Ten Picture-Taking Lessons with My iPhone

Over the last couple of years, my iPhone camera has played a critical roll in how I preserve memories and share my life with others.  One of my favorite parts of my day is scrolling through my Instagram feed and watching life be celebrated, to be lived.  Most of my Instagram friends I have never met in real life. But just from their pictures I know them. Everyday I cheer for them, I smile because they are happy, we share great finds, or funny things our kids say and do, we comfort each other on bad days and celebrate the great moments. All in this little phone  and all through pictures. How amazing is that?

Our cell phones (or mobile phones, or smart phones – whatever it is you call them)  have become so much more than phones.  They are how we record and share or life, our moments, our memories.  They are how we connect. They are how we tell our story.

But like everything – sometimes it takes a little practice and experimenting to figure it all out.   After two+ years of shooting everyday photos with my iPhone, I am finding what works for me. I would like to share my ten picture-taking lessons with my iPhone:

1. Light is your friend – seek out the great light. The better the light, the better the picture.  The better the picture, the better the story.

Welcome back to the playground  #pictapgo_appThe sunset tonight is gorgeous  #pictapgo_app #summer #iowa #sunset

#pictapgo_app ah summer !#pictapgo_app she yells Mama! As she runs to me!

2. Get up high and look down.  One of my favorite techniques with my iPhone. You will always get an interesting perspective doing this.

UntitledHanging out with her #pictapgo_appBuilding  #pictapgo_appGetting ready to watch a movie in the park #thepopcornisnearlygonealready #chilly

3. But don’t forget to look up too!  I have especially been into color and patterns lately.  It’s amazing what is out there if we just stop and look around.

Carousel #zooday #omahazoo #pictapgo_appIn the desert dome #pictapgo_app #zooday #omahazooDreamy  #pictapgo_app

4. Get down low (I know this is starting to sound like dance moves or something).  Especially when taking pictures of little kids, get down to their level to see what they see.

UntitledBenefits to going to pick up Owen's cake at the bakery. Cookie for Mama's helper  #pictapgo_appYou know it !

#pictapgo_app grocery shopping

5. Capture the details that tell the story – many times this does not include a person.

UntitledBack packs ready to go for back to school night tomorrow night!  #pictapgo_app #summerisover #backtoschoolNote to self: don't let your 3 year old touch your nail polish. It won't end well. #pictapgo_app

6. Capture “right now”. One of my favorite things to capture.  I like to quietly walk into a room and take a picture while no one is looking.

Right now #pictapgo_appUntitledDay off!! Target Love.  #pictapgo_appWhy can't everyday be the 4th of July??? #pictapgo_appRight now- don't believe the clock. Someone has been messing with it! #guesswho

7 . Off center is good.  One of my favorite composition techniques is to off-center the main subject of my photo just a little. It makes for a much interesting picture. Use your crop tool!

Princess Zooey   #pictapgo_appUntitled
Another cloudy pool day. Zooey enjoying a grilled cheese.  #pictapgo_app8. Don’t forget to include yourself – but limit the selfies.  Make sure to grab a picture of you sometimes too! Although make sure you don’t go overboard and all you take is your own picture. If I am taking a picture of myself, I usually am taking it with my family or my friends. As I am not trying to document myself as much as my relationship with someone.

Laying in the grass soaking up the awesome weather   #pictapgo_app #summerBirthday boy @dimitri_bostinelos #35

9. Feet pictures never get old – My husband may argue this point. But feet pictures tell a story. They can tell a story about the weather, the location, an event. I love feet pictures.

First pair of tap shoes #pictapgo_appNew photo backdrop for me. New TOMS for her.Finally settled on a new pair of flats for spring to replace TOMS. I loved my TOMS but they did not hold up. I went with something more durable. Keens sienna MJ canvas . They feel great! #PicTapGo #keensDentist appointment and snow. Happy Monday morning to me! #PicTapGo

10.  Less is more – in terms of doodle apps and filters. Less is more.  I am guilty of over doodling and crazy filters.  It’s just part of the experience of figuring it all out.  Lately I have been enjoying the clean look of the Pic-tap-Go app using the “Lights on” and “crispity” filters.  Your filters and doodles should enhance your photo not overtake it.

Last game of the season!  #pictapgo_appJump!  #pictapgo_app#pictapgo_app a night at the ballpark

My iPhone pictures are not perfect. Sometimes they are blurry or I accidentally get the corner of my foot in the picture (twice in the pictures above) ! But they all tell a story. They are a moment captured of my everyday life.  These are just a handful of lessons I have learned as I try to find the best way to capture my life through the tiny (yet powerful) little lens of my phone.  I would love to hear some of your favorite techniques and lessons for better iPhone pictures. Leave me a comment below!


For more photo tips, visit my Photography page!

Photography Tips and Tricks - michellebostinelos.com/blog

Make sure to stop over to my Shop page! I now have a collection of my photography available to purchase (prints and canvas wraps!)



Happy Thursday!



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8 Responses to Ten Picture-Taking Lessons with My iPhone

  1. Leslie says:

    Great post. Your prints in your shop are beautiful!

  2. Mariclaudi says:

    Thanks for all the great tips!

  3. Christine says:

    Great tips and awesome photos 🙂

  4. Donna Gibson says:

    Michelle, this was an excellent post! I appreciate the review of these important principles and the reminder to USE them. Your photos are great, too, by the way!!

  5. Keshet Starr says:

    This is great! I love shooting details, so much so that I forget to add in the person!

  6. Emily Adams says:

    Using my iPhone to take pictures has totally changed the way I document life now. Great post!

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