For those of you who can’t live without your smartphone, this week’s lesson is on smartphone photo tips! I love my DSLR, the quality of image and control over my settings is wonderful. But let’s be real, there are times I don’t have my “fancy” camera on me or I don’t have time to grab it to get the shot I want. After hearing from a few other moms in the same boat, I thought a few smartphone photo tips was the perfect lesson for this week!
1. Get in close (but don’t use the zoom). By getting in closer to your subject you allow your subject to shine. This first image of Sawyer is cute (because, let’s face it, she’s a cute girl!) but the second one is a much better photo. By getting in close I have gotten rid of the distracting yellow light at the bottom and I let Sawyer really shine.The key, though, is to move your feet, not use the zoom. When you zoom on your camera you lose image quality!
2. Place your horizon in the bottom or top third of the frame. Often times the symmetrical part of us wants to put the horizon smack dab in the center of the image. However, that leaves the frame looking split and unbalanced. Instead, play with putting the horizon in the bottom third (see below) or top third of the image. Note that you don’t have to be shooting a landscape to keep this in mind. Even if people were in the frame, think about where your horizon is!
3. Tap your subject to expose them correctly. This is my favorite feature of my phone. There’s no need to mess with settings, simply tap what you’d like to be in focus and properly exposed and the phone will do the work. In the image below, had I not tapped my kids, my phone would have exposed for the bright window, leaving them too dark to see. Bonus tip: When shooting landscapes (like the one above) tap the sunshine for great sunrise/sunset photos.
4. Try different angles. The compact size of your phone makes it that much easier to lift up high or shoot down low. A different angle can completely add interest to a photo. The image below is one of my favorites. Not favorite iPhone photo, favorite photos. We had just gotten a bubble machine and Milo loved it! I wanted to capture the bubbles coming up along with Milo, so I decided to get up high and shoot down on him. The different adds so much interest to the image rather then just being straight on.
5. Embrace the selfie! Smartphones are the perfect way to get in the image with your kids. You are there too in their lives everyday, so why not document it. The reverse feature on phones (that allow you to see yourself as you capture) helps you take a photo you’re proud of. Plus, younger kids (and older ones too) love to see themselves on the phone screen. It always brings a big smile to my kids’ faces when I embrace the selfie!
6. Download them onto your computer! I found that I was taking some great photos on my phone, but they were staying there (or on my Facebook & Instagram pages). But they are part of my family’s story too. As I mentioned above, there are times where I don’t have my DSLR, which means the smartphone photos are all that I have. Without them, pieces of my history are missing! There are several companies that are catering to smartphone and Instagram photos. I started adding them into my personal yearly photo books. See how they mold in with my regular photos into this Project Life layout?
What to know even more tips on using your smartphone (or point and shoot camera)? Sign up for my March 30th, Budding Confidence workshop where we cover storytelling, light and even more smartphone photo tips. Become a pro with your camera!
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