How to Take Better Pictures of your Kids with your Phone!
The saying goes, “The best camera is the one you have with you.” Never has this been truer than in the present. In the last 5 years, cell phone cameras have gone from a laughable 2 megapixel novelty sales feature to powerful high megapixel point and shoot cameras in our palms. In particular, the new smartphones have introduced not only better cameras but also a huge variety of photo editing, capture and manipulation apps that take the average image from blah to BAM!
Here are a few things to consider when using your phone to capture images of your kiddos:
• Lock your Focus and Exposure → On most touch screen phones, when the camera is active you can tap on the screen to set your focus and exposure for the image. A box will usually appear in the area you selected, showing where you locked your settings. (Exposure is simply the amount of light that you are allowing the camera to capture.) Typically, you want both your exposure and focus locked over your subject’s face to make sure that the camera reads the proper amount of light to see the subject properly and to ensure that the focusing mechanism can target the correct area.
• Get Closer → Don’t be afraid to get in for a close up! Filling the frame is a common compositional technique in photography and it is full of impact because your subject is the star of the show! While many cameras do offer a “zoom” feature, I find that actually getting closer to the subject whenever possible is better, since you will lose image quality using zoom due to magnification. Great for those silly grins or crazy experiments with Mom’s makeup!
• Use the Rule of Thirds → Many phone cameras have a grid overlay that divides the screen into 9 sections. The rule of thirds states that the most powerful images are those that have the subject placed at the intersections of this grid, or along the upper or lower horizon lines. Try putting your subject on one side of the frame or near the top or bottom for a different perspective and some visual interest!
• Try an App* → Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our phone images are just flat and boring. Fortunately, there are literally hundreds of apps to help you jazz up your images with creative styles, enhancements and filters. There are a couple of different ways that you can use apps to liven up your images:
• Use an app that actually CAPTURES the image with a filter applied. One of my favorite apps for this is Hipstamatic, which has a variety of vintage “lenses” and “films” that you can choose to add to your image when it is captured. This app offers a cool vintage/retro look that can add interest and color to your images.
• Use an app that can ENHANCE the image with editing options or filters, which you select, adjust and tweak after capturing the image. Most of the popular photo apps tend to be this type. A few of my favorites are Camera +,VSCO Cam, PicTapGo, Snapseed and of course, Instagram.
• Capture Everyday Moments → Sometimes there is a tendency to only pull out the camera when something “special” is happening – achievements, occasions and celebrations. And while those reasons to photograph your kids are all very valid, sometimes those little in-between moments can be just as memorable, if not more. Driving in the car on the way home from Grandma’s or jumping with friends on the trampoline, these are times that you will miss when they are grown and gone. Capture them now and cherish them forever.
• PRINT! → The digital age of photography has many benefits – the ability to take as many frames as you need to get the perfect shot without wasting film, being able to see your images when you take them and online photo sharing with long distance family and friends in an instant. The one downside has been that not as many people print their images. They get stored on our hard drives or on our phones but never make it into our hands as physical prints. Remember when you had to wait for your roll to be developed and then had that anxious/excited/joyful moment when you opened the envelope to see your pictures inside? Don’t lose that. Get your images on the walls and into albums. Even better, make a poster with your favorite phone images for your kids’ rooms. Or a mini album to flip through on rainy days, snuggled under a blanket. Fortunately, there are quite a few companies now that offer products specifically designed and created for phone images, such as Printstagram, Canvas Pop, StickyGram, Poster Burner and Postal Pix. These are just a few, check out other options you may have with your local print labs as well!
Hopefully these ideas can steer you in the right direction the next time you pick up your phone to capture your kids. The smiles, the tears, the tantrums, the victories, they are all part of what makes your kids special and are worth capturing, with whatever camera you have in your hand. Happy photographing!
*All apps available in iTunes
napcp contributor meet Mandy Blake
About the Contributor: Mandy Blake is a natural light photographer based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and serving all of Southwestern Ontario.
New in the NAPCP Store – Holiday Postcard PackWe’re hustlin’ for the holidays and having the BEST time with our seasonal marketing, with these holiday marketing postcard pack designs! There’s a lot of love in the NAPCP Member Community for these beautiful Artifact Uprising postcards. We feel it, and it is so special to see this community come together to share their ideas […]
A Colorful Family Session at Coney IslandInspiration I’m always inspired by the real stories of my families, and my images are an attempt to showcase their unique connection and genuine beauty. This family has chosen adventure to be a central quality of their life together, and are embracing travel with their young daughter and sharing their experiences at dearestdays.com. They wanted […]
What’s in Her Bag: Marisa McDonaldTell us a little about what’s inside your bag. I love my Jo Totes Missy Mint bag! It has custom dividers so I can create perfectly sized sections for my camera and lenses, external pockets, and even a laptop sleeve! My bag pretty much always has a camera (lately, my new Mark IV!), my Sigma […]
#NAPCPColors Round-UpWe rounded up a few of our favorite #NAPCPColors Instagram submissions to kick off our week with a colorful bang! We’re so happy all of our Instagram followers and friends had such a wonderful time participating in this new project, on one of our favorite social media platforms. Julie Campbell Photography Paul Douglas Studio Sandi […]
We are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.
NAPCP.com (formally pronounced "NAP-C-P") is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.
September Inspired Magazine: Featuring K.C. Crow!
Click here to read our September magazine featuring K.C. Crow! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save Save
Announcing Our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition Winners!
Hello friends! After much excitement and anticipation, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition. Uniquely focused on child photography, the NAPCP International Image Competition features a range of image categories, including Babies, Newborn, Children, Family, Maternity, Siblings, Toddlers, and Seniors. Thank you to our amazing […]
August Inspired Magazine: Featuring Amy Tripple!
Click here to read our August magazine featuring Amy Tripple! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save
Free Custom Wallpaper: Shoot. Edit. Share. Repeat.
Free Custom Wallpaper — Competition season is here and today we want to share this free custom wallpaper with you, to download! Download and use this wallpaper for your own personal use. Set it as your device wallpaper or share it via social media. Scroll down for clickable download buttons at the bottom of this […]
The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com