My top 5 camera apps

Ever since I've gotten an iPhone and Instagram took off, I've been obsessed with mixing and matching camera apps to process the photos on my phone. It's definitely trial and error, but I think I've found my top five... and I'm going to share them with you!

These apps are definitely available in the Apple store on your iPhone - some may or may not be Droid friendly. Which pretty much means... you gotta switch over to the dark side if you want some of these. ;)

(If you want to follow all the fun on Instagram, @erinpurchase is my username!)

Here we go!


My fab sister Kelsey in front of Forever 211// Instagram [FREE]

Instagram is similar to a Twitter status feed, but just with pictures. It's the best way to network with other friends to see and comment on their pictures on your feed. There are numerous filters and frames, and it also has a fun tilt-shift option near the top that I use all the time.

I love using Instagram's filters, but I can also take photos from other camera apps in my photo album and import them into Instagram for others to see. I love this app SO MUCH! AND it's FREE. Can't beat that!

My favorite IG people to follow: @taza, @promisetangeman, @thezoereport (Rachael Zoe), and @sisiliapiring.






At C&I Studios in Fort Lauderdale at an Instagram Art Gallery2// VSCO cam [$.99]

I use VSCO presets for Lightroom to process my regular DSLR photos... the same geniuses that came up with that also launched a camera app that allows you to use similar presets for your iPhone photos. All of the filters emulate a certain kind of camera film, which I loooove.

It's also SUPER customizable. To give you an example, you can adjust exposure, add grain or fill light, and throw a vignette on a photo in no time. It's definitely not a "one and done" camera app like Instagram is - you will need to play around with it to find the magic touch. It's well worth the work and patience.






On our way to celebrate July 4th - my absolute FAVORITE holiday!3// Lomora 2 [$1.99]

There is a type of photography called "lomography", which is a film photography done with toy cameras and are typically bright and punchy when they process. This app is reminiscent of that idea, and I have taken some of my favorite sky and city scape photos with this app. There are tons of films to choose from such as the legendary Sensia, Provia, and Ektachrome (I believe I shot this with the R/B film).

Of all the apps I have, this one probably shoots the clearest photos and gives the most definition to the photos I take. :)







Making the all-famous Purchase family salsa!4// Hipstamatic [$.99]

In Lomography (as explained above), there are rules... one of the rules is "shoot from the hip" (see Rule #4). Meaning, change your perspective a little once in awhile. And the "Hipstamatic" app name pays homage to that rule.

This app has different films and lenses, so you can mix and match to achieve your favorite look. Also, Hipstamatic will give out free extra, unique films if you sign up for their emails and actually open them. I've gotten some cool B&W ones for free!

I don't always shoot from the hip, but this photo on your right is a hip shot of when I made the famous, ever-secret Purchase family salsa. Jealous yet? ;)





On location with Rowan for a Carter's shoot in January!

5// Polyframe Lite [FREE]

Sometimes, it takes more than one photo to tell a story and you don't want to flood your Instagram feed. This app is a fun little app that lets you combine your photos into one!

My favorite thing is that you can round edges, and make your own shapes with the photos!








What are YOUR favorite camera apps?!



DIY: Your Newborn's Portraits

+ Dress up (or down) your baby! I stripped Rowan for these, and added a headband.

+ I chose a location in my house with the best natural light. I knew I wanted a white background, so I just opted to use my bed as a starting point because I have white sheets and a HUGE window. Then, to protect my sheets in case Rowan “spritzed”, I laid down a multi-use changing table pad and covered it with a soft, white Aden + Anais blanket (more on those in a different post) to continue the white background. I even put a pillow under the blankets to help her prop up.

+ Shoot, shoot, shoot. Re-adjust your baby, and keep shooting. Clap, sing, do what you gotta do to distract.

+ Eventually, I moved into Rowan’s room and utilized the changing table because I liked that light better. Again, I used the Aden + Anais blanket to cover up the light pink changing table cover to make it more crisp.

+ Shoot, shoot, shoot. Re-adjust your baby, and keep shooting. :)

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August has been too busy for my liking. Lots of deadlines and projects and no time left. I blame it partially on myself, as I have the tendency to over-commit, but on the other hand, it keeps life exciting. Sorry for the lack of pictures but unfortunately, my camera has been in the shop since late June. However, I recently got it back! So hopefully things will pick up around here. :)

The big announcement is... I am now booking picture sessions for the holidays! I am starting WAY early this year because last year, I was still getting calls into the second week of December for Christmas pictures. With the late session and the turn around time for processing, this put everyone into a huge time crunch. Not doing that again.

So, here's the DL for this year:


  • Christmas sessions are the same price as a regular session with me ($200) and will probably last an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how things go!
  • Bring Christmas outfits, some props, and a regular change of clothes. You'll walk away with pictures fit for a Christmas card and also some regular individual portraits for the rest of the year. Sort of a two-fer. You'll be glad you did :)
  • P.S. - Who wants to display Christmas pictures on Facebook all year round when you can also have a small variety of pictures that you can whip out for cards, end of year pictures, birthday pictures, etc? Exactly!
  • Please keep in mind: I will only be booking myself up until Thanksgiving weekend! I have a lot of commitments this Fall and space is EXTREMELY limited. 


If you want to book a date, email me at: 

And just because posts are boring without pictures... I'll throw up some Christmas pictures I had the privilege of taking last year :)









baby love: Dunia + Max

It's baby season! Lots and lots of my friends are with child and it's such fun to always be talking in a circle of girls where the center of the circle is filled with baby bumps. It's such a blessing. Many people have told me how they would never ever bring a child into this crazy, broken, messed-up world. I can understand where they're coming from. Really I do. Parenting is hard. Nine months is a long time. Eighteen YEARS is a long time. And really, who wants to go without caffeine for that long?

Luckily for me, I know some rockstar women out there ready to take on the challenge. Mothering is tough. Raising a fine, upstanding citizen is a long journey and sometimes doesn't look appealing, but its rewards are great. I am fortunate to know these women because it makes me believe I can do it too, someday. 

Dunia and Hayythem (we call him Max for short) found me through a friend. I was honored to be able to get to know them by strolling the exotic flowers at the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Boca Raton. Dunia is a GORGEOUS, strong, Arabian woman who is just the cutest thing. Little Aya (their little girl) is fortunate to have parents who are already so in love with her!


They have so much fun together :)





One thing I learned from Dunia - don't buy maternity clothes. Would you believe that she just buys regular clothes and modifies them? I'm so stealing that idea!



Dunia = GORGEOUS here. Per usual. :)


We stayed at the museum 'til we were kicked out! Dunia & Max were such good sports. I'm so excited for Aya - their newest little addition!




Gosh I love that word. It sounds exactly like what it means. :)

Yesterday, Jimmy and I spontaneously decided to go shooting. Literally. We were sitting on the couch and I suggested we take advantage of the beautiful light outside, and we were on our way 5 minutes later. It’s been awhile since we’ve just made the effort to break away and let our cameras go. We wound up in downtown Hollywood (our favorite spot). I know I sound like a broken record, but it really is a magical place. There are so many colors, fields, open spaces, textures, industrial buildings, etc etc. I always find something new when I go. Plus, it has Kilwin’s. And we all know how I feel about that.

We found this AWESOME pseudo-field in between these run down houses. We took advantage :)

Below, I used Totally Rad's "Luxe (soft)", Kevin Kubota's "Kiyoko Punch" and Totally Rad's "Boutwell Magic Glasses". I love the soft-cross processed look with purple tones. I'm so picky about Xpro actions and none really ever satisfy me, but I like what I got here when I tried to make my own.

Can I just say that this one below is my favorite picture that I've ever taken of Jimmy. E V E R. He looks so rugged and strong...  ambient lighting... with a film camera in his hand no less. I love this man. 

Out of focus, but I don't care.

These are the moments that make me happiest. Whenever we are out "frolicking" (love that word) in broken down areas and inspiration hits us, I can't imagine any other place I would want to be. I may have this thing under my name, but Jimmy is literally the backbone to every thing I do. He encourages me constantly and is my #1 fan. He also pushes me to do things that I may not want to do... but in the end they wind up fantastic. He is always in the background, smiling while I do my thing. He is also my protector, and watches out for me when things go wrong. I couldn't imagine doing this without him.

Angels and Airwaves said it best: I can't live, I can't breathe, unless you do this with me...



P.S. - I’m also in the process of editing a wedding that I shot last week…  here’s a sneak peek ! 

Much better than the B&G's hands on a pillow or something, don't you think? 


Way before I ever invested in a Nikon DSLR, my love for photography grew primarily on film cameras. I don’t know why I chose to buy a Nikon EM camera on eBay.  Maybe it was the fact that it was super cheap and it included the lens (I do love a good bargain). Honestly, it was probably an urge to get out of the rut of the ordinary and try something new. Whatever it was, it was a good thing.

To be quite honest with you, I shoot film to relax. There’s no LCD screen to view, critique, and then adjust your settings. It’s all guesswork at first, because you never know if you’re doing it right. However, once you find the magic sequence of dials and expose correctly, it’s MAGIC. It’s been a cool experiment whenever I pick a film camera up. Especially when you start using slide film and give cross-processing a go. I haven’t had much success with Xpro lately, but one of my good friends has. Check out Ryan Collman’s latest uploads… INCREDIBLE.

Not many people shoot film anymore, which is so tragic to me. I feel that it takes so much talent to get it to work properly that many people don’t want to bother anymore. I don’t think I personally will ever get film technically right… but that’s OK with me. 

One film photographer’s work I thoroughly enjoy is Jose Villa. He shoots entire weddings in film and the pictures he gets from the lab are flawless, and don’t require much editing work afterwards.


These pictures are all taken within the last year on my Canon AE-1 and Nikon EM. Enjoy!



And I will end with a picture of Kilwins.... only because I'm CRAVING their Banana Fudge Pie ice cream right now. 

I love film... more than I love Kilwin's. And that's ALOT.


St. Augustine

Hands down, St. Augustine is one of my favorite places in the world to go to relax and re-energize. It’s where Jimmy and I honeymooned for four days last year and we keep coming back because we love it so much!

The cute and endearing thing about St. Augustine is the anti-corporate mentality that a lot of the shop owners and residents have. East of US-1 in the historic district, it’s all mom & pop shops amongst beautiful Victorian homes built in the early 1900’s. When we go, we walk around for hours without a schedule, just observing and letting our minds at ease.

There’s just something about this town that is so magical to me. I don’t know, maybe it’s the small town atmosphere that I’ve never been a part of. Maybe it’s having two (TWO) Kilwin’s ice cream shops on the same street, within a mile of each other. Maybe it’s waking up early and actually enjoying a hearty, unhurried legitimate breakfast (pancakes AND bacon) instead of rushing off to work without. It could be hanging out in Jimmy’s grandparent’s living room with Grandma Edie on the piano, Jimmy’s dad on the drums, and Jimmy on bass playing old songs that makes life slow down, just a little. Just enough to get a glimpse of what life was like before people got distracted by too many things.

Jimmy and I take this time to walk around and sharpen our photography with little to no pressure. Here’s what we came up with. I can’t wait to go back this December and compare!

The first two pictures are film shots taken with a Canon AE-1 film camera with Kodak Supra 100 film (expired). I got the film bug again and borrowed Jimmy's camera!

This was fun to spot... another photographer doing an engagement session. He was in the right city - St. Augustine has so much personality!

My beloved. :)


Just because I absolutely love my husband's photography, I thought I'd brag on him a bit. He is so good!

Starting out with Jimmy's grandparents' house... right in the middle of the historic district!


Hope this finds you well!