This family shoot was so much fun. The V family got together to celebrate a special birthday and wanted to capture the moment forever. It’s really so important, especially when grandparents are involved. I hope they will treasure these pics for years to come! Here are a just a few from our afternoon together.

Morristown, NJ photographer
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Are you ready to find out what the secret to a successful family session is? Put the camera down! Yes,  you read that right. I know it sounds like the exact opposite of what you should be doing, but let’s face it, kids need breaks. When you’re trying for the perfect family shot and it’s just not happening, put the camera down and change things up. Mister Owen was having a great time checking out all the rocks and sticks at the park, but he was having a hard time sitting with mom and dad for a family picture. We sang songs, we played peek-a-boo, and he started to get restless so we moved on and let him run around a bit. It really helps with toddlers who are active. That’s what’s nice about being outside and not stuck in a mall portrait studio too. I’ve got all the time in the world. I have no problem waiting for the shot to happen and it usually always does. Here’s the proof!

mother and daughter smiling
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little boy on his father

fun things to do with your camera phone

Getting back to blogging after being in a funk. Welcome to another 5 on Friday – 5 things I’m obsessing over. This week I’ll be featuring fun things you can do with your IPhone.

1. Use it like a ‘real’ camera. Did you know that you can tap anywhere on the screen to focus? Tapping on the screen to isolate your subject will also adjust the exposure and white balance too. So the next time you use your phone to take a picture, get creative! Focus on something unexpected.

2. Are you on Instagram? Well you should be! Go sign up … right now. I’ll wait. Not only is it a great place to share photos with family and friends, it’s always a great source of inspiration. Check out this link for some of my favorite ‘grammers.

3. Now that you’re on Instagram, create your own hashtag. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound sign. It looks like this #stacymaephotography. It allows the word or phrase you’ve entered to be searchable by you and other people on social media. It’s also an easy way to categorize or organize your photos. For example, my family and I recently took a road trip to Washington D.C. I knew that I wanted to create a photo book of our trip so I created the hashtag #canzdcadventure. Now I can just type that hashtag in to Instagram and all of the images will be there and it’ll be easier than scrolling through thousands of pictures on my phone to find the ones I want to print. Be careful about the hashtag you choose though because other people may be using it to0. Be specific!

4. Experiment with a different lens. If you take a lot of pictures on your phone (yup, that’s me!), why not make it a little more fun. Try a  macro and get super close ups of the flowers in your garden. Use a wide angle lens to capture cool landscape shots. Or, get funky and try the fisheye for silly pictures of the kids. And their pretty inexpensive too! Check ‘em out here.

5. Go underwater. Yes, put your phone UNDER WATER. I did this last summer and it was so much fun!! I will be honest, it took me a while to get up the nerve to dunk my phone, but with the right case, it’s perfectly safe. The hardest part was trying to keep from floating up before I took the picture! This is the case that I used, but there are so many options out there.

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