Alternative Camera – A Professional Child Photographer’s Blog Carousel

Wow, it’s been a couple of months since I participated in the Pros blog carousel.  This month I am particularly excited because our theme is ALTERNATIVE CAMERAS.  I had super high hopes for the execution of this month’s theme but ended up getting super sick for most of this past week and ended up unable to come up with something awesome while laying on the sofa all day.  🙂

Not to worry, I had a really cool AHA! moment earlier today – use of my FAVORITE alternative camera (my iPhone 4!) but with a twist.  Normally I use a few iPhone apps to create amazing works of phone camera art like the one below:


While the apps on my phone help me express my creativity within the confines of my phone – I thought it would be kind of cheating using just THAT as an alternative camera method.  To me alternative cameras include homemade pinhole cameras, Holgas, my old Polaroid cameras…you get the gist.  Manual, non-digital, more film-y things come to mind when you utter the term “alternative camera”.

While brainstorming I had a total AHA moment and started digging through my piles of never used items.  YES!  I found an old sunset filter (from my old Cokin system) and a homemade (on plexiglass) filter I made in 2010 at a creative photography workshop I attended.  Tons of snow here in the Chicago area would’ve made for some sort of stark images, I loved the idea of warming them up with the Cokin filter.  I used my iPhone – yes my handy iPhone – for pics with this filter combo.

The homemade filter is just a piece of plexiglass, cut to a rectangularish shape, beat up with sand paper, nails, black paint smeared by hand.  I made it sort of to have a built in vignette.  Lastly I am including a photo taken with that filter (and a quick BW conversion, nothing else) with just that filter and my Canon camera I use for all my shoots – just to showcase how incredibly awesome a small, relatively inexpensive homemade filter can create kind of cool art.


My Nigra Magnolia bush, cold & barren


The sweet gum tree is ready to shed these devilish balls come spring (sigh)

Here’s the two filters I used for the above 3 images in combo with my iPhone camera (no apps!)


Finally here is the photo I mentioned above, taken with that homemade filter + my Canon body and a simple black & white conversion:


I encourage you to round through the carousel and there is a lot of talent in this circle and some amazing ideas for this project, the next stop is my friend Dawn Sela – NY Baby, Child and Family Photographer

Previous blog carousel entries can be found here if you’re interested in what we’ve done before.  More of my iPhone blog entries are located here.

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  • Corey - January 22, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    Beautiful, Mare! Love your homemade filters – too cool!

  • alpana - January 22, 2012 - 9:13 pm

    What a great idea to use the filters – will have to steal it! Love your interpretation.

  • christine plamann - January 22, 2012 - 10:53 pm

    beautiful as always and i love that you have a homemade filter 🙂

  • Anna-Karin - January 22, 2012 - 11:25 pm

    Ooooh you are so creative! Love the idea of home made filter. I am inspired to try one my self now. Great captures with your choice for alternative camera!

  • dena robles - January 23, 2012 - 7:18 am

    Okay, um WOW! You have me hooked. Expect some questions coming your way or me knocking on your door someday soon.

  • June - January 23, 2012 - 7:26 am

    I was expecting something super creative from you, and of course you did not disappoint! Gorgeous and inspirational!

  • Samara - January 23, 2012 - 7:58 am

    Ok SERIOUSLY?! You must write up a little tutorial on how you made those filters because that is AWESOME! love love love!

  • jules - January 23, 2012 - 9:32 am

    love the landscape! seriously so gorgeous! thanks for sharing the textures, too! beautiful work as always!!

  • teri mason - January 23, 2012 - 10:10 am

    Wow, this brings back memories!! My dad used to make filters when I was a girl, and also did some of my own, gosh so long ago! Your images are great, love the ethereal quality of the woman. So dreamy!

  • Julie - January 23, 2012 - 10:23 am

    These are so great – I have not played around with making homemade filters in YEARS – not since I was a non-professional and was actually taking time to try EVERYTHING. This post has inspired me to get creative again with filters – how fun!

  • Mary Beth - January 23, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    Mare, I absolutely adore your creative take on this! Stunning photos and reading how you created them makes them even that much more special. I may just have to play with making some filters. I know I have some scrap plexi around here somewhere…

  • Danna - January 24, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    LOVE these Mare!! Now you have me thinking I need to go dig out all my old filters and start playing! lol

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