Viewing entries in
PADF Challenge

Capturing light and joy - Anne Marie Chavez and her winning photo moment

Capturing light and joy - Anne Marie Chavez and her winning photo moment

Anne Marie Chavez, Texas mom of two, is the winner of the holidays photo challenge.

Since taking the Photosanity Workshop, Anne Marie has become an active member of the Photosanity peer-to-peer Facebook group and has seen a transformation in her photography.

To help share her Photosanity story, Anne Marie shared a photo from Christmas 2011, before she took the online workshop course.

In this photo, which Anne Marie does consider "emotionally good," she notes that "it has a lot to be desired technically."

Prior to Photosanity, she counts her biggest struggle as being stuck in auto and having to use flash in low-light situations, "leaving my pictures with the harsh lighting of the flash and those red eyes."

In the before photo, Anne Marie recognizes that "despite the flash, the picture here looks dark and doesn't portray the light and joy of Christmas morning."

Her Christmas morning photos this year certainly do show light and joy, particularly in her winning photo, taken of her daughter, in front of the tree.

Anne Marie shared how she captured her Christmas morning moments and her new approach to photography that is emotionally and technically good.

What are your favorite editing tools for photos?

I have started using Lightroom over the past 6 months and love it for organizing and editing. On my iPhone I typically do a quick basic edit using Snapseed.

What is your favorite type of moment to capture with photography?

I love capturing the big milestones like birthdays; but I get the most joy out of photos doing routine things where I capture a genuine expression that I look back on and say, 'That is soooo Annabelle.'

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

I try to use my DSLR as often as I can, which in reality ends up being once or twice a week.

Not the winning photo but too cute not to share!

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

My advice to a parent new to photography would be to try to use natural light whenever possible, invest in a prime lens (like to 50mm f1.8), and get out of auto.

Are you working on any photography projects right now?

I haven't started yet, but would love to get in a photo with my two kids each month for the next year, even if they are just selfies on my iPhone! I have so many photos of my children, but I am in so few of them.

About the winning photo...

Why is this photo special to you?

I love this photo because it captures the magic and joy of Christmas morning as experienced by my daughter as a toddler. Although we are at a stage of frequent tantrums, she is also very sweet and tender. And love that she is wearing her "Super Annabelle" cape.

What tools did you use to edit the winning photo?

I used Lightroom to adjust white balance, add some contrast, and reduce noise.

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

I would love to make a photo album of this year's Christmas photos, this one included.

How Anne Marie captured the moment...

After she opened her presents, I just sat with my camera while she played with her new toys in front of the tree and I shot away.

Lens: 85mm 1.8 lens

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.

Giving thanks one moment at a time

Photosanity mom Jennifer Quinn DeMarco wins the "thanks" photo challenge.

An active participant in our weekly photo challenges and the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group, Jennifer shared her thoughts on capturing the moment and what she is most thankful for this season and throughout the year.

Jennifer shares what this photo - and the moment she captured - means to her.

About the winning photo...

How Jennifer captured the moment...

Camera settings: ISO 100 f/2.8 1/125

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.

Heather Maloy captures the moment in her endearing holiday card


Photosanity mom of two, Heather Maloy, lives in Winston Salem, North Carolina and first joined Photosanity in 2012 after seeing two friends Jen and Jenna "totally transform their photography." We are recognizing Heather this week for her winning holiday photo card that she shared on the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group.

Heather, who is currently taking the Photosanity Workshop, shares her photography transformation, holiday photo card tips and how her photography has developed since moving earlier this year from NYC and welcoming her now five-and-a-half month old daughter.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

Oh gosh, too many to count. A disorganized mess of storage, iPhone photos getting lost in the shuffle, trying too hard instead of taking beautiful shots of real life moments.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

I’m so in love with watching my kids fall in love with each other. I had no idea it would be so amazingly visible. I am thrilled to have gotten a moment of it on film!

Did you take this photo specifically for your holiday card?

Um, sort of. I was feeling totally uninspired for this year’s holiday card and rather annoyed with myself that I felt the need to top last year’s epic-ness. Alethea wisely suggested I “capture their personalities and their life right now.”

I knew she was right, but it was hard throwing out the clever (and heavily staged) ideas I was working on. I figured I would plan on attempting a mini photo shoot and if a great one came my way organically then I’d go with it. My camera happened to be on the counter and they were being sweet on the kitchen floor and I snapped off a handful before I had to ferry them upstairs to bed. I was so relieved to have caught this moment; I cleaned it up and ordered my cards almost immediately.

Whoohooo!

How Heather captured the moment...

Lens: 35 mm lens
Settings: ISO 3200, f1.8 1/100

How Heather created her holiday photo card...

My past cards have taken me DAYS... narrowing down a bunch of photos, editing them, choosing and customizing card designs, narrowing THOSE down, getting second and third opinions and then finally ordering. I’ve used (and loved!) Minted for the past 3 or 4 holiday cards, so I turned to them again.

Motivated by the Photosanity Holiday Card Workbook (spoiler alert: there’s wine at the end!), I took the picture at bedtime on Wednesday, ordered the card before lunch on Thursday and approved the proof before dinner. They were delivered Saturday morning while I was drinking my coffee. Hello, holiday magic!

I’ve finally finagled my desktop printer to play nice with Word’s mail merge. I print the addresses on the flap and the front of my envelopes. The font matches the card (Jacques and Gilles from MyFonts.com) and I saved myself from addressing 200+ cards! Hoorah!

As soon as my photo stamps from Zazzle.com arrive, it will go in the mail and I’ll be one of those annoying people whose cards are out by 12/1. Ha!

About holiday card preparation...


What is your biggest holiday photo card challenge?

Capturing both kids equally, adorably and together. She can’t sit yet, he can’t sit still. Oy.

What is your favorite holiday photo card and why?

By now, everyone has seen the Pinterest photo of the little guy driving the Cozy Coupe with a Christmas tree tied to the top, but it was still novel last year. We lived next to a hotel in NYC so the cabs would line up along the curb in front of our building and Riley (Heather's four-year-old son) looks like he’s really driving in NYC traffic.

It’s soft and glowy and our friends are still talking about it. The guys at our parking garage hung it in their window and never took it down! It’s my favorite, though, not just because it’s cute, but it totally captures his innocence, the magic of the season and is 100% New York-y. It will always remind me of the best parts of raising a family in NY. As if that wasn’t enough, the message on the back was our announcement that we were expecting a baby in June. I really, really loved that card!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

Our first Christmas in NC! Hot chocolate by the fire! Stockings hung by the chimney! Riley’s first bike! Molly’s first Christmas tree! But mostly, more of the magic… sweet memories and moments with my family.

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.

Congratulations Wendy Sayles - PADF challenge


Wendy Sayles and her family recently relocated from Brooklyn to Larchmont, in lower Westchester, New York, a few weeks ago. Wendy joined the Photosanity community in May 2013 and takes one-on-one coaching. She enjoys photographing her sons, ages 2 and almost 5.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

Just capturing my family in the moment and getting away from the posed photos has been my biggest photo challenge.


What photo moment brings you the most pride?

I've been struggling to take a good photo of both of my boys together, and I was finally able to capture one this summer. They were playing in the afternoon light on summer vacation and I snapped a ton of pictures and got a great one of them together!

Photosanity has gotten me to take more pictures in general, so I took a ton this summer... and that one came out a keeper.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

This was the first time my sister and her family came to visit us in our new house. They live in Brooklyn and I am missing them terribly! Daisy (my niece) is only 2 days older than my younger son (we had the same due date!). She was playing with leaves and showing them to me and she just looked too cute.

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

I edited this photo specifically to give to my sister. My mom is an amateur photographer and is always giving us tons of photos of my family, so I guess now I've officially become my mother.

Do the PADF challenges encourage you with your photography?

Yes, they remind me to actually get my camera (or phone) out and just shoot. Sometimes they make me go through recent photos I've taken and look at them in a new light, too.

How Wendy captured the moment...

Lens: 50mm 1.4
Settings: Aperture priority mode. I opened up the f stop to 3.5 and set the ISO to 400.

I tried to focus on her eyes, though I think her nose might be more in focus. This is something I'm working on (to make sure the eyes are in focus as opposed to an ear or the hair). I cropped a little on her left side as she was centered in the original photo. And I edited in Aperture (increased the black point and saturation) and touched up some mess around her nose.

The Aperture Workshop is actually next on my list as I don't yet feel confident in my editing abilities.

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.

Photo challenge winner Jennifer Quinn DeMarco - what Photosanity means to me


Photosanity parent Jennifer Quinn DeMarco is the winner of the "you" photo challenge.

Now a three time photo challenge winner, Jennifer generously shares her reflection on what Photosanity means to her and the role that photography plays in her life.

Many thanks to Jennifer for sharing her story and to all of you who participate in our weekly challenges and in the Photosanity community.

What the Photosanity experience means to me - Jennifer Quinn DeMarco

When I signed up for Photosanity, I didn't expect to become a good photographer. In fact, I didn't even anticipate the desire to be a photographer at all. Did I just call myself a photographer? That's the first time I've referred to myself with that noble title and I'm only trying it on for size.

Hi, my name is Jen and I am a photographer. I don't know, it still sounds a bit presumptuous.

What surprised me most is the impact that photography, Photosanity in particular, has had on my life. I have never really been able to pinpoint a particular hobby. I mean, I'm a self motivator and I've always been passionate about the things I do and believe, so I've always felt accomplished and fulfilled. But when asked to list my interests, I often drew a blank. Until children!


I love everything about my children. I love their abounding energy; their passion for the simplest things in life; their creativity; their sense of humor. I love their sense of wonder. Yes, even the unending questions...most of the time. I love their propensity for adventure and their lack of inhibitions. I love their genuineness; their smiles and their laughter.

I love their innocence; the way their eyes twinkle in the sunlight; the way the sunlight shines on their fine golden locks. I love their relationship with each other, the way they lose themselves in each other. I love rediscovering these things in myself when I am with them.

And I love capturing all of it on camera so that I can inhale it over and over again. I indulge in my photos to reflect on our most magical days. I turn to my photos to lift my spirits after a challenging moment. I share my photos with others because I am proud to celebrate the greatest accomplishment of my life: my two precious little boys. I share my photos so that family and friends, near and far, can feel the palpable love and goodness that is my children.

Photosanity creates a community of moms who, like me, experience more of their children through photography. Photosanity takes something that can feel frustrating, if not overwhelming, and transforms it into something manageable and joyful.

So, sure, it is a self appointed title, and a personal hobby, not a professional service I provide to others, but I am a photographer. Thank you, Alethea and Photosanity.

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.

Photo winner Amy Kovac on how she transformed her photography


Congratulations to Amy Kovac, our newest photo challenge winner!

Before Photosanity, Amy struggled with photo organization and found it challenging to capture good photos of her family.

The photo below is an example of Amy's photography before Photosanity, when she shot only in auto. Amy was first drawn to Photosanity not only to "get out of auto" but to find a solution for her "lack of organization and lack of a solid back-up plan."

Amy shares, "it wasn't until I took the course that I realized how much more there was to learn beyond just organizing and backing up my photos. This old picture summarizes some of my struggles (that I didn't even know I had!)."

Before Photosanity, all of Amy's pictures were posed: "I had my family in direct sunlight so there are shadows across their faces. They are also standing with an ugly green sign behind them. This particular park has some wonderfully shady spots and plenty of pretty flowers/bushes to use as a background -- I chose this particular spot because I didn't know any better at the time. Now I'm much more aware of the lighting and the background."

About Amy's photography...

What are your favorite editing tools for photos?

I basically follow the tips I learned from Alethea's Aperture course. Pictures I absolutely love and want to share, I crop, play with the White Balance, brighten with Curves and then increase the Black Point to give the picture more definition/pop.

Prior to the Aperture course, my photos were in iPhoto and I only cropped my pictures. That's it!

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

I did. I cropped it, I played with the White Balance, I brightened using Curves and then I increased the Black Point a lot to give the photo more definition.

What is your favorite location for taking photos and why?

My favorite place to take pictures is on vacation. I take thousands (literally!) when we travel. Everyone is happy. The background is beautiful (and often outdoors)! I'm not in a rush to get anywhere. And we are together as a family. I love to document our trips together.

What is your favorite type of moment to capture with photography?

My favorite moments to photograph are the daily activities (many of which are spontaneous and silly) -- be it a game of frisbee outside, a trip to the park or playing with the water hose in our backyard. I love to catch us on film, having fun!

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

I use my iphone almost exclusively for my photo-a-day project. So, on any given day, I take 10+ photos with my iPhone. If we go somewhere where there will likely be good photo taking opportunities, I grab my DSLR (the park, the Arboretum, a school event, etc.). I use my iphone daily and my DSLR 1-2 times per week.

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

Capture the moment, not just the smiling face. Choose a focus point on the top right or top left of your camera so your subject's eyes are in focus but off-center. Purchase a prime lens (either the 50mm f/1.8 or the 35mm f/2.0).

Organize your pictures in Aperture using Alethea's template -- do it now! It's a lot easier to organize your photos as you take them. It's time consuming to go back and organize pictures you took years ago!

Are you working on any photography projects right now?

I am most proud of my Photo-A-Day project through Shuttercal. I have some holes to fill but with a little work, I will be able to purchase a canvas at year's end.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

It just captures my son...he loves to swing and he LOVES to stick out his tongue. I'm noticing it more and more these days. If he's focused on something -- school work, playing ball, playing Legos, his tongue is out. It totally cracks me up.

How Amy captured the moment...

We were outside and I did take several photos but I had time (since he loves to swing!).

Camera Settings: ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/1000. 50mm lens

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

I sent this to my mom and my husband. I share most of my photos with them. Occasionally, I share pictures with a broader set of family members but I don't do that as often. The day-to-day moments are shared with Mark and my mom.

Find out more about starting your own photo-a-day project and getting control over your photos!

Brotherly love photo winning moment by Jennifer Quinn DeMarco


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.

The beauty of the giggles

Last week, PADF challenge winner Jennie Kemmerer mentioned that she wished her photo was carefully composed and thought out.

However, there is no reason a carefully composed and thought out photo is better. In fact, often it's the spontaneous moments that are the ones most worth capturing, and the photos that come out best.


Even if a photo feels like it was a lucky catch, as you learn and practice and become more experienced, that all comes into play along with your intuition as a parent which turns the "odds" in your favor.

The better you get, the "luckier" you get.

Last weekend, I took Liam out for some one-on-one time that I feel like he has been needing, what with all the recent big changes.

Who am I kidding? I really needed it too.

We headed out to a museum, had a picnic in the park, and then jumped on a bus to go to an event his school had organized.


While we were waiting for the bus, we were talking and giggling, so I pulled out my camera and captured the moment - totally spontaneous and unplanned (complete with uneaten grape in the side of his mouth!) Setting up photos like this just wouldn't have the same meaning to me at all.

Certain types of photos can be planned, for sure, but as a parent photographing my kids I prefer to go with the flow for a more genuine experience all round.

Jennie Kemmerer's winning moment in open shade


Jennie Kemmerer is a Los Angeles, California mom to a two-year-old girl. Jennie has been a member of the Photosanity community since July 2012 and has taken the Photosanity Workshop and the Photosanity Aperture class.

She is a proud participant in the Photosanity + ShutterCal photo-a-day project and is excited to see the transformation in her photos and her ability to capture the moments with her daughter.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

Before Photosanity I struggled the most with lighting, especially blown out interior shots using flash.

What photo or photo-taking moments are you most proud of?

I am proud of my photo-taking in aggregate: proud that I have used ShutterCal since June 2012, proud of the photo books I have made and proud that mom friends ask me to photograph their kids.

When asked to pick a favorite photo, I usually freeze and become impossibly picky.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

She looks amazing! She has great eye contact and eye-shine. I like how the tent artistically frames her and how the whole atmosphere seems ethereal. It is funny that the photo turned out that way because the tent is the cheesiest Cars pop up tent and my hand and an ugly tag are also in the shot.

Do the PADF challenges encourage you to think about your photography in new ways?

I love a good assignment - I am a teacher and perennial student! Sometimes I go back and interpret recent photos to fit the PADF. Other times (when I have the time), I set out to take photos to fit the theme.

How Jennie captured the moment...

I would love to say this was a carefully composed and thought out photo. But really it is a story of the magic of editing.

We were at the beach - which can be tough because of direct sunlight. My daughter crawled in her friend's play tent and I immediately thought "open shade" and parted the flaps and took a few shots - 5 at most - and this was one of them. It is nice in color but in black and white, it's completely different and special.

Camera Settings: ISO 100, f3.5, 1/320

Do you plan to do something special with this photo to display in your home or share with friends and relatives?

Maybe! I definitely included it in my Shuttercal project and I might use it in a living room photo wall I started on with Alethea.

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.

Wildcard back to school

This month in the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group we've had a "wildcard" theme of back-to-school. Participants were invited to share up to five of their favorite back-to-school photos and the result has been a collection of wonderful moments and so much emotion - excitement, pride and nostalgia. One of the great things about Photosanity is that as we all get to know each other, we also get to know each others kids. I'm so proud of all of us!

Here are some of the highlights.












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.

Wendy's priceless moment wins!


San Diego, CA mom of three, Wendy Cox, first joined the Photosanity community in January 2012 when she took Intro to Photosanity and More Photosanity, courses that are now part of the Photosanity Workshop and Stop Missing the Moment.

Wendy is an active member of the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group and her winning photo captured the natural smiles of her sons. Congratulations, Wendy, our newest photo challenge winner!

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

I wanted to upgrade to a DSLR from my point and shoot (to get better quality images) but I didn't feel like the purchase was justified because I wouldn't be able to use it to its full potential. After taking two of Alethea's workshops, I have my DSLR and I love using it!

Do you have a favorite photo that you have taken?

My favorite photo to date is the one I first posted to introduce myself in the Peer-to-Peer group - it's of my husband and our newborn baby girl. The light was amazing and really captures both of their eyes.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

Rarely can I get a picture of both boys looking at the camera. Usually one (or both) of them is blurry from their movement, so to get this shot with no movement blur and both smiling naturally is priceless for me!

Do the photo challenges encourage you?

Yes! It gives me a reason to get the camera out and practice with a purpose.

How Wendy captured the moment...

Camera Settings: Aperture priority, f5.6, 1/13, ISO 3200

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

I'm pretty sure this one will make it into the yearly photo books that I make for each child!

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.

Photo challenge winner Susan Malat captures a moment with her daughter


Our latest photo challenge winner is Susan Malat!

Susan, who has been a member of the Photosanity community since 2011, shared how photography helps her to connect with her kids and keep track of all their growth and change.

This photo is an example of Susan's photography before she took the Photosanity Workshop and Lightroom Workshop, and long before she began one-on-one coaching.

Before Photosanity, Susan shot only in auto and now she is honing her skills and creating works of art as special as the memories they capture.

About Susan's photography...

What are your favorite editing tools for photos?

At the beginning of this year, I started using Lightroom for editing my DSLR photos and it has definitely made an impact on my photography.

I also started shooting in RAW this year which has helped with some editing flexibility. I use Snapseed to edit my iPhone pictures.

Did you edit the winning photo at all, and if so, what tools did you use?

I did some very minor editing in Lightroom - brightened it a little using the curves and pulled in the blacks a bit for added pop.

What is your favorite location for taking photos?

Outdoors, and overcast days, early morning or late in day when there are less people around. If I have these conditions, I'm pretty happy taking pictures anywhere.

What is your favorite type of moment to capture with photography?

Major milestones and holidays are always going to be captured and can sometimes feel stressful, but I am trying to think a little more creatively about those moments and how to capture them from a different perspective, which has made the process a lot more fun.

For back-to-school this year, while I did take the important shot on my front steps like I do every year, I also snapped a quick picture on my iPhone of my daughter's clothes and shoes picked out the night before and hanging on her closet for the next day, as well as a shot of the note I wrote and stuck in her lunch box. I am trying to carry out this thinking in every day moments as well.

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

I use my DSLR about 2x a week. Sometimes more depending on weather and our activities. My iPhone is always with me so I probably use that almost every day.

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

Take it one step at a time. It's overwhelming if you try to accomplish all of your goals at once.

Set small attainable goals or choose one project to focus on. Once you accomplish one thing, it will give you the motivation to continue.

Are you working on any photography projects right now?

I'm working on a wall gallery and I'm starting to think about a 2013 album. I've never done an album recapping a whole year and I'd love to do one this year.

Now that everything is rated and organized in Lightroom, I think it will be a lot easier to do.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

Those blue eyes get me every time. There are some photos that they just really come alive and to me, this is one of them.

Also, I love the sand all over her face. This summer, she and the sand were one. I've been thinking that my daughter has gotten so big and this photo reminds me that 6 year olds are still little. They still love the sand and don't mind one bit that it's all over them.

How Susan captured the moment...

I took this photo in the late afternoon on the beach.

Settings: ISO 200, f/3.5, 1/2500

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

This will definitely make the 2013 photo album that I hope to make.

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.

Capturing emotional moments with photo challenge winner Dingdi Thomas

Congratulations to this week's photo challenge winner, Dingdi Thomas.

We spent some time talking with Dingdi, who took her first

Photosanity workshop

in winter 2012, about how her photography has evolved since joining the Photosanity community and how photography continues to be a way to

express creativity, refine a new skill and connect with her kids.

This photo is an example of Dingdi's photography Before Photosanity.

In her words, "it is a photo that had potential to be nice, but because we were shooting in auto on the beach, the exposure was all wrong.

The beach was so bright, but we were standing in the shade so we came out underexposed."

Dingdi shares what her photography experiences were before Photosanity and how they are continuing to evolve.

About Dingdi's photography...

Before Photosanity how often did you shoot out of auto and what settings did you tend to use?

Before Photosanity I always shot in auto

What are your favorite editing tools for photos?

I use Lightroom for DSLR photos and for iPhone I like Camera+

Are you working on any photography projects right now?

I do a yearly photo book and update it through the year.

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

Take lots of photos and capture the emotions - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

About the winning photo...

Why is this photo special to you?

I took this on the last day of school which was a hectic and sad day for her, so when she came home, she needed a quiet moment with her lovies (one of which her favorite assistant teacher gave her). I think it shows her melancholy.

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

I edited this photo in Lightroom. I bumped up exposure, contrast and blacks. Then I converted to B&W, and brightened up her face.

I think the B&W conversion makes the mood more serious. The picture is not tack sharp to me, but the emotional content is so strong, that I just really love it.

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.

Meet California mom and photo challenge winner Lyovit Labor


Woodland Hills, California mom of two boys, Lyovit Labor took the Photosanity Workshop in 2012.

Lyovit shares how she captured a special moment - and documented an important time in her family's life.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

My photos were not memorable and were collecting dust (on the hard drive) and were not organized.

What is your best photo-taking moment?

My best photo-taking moments happen when I stop and pause and pay attention to the people around me (especially my family). I feel that my pictures turn out really well when my subjects are enjoying what they are doing and they are not paying attention to me.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

We had a rough couple of months with our oldest son Milo, 5 years old. He had a hard time dealing with the new baby, Maxx, who is now 7 months. It is just recently that he is feeling comfortable in his role as a big brother.

Maxx is finally showing some personality, too. Together they are pretty wild and they just fit perfectly. The picture captures their relationship right now.

How Lyovit captured the moment...

Camera: iPhone

Editing: Snapseed for editing and Instagram for the filter

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

This photo is part of my photo-a-day project.

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.

NYC mom Avanee Patel wins the delicious photo challenge


New York City mom Avanee Patel uses photography to capture the moments with her 3-year-old daughter and 5-month-old son. She took the Photosanity Workshop in Spring 2011 and calls it "the best thing I have ever done."

As a mom working full-time outside the home, Avanee felt like she was missing moments with her daughter so she started the photo a day project through the Photosanity Workshop. This project helped her realize she had many special moments when she came home and was able to capture these daily and share with family and friends.

We talked with Avanee about how she captured the moment in the winning photo.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

There were so many but if I have to choose the biggest frustration it was organization and usage - I had so many photos randomly stored and never ever looked at them again.

What photo are you most proud of?

One of the pictures I am most proud of is when I caught my daughter looking out the window and got a close up of her face and the light in her eyes.

My most fun photo, and one of the best photo taking moments I've had, was when my daughter wanted me to put her little baby brother in her bed with her to cuddle. I snapped many shots of them together cuddling on her bright pink bed, and of course I got some with her squeezing his cheeks (which she loves to do).

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

This was the first time my daughter was eating spaghetti. It was so much fun watching her eat the pasta strand by strand and get messy. The light was coming in through the windows and I ran to get my camera to capture this moment. I am glad I did because looking at this picture I can remember how much she enjoyed this experience and how much I did too!

Do the photo challenges encourage you?

Absolutely! After the Photosanity Workshop I tried to capture pictures with emotions and meaning. As time passes and my days get busier, sometimes I don't keep my mind 'ready' to take a picture. The PADF challenges help keep me 'ready to capture the moment.'

How Avanee captured the moment...

Camera: Canon Rebel T2I

Lens: 50mm

Settings: f/2 ISO 1000, 1/60

Getting the shot: I was just enjoying watching her and then noticed how beautiful the lighting was and ran to get my camera. I took a few shots and liked this one the best because of her eyes.

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

I sent it to grandparents and would like to print it out to put in our album.

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.

Photo challenge winner Jennifer Hong shares her daughter's delight at the beach


Jennifer Hong lives in Houston, Texas with her husband of 7 years and three kids (ages almost 5, 2 1/2, and 6 months).

She first joined the Photosanity community in Fall of 2011 when she took the Photosanity Workshop, followed by More Photosanity that spring. A friend had taken the workshop and posted about it on facebook. Having always been interested in photography, Jennifer was intrigued and took the Photosanity course.

Jennifer says "I wonder now at what an 'in passing' chance it was that I saw that post and stumbled upon the workshop at that time, as photography has since become such a significant part of our family life."

Congratulations Jennifer on winning the "delight" photo challenge!

Prior to Photosanity what was your biggest photo challenge?


I felt my photos were special reflections of the children I love, but they really didn't show off my kids' personalities or capture the emotion of the moments we shared.

Are you working on any special photo projects now?

The photography moment I'm most excited about right now is a moment captured between my two-year-old daughter and my son, 4 months old at the time. Abby is totally smitten with her baby brother and is forever pulling her face right up to his when she's beside him. He's totally captivated by her, and I was really excited to capture this shot that reflects their growing friendship.


About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

The photo of Abby running on the beach is special because it captured my daughter in a moment I know I'll never forget now, one of those memories I want to hold on to forever.

We were at the beach for family vacation, and Abby was totally delighted running into the waves and letting them chase her back out onto the beach over and over again. She was having SO much fun.

How do the weekly PADF challenges encourage your photography?

The PADF challenges are always a good cue to look for some special moments in our week. I love that Alethea centers so many of them on emotion. Capturing the connection and emotion that make these moments meaningful is a big part of her focus in Photosanity, and that focus is continued through the PADF themes.

How Jennifer captured the moment...

Lens: 60mm prime lens

Settings: ISO 200, 1/1250, at f/2.8

Getting the shot:

I had lots of opportunity, as Abby was running back and forth time and again. I took a number of shots as I positioned myself for an interesting composition. I moved myself to be directly in front of her, and to keep it going I added myself into her game, daring her to "beep" my nose each time she ran back and laughing with her.

This kept her running straight to me! I picked a vertical orientation to include her reflection, and I had to limit my frame and cropping to limit other people on the beach and out in the water so they wouldn't be a distraction in the photo.

Do you plan to do something special with the photo?

I've shared the photo with out of town family via FB and my family blog. I haven't printed it yet, but it'll definitely be a part of our summer family album!

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.

Capturing a perfect summer moment - Meet PADF Challenge winner Susan Malat


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.

PADF Freedom Challenge Winner - Dingdi Thomas


I am excited to announce the winner of the PADF Freedom Challenge! I so enjoyed seeing all of the photos that the Photosanity community shared. I loved all the photos with kids in adorable red, white and blue outfits, but in the end, congratulations go to Dingdi Thomas, a New York mom of 2 girls, ages 3 and 5, as I had to pick this beautiful photo of her daughter running free after a long car ride as the winner.

Dingdi has been a Photosanity parent since winter 2012, when she took the 12 week Photosanity Workshop. In the workshop, she overcame her biggest photo frustrations of capturing the moment in low light and taking photos in motion (a challenge for many parents with active kids!).

Dingdi shares how she captured the winning moment and how the Photosanity photo challenges help keep her photography creative and active.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

This photo just represents who my daughter is so completely - carefree, goofy, wild - I love that I can memorialize the essence of her personality in a picture.

Do the PADF challenges encourage you to think about photography in new ways?

Yes, they give me focus and they give me a creative goal. The challenges have refreshed my interest in taking more photos and pushing me out of my comfort zone.

How Dingdi captured the moment...

Camera settings: ISO 100, f/2.2, 1/2000

Approach: I took about a million photos in this series. I liked this one because not only can you see the emotion and joy she has, but also because it looks as if her stuffed animal is looking squarely at the camera and his cape is flying behind him perfectly.

Get to know Marcee Harris Schwartz, winner of the PADF Memories Challenge


Marcee Harris Schwartz is a Brooklyn, NY mom of 2 and the winner of our newest PADF Challenge.

She took the very first Photosanity Workshop and learned how to overcome her biggest photo challenges in the twelve week course.

Since taking the course, Marcee has been an active member of the Photosanity community. She was interviewed for the Photosanity feature article on DNAinfo this May and she has started a family blog where she shares photos and updates with friends and relatives.

Congratulations to Marcee on winning the PADF Memories Challenge!

Marcee talks about how Photosanity helped her overcome photo frustrations and embrace capturing the moment with her kids.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

Where to start?! I didn't take good photos, didn't know how to edit them, didn't have a storage, backup or sharing plan, and I never printed my photos!

What photo project are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the photo-a-day projects that I completed for both of my kids. I love having a year of photos of each of them and I can imagine many days ahead when we will all flip through the pictures and talk about what was going on in our lives and our memories from when they were little.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

We've been doing evening trips to the playground near our house now that it is warm, which is such a fun break from the normal, hectic evening routine.

My son just turned one and, in this photo, you can just see him figuring out how to use the playground equipment. Each time we go, he gets more adept. He looks so proud of himself when he does something new. This photo seems to capture all of that.

Do the PADF challenges encourage you?

It's helpful to have a goal and a focus for the week. Without that, I find myself getting lazy about taking pictures.

How Marcee captured the moment...

Camera: iPhone

Editing tool/App: Camera+ to increase the contrast and clarity of the image

Meet Amy Kovac, winner of this week's PADF Down Low Challenge


Meet this week's PADF Down Low Challenge winner, Amy Kovac!

Amy is a Dallas, Texas, mom to two boys and a girl ages 2 - 6. She first joined the Photosanity community in 2011 to learn how to organize and back up her photos but, as she says "I've gained so much more than an organized photo system! I still have a lot to learn but my photography is so much better and more meaningful now, thanks to Photosanity."

Since taking the Photosanity Workshop in Winter 2011, Amy has taken the online Aperture Workshop and is now getting one-on-one photography coaching.

Amy shares her experience with Photosanity and how she captured the moment with her son in her winning photo.

Prior to Photosanity, what was your biggest photo frustration?

I had a disorganized hard drive full of pictures that were not adequately backed up - it was impossible to find/enjoy my pictures and I lived in fear that I would lose all of them if my hard drive crashed.

With the 12 week workshop, the Aperture workshop and my coaching, ALL of my pictures are safely backed up and my 2013 pictures are perfectly organized in Aperture. I LOVE it! I still have organization work to do on the prior years, though.

What photo project are you most proud of?

I recently completed my first photo book for my son's pre-K class. He "graduated" from preschool and I was the class photographer and put together the photo book for the kids in the class. It turned out to be a really neat keepsake.

My favorite pages are from an art class the kids did - I took an individual picture of each child working on their art project (with my 50mm lens). I loved seeing their different expressions as they worked on their art. I would never have thought to capture them in that way before Photosanity. I would likely have just snapped a few group shots of the kids posing and smiling at the camera.

About the winning photo...


Why is this photo special to you?

Before Photosanity, most (if not all) of my photos were of my kids smiling (or at least some attempt at smiles). I LOVE that Alethea has taught me to appreciate and capture the natural emotions of my children.

My pictures have so much more meaning now and are even more special. I look at the picture of my son Michael laughing and reading his book because it brings me back to that moment and I can remember how he felt and I how I felt watching him. It evokes emotion that I wasn't able to do before with my photography.

I still do take pictures of everyone looking at the camera and smiling but appreciate most the photos when I catch them enjoying/experiencing a moment.

Do the PADF challenges encourage you to photograph more or help you to think about your photography in a new way?

Absolutely. The PADF challenges give my photography a purpose for that week. I take my DSLR out for big events/outings but not necessarily to capture the 'everyday moments.' I like the challenge of trying to capture a moment that fits within the theme and again, it gives me a purpose or reason to use my DSLR more often. Of course, I get busy like all moms so I don't always participate but I like to participate when I can!

Do you plan to do something special with this photo?

It will definitely make my 2013 photo book. I also took the same "shot" with my iphone and texted it to my husband and mother right away. It's so easy to share with my iPhone that I find myself snapping a few pictures with my iPhone after I've used my DSLR, just so I can text/share easily with friends and family.

How Amy captured the moment...

Location: This picture was taken in our family room where the lighting is okay, but not great.

Getting Down Low: My son was reading on the sofa and I heard him laughing. I grabbed my camera and crouched down beside him and snapped several pictures.

He didn't even notice I was there so I had time to play around with my settings a little bit before the moment passed.

Lens: 50mm lens

Settings: ISO 800, f/2 1/125