why i am leaving my fancy camera at home

Lately I have been finding myself reluctant to take my DSLR camera.

It is big.

I don’t even like carrying a purse.

And my iPhone is taking better and better pictures thanks to a few secrets I am about to share.

iphone take picturesHow to take pictures with iPhone


The olloclip is a 3-in-one lens for iPhone 4 and 4S.   The lens are fish eye, macro and wide angle.

olloclip on iphoneIt slips over the corner of the built-in phone lens.   The only drawback is that it won’t fit over a cover.   The lens comes in a little bag that easily fits into a pocket when not in use.

olloclip fish eye at the ballparkHere is a photo I took this week at a Ranger game with the fisheye lens.

The olloclip can be used with the iPhone camera or with any of the photo apps that I love.


I know that Instagram is NOT new.   In fact, I have been using it for a year or so, but that doesn’t discount how amazing it is!

It has become my digital scrapbook.   I take photos all the time that never make it to a blog or FB, but there they are on Instagram to look back or share.   I love how easily it interacts with twitter.

A quick phone shot can look great with just a click of one of the filters.

Instagram iPhone picThis was taken at the ballpark at the game that Rhett and I attended.   I snapped it and posted to Instagram which shared it with twitter automatically.

It also saves it to my phone photo album where I grabbed it to text to grandparents watching the game on TV and daddy who had to work.

If you are on Instagram, please follow me – I am texasholly over there.

DMD iPhone app

This is one of my new obsessions.   It is SO cool!

It is a panoramic photo taken in multiple shots and automatically added together to create one large photograph.   You simply hold your phone upright and pan across the scene you want to photograph and just tell it when to stop.   Magically, a few seconds later you have something like this…

DMD panoramic photograph at ballparkThis photo was actually 5x the size I can show here.   Depending on how many shots are seamed together, the size can be quite large.

I also really like how they are shown on the iPhone screen with a panning movement.   It really makes you feel like you are there.

I have been using the olloclip wide angle lens with this.

PicFrame iPhone app

You know how I am mourning the loss of Picnik.   One of the reasons I love Picnik so much is the ease in which a collage can be made.   So imagine my surprise when I found PicFrame could do this FROM MY PHONE:

PicFrame collage from iPhone at ballpark{I did add the June Cleaver Nirvana text}, but the collage is all made on PicFrame using photos I took on my phone.

There are a ton of different collage options that can all be modified into other collages.   Once you have your collage finished, you can save it to your phone or share it on nearly every social media platform known to woman.

Camera Awesome or Camera Plus Pro

I have been using Camera Plus for a year or so to take pictures on my phone when I didn’t have the latest phone.   It was a huge improvement over just using the iPhone camera.   When I upgraded to the latest iPhone, I found the camera was MUCH improved and I didn’t need it to get a good picture.

I still use Camera Plus to edit photos that need help or if I am going to be taking a bunch of pictures, I might take them through Camera Plus so editing is easier.

And then a month or so I found Camera Awesome.   Which is awesome.   It has even more filters, textures and edits and can be used just like Camera Plus.

Camera Awesome edited photoThis photo was a mess before I put it into Camera Awesome.   You can see that Reid in the background is moving, but I loved the interaction between the boys and the look on Rhett’s face.   I “awesomized” the photo and then applied a texture and something else that looked kinda fancy when I was doing it.   A few clicks later, I have a photo to post to Instagram that I adore.

I don’t want to play favorites between Camera Awesome and Camera Plus because I use them both!

I still use my BIG camera at home or if I know I will be spending the day taking photographs, but for everyday life with the help of these apps and add-ons, my iPhone does a great job.



  1. I love this post, Holly! I can not wait for a new iPhone. I’m hanging in with my old 3gs dinosaur because I really want to pounce on an iPhone 5 later this year. I love that lens! I saw that in the Clickin Moms store the other day and wanted so badly to buy it… I just hesitate since it won’t fit over a cover.

  2. The no cover thing is something I am learning to deal with. What I have done is take a wallet-on-a-string kinda purse that my phone fits into and put the olloclip in my pocket. That way my phone is protected when I carry it, but it does make me nervous to be using it without a cover :). They need a Mom-proof version!

  3. I agree about not wanting carry the dslr around. These days I often head out with my ID/checkcard/$$ in one pocket, iPhone in another pocket, sunglasses on my head, and keys in my hand – don’t want no bag to weigh me down! And even though I adore my epiphanie bag and love shooting with my dslr, I’m loving the shots that I can get with my iPhone (new iPhone user here after 20 months with a Droid).

    I dl’d DMD thanks to your suggestion. I have Camera Awesome but haven’t done much with it lately, and now I’m thinking of getting Camera Plus Pro, too. I adore Instagram. And I’m going to save my pennies and get that olloclip! I’ve been wanting the fisheye lens, I like the idea of having the macro and wide angle as well. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Love your blog and all the info. Already downloading the apps. I sometimes forget I can take pix with my iPhone and then realize it so the moment is not lost. I also have a DSLR and a small point and shoot but use my phone more. Love Instagram (beaderbubbe) Am following u on twitter too. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Holly. You know, I have a very, very outdated mobile. ha,ha! My hubby has been bragging me to buy an iPhone. I said I don’t need that, but now I think I am convinced. 🙂

  6. Thanks Holly! I’m going to check out Camera Awesome, looks like it could be really helpful. I wonder if it’s available for iPad too?

  7. Thanks Holly this is great – was just thinking how less often I haul my camera and needed to do some research on better phone photos – thanks for doing my work!

  8. Husband has the 4s and I am madly jealous because he doesn’t use the camera nearly as much as I use mine on my regular iphone 4. I love the lens attachment but would probably never use it b/c I also keep my phone in a case.

    Also, all the Rangers pictures are killing me. Still haven’t been to a game yet this season!

  9. Just yesterday, I said to myself that I need to get one of these iPhone Camera lenses. My teen nephew told me about it. It is great to be able to read about your experience.

  10. I have a macro lens for my 4s and loooooooove it, a fish eye would be awesome to have though. I take so many photos with my phone it’s ridiculous … An sometimes have to make myself go pick up my dslr.

  11. Have you found a picnik replacement? I use that website for all of my editing (I’m not a pro, so cant justify buying photoshop when everything I really need is on picnik). Losing picnik is like losing a best friend. I need to find a replacement in the next few days!!! Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

  12. PicMonkey is a very good alternative to Picnik. 🙂

  13. woo hoo! I find I’m not even putting batteries in my camera much lately because I love my iphone! Pic frame sounds awesome. I have not used it. Can’t wait to play.. I mean work.. I mean play!

  14. Marcy Boudreaux-Johnson says:

    I LOVE photogene2 for edits and collages. Great frames available. Super fast & easy to create gorgeous photos!

  15. These tips are great. I have been very unsatisfied by the photos I’ve taken with my iPhone. I’m going to give these a try.

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