Category Archives: Photographs

How To Use Shutterfly To Create A Summer Memory Photo Book + Get Up To 30% Off Now!

Now that my kids are back in school, I plan on spending time on putting together a photo book of our summer memories.   I used to be the queen of scrapbooking but since having a second child, not so much.  I have created a couple of beautiful photo books in the last few years though and I just love looking through them and sharing them with friends and family, over and over again.

Photo book from a few years ago
Photo book from a few years ago

I am going to spend the next week or so looking through the more than one thousand photos I took this summer and will choose a few dozen photographs that represent our summer well.  Then, I am going to import those photos into my Shutterfly account.  What’s really cool is that I am not limited to importing photos from just my computer. I can also import photos from Facebook, Shutterfly, and even Instagram.  I just might  take more photos with Instagram now that I know that they can be easily added to a Shutterfly photo book.  I’ve been wondering what exactly I would do with Instagram photos besides share fun, filter-effect photos, so being able to add them to a photo book is just fabulous!

I was browsing the selection of photo books on Shutterfly today experimented with their new Custom Path feature.  With Custom Path, I can create a photo book based on one of many designs, add text, even use one photo for a two-page spread like in the image below.

I can also choose a hard cover, soft cover, padding cover, leather cover, or cloth cover for my photo book.

I have a few photo books and I never get tired of looking at them.

Shutterfly photo book
Two-Page Spread/One Photo


Find the perfect photo for a two-page spread might be a little tricky but I’m determined to pull it off.  This will be the best photo book yet!

Do you use Shutterfly to create photo books or do you create scrapbooks the old-fashioned way, with paper, die-cut shapes, and actual printed photos?

Right now (8/24/12) , Shutterfly is offering 30% off on 12×12 photo books, 20% off on 8×8 and 8×11 photo books, and 15% off on 7×9 and 5×7 photo books!  This is a limited time offer.

I am a Shutterfly affiliate. I may make a commission if you buy after clicking on a link in this post.

iPhone Photography for Parents: Apps That Will Make Your Life More Colorful Instantly

The rapidly increasing photographic capabilities of the iPhone are beginning to rival those of standalone cameras. Apple’s flagship smartphone manages to pull off amazing iPhonography without the use of additional lenses and filters. That’s especially convenient for busy parents without a lot of time to fiddle with their camera equipment when trying to capture a moment in time. Here are four amazing iOS apps that will allow you to take stellar photos on the fly with your phone.


While Instagram is more closely associated with nostalgic hipsters and the technorati, it’s really perfect for anybody who wants to take distinctive photos. It’s the kind of app that’s tailor-made for taking photos of the kids at the beach. Vacation photos just look better for some reason when they have a washed out, analog color palette created by a custom filter and some post-production effects.  A newer feature of Instagram is that you can import photo from your iphone’s photo album and edit them in Instagram.  I love this! Sometimes I just can’t get to Instagram quick enough to snap a shot using the Instagram app, but now I can snap the shot with the native camera app then import it into Instragram to edit and publish online.

Pros: It is very easy to view your photo with many different filters in just seconds.
Cons: As of now, there isn’t a way to access your Instagram photos via an online interface.  With the number of iPhone users using Instagram, this would be a great feature.

Instagram iPhone photograph example
Instsagram photograph - Click to enlarge


Much like Instagram, Hipstamatic allows parents to tweak the look of their family photos to achieve a timeless feel. The stock installation of Hipstamatic costs a mere $1.99, though the base functionality can be extended with “HipstaPaks” comprised of custom filters that run $0.99 a piece. I spent about $5 on “HipstaPaks” for purposes of this story.  Users can preview the add-on HipstaPaks and download the right digital lenses before a photo shoot or family trip, ensuring that you get the perfect look to match any given occasion.  The one thing that I wish Hipstamatic did like Instagram, is allow us to import photographs into the app.  That’s not in Hipstamatic’s plans for now though.
The photographs in the image to the right were all taken with Hipstamatic.  I just changed the film for each photograph. Unlike with Instagram, I couldn’t see the filter being applied to the photo as I lined it up so I didn’t know how the photograph was going to turn out.

Pros: Hipstamatic allows users to share a photo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,Tumblr, Flickr, and a Hipstaccount.
Not easy to switch between films (essentially filters).  You can’t import photographs from your iPhone photo album in order to apply Hipstamatic ‘effects’ to them.

Hipstamatic iPhone photo examples
Hipstamatic photographs - Click to enlarge


If you’re a busy, sleep deprived mom who still cares about looking good, moreBeaute2 should be right up your alley. Like a lightweight, mobile version of Photoshop that works automatically, moreBeaute2 snaps amazing pictures while removing wrinkles and dark under-eye circles immediately. In order to get rid of dark under-eye circles and wrinkles, just take a picture and tap the auto-correct button to look flawless in your photos. Like a mild form of airbrushing, it makes everyone look their best. This is one of my favorite iPhonography apps.. for obvious reasons!

Pros: moreBeaute2 can make the most tired mom look awake and fresh, instantly.
Cons: You can’t adjust color or contrast within the app.

moreBeaute2 iPhone photo app
Before | After - Click to enlarge

Software has an impressive ability to make up for the limitations of the underlying hardware that it’s running on, which is especially true when it comes to mobile photography. That’s not to imply that iOS devices are weak when it comes to the quality of their lenses. However, you can take far better pictures of the family with these programs by your side. For weary parents who rely on their trusty iPhone to act as their primary camera, these worthy applications are all you’ll ever need.
Do you have a favorite iPhone photography app?
Share with us in the comments below.  We love to learn about new and interesting apps!
Alicia Hagan, Editor
I was not compensated from any of these app companies, for this story. I purchased all of the apps mentioned above and all opinions are 100% my own.

Hummingbird Photographs

I love this time of year in Atlanta.  While I’m not too fond of the 95 degree heat, I love knowing that we will see hummingbirds regularly starting in July.  I put our hummingbird feeders out in early July this year and  it paid off.. with one visiting hummingbird.  After that initial hummingbird visit, I didn’t see another hummingbird for almost three weeks.  This last week however, they’ve been visiting like they own our front porch and I love it!  Yesterday, I had a stand off with a hummingbird or maybe it was telling me thank you for the food. I don’t know but it was a little freaky having a hummingbird hovering about 2 feet in front of my face for good 30-45 seconds.


I majored in photography during my first two years of college and seeing as how I went to college 15 years ago and haven’t pursued photography as a career, I have forgotten 95% of what I learned.  I’ve held onto my love of nature photography though.  Hummingbirds are so fast and tiny making it a challenge to photograph them.  You could say I like the chase.  I don’t have to chase my kids down to photograph them.  I just say “freeze!” or “you’re not getting dinner if you don’t let me photograph you in that outfit” and they’re game.  Hummingbirds are an entirely different story.  I find myself sitting on the front porch stalking them.   I am not one to get excited about much so thank you little hummingbirds for providing me with some happy excitement for a few months a year!

What’s your favorite thing to photograph? Your kids, birds, flowers, buildings?  Please share in the comments below.
Alicia Hagan, Editor


Hey mommies! We are giving away a 12×12 Photobook from Vistaprint

Last week, my husband packed up our printer and brought it with us on our Spring Break vacation so he could print a few photographs of our 3 year old daughter in his spare time (ha!) during our vacation.
Why?  Because Madelyn, our 3 year old, has been commenting on the fact that we don’t have any framed photographs of her up.   There are a couple of photographs of both kids on the fridge, but that’s it.  There are dozens of photographs of Sebastian (10 years old) all over the house, but not one framed photograph of Madelyn.  See the photograph to the right.. the frames to the right are full of photographs of Sebastian while the frames to the left are empty.  That’s so sad.   Needless to say, Tim didn’t print photographs while we were in Orlando last week.. we were a little busy.  I am however, determined to print and frame enough photographs to fill the blank spaces in the frames to the right.. before her 4th birthday, May 9th.  Please say a prayer for me!

While I am looking through photographs on my computer to print for Madelyn’s frames, I am going to flag a bunch of photos starting from the day she was born so I can finally create a scrapbook for her.  Her scrapbook may not be as elaborate as Sebastian’s, it will most likely be a Photobook.. from Vistaprint (why not?) but at least we’ll have something to look through.  I love both of my kids so much.. it breaks my heart that I haven’t spent as much time on organizing and sharing photographs of her as I did when Sebastian was younger.  I am much busier now than I was when Sebastian was her age, but that doesn’t take the guilt away.  So, enough of the sad stories..

I am so excited about this giveaway because a lucky reader is going to win a personalized 12 x 12 Photobook that will be cherished forever.

These days it seems we all keep our photos online.. as we should for security and longevity of our memories.  However, there’s nothing like having hard copies of your photos to share with your friends & family!

  • The winner will get to choose from hard cover, leather cover, or linen cover and will receive instructions for ordering their 12×12 Photobook from Team Mom.
  • The Photobook includes 26 pages and a variety of layout and design options and free 14-day shipping.
  • The value of the giveaway is over $50.

Here’s how to enter:

  • Tell me in the comments below why you should win.. easy, huh?
  • Tweet this giveaway (limit 1 tweet per day.. and follow @mommyinsider so I know you Tweeted)
    Tweet this: Photobook give­away – a $50+ value. @mommyinsider @VistaPrint
  • Entries accepted through May 10th, 2010
  • OR fill out this form:

Vistaprint also offers such great products as Birthday Invitations, Custom T-shirts, and Personalized Mugs.

Disclosure: TeamMom and Vistaprint are offering this great giveaway to readers.  I have not received compensation of any kind for this post or giveaway.

Picture Keeper – makes saving and sharing your photographs a snap!

I just love this new gadget!  There is not a mom I know that couldn’t use a Picture Keeper.

The Picture Keeper is a flash drive with embedded software that you don’t have to download to your hard drive–you just plug it in and it finds and copies all of your image files! Have more than one computer?  You can use the same Picture Keeper for multiple computers, including a Mac and a PC!  I have a PC desktop and a Mac laptop and it’s great to know that Picture Keeper will work on both.

When all of your photographs are on the Picture Keeper, unplug it and store it in a safe place. If you have a digital photo frame, plug the Picture Keeper in for an instant slide show. Or take your Picture Keeper to the drug store to select and print photos from a kiosk. Every time you take new photos and download to your computer, just plug in the Picture Keeper and it will find the new or modified files and add only those!

For more information about Picture Keeper and to buy a 8GB or 16GB Picture Keeper visit the Picture Keeper website here.