One of my favorite hobbies, by far, has been playing with the iPhone camera over the past few years. While it will never replace the quality of a real DSLR, I have learned how to capture our family moments in beautiful images that I document on instagram. I might not always have my “big camera” on me, but my cell phone is rarely out of reach. Hello easy, instant, reliable access to great pictures of whatever we happen to be doing. Here are my tips, tricks, secrets and methods on making your photos pop! Enjoy!
-all images in this post are iPhone (5 and 6+) only-
1. Always use the iPhone camera. I never take pictures inside of an app. I use the iPhone camera *always* and then open the picture in an app. For ease of use, I just slide the camera icon up when my phone is locked so I never miss a moment!
2. Take more than one picture and DON’T use burst mode. I’ve personally found that burst photos aren’t as sharp as individually taking a single photo. And rarely do I just take ONE picture. I try a few angles and snap a few pictures so that I’m able to choose the best one to post on instagram.
3. Adjust the light in your image *before you take it* by tapping the screen where you want to focus. Simply focusing on different places in the picture before you take it can completely change how the light looks and where your picture is bright and dark. This is especially true if there is light behind a subject or you are in areas of bright light with dark shadows.
4. Take pictures in good light and don’t use flash. This is perhaps the most important tip of all. Light matters- even when you are using a phone camera! I know the areas of my home where I get the best light and I seek to use those spaces most in my life anyway. Find your good light, and head there for pictures! I rarely photograph food at night- I hate the orange grainy feel of artificial light and never get the food to look how it appears in real life.
5. Open your image in the app Afterlight. ($0.99 in the App Store, worth every penny) the image below shows the edits I use most.
Brightness, exposure, highlight and midtone color, and sharpness. Sometimes I need to change the “temperature” of a picture or how warm or cool the picture seems.
6. Check your whites. If there are any areas of your picture that are true white in real life (counter tops, snow, blankets etc.), those areas can help you better adjust the brightness and color variations in your image. Use those sliders!
7. For dramatic, dark, or silhouette images you will probably want to increase contrast, decrease exposure and maybe lower the brightness. These pictures are a little trickier because the lack of light can make them look grainy real fast.
8. Photography is ART. You are creative! Think about composition. I love putting my subject in a third of the image (this is called “The Rule of Thirds”) or centering my subject dead on. Move around to see what works. Stand on a chair to shoot your crawling baby, or lay down under the monkey bars to get a pic of your girl being a monkey. Perspective can make your photos come alive!
9. Have “fun” with your pictures. Instagram is my own little scrap book. I do whatever *I* like to them and so can you! Occasionally I add text. My favorite text apps are A Beautiful Mess, OBaby, and Over. I could play with these all day.
I also love adding dramatic or matte effect filters in VSCOcam.
Lumie is a fun one for adding bokeh!
Last but not least is Diptic– my favorite app for collage pictures. I like the control you have over the borders and the various classic compositions they offer.
10. PRACTICE! There is no one size fits all instruction manual of capturing the perfect picture. Every image is different, as are the moments you are trying to capture. As long as you are having fun and saving the moments that matter most to you, you are doing it right!
Find me on instagram @sweetersidemom and never hesitate to ask me photo-related questions! I love to share 🙂