If you follow me on Instagram, you might know I take a ton of pictures of my kids. Occasionally I will post some that I have taken with my DSLR but many times I just use my phone because it is available in the moment. Yes, sometimes they are not masterpieces, but I love the little story I have of their life, especially with how fast they are growing! It is really fun to look back on them. So I am encouraging you, take more pictures this week of your loved ones 🙂 Here are a few tips that may help to get better photos from your phone.
Making Use of the Camera Available
Technology has changed a lot when it comes to cameras in the past ten years. Phones especially have become so much more equipped to take nice, quality images allowing many of us to by pass having to take point and shoot cameras around with us. There are still many times where I prefer taking out my “real” camera, but many of the memories I capture of my children come from using my phone. It is usually right there and sometimes things happen so quickly I do not have time for anything else. I hear it often, I don’t have a nice camera which is why I cannot get good pictures. This is such a false assumption. There are so many great images you can take with your phone, you just need to keep a couple things in mind to help you in getting the best picture you can.
Move in close, try to avoid using the zoom since it will reduce the quality of your image. Instead you can act like the zoom by moving closer or further away. Try different angles, getting up high or down low. If taking pictures of a person don’t feel like you always must have your subject looking at you.
Ditch the flash and find the light. Flash from your phone is going to typically give a harsher light. Instead try to get creative with different sources of light. The computer screen, a lamp, a window, the tv. These all can create interesting effects to your images.
Get rid of the clutter
Check the area around your subject before taking the picture. That green sippy cup in the background, or the dirty socks on the floor. Quickly grab them and toss them away. Those things can distract from the important thing you’re taking a photo of, and honestly are you going to want to hang a picture up with a pair of socks in the background.
Editing your images
Find a good photo editing app for your phone and skip the instagram filters. One of my all time favorite apps is Pictapgo. I love the basic effects you’re able to put on your images and that you can adjust the intensity of them. Try first adjusting your brightness or darkness. Then try adding a little contrast or adjust your white balance if needed (how warm or cool the picture is.)
Printing your memories
Digital photography has brought a lot of benefits. More people are able to take pictures of their loved ones since cameras are readily assessable, and with automatic settings it has made it really easy for pretty much anyone to pick up a camera and take a picture. But with this comes the issue that many people never actually do anything with those photographs. How will your grandkids ever go through and look at photos with you if they are never printed? Yes, you can download them to a hard drive or disk, but things happen. Hard drives crash, disks fail. There is a very real chance some of those images may not make it 50 years from now. And honestly can you image sitting snuggling with your grandkids in front of a computer screen?
I think this is where printing your images is so important. It makes them readily available to view and enjoy. I take hundreds of pictures of my children, so many that I probably never will print every single image. About two years ago I decided to start printing the images that I posted to instagram and making a book out of those pictures. Those to me are usually the most important ones I wanted people to see, it helped me filter out the ones I really wanted to remember. Instagram has become kind of like a digital journal for me, and every few months I would make a book.
Eventually I discovered Chatbooks and that has made it so much easier for me to constantly have a new book with my pictures in it. I love that it is automated, I do not have to think about doing it. Once you hit 60 pictures on imstagram, a new book is sent off. I typically try to post at least one picture a day, usually the highlight of the day. Something funny my kids did, or if it was a really bad day something maybe not so funny they did but someday I can look back on it and laugh. My little ones love to sit down and snuggle and look through those books.
There are tons of places you can print books, Chatbooks, Blurb, Shuttferfly to mention a few. Most places have started to make it really easy to just upload images and create your book right from your phone.
Another option would be making prints! Sometimes I think people avoid hanging prints because 1. they think it will cost too much and 2. they are not sure how to hang them around their home. Check local craigslist ads or yardsale groups on Facebook for cheap frames and grab a can of spray paint. You can make them any color you want to match with your decor. Or head to ikea (they even allow you to order most their frames online now.) They have cheap poster type frames that I actually think look pretty nice, or you can spend a little more and get one with a mat around the edges. Then head to pinterest, there are so many ideas on what to do with pictures and how to hang them! You can have beautiful photos on your wall in no time.