Author Archives: Audrey

Photo Apps

Photo apps! So important to me as a grandmother trying to be sneaky about getting shots of my precious  grand daughter. You would think my being a professional photographer it would be easy. But here is the thing, she doesn’t like her photo taken!  This is the year before she goes to preschool so I am caring for her many days during the week. I was going through the photos on my cell phone and realized just how many adventures we have been on so far.  She is a very bright 3 1/2 year old with a wonderful sense of humor but, is not all that often in the mood to have her photo taken much to my chagrin,  I have been working on her and she is getting a little better but only when I use my cell phone and sometimes I have to be sneaky about it.

What does this have to do with photo apps? Well, I will tell you, the theme is always photography. I have so many folks who  are gun shy about showing me the photos they have taken whether it be family or vacation photos. Nonsense I always tell them. Yes, professional photographs are wonderful to have and in my opinion everyone should have them but what we take with our cell phones or personal cameras captures a different element of your life that unless you drag a professional photographer around with you all the time you would miss out.

Today’s cell phones are loaded with different settings much like a regular camera not to mention there are so many photo apps available in the app store that if you just take a little time to learn what the capability of your cell phone camera is and you add a couple of photo apps you will be amazed at what you can do and you will be excited to share your photos with everyone including me.

A few of my free favorite photo apps are Cymera which is great for a quick  photo edit, collage making and some cool frames. I also like Super Photo! Talk about being creative it will blow your mind the things you can do with this app and it’s free!   Photo Editor is also another good one so check it out . Below are a fraction of some of the things you can accomplish with photo apps.

These photos are part of a precious year with my special grand daughter and my dog Sasha.  In September when she goes to pre school I will be designing an album for her to have as her very own using the photos I have taken during this precious year with her. I will be using photo apps on my cell phone to make interesting photos for her new book. I already made one for her that is called Daddy and Me. It is her favorite book and she has it memorized.

So get out there and take great photos not just your selfies but photos with the folks who mean the most to you. Friends, family, teachers etc. Then see what you can do with them and save them to a cloud so you will always have them. I save mine automatically to Drop Box so they always make it to my desk top computer.

Album design is one of the products I offer to my clients. The cost for an original 12×12  one of a kind book (no templates are used)  is $310. It will hold up to 60 photos. There is an additonal cost of $10 a page if you want more photos in your book.  So if you don’t have the time or desire to create an album, give me a call, I will be happy to create a special memory book for you!


For this photo I used Cymera and added a frame. You can also edit the photo itself in all kinds of ways.



For an example of photo editor I added a soft vignette, many other things you can do with this app

photo editor


The Super Photo app is one of my favorites so here is a collage of just a fraction of what you can do with it.

Super Photo 1



Posted in News

Creativity Flows When You Open Your Mind

Creativity flows when you open your mind and sometimes that happens unexpectedly. Recently after a busy day I stopped by the beach to take my dog Sasha for a walk on the sand. It was so beautiful out and I smiled as my mind quieted and my soul calmed to a peaceful place. The beach has always been my place of solace. Anyway, I had my cell phone with me and as I walked along the beach I began to notice natures beautiful sculptures in the sand which inspired me. So I pulled out my cell phone and started taking shots of these wonderful little treasures. I had only been doing this for less than 5 minutes when I found a heart rock which always brings me joy. (I have a tray of them at home) I took just a couple more shots and then focused on Sasha. I came home high on the beach, the sky and natures wonderful little sculptures which by means of my cell phone I brought home with me to share with you. It didn’t take a lot of time and I didn’t make a lot out of it, just shot what I saw.  So next time you are out whether it be to walk your dog or just spend some time being with yourself, remember creativity flows when you open your mind. Pull out your cell phone and see what beautiful and interesting things nature has left for you that day. Look up, look down, look all around, I know you will find something to amaze. If sketching or painting is your thing take those cell phone pics home and interpret them your way,  then,  I hope you will share with me, I would love to see how your creativity flowed when you opened your mind.


blog post 1


blog 4 blog 5

Posted in Business, Nature Photography, News, Photographers, photographing your neighborhood, San Diego Photographer Tagged , , , , , |

My Photographic Roots part 3

Hi Everyone!

My photographic roots began pretty much with the trip to Canyon De Chelly that I  promised to share with you! My sister Carol was very  instrumental for the kick in the pants to go after my life long dream. With that borrowed camera I mentioned last time, Carol, a Photography Instructor and a few other folks, we set off for Canyon Del Chelly in North East Arizona. This land once occupied by the Anasazi is now home to the Navajo. We hired a Navajo guide and his pack horses to explore the canyon. Not only is it a beautiful place but it is home to literally hundreds of prehistoric Indian sites including many spectacular cliff dwellings and rock formations. You will also find if you look hard enough the beautiful and telling rock art of the Anasazi who lived in the canyon for more than a 1000 years. In A.D.1300 the Anasazai  people abandoned their Canyon stronghold and other groups began to contribute the the canyon rock art.

I think my mouth was hanging open the entire time I was there. As a novice photographer I was learning in the field and loving it. That is when I truly began to learn how put together the pieces of the puzzle that make a great photograph.

I have included 2 photographs here. One is of White House Cliff Dwelling and the other is an example of the rock art found in the area.

Unfortuntley shortly after this trip I went to meet with the instructor to evaluate the images I had taken. Everything was on slides. After my meeting I went to Nordstrom. When I came out my car was in the process of being stolen and in fact they did get away with it. The car was later found by the authorities but it had been stripped and my most of my slides had been destroyed so I only have a few left. Guess I need to go back! 🙂  I hope you have enjoyed visting my Photographic Roots, I know it has been fun for me too! Thanks for reading!


Of all the places I have been before and since this place, Canyon De Chelly remains the most unforgettable! For more information look for the book Canyon de Chelly It’s People and Rock Art by Campbell Grant.

page 1081




Posted in Canyon De Chelly, Learning Photography, Nature Photography, News, San Diego Photographer

My Photographic Roots (part 2)

As I was looking for a few photos to post  in the 2nd edition of My Photographic Roots I realized just how many great places there are in this beautiful country of ours. I think we are all tired at this point of our snarky politicians fighting on a daily basis so try this. Walk away from your TV and look outside. For those in the MidWest or East Coast it must be beautiful with all the snow falling and turning things into a winter wonderland. I know I know it will become messy but right now this moment it is beautiful, if you are lucky  you may even see a Cardinal sitting in the tree in your front yard. For those on the west coast we have high tides and warm weather as does Florida. Seagulls are flying over head and the sea lions are high on the rocks basking in the sunshine.   What does this have to do with my photographic roots you may ask? Well, plenty! When I decided Photography  was an avenue I wanted to pursue I borrowed a camera and learned how to use it. I learned how to choose exposures and while I always had a knack for composition I worked at improving it. I used that borrowed camera for my first field trip with an instructor to Canyon De Chelly which is in the northeast corner of Arizona. More about that in a future post.

Right now I want to talk about the beauty in our own back yards or neighborhood. I practiced in literally  my own backyard (Plumeria), in front of the library (Ca. Poppy), the local nursery (heart stake w/flowers) I went to the beach, the zoo and anywhere I could work on my skills.

Looking at family and pet photos I have taken you can probably see the influence from my nature photography days. I always tell my new clients that when I decided to shift my work to families and pets I knew I wanted to combine my love of nature with my love of families and pets. Any time and anywhere I aim my camera it always takes me back to my photographic roots!

If you have an interest in photography this is a great place to start. Just open your front door and start shooting!

page 1069

page 1072


page 1077

page 1078

Photo of the Week and ads 2015

Posted in family photographs at the beach, Family Photography, Having Fun at a Photo Session, Kids, Learning Photography, News, Pet Photography, photographing your neighborhood Tagged , , , , |

My Photographic Roots

Thought I would step outside the proverbial box and take a look back at  my photographic roots!  As you may or may not know I started out in the Nature photography world which took me on so many adventures across this great land of ours. Since we just had a huge blizzard in the east over the weekend I chose a couple of snowy photographs to share with you going back to my photographic roots in February 1998. My sister and I belonged to a group called Great American Photography Weekend. A great guy by the name of Bill Fortney ran these workshops. We learned so much and had a great time while capturing great images. This particular trip was a week long adventure in snowbound Yellowstone. It snowed everyday we were there, almost a whiteout from sun up to sun down!  Still, we had a memorable time and made memorable photographs!

Last blog I talked about light, well this was one of those times that light was at a premium. I mean, we were there so we just went for it. The first image of the barren trees caught my eye as we hiked around a corner. I guess no one else noticed it as they kept walking but I stopped to capture this image and I have to say, to this day it is one of my favorites!     The second image is of a Bison reclining in the snow. He turned his head and looked at me just as I clicked the shutter. (The white streaks across his face are tiny snow flakes falling)   Did you know that Bison use their face to plow the snow out of the way to get to the grass below?

I hope you enjoy these images and my stories  as I take a look back at my photographic roots.  I will post more of my photographic roots next week with more stories. If anyone is interested, these images are available for purchase in many different sizes. Contact me at for more information. See you next week! Audrey
blog 1a

blog 2a


America From 500 Feet

15 things to do in Yellowstone country

Posted in News

How Did They Get That Photo? Kids

How Did They Get That Photo?  Last time I talked about getting thee shot of your pets. This time I want to discuss how to get great shots of your kids. It’s really simple. Almost the same way I capture the inner spirit of your pets. Trust is the first order of business. Again, before I arrive I have given a great deal of thought as to how I am going to get that photo of your  child. You may not realize that when you are working with me but I always try to be  prepared. I try to find what they are into and then we chat about it while I am working with the family. I will snap some posed pics while we are chatting but usually the shots I like the best are the ones taken when they are just being themselves. Like your pets, parents, when viewing their proofs, will smile and laugh when they see their child’s image just as they see them in life.

Teenagers are another matter. I can tell a mile away when someone arrives with a teen that thinks this is all just lame! That happens often. I don’t make an issue of it but I do quietly let the parents know I get it.  From there I work with the family on their posed shots chatting with everyone including the teen trying to ascertain what they are into and trying to get their vibe. Sometimes they want to take a quirky photo or pose themselves and I oblige and sometimes they come out awesome and  sometimes it is thee shot! The end result is a smiling child being themselves!  I love working with kids, big or little. They are inspiring and beautiful and full of life. I learn from them every time.

Light is of utmost importance as light is one of the primary elements of any picture whether it be a painting or photograph, Landscape or  portrait, human or animal. Light is what makes the image.  Having said that I cannot predict the light so I may use a flash or reflector to help out and sometimes the light is just plain flat. I am one of those photographers who is willing to reschedule if the light is awful. I want my clients to be happy.  When you are taking photos be aware of the light and how you want to use it to get that shot!

Below are some shots I have taken of children. Some are with their families and some are not. See if you can figure out what each one of these kids is about. Some will be easy to figure out some not so much. They all posed themselves or were caught being them.

Have fun out there taking pics and if you take one you would like me to see, send it to me. I’d love to see it!IMG_40291

63321 16x20 canvas

2728 2 8x10_s matte

8568 5x7 matte
5550 5x7 matte


Posted in Family Photograhs, family photographs at the beach, family photographs Leo Carrrilo Ranch, Family Photography, Kids, kids of all ages, Let Kids be Kids, News

How Did They Get That Photo?

You ever look at photographs and wonder “How did they get that photo?” Well, I’ll tell you, sometimes, depending on what a photographer is shooting it can takes weeks of preparation.  For me, if the location is new I try to check it out, see how many different backdrops I can use. Trees, a pond, flowers, hillsides, cliffs etc. Then I have to figure out the lighting and what time of day is best to shoot there. Most often for me I know the different locations I like to use and my clients will defer to me on which one is best for them. All of my favorite locations continue to inspire me. I may think I know all the different backdrops and lighting situations and then I will discover a new one. If I am going to shoot at the beach, conditions and tides are of utmost importance. For instance I am to photograph 2 boxers playing in the surf tomorrow but I am watching the weather, beach conditions and tides. Will it be windy or cloudy (which I love) or will it be extremely bright and flat (doesn’t make for the best photos). These are to be action shots for a very large print. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I will set up the shots depending on the possible light situations. I have spoken to the owner about her dogs and do they follow direction or are they just “free spirits”. I need to get both dogs with good expressions coming at me together in perfect light to capture the perfect image. Sounds tough? You are right, it can be! I will shoot probably 300-500 images.This is an exciting shoot for me as I am all about capturing the inner spirit of your pets however that may be presented. Working with animals is not an exact science so you really never really know what they may surprise you with. I am prepared and also have a more controlled plan B, if the dogs don’t cooperate in the surf.  For now it is till up in the air  if we re doing it at all depending on the weather, we may have to reschedule. At this point, unless it is raining, I am ready to go and will leave it up to my client. Hopefully the final images will have folks saying “How did they get that photo?”

Other times you turn around and they just give you the gift of that perfect photo!


kitty in tree 8x10 matte
42951 11x14 matte

43161 5x7 matte!”


Posted in Family Photograhs, family photographs at the beach, Family Photography, News, Pet Photography, Photographers Tagged , |


thank you

As I sit here getting my desk and files organized for 2016, I find myself so very grateful for all my clients. Not only those from 2015 but all of you going back to the beginning.

I want you to know that I truly enjoyed working with you and I feel honored to be chosen as your family photographer!

I would appreciate it if you would please refer me to your friends whether it be for family photos, maternity, kids, kitties, or dogs, head shots, or company photos; it would be my pleasure to make beautiful and memorable photographs for them!

If you are ready for new photos of your loved ones, please give me a call. I would love to see you again as I have the best clients in the world!


Let’s make beautiful memorable photographs together!

Posted in Birthday Celebrations, Business, Engagement, Expectant Parents, Family Photograhs, family photographs at the beach, family photographs Leo Carrrilo Ranch, Family Photography, Family Reunions Photographed, Head Shots, Kids, kids of all ages, Let Kids be Kids, News, Pet Photography, Photographers, Pregnancy

Let Kids be Kids!

I work with children all the time with or without their parents in the photos.  I’ve found that parents, as they head out for their session tell their kids to be good and smile and  do what the photographer tells you to do. For many kids that puts too much pressure on them to “perform”. My theory is to make it fun, who wants to sit still and smile! With small children I am able to get the most amazing shots while they are just being themselves. No expectations other than fun fun fun.

Parents are encouraged to bring along some props. Maybe a favorite doll or book. Sometimes we play with bubbles. A favorite dump truck for a little guy at the beach makes for great pics.  I like to play with the kids and if they are really shy I encourage them to come over and check out my camera. It’s funny but sometimes that can be the ice breaker we need. When I’m photographing kids I make a total idiot of myself. I make funny noises, I sing songs (I’m really bad but they don’t care), I make fish faces, I play peek-a-boo behind the camera.  After all that playing and getting awesome shots of them they will usually cooperate and settle down allowing me to get beautiful photographs of the family.

The most important thing for parents to remember is to relax. It’s all going to turn out great. You just have to trust me. Because when it’s the parents turn to join in a tense irritated face is not going to work so just go with it and have fun fun fun. Kids are the ones that have life the right way around, it’s us adults that ruin it. Let them be kids, let them have fun. I will be ready to capture it when it happens.

Now teenagers is a another thing! Often they think this family portrait thing is “lame”! They too have probably been told to shape up and smile, darn it!

I like to find out what they are interested in and work from that angle. By talking to them and letting them know I am interested in them as people really helps a lot. I will play along take a shot of them dancing on the sand or jumping off the cliff (make that a short short cliff) whatever floats their boat and in that way I gain their trust. Trust is what it is all about with a tween or teen. Sometimes I have to ignore them and work with another family member until they do something that gets me to turn my camera on them and then they are mine as we have made that connection. Sometimes I will have a stubborn one help me out by holding a reflector for me.They usually get interested in what I am doing and then I have them! I never ever want to force someone to pose because it will fail every time. So let’s get out there, have fun and make some magic!

I know some of these photos look posed but I assure you that all of these children featured here were just doing their thing when I took the shot! Their parents were thrilled and so was I. 
IMG_5454 4438 2- 5x7_s matte 4773 5x7 matte  blog 3

IMG_13612 63011a 11x14 matte IMG_40291

Posted in Family Photograhs, family photographs at the beach, family photographs Leo Carrrilo Ranch, Family Photography, Having Fun at a Photo Session, Kids, kids of all ages, Let Kids be Kids, News


Photo of the Week and ads 2015

If you’d like to book me for a fall mini or a full session email me at or call 760-473-0352


Posted in News