I love my DSLR (the big camera), I keep in arms reach most everyday but for those quick spontaneous moments especially when we are out and about, I sooo love having my iPhone handy. It’s funny… sometimes when other mom’s bring their DSLR along, there I am, with my iPhone. Wait, aren’t you a photographer?? Yep, and I love Phoneography. Don’t misunderstand… my big fancy camera is great, and I know how to use it. In no way does my phone replace my professional camera, but knowing how to use a camera and some basic tips can take your phoneography up a few notches. Smart phone, or (heavy) DSLR, there are ways to take great pictures with both.
I thought it might be helpful to talk about some basic photography tips that translate to your phone.
Look for the light. Your phone can take a pretty fast picture in natural daylight. The less light available the slower your phone camera’s picture will be, because it is trying to allow enough light in the lens to take a pic. You can still take low-light pictures, but having a light source will make your image soooooo much better (natural or artificial!). Always have your subject turn towards the window or other light source if you are photographing their face. It makes a big difference in the image quality! Play with the light too! Sometimes I want the subject to be a silhouette against my background so I tap the screen where I want the phone camera to read the light and my subject becomes dark against a pretty sky. The less light you have available the grainier or blurrier your image will be. It can become tough to hold your hands still enough to take a good picture, and I don’t typically carry an iPhone tripod around so always always think about the light.
Change your angle! Get down low, or shoot from above. phones are small and light! Get moving around to find the best angles.
Composition is key! Just like with any ol’ camera composition is one of the keys to a great image. Negative space can make an image more dramatic and lead you to your subject. Leading lines also can draw your attention to your main focal point. Try using the rule of thirds or completely centering your subject.
Photograph those details. Life is in the details… I love nothing more then little hands reading a book, tiny tomato plants promising that spring is coming, a lock of hair on a baby’s forehead after a bath. These are the moments that really take your breath away in years to come. You won’t regret taking detail shots. Smartphones actually are pretty awesome at getting super close up shots with amazing clarity.
Photograph daily details too… a trip to the grocery store, a letter to the tooth fairy, bubble baths, holding hands on a date. Sometimes the daily routine is so routine that we forget to capture these special details of life.
Selfies… I guess I am pretty shameless about getting selfies with my kids, friends, and a great new pair of glasses. I firmly believe we need to not just record life around us, but us too. Most phones have a handy-dandy flip the camera around option. Use it!! You can also hand the phone over to a friend! The great thing about phone cameras is everyone knows how to take a picture with one… tap the screen silly willy. No duck faces though, they are just not that flattering.
yep, like this duck face…. it seemed like a good idea at the time…
Some great apps that I use daily are pictapgo, (for shooting and editing) instagram,(mostly for sharing) and vscocam.(shooting and editing) There are many many more great phone apps, but these are what I mostly love using. You can print iphone pics too! I need to do this again soon! I bet I have a few hundred prints to make. Lots of companies print square format prints like instagram users take as well as magnets (I have a lot of these!) jewelry, photo albums and other keepsake and gift ideas.
I might over do it… I shoot a lot, but it’s my life journal, and I love looking back through the last few years of my iphone pics already.
I hope these tips were helpful! Keep on shooting friends! Oh, I’d love to follow you on instagram. Leave your user name in the comments section, or just follow me amy_cyphers and I’ll follow you back! Kim’s on there too.. follow her at Photowildchild