Monday, October 8, 2012

Cell-phone Cameras - More than taking photos of the kids

When they first started putting cameras on cell-phones, I wasn’t too impressed.  I didn’t think I would use it that much, seeing as I already owned a camera.  What was the point? I thought.  I got a phone with a camera just because there was no other option.  Of course now, like everybody else, I expect not only that my phone would have a camera, but that it be a good camera.  Grainy, low-quality photos just wouldn’t cut it in this post-photos-to-social-media age.

The other day, I was reading a blog with suggestions on how to use a phone-camera to organize your life.  What a concept!  Actually make this instant photo capability productive.  There were about five suggestions, some of which I thought were more trouble than they were worth.  She suggested to take a photo of the cables on the back of your computer/TV/other electronic thing with a lot of cords and label them with a photo-editor.  This is one of those things that sounds like a good idea in theory, but I’ll never do that.  Although, I am in the process of labeling the wires and cords in my house with plain ol’ real-life white labels and a Sharpie, because I am realizing how many look-alike cords we have and I’m tired of having to try to match the plug-in part to each device when I need to charge or plug something in.  
Labeling all the black wires and cords that charge our life.

But back to the photos…

One idea the blogger suggested that I really liked: when you don’t have time to make a grocery list, take a quick photo of your refrigerator and/or pantry to refer to when you are shopping.  What a great idea!  Had I done that before my last grocery trip, I wouldn’t now have 4 containers of cherry tomatoes in the refrigerator and only 1 person in the house who likes cherry tomatoes (me).  This could also be useful when clothes shopping, when you are going out looking for something to match a piece you already own.  Or even shoe shopping so you don’t buy another pair of black heels just like a pair you already own. 

Here’s a few additional ways that I use my phone for other practical purposes.
Record scores – At my son’s swim meets, the scores and finishes are recorded for each race – a listing of every swimmer, their time and place.  He likes to know all of that and I usually copy it down for him.  But at the big meets, there’s such a jostle of parents all doing the same thing, it gets a bit hectic and dare I say, a little pushy.  I snap a photo of the sheets for his race and look at them in peace at my seat.

Copy magazine recipes, sidebars – You’re sitting in the doctor’s office, flipping though magazines and come across a recipe for a delicious looking chocolate cake.  What do you do – tear out the page, try to scribble down the recipe on a piece of paper you find in your purse or take the magazine?  (We could get into a whole ‘nother discussion about taking the magazine, but we’ll save that for another day.)  
I’ve started just taking a photo of it, then leaving the magazine intact for the next person. 

“I could make that” – my DIY motto.  
I rarely pass a crocheted or knitted piece that I don’t investigate to see if I could make myself.  Now, if I ever get around to it, again, another story.  But as I’m walking through the mall, I will take a photo of a scarf, sweater, hat, anything that I like that I am confident I could source the right yarn and create it myself.  This habit has even spread to my friends who will take a picture of some yarn-y thing they’ve found and send it to me with a note, “can you make this?”  I will even do this to clothing pieces someone is actually wearing, but you’ve got to be really careful about that, strangers will look at you kinda suspiciously if you stare at them too long then take their picture.
Summer top I found at the mall - I'm still trying to figure out how to do those long straight runs of yarn
Surprisingly, I don’t use my cell phone to take a lot of pictures of my kids, as you would probably expect any good mom would do.  I realized this when I ran into an old friend this summer and she asked, of course, to see a photo of the kids.  I laughed as I flipped through photos of food I had eaten, stuff I wanted to buy, and crocheted pieces I wanted to make, and finally came across a silly photo of the 4 at the beach.  But hey, that’s my kids.

How do you use your cellphone camera?

*Note – I would love to give credit to the blogger with the idea about taking a pic of your refrigerator, but I don’t remember who it was.  If I come across the article again, I will update with proper credit.

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