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.
2. Get up high and look down. One of my favorite techniques with my iPhone. You will always get an interesting perspective doing this.
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.
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.
5. Capture the details that tell the story – many times this does not include a person.
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.
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!
8. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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