in our instant snap, instant share world, we, as mommies, are documenting everything that happens. the first smile, the first bath, the first steps-all in an attempt to keep the moment alive. while i of course always encourage you to hire a professional photographer as often as you can, i also know it’s unrealistic to have a professional photographer capturing all of the adorable things your littles do. plus, we’ve got a super nifty snap & share tool right in our back pocket that is always just within an arm’s reach-our smartphone. therefore, i’ve put together a few simple tips that’ll have you snapping & sharing better mobile photos in no time.
1. find the natural light | this is one of the most important steps in snapping any photo & can certainly be the difference between a good and a great photo. spend a day or two observing the natural light in your home. when are your favorite photo spots (baby’s nursery, kitchen, living room, etc) illuminated the best? my house faces the east so in the morning my office & harper’s nursery are full of natural light but by the afternoon, our living room & guest bedroom are the most beautifully lit in the house. therefore, if it’s a photo of harper playing in her nursery that i’m after, i make a point to do it in the morning so that i can photograph her when her room is at its brightest. a couple of easy tricks to finding natural light no matter where you’re shooting are to find spaces adjacent to the window and to turn off all artificial light sources. windows are your very best friend-overhead lights are not! you know you’ve found gorgeous light when your subject is bright & there are no distracting shadows that are visible. both of these photos taken below were on my iPhone but are visually appealing because they are glowing with natural light. don’t be afraid to move things around in your home to take advantage of the light. you’ll be glad you did.
2. use the grid & get creative with your composition | when you launch your iPhone camera, check to see if your grid lines appear. if they aren’t there, simply tap into your settings – photo & camera settings – & then turn your camera grid ‘on.’ the grid is so helpful for creatively composing your shots. use the grid to experiment with the rule of thirds and negative space. and don’t be afraid to switch up your angles. take a photo & then take the same photo 3 more times with 3 different angles. since our phones are digital, we’ve got nothing to lose so snap away!
3. set your focus & desired exposure | did you know that you can pick your focal point with your iPhone? this will allow you an infinite amount of creative control. simply tap wherever you want your focus to be & your iPhone will do the rest! you’ll notice when you tap your selected focal point, a tiny sun icon will also appear. the sun icon is an excellent exposure tool. if you find your photo looking underexposed, simply touch the sun icon & slide your finger up & your iPhone will bring the exposure up. vice versa-if your photo is looking overexposed, simply touch the sun icon and slide your finger down & your iPhone will bring the exposure down. from there, snap your naturally lit, creatively composed, sharp & perfectly exposed photo! extra tip: when in doubt, underexpose. on an iPhone image, it’s much easier to bump the exposure a little bit to adjust a dark image than it is to bring the exposure down.
4. experiment with editing apps | once you’ve snapped a photo that you love on your phone, why not take it one step further & use an editing app to add a final touch? your phone, by default, likey has a few filters handy & instagram has lots to offer as well, but i’ve found that Lightroom Mobile is where it’s at! it is such a powerful app + it provides TONS of opportunity for adjustment both major and minor. best of all, it’s free and super user friendly! I’ve also created a pack of mobile presets just for you to make your editing in Lighroom a breeze. One click will literally transform your images. If Lightroom mobile isn’t your thing, give PicTapGo, Snapseed or VSCO a whirl. no matter what your photography style, there’s bound to be something you’ll love about enhancing your photos with these editing apps.
5. treat yourself | if you find that you’re doing a majority of your photography on your phone, you owe it to yourself to have a few extra goodies handy to enhance your images. a little tripod is a must have-especially if you’re looking to get into the photos yourself (which I HIGHLY encourage!) and once you’ve taken all of your gorgeous images, print them out immediately with this handy dandy little wireless printer. DO NOT let your photos live on your camera roll. Bring them to life!
These five simple steps will have you snapping & sharing better mobile photos in no time. After a few practice snaps, you’ll be a regular ol’ ‘iPhone momtog!’ You’ll now have a gorgeous gallery of memories to document all of your adventures and I’d love to see them! Come say hello over on instagram (@kelsi.bailey) + happy snapping!
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