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True or False? You have to have a dSLR to take great photos.

When I went to BlogHer In San Francisco I had a decision to make as my suitcase started bulging – the shoes or the camera? If you know me probably have your heads cocked quizzically… but it was my first *big* blogging conference. I needed sassy shoes for the conference and walking shoes for San Francisco’s famous hills. (Turns out I should have packed a parka, but that’s a whole ‘nother story!)

But I also knew this land-locked Iowa girl wouldn’t get a chance to photograph the awesome bay city very often (read, ever). So, I made a compromise. I brought the sassy shoes and my then-8-year-old son’s $179 Olympus Stylus point and shoot camera. Guess what? I loved the photos I came home with and was sooo glad to have both walking and sassy shoes in San Francisco.

golden gate bridge point and shoot camera

And I got recognized – you can totally laugh but cut me a tiny bit of slack, it was 2008 and I live in a cave. She said to me on the elevator, “Oh my gosh! I know you! You’re the girl with the cup!” To which, I brilliantly replied,

“ummm, yeah! That’s me!”

(seriously, Darcy? “yeah, that’s me!”???? I was kicking myself. I think I might have stammered. I totally came up with about 1000 wittier and kinder replies about 4 hours later. Kick me. I wither under pressure.)

Imma dork.

Anyway, she was referring to this photo, lovingly placed in my footer:

darcy cup pic

… which was taken with an iPhone.

Do you see where I am getting? Admittedly, none of these photographs are going to win me a Pulitzer Prize for Photography. But I love them; I treasure those moments.

There are many types of photography – the photos you take to make memories, the photos you take to make art, then photos you take to tell a story – and each has the potential to be very meaningful. I’m not going to tell you that these snapshots will replace the technical, artistic or talented capabilities of a trained photographer or the likelihood of getting better photos with investment-piece photo equipment. Don’t replace those professional pieces and talented artists. Add to them! Your snapshots can hold their own special place in your memory bank.

Check out some of these other great photos, and the photographers – each taken with a point and shoot camera.

beth page of our lifeImage credit: Beth @ Pages of Our Life taken with a Nikon Coolpix P80

MJ one nutty girlImage credit: MJ @ One Nutty Girl taken with a Canon SD 600

dawn team laumanImage credit: Dawn @ Team Lauman taken with a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2

wash dc monuments point and shoot cameraImage credit: Becca @ Just One More Trip taken with a Canon Powershot.

Have you captured something great recently? Why not link it up to Sweet Shot Tuesday?

ps – read. your. camera. manual. Yes, I’m talking to you.


  1. Really good point! I bought a dSLR not too long ago, but I wouldn’t have if my point-and-shoot Canon was on the fritz. Now, I’m lovin’ my new camera, but I have some pretty great shots from my smaller, lighter, easier-to-throw-in-my-bag old cameral. Sometimes I miss it for that reason!

  2. I just bought a Nikon D3000 at tax time, I am in love….I’ll heft it around where I go…just need a video camera now!
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Sweet Shots =-.

  3. Hi Darcy, Good post with meaningful message – it’s Not the Camera, it’s the Photographer!!
    .-= Kent Weakley´s last blog ..Share Your Favorite Pic Wednesday =-.

  4. I love my Canon dSLR. The Hubs gets nervous when we go out in public with it, though, because of the possibility of theft or damage. He is, however, the first one to give me a shout if he spots a potential shot! The man has a pretty good eye…

    Kudos to the photographers behind those point and shoot pics. So talented!
    .-= Anna K.´s last blog ..Little Moments – Big Boys =-.

  5. Oh, yeah, you’re talking to me.

    One thing I’ve discovered: you’ll never get any SWEET shots unless you actually take shots. With a camera. Any camera. You’ve inspired me to shoot, even if it’s just point-and-shoot.

    I love you, girl with the cup.

  6. LOL! Shoes camera… hmm… I think I would have gone with the camera! 😀

    BUT for me it is like choosing between kids… if I had to choose between the two it might make for a difficult decision!! I could see my husband and I arguing over it now… “But honey I can’t bring the kids cause there is no room for my camera!”

    Okay so I am really not that bad… but I can’t say the thought wouldn’t have crossed my mind. Now I am sure there are great P&S cameras out there… but the one my children owns isn’t worth anything but a crappy paperweight… and since my dinosaur of a phone takes 2mp pics on a tiny screen with no flash that does me no good either!!! So for me my experience is my Nikon… who I so lovingly borrowed out today to my sister (yikes) cause she is having a baby today and didn’t have a camera!) I am going to be worried all day about my camera…. oh and I hope she is okay too! 😀
    .-= stephanie´s last blog ..04-13-2010 Sweet Shot Tuesday =-.

    • Stephanie… a woman after my own heart 🙂 Congrats on the neice/nephew. I lug my camera (SLR) everywhere. I pack diapers into the camera bag… and the diaper bag is at home when we go out. Weird, not very mommy-like, but I LOVE having a camera (any camera) with me for the wow moments of every day. Maybe I should say every moment of everyday? Hehehe. And if I could charge the battery on my awesome Olympus P&S camera, trust I’d have that with me (too…), but I lost the charger.
      .-= Rachelle´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  7. Hmmm. That’s weird that you should say that about the manual. That’s EXACTLY what my husband keeps telling me!
    And I would read it, if only I understood it!
    .-= Laura@SpesamorAcademy´s last blog ..Easter Chick =-.

  8. Kick me, but I probably would have taken the camera.

  9. Shoes, hands down!

    But then, I don’t have a DSLR. Thanks for making me feel legit without it 😉 Maybe I’ll even link up to your sweet shot now that I don’t feel like a total impostor.
    .-= Angela @ Homegrown Mom´s last blog ..Then There Was the Honeymoon =-.

  10. Some of my favorite photgraphy lovers take amazing pics with point and shoots.
    I just got a big big girl camera and HAVE to read the manual.. ONE more room to paint in my house and then I can read it as a reward!

    GREAT pictures and post!

  11. I know you’re talking to me!!!! But it’s soooo long. 😉

  12. Until recently, every single picture I’ve ever taken was with a point-and-shoot, and I get compliments all the time. My “new to me” (i.e., handed down from Mom) camera is still not a true DSLR. It’s a bridge camera – a Nikon CoolPix, and I’m getting GREAT shots from it. I’ve read the manual forward & back, twice, and I’m taking an online photography course geared towards DSLR’s. The bridge can do almost everything a DSLR can!
    .-= Aimee @ In THIS Life´s last blog ..RTT: Classrooms, Crushers, & Crowds =-.

  13. I love the way you ended this post. FAB!
    .-= Secret Agent Mama – Mishelle´s last blog ..Homer Simpson said it best, ” Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.” =-.

  14. Your picture of the Golden Gate was really, really good! You should have that one framed!
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Randomly Random =-.

  15. I absolutely agree! I’ve had my Nikon dSLR for over a year now and I still use my Canon PowerShot regularly. Sometimes I just want to be able to grab a SMALL camera and go. It helps that it takes GREAT pics…I have some shots that are nearly impossible to tell if I used the dSLR or the point and shoot 🙂
    .-= bekkah´s last blog ..out of focus =-.

  16. I agree, I agree, I agree!!! So many people don’t realize that they can take great pictures with the P&S they own. Light and composition make such a difference, regardless of the camera.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..365-103 Dandelion Field =-.

  17. This is so true. I have a lot of favorite shots from my point and shoot. 😉 Lots of them are in my Flickr stream from prior to April 2008 (which is when I got my DSLR). I also found that I was unhappy with the DSLR for a long while because the point and shoot had “better” macro capability, but that was before I bought a macro lens. 😉 You just have to take pix with the camera you have and KEEP SHOOTING and learning!
    .-= sprittibee´s last blog ..Give-Away at the Post: The Book of Ruth =-.

  18. And thanks for helping me whip the Gravatar in shape. I had to add another email and when that didn’t work, I READ THE INSTRUCTIONS (you have to pick a photo for each email apparently) LOL
    .-= sprittibee´s last blog ..Give-Away at the Post: The Book of Ruth =-.