Let’s face it, we are living in a digital age. Just about everyone has an iPhone or an Android or a Blackberry or a [insert any other smartphone brand here]. And with photo editing apps GALORE, you can easily document your day or month or life with just a few clicks.
So how can you get the most out of your phone camera?
1. Treat your phone as if it were a $2,000 DSLR.
Keep your lens and screen clean. Use a case to protect it from dropping or sticky fingers or drool. Try not to drop it into the toilet.
Also? Clean your mirrors every once in a while. Ha.
2. Frame your shot on your phone just as you would frame it on your camera.
Remember the the rule of thirds, compose your shot, get down on children’s levels, eliminate background clutter … consider the things that you think about when you are behind your “good” camera.
3. Take just as many pictures from just as many angles.
When I’m shooting with my Canon, I’m always thinking of how to capture one moment in several different ways so I can see my children’s lives from many different perspectives. I don’t want to miss anything! I treat my phone camera the same way.
4. Utilize natural light and shadows just as you would with your DSLR.
While taking your picture, touch the screen area that you want to focus on and expose for … let your phone do the rest.
For this photo, I was sitting in Lucy’s room trying to get her to come in and take a nap. I touched the screen at the spot where she was standing, so my phone exposed for the natural light in the hallway, putting the rest of the room in semi-darkness. And after editing a little in Lightbox, I ended up with a more dramatic photo.
5. Take advantage of the ability to take your phone with you anywhere.
There are so many moments I would have missed because I wasn’t able to have my Canon with me, and I am so thankful for these moments on “film.”
sunrise and sunset as seen on different days back when I was training for a half-marathon – all I had with me was my iPod shuffle and my phone for GPS mileage tracking
the Oscar Mayer weiner truck was in a hotel parking lot, so we were able to pull in and get these shots
a mall bungee jump activity that Emma wanted to do – I didn’t have my “good” camera with me
amazing light on a morning run – I obviously don’t take my big camera on runs
6. Download and use photo editing apps.
I know, great photographers take great pictures without editing, but when you can download most apps for free and have fun pictures in seconds? Why not?
7. Don’t use the digital zoom.
Digital zoom on a phone will ruin your photo, because it doesn’t actually zoom in – it just enlarges what you are seeing through your lens. Either try to get as close to your subject as possible or take a more wide-angle approach when composing your shot.
8. Get to know your phone camera and it’s capabilities.
I know that my phone takes horrible flash pictures, so I don’t use my flash often. I also know that it doesn’t do well with artificial light, so I try to use natural light as much as possible. But it’s very good at isolating light and shadows, so I work that angle as often as I can.
9. Don’t hesitate to get artistic with your phone.
I think many of us just assume that our phones aren’t really meant for the more artistic images, but we would be totally wrong.
10. Embrace the ability to take self portraits without needing a special lens.
I never take self-portraits with my Canon unless I’m using a mirror or a tripod, because I don’t currently have any wide-angle lenses in my arsenal. It’s nice to be able to take the occasional self-portrait with my phone, though.
Phones aren’t just for calling people anymore.
Feel free to share your favorite apps for editing photos on your phone!