We aren’t always prepared with our professional equipment or studio-grade cameras when we are out and about, especially with our children and families. That’s why the sophistication of smartphone photography and phone capabilities is such an amazing thing today – you can capture professional photos with the same device you use to send texts and make calls!
Like any kind of photography tool, there are some secret tips that will make your life easier capturing smartphone photography. Here are our 5 recommendations to consider the next time you whip out your phone to catch a fleeting moment with your kids:
Take All Selfies and Portraits in the Shade: Nothing is more unflattering than taking photos in broad daylight some time the afternoon. That’s why the best way to immediately improve your portraits and selfies is to move into the shade. Look for trees, shaded areas near buildings, or other shaded enclaves where you can utilize the soft lighting for gorgeous portraits.
If you are outside, shoot towards open shade by placing your subject at the very outside of that shaded area. No one wants that washed out-white lighting in the background of their selfie!
- Adjust the Lighting with Your Finger: Most people don’t realize they can tap on the photo screen and move their finger up or down to adjust the exposure in the shot. Smartphones struggle to expose dark and dimly-lit subjects with bright backgrounds, which is why you want to adjust the lighting yourself before you take the photo. Tell your device where to meter from so your photo is professional-grade.
- Know How to Catch Those Fleeting Moments: Parents know the most memorable, fleeting moments can come and go in seconds, which is why you should be prepared to whip out your phone as quickly as possible at times. Know the shortcut to your camera, which can be double tapping the power button in some phones, or quick-swiping from the corner of the screen on others. Practice this 10-times so you’re prepared when you’re with your kids.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Portrait Mode: The portrait mode capability on recent smartphones is scarily good, which is why you should give this setting a chance. Smartphones have wide-angle lenses that inherently produce a long depth of field, so the images are going to be pin-sharp from the foreground to background. This is great for scenery shots, but not great for isolating subjects. By turning on portrait mode, you are able to blur the background and take portraits that are worthy of framing. If you notice the filter is struggling in certain lighting, use the shading tricks we shared above.
- Clean Your Lens: Your phone takes a beating every day coming in and out of your pockets, wallet, and purse. Therefore, clean your lens before heading out with your kids so the camera is ready to capture crisp imagery. Use some cleaning fluid or glasses wipes to ensure the lens is spotless and sans dirt and debris.