Mamarazzi 101

Afternoon mamas! The title of this post is pretty self explanatory, but I still wanted to share a little bit about myself to fully explain how I became the MAMARAZZI. Growing up, my dad always had the latest and greatest tech products. My sister and I have thousands of photos and videos of our sweet childhood memories…Photos of us scowling after a huge fight on a family vacation and videos of us singing and performing. My dad has always put a huge emphasis on capturing moments, big and small. His photo taking skills have evolved so much that friends and family call him the Papa-razzi. So really, I get it from my papa!


(A photo I found of him tagged on his Facebook.)

The iPhone makes it so dang easy to capture life that I can proclaim, “Benji has a photo every day of his 10 months on Earth!”  OK – so not every single day, but if you look at my photo catalog, it is super close to it!

I’m no professional. I will not teach you how to use your DSLR or how to Photoshop, but I kinda feel like I channel Annie Liebovitz with my iPhone. I just really love playing on Instagram and all of the cool photo design apps that are out there. My goal is to show you some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way!

Let’s begin our first lesson, class!



Location, location, location:

Whether you’re at an event or in the playroom taking photos with your phone, make sure you consider your surroundings. Your child may look super adorable in their outfit but if the room is a mess or there is someone standing behind them, no one will notice. When we are out and about, I like to find a space that can serve as a unique backdrop. Take a few moments to spot out the real estate and you can make a photo look profresh in no time!

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The fabric on this chair created a perfect backdrop for this moment.


Natural light is your best friend when taking those candids. It can make an ordinary moment look so beautiful and classic.  I always snap a few photos and if they look too dark, I will try to tilt the camera or just move around the area until I get it perfect. Now it doesn’t always work out for me. For example, I was at a BBQ today and I wanted to take a photo of Benji with his friends while they were in the pool (attended of course). I couldn’t find the right spot for that light. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t!


Take 1000s of shots:

One thing my dad will usually do is pose us but shoot at least 50 shots. In a row. I never understood this because I felt like, wouldn’t you rather make sure everyone is looking, smiling and ready to go before taking the photo? Well, he has the right idea. Some of the best shots that I get of Benji are the ones that I didn’t take too much time to take. I will make sure that the camera is focused but as he is moving around like a wiggle worm, as most of our children do, I just keep on hitting that center button and go! Take these photos for example:


The final product:


Crop – chop chop!

The above picture goes hand in hand with the first part of my editing process. Always crop the photo! If I didn’t have a choice but to take the photo on my bed, with mismatched pillows cases and no bed cover, then I will crop it & edit it in a way where Benji may be the only focus. Sometimes cropping allows me to frame the photo to almost look like I did it on purpose too.

I hope you enjoyed learning the basics. It’s just the beginning! Happy snapping, mamas!

Vanessa "Vee" Pope is a born and raised Tampa, Fla mom. She has been married to her husband, Jimmy for three years and welcomed their first child, a boy named Benji in October 2012. She is a University of South Florida graduate with a Public Relations degree and now works in the finance industry. She authors One Social Brunette, a blog that documents her interests, ideas and experiences. A self professed mamarazzi and social media aficionado, you can follow her on: Facebook,Twitter,Instagram,Pinterest.


  1. Hi, Vee! Thanks for the tips 🙂 I love the idea of paying more attention to the backdrop of the photo, even if it’s just on your phone or at home. Do you take pictures professionally as well?

    • Thanks, Candice! Nope, I do own a DSLR but all the photos I posted in this post were with my iPhone. I am super excited to share some of the tips I have learned when using other iPhone apps. Do you have an iPhone? If not, I will try to do an Android related comparison!

  2. Do you recommend a good photo editing program? I am having a hard time finding a good one for my Iphone. (Free would be fabulous).

    • Hey Jennette! For cropping I will just use the iPhone edit option most of the time (which is free). I have another camera app for $1.99 called Camera + (more info here: My next post will go into detail on the editing aspects and I will include some more design app options but unfortunately, with the exception of Instagram, they cost money. I know it can add up but if you don’t use a regular camera, the investment is worth it!

  3. Vee, I love this. I also love instagram but my app store on my phone doesn’t seem to have it 🙁 I have a Nokia phone that uses Windows 8 , do you know of any comparable programs?

    • Thanks, Kristin! Your daughter is precious as well 🙂 Next week I am going to delve a little in the fun photo design apps that are out there. Are you an iPhoner, droid user?

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