Snap With What You’ve Got

Last summer, I attended a photography session at Blogher where the lovely Rachel Devine kept emphasizing that the best camera to have is the one you’d have with you and use.

Of course, at the time I thought, “well, my POS point and shoot is just not good enough.” And so, I got my DSLR. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve taken some fantastic shots with it, and I’m only getting better at it; however, a camera is only as good as you let it be. If you’re not going to keep it out all the time, take it everywhere with you, then you’re not going to get great shots all the time, everywhere you go.

Today we ventured to the pool as a family for the first time this summer. I knew it was a moment I’d want to capture, but I also knew I wouldn’t feel safe bringing my fancy camera and using it poolside. It would likely sit in my beach bag the whole time, so I just left it at home and decided to commandeer my husband’s iPhone4.

After watching Kendall “jump” (more like belly flop) into his daddy’s arms several times, I carefully balanced the lump-of chub-shoved-into-a-bathing-suit on one hip and steadied the phone with my elbow against the other hip. Then I employed an iPhone picture taking technique I picked up from Her Bad Mother, where you press down on the shutter button while you’re anticipating the shot, but don’t let up until you see the action you want. There is a little anticipation required, but it’s much easier to get great in-motion pics this way! I’m forever indebted to Catherine for sharing this.

And that is how, without any “fancy” camera or lens, I snapped this beauty…

… a moment I never would have preserved if I relied on my fancy camera, alone.

Just goes to show you, great memories can be captured when you just snap with what you’ve got.

Kendall is 3 years 2 months and Leyna is 6 months old

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  1. Christ, he’s got perfect belly flop form! Maybe he’ll grow up to be a diver….or just one or those guys who wins the spring break belly flop competitions 🙂

  2. Great tip! I’ve cursed my iPhone camera a million times for not being quick enough, just tried holding it down until ready to take the shot and it works great! Thanks for sharing

  3. Seriously, GREAT FORM KENDALL.

    Get him some lessons and an Speedo rep. Or Michael Phelps’ phone number.

    (also great picture Jill. you know. what the post was actually about.)

  4. So true. The best moments I have captured with my daughter have been on my crummy Iphone camera. It’s always right there and my “fancy” camera is rarely within reach.

    Great shot!

  5. Great shot! If you want another tip on how to get an action shot with an iPhone, I’ve got one for you. My (37 year old!) husband & a couple of his other “old man” friends still go out and skateboard to get some exercise. A major part of skateboarding they like is mastera a new trick. They discovered if you take a video of the action, you can pause the video, then once the play/pause bar at the bottom, and the top frames bar go away you can take a screen shot. That way they can get awesome shots of their skateboarding tricks when they have the most air, or whatever the proper term is. You don’t have to worry about anticipating the action! It works great!

    PS. If you don’t know how to take a screen shot, it’s easy. Just press the top lock button and the home button. If you’ve done it right you’ll hear the camera sound & the screen will flash white. You’ll find the photo in your photos!

  6. Amazing photo, Jill! I don’t think I’ve ever caught such a great action shot of Micah! Thanks for the great tip!!

  7. Ooooh, I didn’t know that trick and I kept missing some very important pool slide shots the other day! Definitely going to do a “reshoot” 🙂

    Thanks, Jill!

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