A Little Old Fashioned: The 8mm App

8mmI don’t know about you, but I’m always bugging my kids to smile for just one more photo. Standard equipment for field trips, my device is always in hand. In fact, it’s pretty much always by my side. You never know when you’ll want to document some awesome activity or moment with the kids. Every once in a while, the kids snag my camera and the real fun begins…

Nexvio’s 8mm Vintage Camera app is a fun addition to our homeschool resource list. 8mm Vintage Camera captures the beauty and magic of old school vintage movies right through your viewfinder. Dust and scratches, retro colors, flickering, light leaks, even frame shakes. All can be instantly added with a single tap of the finger. Shoot directly with 8mm Vintage Camera, or import existing videos for added fun.

With all the technology put out to improve film quality why would we want to take a step back? (I mean, have you seen those horrid orange-tinged photos sitting in old albums.) Don’t let new-fangled film fool you. There are plenty of lessons to be had from gazing into the past:

  • History Lessons – There are a variety of time periods and genres represented in the 8mm app. Explore each time period, noting famous films created during that era. Who were the famous directors? What was happening around the world to affect film making and movies itself?
  • Science Lessons – How are cameras made, and what advances have been developed over the years to increase film quality? Is digital better than film? Explore the science behind this fantastic artistic field.
  • Film Classes – Do our children notice the difference in film quality between centuries?  What might have been the original cause for these issues, and what was done to fix them? Film is nothing without sound! This would be a perfect opportunity to explore the importance of the soundtrack.
  • Exploring Memories – This is the perfect time to dig out our own photos from the past. Can our children see the similarities between our photos and the simulations in the app?

We love when new resources can be pulled into our learning routine, adding spice to life and livening up our lessons. 8mm Vintage Camera is tons of fun to explore. Better yet, it’s a lovely way to launch a world of exploration.

📢 Chime In!: What is your favorite photography app, both for yourself and the kids?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

iPhone Only Photography

“The best camera in the world is the one that’s always in your pocket.”

                                     – David Molnar

Book-Review_logoBetween having an incredibly good-looking husband, four adorable kids, being involved in way too many activities, and blogging, it’s safe to say I take a lot of pictures! I average about five hundred pictures per week, depending on the events we’ve got planned. If I can find a faster, easier way to not only take those pictures, but also clean them up for personal use, I want to know about it.

It seems I’m not the only person looking to streamline their photography. A few months back, a friend sent over a post heralding an upcoming book by David Molnar. What struck me right off was Mr. Molnar’s advice, “The best camera in the world is the one that’s always in your pocket.” Most photographers want to sell you on their favorite camera, which can be discouraging if you cannot afford to run out and buy the latest Canon or Nikon. Mr. Molnar encourages us to forget the fancy stuff and use what you have right at your fingertips… your iPhone! iPhone Only

To be honest, I hadn’t been too impressed with the standard Camera app which came with my iPod Touch (same apps apply as those on the iPhone). It didn’t capture images with the same clarity as my Canon PowerShot and I quickly gave up the notion of being able to use it. Intrigued by the notion of being able to dwindle down the amount of stuff currently congregating in my purse, I immediately signed up for the free intro to Mr. Molnar’s book, anxious to see what I was missing.

Oh, my! All I can say, is that I wish this book came with my iPod from the get-go. In fact, if you love photography as much as I do or at least use it as much as I do, immediately stop reading this post and head over to his website. HERE you can purchase the full e-book and get started on your iPhone photographic journey right away.

iPhone Only Photography is so simple even a child could read it; so engaging every iPhone holder will want to read it. This book will make you want to dig out your iPhone and play. Mr. Molnar gives us eight chapters full of tips, hints, and advice on how to take pictures like a pro and edit them to achieve maximum affect. Each chapter leaves us with a challenge, a helpful recap, and further inspiration taken from other iPhone photographers.

iPhone Only Shrimp

Personally, I can already see a marked difference in the pictures I am taking and using. Through reading iPhone Only Photography I have learned so much, making my job as a memory keeper and a blogger all the more fun.

Don’t take my word for it! Type in the hashtag #iPhoneOnlyPhoto while using the Instagram app and see what the buzz is all about! If you haven’t downloaded iPhone Only yet, what are you waiting for? This is one book you won’t want to go without.

Time to Chime In: Name one challenge you’ve come across when trying to shoot memorable pictures.

Art Attack: Now and Then

In a world of busy-ness and responsibility, it’s just as important to take few moments exploring the creative side of life. Join us as we share ideas on how to get those imaginative juices flowing and explore a world of art!


Summer_ArtMy kids are growing up. Aren’t they all? There’s nothing quite like looking back through the years of pictures and remembering when they were just little things, content to sit on our laps.

One of our summer projects is to look back over the years of collected images and make an attempt at recreating them!

Each of our girls were tasked with looking back through the thousands of pictures taken, finding one or two creative shots, and then reshooting that person in the same setting. The difficulty lies not in the taking of the picture, but rather in making the new picture resemble the old one as closely as possible.

Now and Then

A sample given for the competition.

Here were a few key elements they were looking for:

  • Is there similar clothing they can wear?
  • Is the environment the same?
  • Is the pose being replicated?
  • Are props used in the original photo available for use in the new?

We found that choosing an appropriate picture could be quite challenging. Our children are still young, choosing a picture which could be recreated would be difficult. Pictures of newborns just didn’t seem to work and we couldn’t use pictures taken in the last few years, as those would have been too similar to how they look now. A bit of a trial!

Photos have been chosen; ones they feel are able to be reproduced with a minimum amount of difficulty. Now, they will be spending the greater part of the week setting up their shots and finally taking them.

This is a fun art project for anyone! Consider taking your own photos and doing the same. Looking back on the memories and ‘remembering when’ is so much fun, especially for the kids. Seeing the then and now, side by side, is truly precious. These will definitely need to be framed.

Time to Chime In: Have you ever recreated a picture taken of your children? Have you done this for yourself?

Work Hard, Play Harder: Smile for the Camera!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Ecc. 3:1) Join us as we explore a season of fun and family! Help us discover new ways to enjoy family time and build lasting memories.


Summer_work-playWe are always looking for creative ways to spend time together as a family. If we can document those memories, even better! This week, our family is going to spend a little time exploring the fun world of photography!

After an exciting outing to our local Apple Store, our kids are even more enthusiastic about exploring the world of photography and video filming. We learned how to better use iPhoto, Pages, and iMovie to help us document all those moments we don’t want to forget.

Building on this theme, we thought we’d continue on with our lessons and do a little exploring on our own!

•We all have iMovie on our desktop computers, but mommy is going to download the app for her iPod; helping us to better make use of this incredible application. Our goal is to better learn this app and to use it to the fullest before the summer ends!

•We are learning how to not only take better shots, but how to alter those pictures using applications on our computers. We’ll explore taking black and white photographs, changing images to sepia, shooting HDR, and more.

•We are spending time out-of-doors this week, practicing our camera skills; learning to take portrait, landscape, and macro pictures. With several cameras at hand, we’ll practice taking all sorts of fun, serious, and creative pictures. There are no ‘rules’, except to have tons of fun and to use our imaginations.

Photography Fun

•Using iMovie, we will be creating fun films about our adventures at local museums. Speaking of which…

•We are going to be visiting a local museum which has a special exhibit on Victorian photography! That should be neat.

•We are going to create a photo book, put together a slide show, do a little scrapbooking with the pictures, and print some of our favorites for the kids’ walls. We are going to surround ourselves with photographic art and memories.

Want to join in the fun, but aren’t sure where to start? While buying an awesome camera isn’t affordable for everyone, there are definitely ways to better learn the device you currently own.

I would highly recommend a quick Google search for tutorials on how to get a handle on your camera of choice. From there, take a look at these websites for tips on how to take incredible pictures:

Digital Photography
Wiki How
Peta Pixel
iPhone Only Photography

With these handy-dandy tips (and my husband’s incredible know how), we are ready to explore the world around us and capture memories on digital ‘film’. This should be loads of fun!

Time to Chime In: What is your camera of choice? Have you taught your kiddos how to use it?

Point and Click

“Just hold still. This will only take a moment!” “Mom!! This is the fourth picture you’ve taken in the last two minutes! Hurry up!” … Yeah; I’m that mom.

I have over 10,000 pictures on my computer and those are just the saved ones; we aren’t counting the thousands tossed because they didn’t make the cut. I should probably mention that these have only been taken in the last few years; shouldn’t I? This isn’t a lifetime collection; just pics of my kids. Pictures are the perfect way to catalog our learning and capture those special moments I want to always remember.

You see, my husband and I really like photography. My man is more of a pro than I. He owns a fancy-shmansy Canon with several awesome lenses and filters. He knows how to manipulate the images, too. I, on the other hand, enjoy photography, but haven’t been as diligent to learn the finer points of the craft.

Point and Click #1

A quick shot taken with my iPod camera, with a filter added.

Oh, I carry a camera; always have. I had a decent Canon G5 that was tucked into my bag for a while. After a bit, lugging around a hefty piece of equipment along with four kids became a chore. I upgraded to a smaller Canon Powershot, which did alright for day-to-day stuff, but it had a lot of limitations.

When taking pics on an actual camera, it becomes quite a chore to upload them to your computer before altering them, only to transfer them onto your device of choice, before finally uploading them onto Instagram or any other social media site. (While this might not be a concern for many, when you run a business, these little tasks can become monumental.)

This Christmas, my husband surprised me with a new iPod Touch which came with a pretty incredible camera. This was the perfect opportunity for me to finally crack down and learn how to master the art of photography. But where to begin?

I did a little research and found a few apps which seemed to fit the bill. I promptly downloaded a few, but failed to actually use them. Then… a friend from church suggested David Molnar’s new book, iPhone Only Photography.

For anyone who’s interested in learning how to take incredible pictures using their iPhones or iPod’s, or just a newbie to photography period, this book is just what you need. Mr. Molnar’s step-by-step guide to using your device, is simple and straightforward. With clearcut instructions, visual aids, tips, and helps; this just might be the only guide you need to mastering your Apple camera.

Point and Click #2

Another quickie shot, taken for Instagram.

I’m also enjoying Mr. Molnar’s “How Tues-days” as well. Each Tuesday, he offers helpful tips and hints on how to take a better picture. He will also direct you to particular apps which he finds of benefit.

For a limited time, his e-book is currently free! (You can’t get a better deal than that!) I highly recommend downloading it asap; there is a wealth of information to be gained. A personal bonus… He’s a Christian! I really like it when I can support fellow believers.

While my husband much prefers to use his awesome Canon with telephoto lens, the device in my back pocket fits the bill for me; it’s mobile, it’s fast, and it’s convenient. Perhaps one day, I’ll find the time to steal his baby and figure out the mass controls on that thing. For now… I’ll stick with this and David Molnar’s book.

Chime in! What is your camera of choice and how often do you find yourself pulling it out?

Smile for the Birdie!

While most of our outings or events with the PSP are all about learning, yesterday’s event was just pure fun! Besides our normal park day, we had picture day.

You would think the kids would the greatest challenge when taking pictures. Wouldn’t you know it? The parents were the hardest part! (laughing) We had no problem organizing the kiddos and getting them through the ordeal, but, when it came to us, we were all over the place. We didn’t file into the room, we couldn’t decide which order to go in, we didn’t fit on the background, we rearranged several times, and then, once we were finally in place, we couldn’t stop laughing. Oh… good times!

Thus far, we have always had the kids sit on a stool and have a formal picture taken of them. On the way home from the shoot, I was mentioning to my husband, the awesome photographer, that perhaps we ought to try something a little different next year. Instead of us posing them, we ought to ditch the stool and let them choose whichever pose they like.

Smile for the BirdieSometimes I think we get so caught up in recreating a ‘school’ setting, we forget the freedoms afforded to us. We need to be willing to explore these options and make the most of this opportunity.

Imagine being able to capture the personality of each individual child, forever holding that moment of their lives in a special place. One year they may look more shy, another more open, another dramatic, and, yet another, confident. It would be an excellent way to watch them develop and grow.

For this year, our photography is pretty much complete; at least in terms of formal pictures. There are a few more events which need to be cataloged and family pages which need to be put together. Our part, however, is finished.

Now to convince the other coordinators that next year it might be time to expand our horizons….

Today we used a small, rubber ducky to get the littles to smile. What do you use when your kids just won’t smile for the camera?

Say Cheese!

Yesterday was our first meeting of the year in our home school PSP, which also makes it picture day! My husband has been awesome enough to volunteer doing photography for the group, so off we all went to welcome and assist both returning and new families.

Noel IDThis photo shoot is mainly for ID purposes and to have a current photograph on file; we are not focusing on group shots or candid. Theoretically this makes for really quick sessions with each person. You sit, he snaps, you leave; easy as pie.

Little children are bit trickier to shoot though. Will they smile, do they need some coercion, or do we just go with whatever works? Usually he is able to get some pretty neat shots.

Being that this was the first meet of the year, it also meant an actual meeting was in order.

We always start with a quick devotion and then we handle “business”. Rules and JAG IDregulations are gone over; t-shirt orders are taken (we have school shirts); September field trips are signed up for; school calendars are handed out (we plan our entire year in advance when it comes to activities, so everyone has plenty of advanced notice to plan things in); and any other items that might need going over.

This first meeting is also a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to any new families and visit with those we might have lost touch with over the summer. It’s always fun to fellowship with friends.

The pictures are now finished, processed and ready to be sent out to their respective families. Now for the next order of PSP business, planning for our fall co-op. Which classes should I volunteer to teach? Decisions, decisions….

I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone else’s posts on “back to school” pictures. Do any of you create ID’s as well?