THESE DAYS “PHOTOGRAPHER” is a relative term — in addition to artists who make a living looking through the lens, it can also apply to those with iPhones who snap and edit wide-angle shots and share them with the world just by clicking a button. One such iPhotographer is San Rafael’s Jerry Downs, who recently published Why You Were Born, a selection of imagery (including some iPhone photography) focused on the everyday beauty of the county. “It’s so casual and as a result I end up not taking shooting so seriously; I try things with the iPhone that might not even occur to me with a DSLR,” he says. As the holidays approach, we hope his pictures inspire you to capture impromptu, classic and seasonal moments you’ll want to show off now and revisit later. Check out more of Downs’ work at Click through each page to view Downs' photos.

A fall leaf after the rain in Larkspur.


After setting up the shot outside Double Rainbow Ice Cream in San Rafael, Downs handed the phone to a passing stranger and lay down on the sidewalk.

The tones and textures of a leaf and a cardboard box.


Landscaping at Marin Country Mart.

An individual “beaming up” into another world at the Civic Center.


Ginkgo leaves holding the morning dew in Sausalito.

A woman and a pink house catching a few rays off C Street in San Rafael.


Colors and shadows on C Street.

A weed on the bike path in Corte Madera.


A shadow climbing a set of stairs on the west end of Fourth Street in San Rafael.

Self-portrait on the side of a lunch wagon at the Larkspur Landing farmers’ market.