long live the point-and-shoot! (sponsored)

The following post/photo tips brought to you by Best Buy. Thanks, Best Buy!
As I mentioned in last week's post, I don't use an expensive camera. I used to, pre-digital days, but since having kids, I've found it easier, and more successful, to stick with something portable (pocket-sized), affordable (if it gets lost or broken, you won't cry) and easy (so that your husband who isn't a fan of taking pictures will stand-in as your pregnancy photographer every Monday. ED: I know I'm late with my update. See: tomorrow morning).

My camera costs less than two-hundred dollars, which means you can purchase a MacBook (mine actually CAME from Best Buy because the Apple Store at The Grove gives me anxiety) for price of a Canon Rebel SLR (& lens) and learn to doctor photos yourself via iphoto (which comes free with your Mac). This is always my advice to friends in the market for family friendly camera equipment. Even if you are in the market for something with professional quality, you'll absolutely want to keep your portable point-and-shoot around.
Hal & Archer, Newark airport

Don't get me wrong, someday I will gladly drop a million dollars (Ha!) on incredible camera equipment. I fantasize about this daily - specifically being able to create my own stop-motion montages, short films with whimsical soundtracks, home movies that look like... movies. I'd love to someday take shots where the hazel in Archer's eyes is palpable and Fable's smile sparkles with rainbows.
Warwick, NY (this photo taken in the park Hal grew up playing in)
Fable, downtown (one of my very favorite photos of her)

But for now, I love this camera of mine. I love that its non-assuming, comfortable to hold. I love that I get to be a spy in my little world, sneaking behind bushes, catching quiet moments of my children playing through the trees. I love that a picture that isn't amazing "before" can become magical in its afterlife:
I used to be embarrassed showing up with fellow bloggers, friends, even family with their gorgeous cameras and matching camera bags, their drool-worthy lenses... But just like one learns to appreciate what she has, I've found myself a changed woman.

One doesn't need a fancy camera to be taken seriously as a photographer. Beauty is subjective, anyway.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's camera. Instead? Love the camera you have! Or better yet, love its subjects. They're after all, what makes an image beautiful.
Archer's Olympus T-100 c/o his (after) school photography class



Lauren | 3:32 PM

I would never have known that you didn't own a fancy-schmancy camera if you hadn't let the cat out of the bag. Your photos are always gorgeous {maybe that is because your kids are so stinkin cute!}

Liz | 3:41 PM

You're inspiring me to be more creative with the camera I have instead of coveting a fancy DSLR... I probably couldn't figure out all the settings anyway.

findingmagnolia | 3:56 PM

I have a ginormous digital SLR, and it's just so hard to take it with me to get photos of Zinashi. We are anxiously awaiting our tax refund so we can get something smaller and simpler. Smaller really is better when you're on the go with kids!

Kathleen | 3:57 PM

You know I have both a point and shoot and a DLSR. I find I use the point a shoot more often because it can fit in my pocket.

88 | 4:32 PM

You're so right about editing after the fact! For the longest time I had a regular, everyday non-fancy digital camera and turned out great photos. So much has to do with the content of the capture anyway. I received a new camera for my birthday last year - a gorgeous, shiny, bright red Pentax that I'd been lusting after for over a year. My boyfriend, unbeknownst to me, had taken up a collection from all my friends and family willing to contribute to its purchase. The card was a total tear-jerker - all of their names written out and a beautiful note from him stating that he, and all those listed, believed in my creativity. It still gives me chills! And I am STILL learning how to properly use the camera!! :)

Marisa | 4:58 PM

Same here! I always thought you had a fancy camera. Too bad I don't have a Mac (yet!) :-) Thanks for sharing. You're photos are always lovely.

--rock over london | 6:07 PM

I love your photos and your children are absolutely beauteous!


Thanks, guys!

And I love your story, 88! Thanks for sharing!

GingerB | 1:15 AM

Absolutely I thought you had a fancy schmancy camera to do what you do. My children are as lovely as yours but with my point and shoot I often get them mid expression. It must be in my genes but but every woman in my family doesn't close their eyes at the same speed - from my mother down to my daughers and even my dog. Righty always scrunches faster or opens later. And our mouths never stop moving. I have hundreds of examples to prove it!!

How do you overcome the shutter delay of the point and shoot? this is why I also have a digital SLR but I still don't really know how to work it.

Chriss | 5:44 AM

what camera is ARcher using? I want to get a camera for my son that isn't too expensive and is easy to use.

I googled Toshiba t100 and got a laptop?


Unknown | 6:44 AM

I'm with you in the point-and-shoot camera club. Even if a fancy camera was in my budget, I would still carry my little Sony everywhere I go. Thank you for writing something to give me pride in my little camera and the power of editing with what you have.


Chriss- It's an Olympus, not a Toshiba. (No idea WHY I typed that! Pregnancy brain? I linked to it in the post! Good luck! xo!

Frau Nelson | 8:22 AM

Great points (pun intended, ha ha). I especially love your last two sentences. :)

Grandpa Norm | 11:49 AM

Think about the great photogs whose names are synonymous with great pictures. Most of them did not use expensive cameras. What they usd were relatively inexpensive, but rugged items that withstood punishment AND took great pics. Expensive equipment is okay, but it amounts to less than a quarter of the result.

LBC | 12:41 PM

I love the photos you take. When I was in the market for a new "pursecam," I Flickr-stalked your photostream to find out what you were using. If you do another post about photography, will you share some of the tips you use on capturing the moment? Like whether you make sure to turn the flash off, how many shots you take to get the good ones, do you ask your kids to pose/smile or just follow the movement journalist style? Inquiring photographers want to know!

Anabelle | 2:33 PM

This is so true. I started really looking AT the things I was taking in picture, thinking: what is beautiful in what I am looking at? What is different, or rare? What detail should I capture? What scene will I want to remember always? And then iphoto helps me to shade my pictures and to give them more depth.
I think I am getting better at taking pictures because I listen more to my eye...

Thanks for sharing!

And by the way you look great (that's for your latest post): super pretty pregnant !

oh, jenny mae | 8:10 AM

i have a dslr (that i got as a gift from my 'rents,) but i hesitate to take it so many places when i have all 4 kids with me. i miss my point and shoot. my boy broke it & i haven't purchased a new one. i use my iphone camera when i don't have the big one, but i do want another point and shoot someday.

Ray | 12:39 PM

Thanks for making us all with "point-and-shoots" feel better. ;o) You take awesome photos. I love the first one especially. Do you know of a great/free editing program that's not iPhoto? I do not have a Mac.

Also, in the last photo: Is that a painting that Archer drew? It's so cute. ^o^

Ray | 3:26 PM

"Don't get me wrong, someday I will gladly drop a million dollars (Ha!) on incredible camera equipment. I fantasize about this daily - specifically being able to create my own stop-motion montages, short films with whimsical soundtracks, home movies that look like... movies."

^^I'd love to be able to do the same thing. ;D

JustTheirDad | 11:30 PM

I'm with you. I have 2 DSLR cameras and shoot in raw. It's great when I go out specifically targeting a photoshoot, but dragging around a big camera is a pain in the butt. And then to have to process all the photos just to use them... it became a pain. Often the cameras sit in a bag waiting for that photoshoot that will make me a millionaire. My wife ran over my last point-and-shoot, so most of my blog pics are now simply iPhone pics.

The best camera to use is the camera that is with you, and it is a pain to carry a DSLR everywhere, so if you won't carry it, why have it?

And have you ever tried doing the one-handed-self-portait-of-you-and-a-kid shots? Not fun with a big camera.