As a teenager, I tried to capture moments, not really understanding why but knowing I wanted them, with disposable cameras and my mother’s Polaroid.  As I grew so did the need and the belief to get a better camera and with that high quality images. I am going to admit…my name is Leah and I was a non-believer of the ‘mobile’ phone camera.
However, my journey blossomed when I became a mother, and those little snippets of growth and change became more important to record. It seemed more paramount to be in the moment, than to worry about the settings, the lighting, the environment – I wanted to capture what I was seeing right there – securing those feelings I was experiencing as I was with them.
So I decided to take a risk and change my way of thinking. On a trip from one side of the world to the other, I took my old cheap phone (2 kids and little money, believe me when I tell you I had the basic technology – but it had a camera and that was the main thing). I left my ‘real’ camera on the staircase as we closed the door a midst rushing to the airport – and I remember that lingering hesitation like I was leaving one of the family behind and crying, as I quickly shut the door. Ok phone, it is me and you, and we are going to work together.
In that experience, I found the mobile phone taught me more useful tips for recording life. It was quiet and sneaky to spy on the kids and capture them laughing, teasing, helping one another without the obligatory turn and smile at the big black object on their mother's face. It also helped me find light. We all love those sunbeams, and glorious sun flare circles – the phone seemed to pinpoint them for me. Composition – without realizing, having that little screen was far easier to compose my subject and scene. Times where I probably would never have thought of photographing were easily snapped up and in that process I captured moments that continue to hang framed on my wall.
When I started, I was only using my old android phone camera and editing using the ‘Instagram’ filters. A year or so on, and thank you VSCO cam, and PicTapGo. Where were you hiding and please do not ever leave me. I also still use an android phone.
I truly believe, either using a basic or fancy phone, a camera is a camera. Your eyes are your vision, and your family is your life. You capture what you see, what you find, and what you do not want to miss.

This photos is one of my first snaps on the phone. I adore it because; will they still have that silly bond as adults? Probably not, I hope so, but it does not matter because at that moment – aged 2 and 8 – and while I sat in the front of the car as a passenger, I caught a connection – a feeling of love and her little brother laughing because he was blocking kisses even though he asked for them.  My eyes, my life, my moment. 

You can see more of Leah Donaldson's beautiful phone photography on instagram and on her vsco grid.