My history with cameras is colorful to say the least. Epic crashes, tragic calamities and that’s just what happens to the cameras, the pictures are a whole different story. Over the last year or two my pictures have improved, due partly to my transition from a camera to an iphone. The sad, slightly shameful reality for me is that carrying a camera and a phone was more than I could manage and I seem to treat my phone with greater reverence. What does that mean?

I pay more attention.

I am more cautious.

And, mostly, I delight in capturing the moments and carrying them with me.

A few months ago I started paying more attention to some of the people taking gorgeous pictures. I followed new people on Instagram, looked at more twitpic links and then Alli happened. Alli Worthington created a book dedicated to making it easier to take better pictures with your phone.

Believe me when I say, Alli can distill a thing, whether it’s the economy or the searing truths of balancing family and work, and make you get it. Feel it. Believe it. She just has a knack for making things accessible and relatable. Although to look at her pictures you would think that the reason she can do all of this is because she lives beneath the most magical, wondrous skies imaginable.

Nope, same skies, she just spies an opportunity and uses the iphone to great effect. Her book, which you can buy for the next few days for just $5.00, is a quick, potent read. Remember how I said she distills things? There are no promises to make you into a career photographer, instead what she does is reminds you that photography is about having fun. She eliminates the I can’ts and unlocks frame after frame of new potential.

#9 There’s no ‘right way’ to create your art.

Capture the world you see. Let yourself create and have fun.

I’ve been taking her advice to heart.

Ever since I let go of the fear of not knowing how to take a good picture, I’ve found treasure after treasure. Last night I was walking to my car after working late. I loved the way the sunlight was hitting a building, so I snapped a picture. Then I thought about how I enjoy a photo that is a bit obscured by light, the way the sun dapples the image with spots that let you imagine yourself in the frame, or let a memory come to life. I used PicFrame, an app Alli talks about, which lets you combine multiple images. The result made me very giddy.

A second can change everything.

The genius of Alli’s iPhone Photography: A Visual Guide is that you really can take from it what you want. She highlights apps, giving their price as well as the benefits she has found in each of them. One of the apps she mentions, Snapseed, I have actually bought for both my phone and laptop. I love it. I also love having her book right on my laptop to refer to, if just to remind me that playing with the images and discovering what works, is exactly what I should be doing.

We’re all out there snapping away with our phones, this book just makes it a little easier to come away with the picture that makes you (or your husband, your kids or your friends on Facebook) blurt, “Oh, I love that one!”

Do yourself (and your photo albums) a favor and get a copy of her book!

*I happily jumped on the affiliate badwagon for this book. Yes, if you buy a copy from my link I will get a little spiff, but more importantly, if you buy the book, chances are you’ll start having a lot more phone wherever you and your iphone go.