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Equity by design - some key findings and recommendations

Equity by design - some key findings and recommendations

This week I was all set to talk about more concrete examples of using photography as part of your exploration into women’s leadership, but a couple of things happened last week that I want to talk about first.

Back when I was pregnant with my oldest son Liam (now 8), I worked with a group of women in the Women in Architecture Committee (WIA) of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to try and create a survey to gather data on women in the profession. The survey never quite got off the ground, but I was thrilled a few years ago to find that a different group in San Francisco DID do a survey in 2014, which they then refined and repeated in 2016. This group is called Equity by Design.

This actually speaks to one of the 5 myths of women’s leadership that I talk about in the series - the myth that if you don’t do it, nobody will. Sometimes you do your best, and it’s not quite the right time and place, but if it’s work that needs to be done, it will find a way to be done.

Shifting the narrative… and an announcement

Shifting the narrative… and an announcement

This is a conversation I had the other day with Liam, my eight year old, and Jack who is five.

Me: Good news - I am now officially certified as a women's leadership coach.

Liam: Yay!

Jack: Wait, does that mean you can lead planes now?

Me: No, I cannot lead planes.

Jack: Oh.

Good thing I don't use how impressed my 5yo is as a benchmark!

But yes, I am officially a Gaia Project Certified Women’s Leadership Coach. This program, and the work I did with my volunteer coachees, has been life-changing as far as how I see the role I can play in the world.

What if you could find joy daily, no matter what is going on in your life?

What if you could find joy daily, no matter what is going on in your life?

We’ve been wrapping up 7 days to finding joy though photographing your kids (even if you’re having the worst day) and on Monday I went live on FB to do an epic recap of each day’s challenge and some of my findings.

If you didn’t get a chance to join in on the challenge, this is a great 45-minute 7-days-in-a-nutshell recap, and if you prefer listening to watching or reading, you certainly can go audio only for most of the broadcast (although I do go on camera with my Timeshel prints and Rag and Bone Bindery albums and show MySocialBook and Chatbooks albums too).

Photography, parenting and women’s leadership - and what they all have in common

Photography, parenting and women’s leadership - and what they all have in common

When I started Photosanity in 2011, I was a new(ish) mom and family photographer, and it was in response to a lot of questions I was starting to get from parents about taking better photos of their own kids.

 

So I developed a workshop that would teach parents just that, but not only how to take better photos, but how to handle the organizing, editing and sharing piece as well that can be so overwhelming.

 

However, from the very start, I always taught photography from the perspective of a mom who derived a great deal of joy and satisfaction from photographing my own kids, not just because of the resulting photos, but because of how my camera helped me to process the whole experience of becoming a mom.

The best way to get support for yourself as a working mom… and as a stay-at-home mom

The best way to get support for yourself as a working mom… and as a stay-at-home mom

This will come as no surprise to anyone, but being a mom is hard. And although I know this is an exaggeration, I feel like I would never have made it as a mom, had it not been for the amazing group of moms I met when Liam was around 6 or 7 weeks old.

We were all first-time moms with babies born within weeks of each other, and we met weekly at a local cafe, huddled over our nursing or feeding or sleeping or crying babies. We exchanged stories, information and commiseration from the front lines of those early and mysterious days of trying to figure out diapers, feeding and sleep schedules, postpartum recovery, and the crazy transformation we had experienced where we were now taking care of tiny, helpless, living, breathing, human beings outside of our bodies.

The Photosanity Method: How you can create the life you want as a parent through photographing your kids

The Photosanity Method: How you can create the life you want as a parent through photographing your kids

A few days ago, I asked you what you most wanted as a parent, and what your biggest frustration with photographing your kids is (if you didn’t fill out my quick poll, you can still do so here.

I then explained how the two are linked - how I have found that your camera can be a surprisingly powerful catalyst for creating more of what you want in your life as a parent.

And yesterday I told you that I know that you've got this - and showed how Photosanity parent Andrea Rizvi has been using photography to be more present, connect with her kids, and focus on the day-to-day joy in her life as she captures the moment.

But I know that you still want to know how.

Sustain - learning to pace myself and make changes in 2014

Sustain - learning to pace myself and make changes in 2014

The concept of picking a word for the year and using it as a guiding principle or theme seems to be gaining popularity. Last year I tried it for the first time with the word "thrive."

To be honest, the year did not turn out anything like how I hoped or imagined when I picked that word. And at times it felt like I was doing anything but thriving. Drowning might have been a better word.

And yet, as the year came to a close, it dawned on me that I WAS thriving, even if that did not look how I expected.

Favorite photo of Jack from early 2013

My business took some surprising but exciting turns and I have an expanded and even stronger vision of its potential.

I spoke at the Apple store. I have a growing relationship with Mom365. I have fallen in love with brand portrait photography (keep an eye on Rachael Ellison and Yvette Syversen).

I reconciled with a career in architecture that I wasn't sure I would return to and am enjoying my return to the profession and working full time more than I could have imagined.

My parents are here helping with the kids and expanding their world of people who are there for them on a day-to-day basis. (When my sister visited Liam's classroom and asked Jack what his favorite thing there was, he said "Por Por", the Chinese name for grandmother that he calls my mother!)

I've met new friends, deepened existing relationships, and have gained new insights and realizations about myself and the world that will help me for the rest of my life.

Favorite photo of Liam from early 2013

My husband continues to be the best partner I could have picked for this crazy journey called life, and a fantastic father to our boys, who continue to bring me joy and delight daily as they grow and develop into yet more interesting and fascinating little people.

Yes, at the start 2014 I am thriving more than I was at the start of 2013.

Now what?

My word for 2014 is "sustain."

Because I have too much going on. I bet a lot of you reading this didn't even realize I've been working full time for six months.

A common refrain I hear from friends, colleagues and clients is "I don't know how you do it all"... and frankly, nor do I!

Sometimes when I take a look at everything I accomplished in a given week, it is mind boggling.

A year later - photo of Jack from this past weekend

But here are some things I am not achieving - enough sleep, enough exercise, enough time with my family, enough time with my husband, enough down time, enough time taking care of myself, enough time on personal projects.

So this year I really want to look at what I can sustain. What is sustainable for me in the long run? There are years for growth and for taking on new things and seeing how far you can push yourself - hello the last five years of growing a family and a business! - but this is not going to be one of them.

And I feel really really good about that.

What can I sustain?

This doesn't mean life becomes stagnant. It means that I pace myself so I can choose to make changes rather than be forced into them because I can't sustain the status quo.

I've already made a few decisions and changes based on this concept of sustainability and it has been a helpful guiding principle.

A year later - photo of Liam from this past weekend

I have shifted the way I approach the Peer-to-Peer Photosanity Facebook group and engagement is already way up in a way that is more organic and sustainable to me - and I love it. My goal with the group is to make it a fun, supportive and productive environment for all of us, myself included.

I have also decided that after two years of maintaining two separate ShutterCal photo-a-day projects for each of my kids (with many holes that need to be back-filled) it's time to consolidate into one project - already it feels so much more doable and I've posted a photo a day so far (granted it's only been 6 days but compare that to zero photos in either calendar for December!).

I'll be blogging once a week instead of twice at Mom365 (at my suggestion) so I can continue to provide high quality content there while making my blog here a little more personal with a DSLR sibling photo each week as a "52" project I'm really excited about.

I am already really enjoying focusing more on sibling photos!

And instead of trying to do everything at once, I'll be focusing on closing out work with my current one-on-one clients before taking on anything new.

Plus all of the above. Which is still a lot I know. Hey, it's a work in progress! Awareness is the first step.

Help with new year photo resolutions

All the Photosanity workshops will continue to be available in online self-guided form so if you need some help with some of your new year photo resolutions, let me help you - all purchases include complimentary membership in the private Photosamity Facebook group and we would love to have you join us.

Happy new year and all the best for 2014!

Gifts, tips and a fun feature - this week at Photosanity

Happy holiday season to all! This week we have been celebrating all of you with a special holiday discount - 20% off all Photosanity workshops until December 24th. Over on Mom365 we talked holiday fashions and capturing natural moments through photography year round.

Photosanity holiday discount code

Save 20% now on all workshops. Buy as gifts. Give a last minute hint to your spouse or in-laws or treat yourself to a new year of new focus on your photography.

Choose from the Photosanity Workshop, Stop Missing the Moment, or the Aperture or Lightroom Workshop.

Read more

Holiday fashions for the whole family

Get photo ready for all of the festivities now through New Year's Day with tips and pin boards for a range of family styles from cozy to chic to funky.

With my fashion ideas for the whole family plus Pinterest idea boards, you get a glimpse of how I help my portrait clients prepare what to wear for their sessions.

Read more

Capture natural moments all year long

This week we celebrated Jack's second birthday and I was reminded again of how important and how special it is to capture those moments when your kids are being exactly who they are.

Remember this as you prepare your holiday and special events shot lists. Be sure to include those special, natural moments that solidify your memories of this time.

Read more

My neighborhood crush

I had so much fun being interviewed by Alison Kleinert of NewYork.com for the Neighborhood Crush feature. I love my Clinton Hill neighborhood and introducing moms and dads to all the great places in the neighborhood to go out with each other, friends and their families. There are some amazing photo opportunities around the neighborhood, too!

Read more

Start the year off right with a discount on photo organization workshops

Last minute shopping?

As we announced on Monday, we have a special gift for you to thank you for a wonderful year, and to help you prepare for 2014... or to give to spouses and in-laws to help them shop for you!

That's right, we are offering a 20% discount, good on all Photosanity online workshops until December 24th, 2013 (note, gift orders must be placed by Dec 23rd to receive the digital gift card on the 24th).

To help you decide what to purchase, we're running three short blog posts this week, each featuring a Photosanity workshop. On Monday we talked about Stop Missing the Moment, on Wednesday we talked about The Photosanity Workshop and today we are covering the Aperture and Lightroom Workshops.

The Aperture and Lightroom Workshops

If you've taken The Photosanity Workshop but are looking to step it up for organization and editing, then these workshops are you. Or perhaps your biggest hurdle to taking more photos right now is organization and you want to tackle this first before taking The Photosanity Workshop.

Either way, if you are not already using Aperture or Lightroom, you'll want to choose one or the other and then purchase the workshop to go with it.

Both workshops take you step by step through the features you most need to know to get started in either software (it can be really overwhelming to try to figure this out on your own), and, most exciting of all, we give you not only an entire workflow for how to manage your photos, but a template that you can load onto your computer and import photos into so they practically organize themselves! Photosanity parents have been using this system for almost a year now since these workshops first came out and have given very positive feedback (Note to this year's participants - templates for 2014 will be available before the end of the year!).

Ready?

Let's get organized... or help a friend! Give the gift of photo organization to start the new year off right.

Not sure? Check out the three part blog post series from last year on why photo organization and editing is important.

Sounds like more than you want to start with? Check out the introductory Stop Missing the Moment Workshop. Want to know everything a busy parent needs to know about photographing their kids? Check out The Photosanity Workshop.

Holiday discount on the Photosanity Workshop

As we announced on Monday, we have a special gift for you to thank you for a wonderful year, and to help you prepare for 2014... or give to spouses and in-laws to help them shop for you!

That's right, we are offering a 20% discount, good on all Photosanity online workshops until December 24th, 2013 (note, gift orders must be placed by Dec 23rd to receive the digital gift card on the 24th).

Find your Photosanity workshop

To help you decide what to purchase, we're running three short blog posts this week, each featuring a Photosanity workshop. On Monday we talked about

Stop Missing the Moment, today we are talking about Photosanity Workshop and on Friday we'll cover the Aperture and Lightroom Workshops.

The Photosanity Workshop

This is my signature product - everything a busy parent needs to know to transform the role that photography plays in their family's life. And I'm proud to say that parents who have taken this workshop say that it changed their lives. I still hear from them years after they completed the Photosanity Workshop (and I enjoy their gorgeous photos on Facebook).

The workshop starts by laying the foundation for emotionally good photos before we even get to any of the technical stuff. My philosophy is that as a parent photographing your kids, you need to get out of the downward spiral of missed moments and disappointing photos that don't really motivate you to learn your camera, or to get your photos organized and out into the world.

I help you change all that in the Photosanity Workshop! First I talk about what to look for to get the best photos in order to broaden your concept of what a moment worth capturing is. Then we talk about getting your children to cooperate (for photos - you're on your own elsewhere!) and looking for the best light.

Those first four (out of twelve) lessons alone will make a huge difference in your photography... and THEN we go into depth on shooting in either aperture priority or manual on your DSLR so you understand how to adjust your settings to get the best results under a variety of conditions. We also talk about getting more out of your point-and-shoot and your camera phone (yes, it's ok if your iphone is the camera you use the most!)

We round out the workshop getting in deeper into organization and sharing. I include detailed templates for professional wall galleries and we also talk about prints, albums and more.

If you love photography but feel lost when it comes to capturing the moment, finding the best light, understanding the settings on your camera, and keeping your photos organized - this workshop is for you! And again, don't forget, you can send subtle hints to spouses or grandparents to buy this for you as a gift...

Sounds like more than you want to start with? Check out the introductory Stop Missing the Moment Workshop. Looking for a complete photo organization system as well as more advanced editing capabilities? Check out the Aperture and Lightroom Workshops.

My holiday gift to you - special discount on Photosanity workshops

It's just over a week until Christmas! And whether you celebrate or not, as the year starts to draw to a close, it's a great time to be thinking about what the new year will bring in terms of goals and aspirations.

Over on our peer-to-peer facebook group, Photosanity parents are sharing how Photosanity in general has inspired them to capture natural moments, get in front of the camera more AND get year end photo projects done. And we've been getting great feedback on the Holiday Card Workbook, so if you found it useful in helping you think about how you can break down an overwhelming task, we have a little surprise gift for you….

That's right, we are offering a 20% discount, good on all Photosanity online workshops ordered by December 24th, 2013. Use for yourself or buy as a gift for a spouse or friend (note, gift orders must be placed by Dec 23rd to receive the digital gift card on the 24th).

Find your Photosanity workshop

To help you decide what to purchase, we'll be running three short blog posts this week, each featuring a Photosanity workshop. Today we'll be talking about Stop Missing the Moment, on Wednesday we'll talk about The Photosanity Workshop and on Friday we'll cover the Aperture and Lightroom Workshops.

Stop Missing the Moment

The newest of the Photosanity workshops, this introductory workshop takes less than an hour but is broken into six videos to make it even easier for you to squeeze it into your busy schedule.

It gets you started on your path to Photosanity by showing you how to more fully experience and capture the moments that you most want to remember with your kids - I share with you the most common mistake parents make and what you should do instead.

Then we address one of the biggest issues I hear about from parents - how to get out of auto on your DSLR. While we don't have time to cover this in depth, I give you the basics AND my secret parent-friendly recipe so you can start getting better results right away. Parents who have taken this workshop have said goodbye to auto forever!

I also cover the basics for a simple but effective photo organization system to get your photos under control. And I'll tell you about the one step you're probably missing that is holding you back from getting your photos on your walls.

And all for less than the cost of a nice dinner!

Stop Missing the Moment makes a great gift for any new or expectant moms.

A short, introductory photography workshop, Stop Missing the Moment is also a thoughtful choice for moms with older kids who never quite got around to breaking open their DSLR camera manual and who you know love photographing their kids but are frustrated with the results.

Triumphs, tips and gifts this week at Photosanity

This week I gave advice on last minute holiday gifts for the photographers of all ages in your family, celebrated a simple parenting triumph, and talked about how to plan ahead for capturing the moment during the holidays, or any special time of year.

Gifts for the Budding Photographer in Your Life

Looking for gifts for the budding photographer in your life?

There is still plenty of time to shop. On Mom365, I shared some ideas for babies, little kids, bigger kids and mom and dad.

Read more.

Triumph, pizza and parenting

This past weekend I had one of those moments - those moments when time stands still and you get a sudden blast of perspective.

We were at a one-year-old's birthday party and it was time for pizza. Liam and Jack plonked themselves down at the table and proceeded to stuff their faces with pizza while Keith and I relaxed at the other side of the table... and all the other first time moms looked on with a mixture of horror and envy ...

Read more.

Top 5 tips for capturing holiday moments

It always feels like the holidays come up so fast, at least as an adult with small kids. I can never quite believe they are here. We put up our tree this weekend and decorated it on Tuesday night and I still can't believe it!

With so much to take care of (decorations, gifts, cards, cooking, hosting etc) it can be easy to feel unprepared for actually experiencing and capturing the moment, so to help you out, here are my top tips for capturing holiday moments through photography.

Read more.

Give the gift of a Photosanity Workshop

Giving Photosanity Workshops as gifts (or putting them on your Wish List) just got easier. Take a look at the brand new Photosanity Collection, complete with a Buy as Gift feature.

Find your gift.

Holiday card workbook, Ask Moxie Christmas workbook and Unshakable Soul meditation


The holidays are upon us! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that you are well rested as well as well fed and ready to go.

I'll admit it, I have not really started on holiday preparations yet, although I have been thinking and writing about it a lot! Check out yesterday's Mom365 blog post to catch up on tips and advice on holiday photo gifts and cards and to get an overview on what I'll be writing about there over the next few weeks.

And if you haven't downloaded it yet, it's not too late - check out the Photosanity Stress-Free Holiday Card Workbook. The latest date we recommend ordering your cards is December 9th (using minted.com lead times and express shipping). So you still have almost a week!

Get Christmased from Ask Moxie

I also have another great workbook to recommend to help you prepare for the holidays - my friend Magda at Ask Moxie has written a workbook called "Get Christmased" to help you identify and address the stress and guilt often associated with the holidays, especially if you feel a lot of pressure to create an amazing experience for your kids. Actually, the workbook covers pretty much any stress point you can think of related to the holidays, whether it's financial, family, food, religion or stress. If you're feeling overwhelmed (and really, who isn't) check it out. Magda's approach is much like mine; she breaks down things that are overwhelming into more manageable pieces so I know you'll find Get Christmased useful.

Meditation from Unshakable Soul

For something completely different, yet related, I also recommend a free guided meditation from another friend, Kimberely Arana of Unshakable Soul (sign up on the right hand side). I have to admit I am not really the meditating type but Kimberely is a powerhouse and has an amazing voice. I found her meditation very simple and effective. Check it out as another way of bringing some calm into this busy time.

Photosanity Fall/Winter Collection

And finally, I am pleased to announce that the Photosanity Fall/Winter 2013 Collection is here! All the Photosanity workshops are online and self-guided so you can follow along at your own pace. I was recently speaking with Photosanity alumna Jenna Lerfald who told me that one of the things she loved about Photosanity was that it was something she could fit into her busy life as a working mom of two. She found it very doable - and life changing.


So, if you're ready to completely change the role that photography plays in your life and the kinds of moments you can experience - as well as capture - with your kids, take a look. Now is the perfect time to get ready for a new year of amazing memories with your family... especially as we've added "buy as a gift" options to all the workshops to make it easy for a spouse or loved one to get you exactly what you want!

Here is a quick guide to the workshops:


If you're looking for an introduction to Photosanity - how to capture natural moments, get out of auto on your DSLR, organize your photos and get them up on your wall, you want Stop Missing the Moment, which includes (6) 10 minute videos and a 35 page PDF reference guide that you can complete in under an hour.




If you're ready to dive into a 12 week workshop that will change your life - The Photosanity Workshop covers everything that a busy parent needs to know so they can more fully experience and capture their children's lives through photography. Hundreds of parents have been through this workshop and completely transformed the way they take photos and the results they get.



If you're struggling with organization and editing - you need the Aperture or Lightroom Workshops to get you all set for 2014. These workshops include a comprehensive system for easily organizing, editing and sharing your photos. You even get an Aperture Library Template or a Lightroom Catalog that you can import your photos into so they practically organize themselves.

You can start by taking Stop Missing the Moment before deciding if you're ready to jump into The Photosanity Workshop or Aperture or Lightroom, or you can dive right in to the workshop you want right now!


All workshops include membership in the private peer-to-peer Photosanity Facebook group where you can connect with other like-minded parents, and you get lifetime access to workshop materials, including any revisions or updates.

Gratitude - photographing my kids is my way of giving thanks


For me, photography - in particular photographing my kids - is one giant exercise in gratitude.

As a mom of two young boys, I find that it can be easy at the end of the day to beat ourselves up about what didn't go well - the tantrum we didn't have time to properly address, the reprimands that came too quickly (or not quickly enough), the sibling conflicts we struggled to mediate, the bedtime routine that took too long.

We are very hard on ourselves - harder probably than any judgmental mom at the playground we might roll our eyes over.

We are hard on ourselves because we are scared. Are we doing enough? Are we doing too much? Will our children be ok? Will they be happy?

Am I a good mom?

When I look at my photos, something inside me breathes a little easier. My face breaks into a smile. My heart quickens.


Look at my boys. They are confident, and happy, and curious, and social, and funny, and filled with love and feeling.

They are ok.

They are thriving.

Everything is going to be ok.

I am a good mom.


My photos also remind me how lucky I am, what a beautiful family and life I have that, while far from perfect, brings me so much joy and delight.

Photography can provide a positive lens through which to view and experience life - and you don't have to be a professional photographer with a fancy camera for this to be true.

If you're interested in joining a community parents just like you in an easy and fun journey towards photosanity, find out more about my free 7 day challenge.

Amazing iPhone photo workshop - thank you!

This weekend I had the amazing privilege of teaching iPhone photography at the Apple Store on the Upper West Side.


I shared some of the photos from my childhood that my father took, and talked about how they inspire me to create the same kind of memories and documentation for my own boys. I noted how happy it makes me when Photosanity parents end up buying or upgrading to a new iPhone after working with me, because it's the camera I use the most to capture spontaneous everyday moments I would otherwise miss as I am not going to carry my DSLR with me all the time. In fact, the first photos of both Liam and Jack were taken on my iphone!

I also shared some of my favorite tips for taking better photos on your iPhone, and we even had a short period of time for people to try out my tips and share their photos with me so I could do some live editing using apps like Snapseed and Camera+ to show the simple transformations that can be made to photos before sharing them.

I closed with a few suggestions on how to seamlessly download and organize iPhone photos and talked about ShutterCal as a great all in one system for sharing daily photos digitally, in prints and on your wall.


Thank you to everyone who came out for the workshop! I've already had a few inquiries about whether there will be an online version of this course so I will think about it although it won't be this year as my schedule is already packed.

But in the meantime, everything I talked about on Saturday is covered in some form in my Stop Missing the Moment Workshop and The Photosanity Workshop. Unlimited membership in the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group is included with the purchase of either workshop, so I do hope you will join me and your fellow photo-obsessed parents there!

Photos by the lovely and awesome Kelley of Kelley Bruso Photography.

Come see me in NYC and let's start the holidays off right

More good news to report this week, from gearing up for tomorrow's family iPhone workshop at the Apple Store to sharing holiday photo tips that make the next few months from Halloween through New Year easy, fun and photo ready!


Come see me tomorrow!

You all know how much I love iPhone photos. Learn to love taking, editing and sharing yours live and in person tomorrow at the Apple Store, Upper West Side. Can't wait to see some of the NYC Photosanity community - and meet new friends - tomorrow morning.

Join me to learn techniques for capturing those fleeting family moments with your iPhone.

Bring the kids along so you can try some of her tips and get instant feedback.

Saturday, October 26, 11:00 a.m.
Apple Store, Upper West Side
1981 Broadway at 67th St.
Register now!


Halloween is coming!

Learn how to take great Halloween photos by keeping kids involved and engaged for maximum fun and treasured memories.

My number one tip - give yourself (and your kids) plenty of time!

Read this and more...



Small Kid Big City - The High Line

The High Line is a favorite photo taking spot for me, both for capturing the moments with my clients and with my kids.

Here is the story of my Small Kid Big City adventures at the High Line on A Child Grows in Brooklyn

Read more.



My favorite holiday photo card ideas

See the three stylish holiday photo card ideas that you can't go wrong with over on Mom365.

Get the tips!.

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!

iPhone photo event, sharing love and loss, museum fun and holiday prep

It was a special week, pausing to honor pregnancy and infant loss day, spending time capturing precious moments and preparing for exciting events to come. Have a great weekend, Photosanity family!


Taking Amazing Photos of Your Kids with iPhone

Join me to learn techniques for capturing those fleeting family moments with your iPhone.

Bring the kids along so you can try some of her tips and get instant feedback.

Saturday, October 26, 11:00 a.m.
Apple Store, Upper West Side
1981 Broadway at 67th St.
Register now!



A mother's story of loss and transformation

It was my honor to speak with mom and grief educator Alana Sheeran about infant and pregnancy loss and to share her advice for fellow mothers.

Read more on Mom365.

Building brainstorm at the Brooklyn Children's Museum


In my latest Small Kid Big City post on A Child Grows in Brooklyn I share photo tips for capturing the moment at museums.

If you're in Brooklyn and looking for creative indoor fun, check out the Children's Museum!

Read more.



Top 3 holiday photo tips on Mom365


It's not too early to be thinking about photos for holiday cards

I've spoken to so many parents who have told me they didn't end up doing a card because they left it too late and couldn't find a good photo.

Don't let this happen to you...