Why do you love to utilize your phone to capture these images?
I LOVE having a camera with me at all times. I just never know when one of my two boys is going to do something ridiculously entertaining, or sweet, or beautiful. And being the mom of two young boys, I feel like most of my time is spent trying to make sure they don’t majorly hurt themselves, which usually requires two hands, and a third if I could have one. It’s really hard carrying around my big camera all of the time–it’s heavily, bulky, and can be very distracting. I find that having my phone in my back pocket is wonderful for capturing a quick image or ten while we are out and about. It goes back into my pocket just as easily, and I have both my hands free again.
Has your phone helped spark more creativity onto other type of work?
I think my phone has been really wonderful in helping me to develop, and strengthen my photographic voice. It allows me to experiment with new angles, composition, lighting, and subject, without all the effort of shooting manually on a fancy camera. After I began shooting with my phone everyday a couple years ago, I really began to notice that all my images, including the photos I was capturing with my fancy camera, were stronger overall, especially with capturing light, and storytelling.
Where does your inspiration come from ?
My boys are my everything, and these images are my love letters to them. I hope they can look at them one day and feel the love that I put into them all. It’s important to me to document all the little endearing details about them, in an honest way. Our everyday life together is nothing very exciting, but I still find so much beauty in our life. Sometimes, when these everyday moments feel extra hard, just being able to focus on pretty light and shadows, and the realness of life with children, makes it all a little easier.
Can you share some tips to achieving your style of art?
-I always look for the light. Once you start to truly “see the light,” it starts to become an obsession. I especially love pretty light, paired with interesting, and deep shadows. Pretty light for me, is not always a strong sun flare, but more often a a soft, indirect light from a window. I try to find the line between the light and shadows, most often, exposing for the highlights. I love to actually see the contrast of the light somewhere in the background of the images, when I can find them. To expose for highlights, once I’ve framed up the photo for composition, I will tap on the brightest area of the image on the screen, to bring down the exposure…this brings the highlights, as well as the shadows down.
-I also try to capture the image as if I am a fly on the wall, which I am a lot of time, unless the boys are about to hurt themselves or each other. I want my images to convey a true documentary style…uninterrupted, real-life situations, frozen in time. If I catch them interacting in an interesting way, whether it be with their surroundings, or each other, I will sit down, right where I want to document the image from, and frame it up on my screen, and then wait. I wait for the exact moment that reveals the connection, and tells the story. I will then hold down the “shutter” button on the exterior side of the phone, to capture a “burst” of images. The iPhone, as awesome as it is, as a camera, just isn’t as fast as my big camera. I find the easiest way to counteract this is, to capture a burst, so that I can capture small changes in movement, without missing the one image where everyone is just the way I want them to be.
Favorite communities on Instagram so that we can also follow?
I love the warm, friendly, and supportive community created by @thealbumsco. I get to guest IG for them a few times a month, and I am always warmed by how everyone is so wonderfully kind, honest, and uplifting with one another.
I am also a huge fan on my dear friend Melissa’s new IG community, called @kidsoftheoutdoors. It’s such an inspiration to see families out enjoying nature together. The images she features are just gorgeous.
Gear used to achieve these?
Just about a month ago, I upgraded to an iPhone 6s, but before that, all my iphoneography images were captured on my iPhone 5s. I don’t have any cool lenses, but I think they’d be fun to try.
Favorite editing apps and why?
VSCO cam! It’s the only editing app I use. I like the editing control I have with my images, that mirrors almost exactly how I would edit them in LR.
About the photographer:
Kelly is a Southern California native, and natural light photographer, who has fallen in love with capturing the beauty of everyday life. She strives to document the reality of life with children, with authenticity and emotion; as well as, the humor, adventures, and non-stop energy that being a mom to two boys brings. If she’s not taking pictures of her family, she’s probably drinking coffee or eating ice cream, and listening to NPR.