snow days

We got a little bit of snow last week, and since we rarely get enough to play in, the kids loved it!!

Photo Jan 28, 3 48 01 PM

Well … Henry didn’t love all of it, but he got used to it eventually.

Photo Jan 29, 9 47 51 AM

The girls, on the other hand, played in it for hours and hours.

Photo Jan 29, 12 53 40 PM

Photo Jan 30, 9 47 37 AM

It took me a while to post these due to a sickness that knocked me on my tush this past weekend, but as I’m looking out the window at the blue skies and windy day, I almost miss the snow.


Photo Jan 30, 1 12 56 PM

Friday phone dump

I started this post yesterday [Friday], but then we had a busy day of errands and appointments and play dates and baked tilapia and and and …

So here’s my Friday phone dump on Saturday –



And while I’m sharing recent phone pictures, are you on Instagram? I don’t really get into hashtags all that much, but I started a hashtag this year called “lucy at the bus stop” — or #lucyatthebusstop. I take a picture of Lucy every time we walk to the bus stop. It’s not daily, because sometimes she falls asleep, and sometimes, we drive if it’s raining or too cold. But it’s one of my favorite series, and I’m excited to have it printed up as a book at the end of the school year.


If you’re on Instagram, and you’re not following me, I’m kelihoskins over there. You will see more of our daily life on IG than anywhere else.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

favorite iPhone apps for editing photos

8 Favorite iPhone Photo Apps

When I was teaching my classes at the I Heart Faces conference, I admitted to using my iPhone for MANY of my everyday shots. I mean, it’s easy to use, a lot smaller than my 5D Mark ii, and I pretty much always have it with me. Part of “capturing the everyday” is capturing spur-of-the-moment moments. I try to stay away from posing my kids, and it is often easier to grab my phone and capture what they’re doing, because by the time I run and get my 5D, I’ve missed the moment.

But I don’t want my iPhone photos to look like phone snapshots, so I think of every picture as a photograph. A legitimate I-could-print-and-hang-this photograph. I assure you, if you start thinking of your phone camera as a real camera, you will notice a huge difference in your phone pics.

I had a few attendees asked me what I used to edit my photos, so I thought I’d share my favorite apps for taking, editing, sharing and printing iPhone photos.

Favorite app for taking photos …

camera+ Camera+ – I love that you can actually control both the focus AND the exposure with this app. I don’t typically use any of the in-app filters or effects, but I use this a lot, especially when I’m shooting backlit pictures. Your iPhone will typically underexpose an image that has backlighting because the whole display will be bright, but with Camera+, you can force it to overexpose and get the subject exposed correctly. It’s like metering on your phone!

Favorite apps for editing photos …

pictapgo PicTapGo – this is my go-to editing app. It has a LOT of filters, but my favorite part is that you can control the strength of each filter. So you can choose something and then turn it way down to suit your tastes. You can also stack as many filters as you want — again, controlling the strength of each layer. Another awesome feature is that you can save a recipe if you’ve found a filter combination that you like for all of your photos. For instance, I have an “indoor” recipe that I use on almost all of my indoor photos – it’s such a time saver! Finally, another favorite feature is the ability to send straight to Instagram full-size. In other words, it doesn’t force your photo into the IG square.

edited with PicTapGo
edited with PicTapGo

afterlight AferLight – another amazing app that offers very clean edits that don’t look like your typical IG filters [just say no to orange skin!] Like PicTapGo, it offers the ability to layer your effects and control the opacity of each filter. I feel like PicTapGo is a little easier to use, but AfterLight offers some gorgeous filters that I haven’t been able to re-create in PicTapGo. They also have really fun frames, so you can do those circular pictures that are popular in the blog circuit. I also love that I can straighten photos in this app – PicTapGo doesn’t allow straightening, and I’m kind of horrible about not getting things exactly level when I am trying to grab a moment as fast as I can. You can share to Instagram straight from this up, but it does crop to the IG square, so that is a downside of this app versus PicTapGo.

edited with AfterLight

vscocam VSCO Cam – I’m a huge fan of Visual Supply Co Lightroom presets, so when I found out that they had an iPhone app, I was so excited. At the time, I had an Android … and there was no Android VSCO Cam app on the map. So I’ll honestly admit that this app is what got me to switch to the iPhone. I wasn’t disappointed. This app seems to work best when you use it as your camera and photo editing app, but you can also import pictures into that you’ve taken with your other camera apps or just your regular camera. They have loads and loads of included film-like filters that are just stunning. You can also purchase more sets if you so desire. The downside of this app would just be the lack of ability to change things “just a little bit.” They do have an editor where you can change the brightness, fade, etc., but it seems like “1 click” is maybe just a little too much. But other than that, I absolutely love this app.

edited with VSCO Cam
edited with VSCO Cam

Favorite apps for sharing photos …

I typically share all of my phone pics through Instagram [kelihoskins], so these apps are taking into consideration that you will post your pictures to Instagram.

squaready Squaready – since I treat my iPhone photographs as real photographs, I like to share them in the same format that I took them. In other words, I balk against the Instagram forced square, but I love sharing on Instagram, so this app will post to Instagram in the uncropped version. You can also move the photo around, add more border [kind of like a mat in a frame?], etc. But I typically just center it and post to Instagram from the Squaready app. If you use PicTapGo to edit, you can post straight from there in uncropped format, but if you are editing in Afterlight or VSCO Cam, you will want to save it out first and then post from Squaready to keep the uncropped resolution. This app is also wonderful if you take panoramas.

uploaded to Instagram using Squaready
uploaded to Instagram using Squaready

diptic Diptic – I like to use this program for making simple collages. There are literally a bajillion collage apps out there, but I’ve been using Diptic since I got my phone, and I don’t like change. I also am not someone who does a collage with different shapes and hearts and squiggles, but if that’s your style, then there are also many collage apps out there for you, too! This app can be used to create collages for Instagram or just about anything else [Facebook, blog posts, Twitter, etc.]

edited in Diptic
edited in Diptic

Favorite apps for printing photos …

printstudio Print Studio – this app is so super easy to use, and I love the little square photos that you can get. The photos are printed on a really thick, high-quality paper, so they are more like cards when you get them — perfect for hanging on a string for a photo wall! I stick them to the square tile backsplash at my desk, and almost everyone that comes to our house thinks it’s the coolest thing.

printed with Print Studio
printed with Print Studio

postalpix PostalPix – I found that these printed a little dark, but the quality is great and perfect for Project Life books or something. It’s a very seamless process, and I had no issues ordering from them. The quality isn’t *quite* as good as Print Studio, but I was still very pleased.

And both of these apps also give you the options of printing different sizes, phone cases, mouse pads, etc.

I absolutely love my iPhone, and I love the ability to shoot and share within seconds, especially with friends and family in other states and countries. If I can shoot photos and edit them in a way where they look somewhat good? That’s even better.

So … what’s your favorite photo editing app?