Christie Mellor Photography » Custom Portraiture Based In The OKC Area

Over the last week, we took a quick trip out of town.  It was mostly for business, but my family lives nearby and we got to enjoy a quick visit.  While there, my father was showing me a bit of my family tree.  Over the past year or more, he has spent countless hours compiling as much data as possible about our family and where we came from.  It’s been so interesting to hear the stories I never knew about people that were gone before I could know them.  What was probably most surprising to me were the photos of family members from the 1800’s!  People just didn’t have a lot of photos of themselves and their loved ones, so I was surprised that my dad had been able to find as many as he did.  The further back we went, the more somber the photos.

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It’s amazing how different the photos we enjoy every day really are – smiling candids, funny memories or just places we want to remember.  It really got me thinking about how this generation will definitely not be lacking in photos.  We have big cameras, small cameras, cameras on computers and cameras on phones and gaming systems.   It’s really pretty amazing!

You know, I took my DSLR on this trip.  Not because I thought I would be needing it, but just because every time I don’t bring it, I wind up regretting not having one!  Murphy’s Law of Photography, right?  Anyway, my camera bag has just gotten pretty heavy lately (it’s no wonder my back is always angry at me), so it’s a bit of a commitment.   But on this particular trip, I found that I took 90% of my photos with my iPhone!  It’s not that the iPhone takes better photos, but that it’s about not having to take everything so seriously!  I can always bring out my big-girl camera when I want to do my thing.  But the convenience and creativity allowed by iPhones is pretty phenomenal.  The ability to take a photo, give it style and instantly put it before the eyes of others is powerful stuff.  I definitely used my DSLR on my trip, but my little camera phone was so much fun that I just couldn’t stop. 🙂

In the case of the iPhone, there are about a zillion apps for photography – really, the possibilities are endless and, best of all, cheap!  And they keep getting better and better.

PINTake Instagr.am, for instance.  The above shot was taken during a quiet moment in our hotel room.  Instagr.am gave it a nice vintage effect and let me apply the tilt-shift blur selectively.  I like how the in-camera editing added to the feeling of calm in the room at that time.

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This shot was taken with an app called Camera+ and then given a texture in the app, Pic Grunger.  Pic Grunger is really fun because you can add any number of textures and then dial down the strength to your liking to give your photos a totally different appearance.  Of course, I just took pictures of flowers from my mom’s garden, but you could get a lot more creative if you like!

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Then of course, there’s the popular Hipstamatic app, which is designed to give you the feeling of old film cameras.  It lets you swap out “lenses” and “film” easily for completely different effects.  Obviously, you might not want all of your photos to look quite this vintage, but I think there’s beauty and nostalgia to be had here.  🙂

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Camera+ here again.  If I could just pick one app for my iPhone to take and edit pictures, it would probably be this one.  It allows you to place your focus with just the touch of the screen, which is especially nice for faces which tend to get a bit blurry with the standard auto focus on phones.  This app also makes it easy to up the contrast and color if you like, or add one of many adjustable filters for a totally different end look.  Then you can post directly to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or just e-mail – so easy it’s surprising!  Love, love, love this app!

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Quick one of me between huge gusts of wind, haha – Camera+

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For this final app I wanted to share with you today, here is Sophie.  She was so glad when we got home and couldn’t wait to get back to her normal routine of sleeping, staring out the window and more sleeping.  This was an Instagr.am shot that I really liked, but felt was lacking a little punch.  I then used an app called Iris Photo Suite to make further adjustments.  This app is like Photoshop for your iPhone.  You get to adjust almost everything you want, and it is pretty easy to use.  You can even paint on individual changes with your finger – very cool!  For less than $2, you should definitely check it out.

Chase Jarvis is a really amazing photographer who wrote a book called The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You. It’s a collection of his iPhone photography from all over the world.  The idea is simple – the best camera for the photo is the one you already have with you!  We are SO incredibly blessed to live in a time where we can literally carry a camera everywhere we go.  So next time you are out and notice a cool sky, some interesting architecture or your kids are being especially cute, grab your camera – the one you have with you.  There’s so much creativity at your fingertips!

‘Til Next Time,

Christie

  • Andrea

    Thanks for all the ideas! It’s hard to know which ones to choose, there are so many. This is really helpful!ReplyCancel

Well, it’s been a pretty exciting week!  Finishing up school for the kids with all the various parties, last minute projects and final after-school activities is a head-spinning emotional roller coaster.   They are SO excited to begin summer vacation and all I can think is, “Where has the year gone?”  It’s the same every year – pure and utter amazement that another year has passed without my realization!

Today was my last day of “freedom” so to speak, and I really wanted to do something I couldn’t do very well with the kiddos in tow!  I had heard that OKC’s Myriad Botanical Gardens had re-opened after a year-long renovation, so I thought I’d go and take a walk through.  It had been a while, and I thought it would be so nice to just take my time and pay as much attention to the little things as I would like without feeling hurried!  I fully plan to bring the whole family back another day, but this day was just for me.  🙂

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The gardens are very tropical, with plants from every continent except Antarctica (duh!).

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Lots of beautiful colors . . .

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Even more unusual textures!  I think those were the most interesting subjects to photography.  I am what you might call “botanically challenged” so most of these plants are a complete mystery to me.

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One of my favorite things to do is take a photo of something like this,

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and zoom in to see the detail like I’ve never seen it before.  The world is such a different place close-up.  Wouldn’t you agree?

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Up close, things look so interesting, almost unrecognizable.

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Like this plant whose center was full of water.

 

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Another fascinating thing is to freeze action with your photos.  This waterfall looks so smooth . . .

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. . .  until you capture it at high speed and then, it appears totally different!

 

PINProbably my favorite flower today – a Bromeliad (I only know because it was labeled, thankyouverymuch!)

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It was a wonderful way to start the summer.

Until next time,

Christie

  • Andrea

    Gorgeous Christie! The colors and the detail is fantastic!!ReplyCancel

Welcome to my brand-spankin’ new blogsite!  I’m so happy to finally be blogging!  In between my “jobs” as a wife, mom, cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, etc… I’ve been anxious to get this show on the road.   But wanting it and getting it done are two very different things, as you well know.  With everything going on, don’t you find that there is often so little “balance” in your life?  Maybe you’re thinking “Yeah, there isn’t anything in my life that even RESEMBLES balance.”  Well, you’re not alone!  So many important things, so little time.  Photography has been carving out a pretty special place in my own life for the past few years.  I. Love. It.  And honestly, if there were no other obligations in life and no one else depended on me, I’d probably just completely lose myself in the art of making great photos.  It’s what I enjoy, and I can never seem to get enough!  This blog is supposed to be an outlet for that passion.  Which brings me back to that whole balance thing.  How do you do all of the important things in life  AND make time for the things you love?  Perhaps I shouldn’t be striving for balance, per se, but rather learning which aspects of my life should be my priorities.  Priorities are supposed to protect what’s most precious to us.  Our lives ebb and flow – while we might be frantic one week, maybe the next week allows us to take a deep breath.  The things that are important to us, our priorities, should remain the same, and we just do the best we can in the middle of it all.  So as of today, I’m making this blogsite a PRIORITY.  Woo-hoo!

So . . . what can you expect from me?  Well, probably a little of everything!  I am a photographer, so of course the photo thing will be front and center.  But I’ll also talk about life and the people I love.  Like this person . . .

 

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And this person . . .

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I might even mention my dog.  But only once in a while, ’cause you can’t handle the cuteness!   And don’t even get me started about that husband of mine.  I’ll visit that topic when I think up a better way to say “Awesome”!  🙂 For now, I hope you’ll stop by often and feel free to leave a comment or just say “Hi.”

Christie