Susan Malat is mom to a six-year-old daughter and three-and-a-half year-old son in Westchester County's Hasting on Hudson, New York.

This summer, Susan is celebrating her two year anniversary as a Photosanity community member. She has honed her photography skills and embraced capturing the moments and connecting with her kids through photography in the Photosanity Workshop, the Lightroom Workshop and 1-on-1 coaching.

Susan shares how she captured the moment in the winning photo of her kids, and how her experience with Photosanity continues to enhance her experiences with photography and her family.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

My biggest photo frustration was knowing that I had a beautiful DSLR camera and not having any idea how to use it. Photosanity taught me how to use my camera in a way that wasn't overwhelming.

What photo projects are you most proud of?

I see such a huge difference in my photos over the last two years, from my approach to the final product. I'm most proud of a wall gallery I have up in my kitchen that I did in my first Photosanity workshop. I am working on another one with Alethea now and I am so excited to get it on the wall.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

This photo was taken at Lake George over the July 4th weekend. It was the first time just the four of us had been away together in a long time. I loved how content my kids were playing at the waterfront. It was a perfect, relaxing summer morning.

Do the PADF challenges encourage you in your photography?

They challenge me to be creative and to interpret the themes in different ways. It also keeps me motivated to take pictures of everyday life, not just special trips and occasions.

How Susan captured the moment...

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/4, 1/3200; Nikon D90 and 50 MM lens

Approach: It was early, so we had the beach to ourselves and I didn't have to worry about background clutter, which is usually a major challenge at any beach.

I converted the photo to black and white in Lightroom to create a more dramatic effect. I took tons of close up photos at the lake that morning, but this was my favorite because it was a little different from any other waterfront photo I have of my kids.

I like the contrast of their size to the lake and how they almost look like silhouettes against the water after the black and white conversion.

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

This could possibly end up in the wall gallery I am working on now. I also want to make a mini-album of our trip. This would make a nice cover for the album.