For today’s Mobile Monday feature I have an exciting addition to our call for 4 images in 24 hours. I’ve challenged another guest, Barbara Paulsen, to shoot 4 images with a mobile device within 24 hours and to share her story here.

Barbara began her career as a Life Coach to two exclusive clients with the birth of her daughter 14 years ago and her son 11 years ago.  She’s a highly-organized, decluttering maven who’s also an admirer of fine beer (her husband is a brewer!!!!). She’s a reader and a listener, a walker and a runner, on top of being a quote-collecting, cat-owning iPhoneographer in suburbia.

What cameras do you shoot with?  Do you have a favorite?
I have a point and shoot camera, but it is only used on family vacations, holidays, etc and I use these pictures for scrapbooking.  My camera of choice for every day is my iPhone 4 and more specifically my iPhone with the Hipstamatic app.  Do you remember when facebook first came out?  One of my friends started posting these amazing pictures and she told me she took them with her phone and the Hipstamatic app.  I was smitten.  Several years have passed now and I own every lens, film and accessory one can purchase through Hipstamatic.  Some people find the app frustrating, because you have no control over the outcome, but that is what I love about it.  The surprise.  If you play around with the lens/film combos enough you start to find favorites and you can predict, to some extent, the affect it will have on your photo, but not always.  Light plays a huge roll in how the photo will ultimately come out.


Hipstamatic, Tinto 1884 Lens, W40 Film; I love taking pictures of my kids. Unfortunately, my son doesn’t love his photo taken so I have to be a bit sneaky and I can’t “stop” to frame pictures with him very often. I often just lift my phone, look quickly and take the shot. 

What do you love most about photography?
I’ve been thinking about this.  It’s hard to pin down, but I think what I love the most is that photography is less about the picture and more about capturing a feeling for me.  Feelings can be fleeting, or intense, or like a roller coaster.  Feelings are hard for me to express in words.  A photo can feel sad, happy, dreamy, wistful, angry, etc., don’t you think?  A lot of times my photos reflect the mood I’m in at that current time and place (whether my subject is feeling this or not themselves).  So, in essence, photography has become my voice.


Hipstmatic, Bettie XL Lens, Dylan Film; This film combo is one of my favorites. Here is my daughter walking ahead of me nearer the ocean than I am. As I took a series of photos of her a bird flew through the frame. Pure Magic.

What and Who inspires you?
My first inspiration was Darrah Parker and her Slice of Life class.  I was reading a blog, several years ago, and the author made this list of 30 or more things you should do for yourself in the coming year and one of them was an online photography class.  Me a photographer?  Well, I didn’t think so then, but I signed up for the class, and Darrah made me see that there was beauty in laundry and dirty dishes and, well, life!  Life isn’t always pretty, but she encouraged me to look around, right where I was, and find the magic in the everyday.  In that class, I heard whisperings of other online classes or people:  Tracey Clark’s classes on Big Picture Classes, Vivienne McMaster’s self-portrait classes, Susannah Conway’s Photo Meditations Class, and Stephanie Robert’s book The Art of iPhoneography.  I’ve taken them all and learned so much from each class, book or teacher.  And, I’ve met incredible people. People interested in photography like I am, helpful people, encouraging people, kind people. Really, the kindest ever. They led me to Shutter Sisters and Mortal Muses (here I am and I’m so thrilled!).  I spend most of my time on IG these days (@mthoodmama) following all kinds of lovely people who offer me a peek into their lives, friendship, and spark my imagination with their images.  I also like the challenges these groups often offer that provide me with inspiration when I’m feeling uninspired:  @hipstaroll, @hipstaconnect, @sundaybluesedit, @decim8nday, @meandyou52, @mortalmuses, @shuttersisters, and the new @tccameramen.


Hipstamatic, Loftus Lens, Float Film; On Wednesday, my daughter’s friend came to join us at the beach. I had a great time taking pictures of them being silly or just walking slowly together talking about everything. (Remember those days?)

What was your happiest/worst photographic moment and why?  
The worst?  This message on my phone while camping in Yellowstone last summer: “Storage Almost Full”. This is the downside of Hipstamatic. Not only does it save all your photos to your photoroll (which you want), but it keeps a copy in the app and thus takes up memory space. I’ve found I’ve had to delete the app several times and reinstall to make room on my phone (always scary!). Backup, backup, backup. The happiest? So many. When the light is just right and you know you’ve captured magic, finding beauty in the everyday moments, or having a friend ask you to take her picture (now that is an amazing feeling!).


Hipstamatic, Loftus Lens, DC Film; Again, my daughter and her friend. We were in town and I had them hop up on this bench and shot three pictures. This photo is more typical of what I’d do at home. I love showing slices of people so that maybe you could imagine yourself, or your child, in exactly the same setting.

Final thoughts.  
I don’t know about you, maybe you already have a thriving career in the photography business, but I’m just a regular person raising kids and taking care of my family.  I’m not sure where photography will take me, but this I know for sure: Joy courses through me when I raise my phone, frame my subject and snap. If you feel this way, too, don’t stop learning, exploring, asking questions and taking pictures.

You can follow along with Barbara’s mobile adventures on her facebook and flickr pages where she’s also known as Mt. Hood Mama. She contributes a monthly article/photo about motherhood at Makings of Motherhood, and  collaborates with her friend Jeanne Farber by providing her with photos on her blog suburbotypes. Barbara recently had three iPhone photos accepted into a local gallery showing called I AM/YOU ARE. Congrats Barbara! Exciting news!

If you would like to be considered for a “4 in 24” feature, please email us at or contact us here.

Until next time!

Holly ~ Soupatraveler