2.25.2015

Enhance your mobile photography!

It's been said that "the best camera is the one you have with you" and I say, "amen!" This has never been more true than today.

How lucky are we to live in a time where our phones are not only capable of taking photos, but on top of that, have apps on apps on apps available to go right along with all that picture taking?! Jackpot.

I get comments at least twice a week on my Instagram feed asking what kind of camera I use, and the answer is 95% of the time, my iPhone 5s. As much as I love taking pictures on my Canon, chasing babies all day doesn't always leave a free hand for a big camera, so my iPhone is SO handy for catching all those little moments that I'd miss otherwise. 
Today I wanted to share a few quick + easy photography tips with you that I've learned along the way! Get ready to change your mobile photography forever... 

First up! Lighting:
My personal preference for photos is light + bright. 
I love love love crisp whites + pops of color. Within my home decor, clothing choices, IG feeds that I follow, pinterest boards, you name it... so naturally this carries over into my photography as well. The best way to get a beautiful + bright looking photo is to lose the flash + shoot in natural lighting instead. Outside (not in direct sunlight, as this can cast harsh shadows) or near a big window is the best. Shooting in natural light will make your subjects look as close to what they truly are when seen with the naked eye. 


There are definitely circumstances in which you need a flash or there is no natural light available to you, I mean... photo worthy stuff does happen at night + indoors too! In this case, I do use my flash if necessary + then turn my photos black + white in editing. This neutralizes the photo + rids it of any poor lighting, face shine, yellow tones, etc. Check out the difference in the photo below! Same photo, but the original photo just didn't pop. Simply turning it black + white, and playing with a little contrasting made this photo a lot more eye catching.


Next, composition.
I love photos that create a feeling; photos that capture a whole scene, and also like most... photos of people + things that I love. When getting ready to take a photo I like to think about why I’m taking it. If I know the feeling behind taking the photo, it's easier to portray that same feeling to viewers too!
---Don’t be afraid to take a step back. Leave the room and capture the doorway looking into the room that your child is playing in, or a baby sleeping on a king size bed, showing just how little they really are. There is something so special about looking into a scene from the outside, and showing more of the scene, gives a photo more context. Don’t crop out the fun wall or cityscape behind your subject; sometimes it's just as interesting as your subject itself!

--Don’t be afraid to get close up. So this feels contradictory, but it's really just another technique that is equally impactful. Zoom in on what it is that made you want to snap a photo. Was it your child's baby blues? Crop in so that it is clear what your focus is, detail shots are JUST as special.


 

--Try not centering your subject. Instead, let your focus point be just off center to the right or left, same goes for top or bottom. For example, when posting to Instagram, I often times will place my subject ON one of the grid lines, as opposed to IN one of the grid squares. 


--Look at your surroundings. Is there a trashcan behind your focus point? An unruly pile of unfolded laundry (hand raising emoji here), a lady picking a wedgie? (Again, guilty) no really... these are things that often go unnoticed until AFTER the fact, oops. Take a look around + check your scene!
--Use your surroundings! A colored wall, texture, lines… anything that adds a different element to your photo.
--Set yourself up at different angles. Instead of always taking a photo straight on, get on a chair, lay on the floor, see the shot from different views + create a fun perspective!


Editing.
I use only one editing app on my phone, but the mobile editing app world is your oyster. Typically I will just edit my photo in the Instagram editor before posting, but it can't always get my photo just right, and in that case I use Photoshop Express. 
Exposure. Highlights. Contrast. Saturation. 
The end.
As mentioned, you can adjust most of these straight from IG, but PS Express is my best friend when it comes to grainy/pixelated photos (this happens a lot if you use your front camera, which I try to avoid). Adjust "reduce noise" and it will smooth out your picture.

Print, print, print!
If technology failed us tomorrow (which it probably won't) but IF it did... would you lose all of your precious, captured moments? If I’m being 100% honest with you, before making it a priority this past year, I would've lost too many of mine! It's so easy to blog photos or post them to IG or Facebook + then never see them again. THIS HAS TO STOP! Print out those pictures people! There are SO many different ways to display + share photos in a tangible way. I've got framed pictures, photo walls + books, I've even ordered prints from Shutterfly that are just sitting in a wire basket on our coffee table... people LOVE thumbing through all of the pictures in there and I love that. Get those gorgeous images off of your devices and into your hands friends, you'll thank yourself later!

Well, that's a wrap! I hope one or more of these little tips made you say "Oh! Good one!" or "I'm going to try that." At the very least, I hope you got a laugh from the wedgie picker example... this REALLY is in the back of one of my Instagram photos... I'll let you go and find it though :)
Now, get out there + capture the moments that are special to YOU, because what really makes them special is that they are little snippets of your very special life! Have a wonderful day, XOXO!


Come try out your new photo techniques!

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