The moment I became a mother I was struck with the realization that life is precious, fleeting, and not to be taken for granted.  I mean, I knew that before having children but I didn't know it know it.  You know?  I think about my own mortality a lot, too; I'm not going to be here forever.  And so I snap away with my iPhone.  Little bits and pieces from our daily life together.  An extra snuggle, a thoughtful glance, or maybe, if I'm lucky, a new milestone.  No one sees the things I do or would even see them the same way I do, so every photo I take leaves a little piece of me behind.  My hope is that one day when I'm gone, my girls will be looking at these photos and they'll pause.  Maybe they'll say, "Look at this one, I didn't even know Mom took a picture of this!"  And right then they'll be flooded with the love I was feeling as I watched over them daily, quietly snapping photos of the beauty before me.  And a mother's love will live on.
Unencumbered by my SLR camera, I am able to capture the purest and most candid moments with my iPhone.  There is a learning curve, however, and I've had to practice and experiment a lot. A couple of years ago, I committed to posting one photo a day on my Instagram account to enforce the practice.  When I scroll back, the drastic improvement is apparent and fuels me to keep pushing and learning.  What could my photos look like in another year, another month even?  My favorite apps are VSCOSnapseed, and Afterlight.  I minimally edit my photos, mostly to get the brightness and saturation back to what I actually saw.  Always a little straightening and cropping.  Each one of these apps stands alone and can do all of those functions, but Snapseed has a few features like Brush and Spot Repair that make it more like a mobile Photoshop. 

To get the sun to appear in this photo, I had to underexpose my daughter in the foreground (I set the exposure point right along that horizon line).  Afterwards, I was able to use the Brush tool to lighten her up a little bit. Now I'll always have this beautiful keepsake reminder of a mountain vacation with family, a special ballet leotard from Nana, and that girl who never thinks twice before abandoning the trail in favor of walking amongst the wildflowers.
You can see more of Gina's beautiful iphone photography on her instagram feed.