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JUNE K. COLLINS PORTRAITS | HAHIRA  | FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER

7 Tips for Better Phone Pictures 

We have these wonderful phones with cameras that are awesome and the rave, but our pictures are still not great.  How come Karen down the street's camera phone images look great, you both have the same kind of phone? It's simple, Karen knows her phone and the tricks to get those wow images. Here are a few tips to help you achieve those images. 

     1.     Learn your phone. 

 

Each phone is different. They come equipped with cameras that you can get some really good snap shots of your babies. Each phone is a little different. Somethings to think about: First, if you are using an IPhone, when you point your camera at what you are going to shoot, there is a little yellow square box that comes up. Make sure to have this on what you want to be sharp and in focus. Your camera phone is trying to decide what is most important in this image. The box helps the camera decide. Second, remember the more you zoom in, the more the image will show noise, grain or be pixelated. In simple terms, this means the image quality will not be as clear. So instead, move close.

 

     2.    Check your lighting.

 

Look at your surroundings. Where is the light coming from? If your baby is facing the light, they may squint. Turn them around and have the sun behind them. Backlit images are my personal favorite images. Another area you can place your babies in is a shaded area. When in a shaded area, watch for sun and/or shadow splotches. Sometimes when in the shade, the shade, such as trees, will allow for the sun to shine through putting a splotch of sun on the face or other areas of your baby. It becomes unflattering and impossible to get rid of unless you have a professional editing software. This image is splotchy, you can see the shadows on the pup due to the sun. It works the opposite in the shade with sun. 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     3.     Look for textures.

Textures can add a pop to your image. Whether it is on a tree, the walkway, leaves or a bench. It adds interest to the picture as well dimension. If you can’t find textures, it is not the end of the world. Just think about it when taking pictures. Look at all the texture in the grass in the picture below. It adds to the picture. 

     4.     Following lines, called leading lines.

 

Leading lines can take an ordinary image into something special. Find lines in the area from the wood, walkways, etc. Have the lines come straight towards the camera. It adds to the depth of the image and gives a pop to it. The picture below shows leading lines. The texture in the wood is coming towards the camera as well as the split between the boards.

     5.     Posing: So many things you can do.

 

Posing your baby and keeping their attention for a period of time is a problem. It is all babies, so don’t worry. There are so many ways you can pose your baby. Somethings to remember: First, if you are having them sit, have them sit on the edge of the item. Sitting them at the edge will help with slumping and bad posture. If they move to the edge and are still slumping, ask them to sit up straight. Second, hands can be a problem in an image. No one knows what to do with them. Put them in a pocket, or on a knee or waist. Watch the tension in the hands. Sometimes, people will tend to grab and clutch where you are telling them to put their hands. You want relaxed natural looking hands. Third, kids, if you are having them place their hands on their face, make sure they are softly touching their faces.  If not, they will push their cheek or chin in or in weird directions. So, make sure to tell them gently touch your face or even show them. Lastly, the closest thing to the camera will appear bigger. Keep that in mind. If it’s their foot, their foot will look huge, hand, it will look huge. Remember that for your own pictures as well. 

     6.     For kids, please don’t tell them to smile or say cheese.

 

I am guilty of this too when my daughter looks like I am torturing her. Telling them to smile makes for an unnatural smile. We all have those few things that we can so do make our kids laugh. Do it, the picture will look so much better. If you know that you are not going to get your child to smile unless you say smile, what about a no smile picture? Some of my favorite pictures of my daughter, she is not smiling. For pups maybe they don't smile but I sure do love a head tilt. Why not make a funny noise or trigger words, "Want to go to the park", "Ready to go", "Want to play", for me it's, "Want some Num Nums". When I say this, my pups know its time to eat. Don't judge, my dogs love food lol.

 

     7.     Get down to their level or shoot up at them.

Kids and pups are shorter than you. Instead of always taking the picture looking down, get eye to eye with them. Just this little difference will make your images look so much better. Another way is to shoot with them above you. Have them standing over you, or on a log or bridge. The possibilities are endless and can make for some great fun snap shots. The first image below, I am shooting above the pup. The second image, I am shooting at eye level. Look at the difference between the two.

 

        

Now after the picture is taken, the fun part starts, editing that perfect image. Your phone has basic editing software on it. Just looking around on my phone, there are several different options to fix a picture. You will have to play around with the different correction options and filters. All the features will enhance your image. Learn them because once you do, they are a powerful tool. If you want a more advanced editing software, there are several different apps you can buy and of course my favorite is photoshop. My advice is to start small and then move up to advanced editing software. That is exactly what I did. 

I am going to leave you with this. Becoming better at anything takes practice and determination. Work on your photography skills. Take plenty of pictures and see what images look best to you, your eye will be different from everyone else. Have fun and enjoy documenting those memories.