We were spending the day in the China countryside, exploring the hillsides and charming homes, where our gracious hosts kindly allowed our kids to roam all over their house. My little explorer was determined to find every door and water source to be discovered, and he wandered into this empty room where I found him. I stood back from the door in the center of the room so that the light fell in on his body and created the contrast of darkness with the door opening and light spilling in that conveyed that sense of exploration I wanted to convey.

 A central part of taking photographs for me is telling stories. Our lives are made up of them, as is the world around us, and I love for what I capture through my photographs to be more than just a pretty picture, but to communicate something of what is happening in the real life of that moment or that person or that place.
That is why my iphone literally changed my life. I love to use my big camera, but for awhile I was struggling with a lens that was often too tight for both my home and the city streets, my two main settings, and I was losing motivation to find ways to take the photographs that captured my heart and vision. In the meantime, life was moving on as I saved (and am still saving) for a new lens, my family was growing, and the world was passing by (being overdramatic never hurt anyone).
When my husband surprised me with an iphone, my whole perspective changed.  I loved the wide angles and flexibility it allowed within the space of my home, and I loved that it was always with me, so easy to pull out and play with the light and angles and even editing at a moments notice. At the same time, capturing details (like my fascination with hands, especially when cooking together) is an important part of storytelling, and is so much easier to capture with my iphone when we are in the thick of things like dough or flour or a pileup on dad.
I am always drawn to dramatic light and dark, moody photographs and have a continual love affair with black and white that threatens to take over my world. So using the exposure slider in the Vscocam controls helps me to achieve that look, as well as the easy to use filters Vscocam offers for editing. I still think about light all the time, and how it hits my subject or affects the mood of the setting. I still look for composition and whether there are distractions or ways to position myself to best tell the story of the moment. But often I take photos that don’t work. And the wonderful thing about the phone is that I can just keep trying without the cumbersome intrusion or time-consuming need of the Big Camera.
The most important factors for me while taking photos with my phone are:
  •       Looking for and noticing light
  •       Being aware of and noticing the details and moments that tell the story
  •      Using apps that give me control over exposure and focal point, like VSCOcam
My favorite apps are:
  • VSCOcam for shooting and editing. I use this almost exclusively
  • Camera+
  • Mextures for more extreme editing creativity
  • Whitagram for posting pictures that are not square
You can read more of Christine's story here and see more of her beautiful pictures on her instagram feed.