May 28, 2013

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

share this post:

TweetShare on FacebookEmail

About the Contributor: Mandy Blake is a natural light photographer based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and serving all of Southwestern Ontario.

 

comment on this post

Leave comment

Robert Austin Fitch Photography Mandy, Thanks for the fantastic article! Really great suggestions...especially the one about "capturing everyday moments". I definitely need to work more on that one with my own children. Cheers, Rob

Rachael May (Portland Family Photographer) Great, great post! Thank you :)

liked this post? img you might also like...
  • Keeping Cozy for Cold-Weather Sessions
    We have seen some crazy weather here in Atlanta, GA this season — we had the first legitimate snowstorm in many years, and the week prior, temps were in the 60s! As a photographer who typically shoots outdoors using natural light, I’ve found that clients are sometimes hesitant to keep their scheduled sessions when the […]
  • An Emotional Documentary Newborn Session & Film
    Inspiration I was inspired in this session by the emotional connection between the mom, dad, and baby. From every angle, there was an emotional connection and strong bond. A sense of pride, excitement, and deep love came pouring from this family. I really did not have to do much directing — these are my favorite […]
  • Golden Hour: A Family Session at the Beach
    The inspiration for this photo session was to capture my two favorite things: children and the beach. And not any beach … Redondo Beach, California. It’s my happy place; to me it’s pure magic, and the sunsets here are stunning! In California, the land of “forever summer”, sunset beach sessions are a daily possibility. My […]
  • A Joyful, Refreshing Family Session
    1. Inspiration My newborn session style is soft and airy, and I would love my outdoor family sessions to match them. I always advise my clients to wear light, monochromatic, neutral colors to coordinate the color palette of the whole family, because they look best in the field. This family looked perfect from head to […]
img find a photographer
in your area
img

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.

img award winning photos click here to view


img most recent issue
img vendors we love
napcp supporters








 
img helpful articles napcp resources
  • December Inspired Magazine: Featuring Kristen Montgomery!

    This month’s issue of Inspired features Kristen Montgomery of Kristen Montgomery Photography. Click here to see her beautiful work, learn more about the 2018 Marketing Summit and get a sneak peek at the 2018 NAPCP Image Competitions! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save

  • November Inspired Magazine: Featuring Hannah Drews Eggert!

    Click here to read our November magazine featuring Hannah Drews Eggert! See Hannah’s beautiful work, learn more about the 2018 Marketing Summit and read about the NAPCP 2017 Photographer of the Year! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save

  • Marketing Summit 2018: You’re Invited!

    You’re invited to register for our January 17-19, 2018 Marketing Summit in Atlanta, today! Registration is LIVE. We’re talkin’ setting and accomplishing goals, the best way to market yourself through blogging and email campaigns, and anything and everything you need to know about growing your social media presence organically (read: in the best possible way). […]

  • October Inspired Magazine: Featuring Second Half 2017 Image Competition Winners!

    Click here to read our October magazine featuring the winners of our Second Half 2017 Image Competition. See their beautiful work and read their inspirational interviews – guaranteed to give you the little “push” you need to get you through to Christmas. Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and […]

Categories