Red Light + My Light Bulb Moment

Sitting at a red light with both my kids strapped into their carseats behind me I glanced over at the car next to me.

2 adorable girls, probably in college since I was near the university, squeezed together in the drivers seat!  That’s right, you read that correct. They were both sitting behind the wheel with one arm stretched out.


Selfies.  At a red light.


However, when the light turned green the one actually driving handed her phone to her friend, that stayed IN THE DRIVERS seat and continued to snap some selfies.  Window down, hair blowing.


I got a quick honk from the guy behind me since I was sitting staring that these girls with my mouth opened.


I could not wrap my mind around it.  Later, I told my babysitter just knowing she would be just as alarmed and appalled as I was, these girls were probably her roomies, I had not stopped to think.  And she said, “Oh, yea, snap chat!”




My head raced, as a mom, I thought all the mom thoughts.  


“Don’t they know how dangerous…”

“What could be more important than their lives…”

“Who cares what they look like driving down University Rd…?”

“Do they do that on the Highway…”

“Why did they need SO many pics…”


But after a while I began to give them some grace.  I snap 90 shots of my kids too. Only we’re sitting in the backyard eating popsicles and barefoot.


However, the obsession with getting “just the right shot, angle and framed right” is universal across the phone pic arena. 


After that day at the red light I began to make it my mission.  Know what makes a good pic and focus in on getting that super great shot the FIRST time and then putting the phone down.  For safety’s sake but also to just enjoy life and not watch it through the viewfinder screen of my phone!


I was a professional photographer after all, I was used to setting up shots to be perfect and getting just 2 or 3 and moving on.  Why couldn’t we do this with our phones?


I began to tell myself I would get one shot then put my phone inside.  I’d charge it or put it in my bedroom so I wouldn’t be sucked in. But then I just found my self running in to grab it and probably missing the next adorable moment.


So instead I kept it on do not disturb or airplane mode and kept it in my back pocket.


But what I was working on was getting that shot.  The well lit, perfectly framed one that said it all and then sliding my phone back and finishing the swing push or catching him as he slid down the slide.


I began to take the methods I had used at hundreds of weddings for the past 11 years and translate them into my phone picture taking abilities.


I was surprised at how just a few small adjustments gave me the photo I was going after and how I could tap the shot and feel successful.  No need for 20 or 30 to take up my storage. Just 2 or 3.  


What I realized I couldn’t quite get just perfect in the shot I knew I could fix with a quick edit after the kids were in bed and save that to my album folder that I would turn into a REAL tangible photo album at the end of the year.


So the process evolved.  


I discovered there were only really 3 steps needed to get the pic.  Find the light, frame the shot and edit later.


How I wish I could have waved my arms at those girls at the red light and signaled for them to come over for some watermelon and “how to take better phone pics lesson” so they could live till graduation!


I figured out the formula and now I’m completely dedicated to showing mamas, grandmas, college girls and anyone else that wants to get a perfect phone pic and then PUT THE PHONE DOWN so they can actually enjoy life and live in the moment.


In my PHONEography Course I go through the 3 steps of getting the shot.  In the bonus section I answer the ever so popular concern, “but what do I do after I get the perfect picture, how do I get my pics off my phone?”


So, let’s save a life.  Let’s put our phones down and enjoy our life, undistracted and with pretty little phone pics to show for it.

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