Times have changed, haven’t they? Nowadays, anyone with an iPhone can call themselves a photographer. And for good reason. Have you seen what some people are creating with just their iPhone? It’s incredible. And so fun. I’m a huge fan of instagram and the community I have found within it. I’ve made friends with loads of other moms, photographers, and bloggers alike. Prit-E cool.
Every now and again, someone will ask me how I edit my photos either here on my blog or on instagram. Truthfully, I hate this question. I hate it because there is so much more to a photo then how it is edited. In my opinion, there are three key ingredients to producing a beautiful image and they are exposure, lighting, and composition. And all three of these ingredients need to be present at the moment the photo is taken. There is not much you can do, in terms of post-production, with an over-exposed, crappily lit, and ill-composed photo.
With all that said, I want to share some tips I’ve learned along the way; Simple tips for improving the photos you capture of your everyday life on your iPhone.
1. Shoot in landscape mode. This isn’t a setting on your iPhone, rather I’m suggesting you hold your phone horizontal as opposed to vertical when taking a photo. You’ll be able to see the frame better.
2. Experiment with AE/AF lock. You can read about how to use it here. It makes focusing easier. I use it some of the time.
3. Shoot by windows or doors. It’s amazing what natural light can do. If the kids are playing, sometimes I’ll set up a trap and plant myself where I want them to go. I’m like a magnet, they always find me.
4. Think about your composition. Ask yourself what’s included in the photo and why. Don’t rely on cropping later, include only what you want in the shot when you shoot it.
5. Take your phone out of your purse. Sure, there’s that fine line of being that annoying mom constantly hiding behind her iPhone snapping shot after shot of her kid instead of just being present in the moment. I get that, I do. Sometimes I like putting my camera down just as much as I like picking it up, so you have to find your own balance and what works for you. What I would encourage, however, is to take your camera out during the seemingly mundane moments. There is so much beauty in the everyday; the morning light when you’re just waking up, your child brushing her hair before school, you husband walking in the door after a long day at work… Everyone remembers the birthday parties and the first day of school, but I’m telling ya, there are beautiful things happening everyday.
5. Take multiple shots of the same subject, espcially when photographing kids. I think I took at least six different shots of the one above, all within less than a minute, but you’d be surprised how different each of the six were… between movement and blinking and distraction… you’ll need at least six tries (or I do anyway). Though I should mention, funny enough, I almost always end up chosing the first photo I take anyway. But insurance feels good, doesn’t it? That’s why we all pay out our butts for car insurance we (hopefully) never use.
6. Try different angles. If I’m photographing my kids, I like to get down to their level. Shoot from above, shoot from below, shoot into the sun, shoot away from the sun. You’ll learn quickly what works and what doesn’t. That’s the beauty in digital, right? Your mistakes are never a waste.
7. Edit your photos. Sure, exposure, lighting, and composition are the main ingredients but editing is the quintessential icing on the cake. Never rely strictly on editing to make an okay photo great. An okay photo will always be an okay photo, in my opinion anyway. I edit almost all my iPhone pics with the VSCO app. Other apps I like are PicTapGo, Snapseed, and Afterlight. Each of these apps also have their own cameras with different settings. The VSCO app, for example, has separate focus and exposure rings.