and I have a favorite secluded courtyard that is shaded on the cusp of plenty of sunlight. It is a wide open area so my kids are free to run around and we pack plenty of toys so I can capture them doing the things we do- riding bikes and scooters, drawing with chalk, chasing balls, playing matchbox cars, blowing bubbles, dancing, singling, eating snacks, and generally acting like silly monkeys!

What is your favorite type of moment to capture with photography - major milestones and holidays; daily activities and routines; unexpected, spontaneous moments?

I enjoy the lifestyle photos- the regular everyday moments. I actually do not like photographing the major milestones and holidays {although I of course still capture them!} because there is so much pressure not to miss it. With the everyday moments, I can catch tomorrow what I miss today. I've always liked the idea of do-overs! You know?

How often would you say you use your DSLR as opposed to your iPhone or other mobile device?

I use my iPhone daily- I'm current year to date with my ShutterCal project {woohoo!!}. I use my DSLR several times a week and share 1-2 photos daily when I do.

This is new for me. I started carrying my DSLR in my bag so I have it everywhere I go. I am using it much more often. I do not keep it in a case anymore so I run the risk of injuring my camera but it's worth capturing the moments I might not have otherwise. Besides, I'm kinda looking for an excuse for an eventual upgrade so I won't be heartbroken. I have my husband's blessing because is so thankful for the moments I capture and share with him daily.

As a personal rule/challenge, I only use iPhone photos for my photo-a-day project and Instagram, and I only share DSLR photos on Facebook.

If you could give any advice to a parent who is new to photography, what would it be?

Take Photosanity. Period. Just do it. It will be the best time you invest in capturing memories for your family. I won't even mention the price because it is so nominal to the experience.

Are you working on any photography projects right now?

I am pretty excited about my Photo-a-Day project because it will be the first year I can purchase the year canvas! I have started gifting photos to friends. I recently made a montage of photos from a friend's son's first birthday party in iMovie and then matted and framed her favorite photo from the day. Hey, when I am trying to get a family of four out the door for a party, I'm thankful I don't have to think about stopping for a gift too. In fact, we've actually started showing up to parties on time! ;)

I would like to do a yearbook for our family this year but I am still having trouble committing myself as it is a huge undertaking. I will do it, I just need to do it in my own time. I've been, let's say, fully extended with my business lately.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

My boys are laughing. Together. I'm not sure I can even find the words to express the feelings that invokes for me. Their laughter is contagious. Looking at the photo, you can almost hear them. They are so genuine and lighthearted. So passionate and forgiving. They enjoy life to the fullest everyday. It is my job to guide them and yet they teach me so much about life. And it's symbolic of the special friendship of brotherhood that we have instilled in them.

How Jennifer captured the moment...

Settings: ISO 400, f/3.2, 1/125 35mm

I started doing really silly things behind the camera to make them laugh. And then they got carried away with each other and I started snapping to my heart's content.

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

I shared it on Facebook and with family who is not online. I didn't frame this particular one, but I did frame my last photo challenge win!

About the photo challenge

The Photosanity PADF (Photo-a-Day Friday) Challenge takes place weekly in the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook Group. Each Friday a photo theme is set and photos are due the following week. Detailed feedback is given on three selected photos and a winner is chosen.

Membership in the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group is free to anyone who purchases or has purchased a Photosanity workshop or service. It's a great way to connect with other like-minded photo-obsessed parents at all levels - it's an amazing community.

If you have made a purchase and would like to join, fill out this form and you will be admitted once your eligibility has been confirmed.