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Taking Pictures With Your Phone

Many a photographer will tell you the best camera is the one you have on you. And of course for many of us, that is usually just our phones. For me, as a mom, I don't always have the time to grab my big camera and effectively set up the shot. But it is still possible to get a great and dynamic photo with just our phones. It is important to remember light, angles, and please don't use the zoom option.

All of these pictures were taken with my phone, because it was all I had handy. I love each one of them because I was still able to capture a moment without hauling around my big girl camera.

First, use the regular camera function on your phone. Typically the quality is better than any camera functions on extra apps. Now, it's important to remember light. Natural light is always best when it comes to photos. So try to find open shade or a good window and snap away. Harsh sunlight is okay too. Sometimes those extra shadows can really add to the depth of a picture.

Next, be sure to try different angles. The phone is a popular option for what is known as a flat lay: those wonderfully styled images on white backgrounds. Phones don't usually have the distortion that some camera lenses create and typically they put everything into focus. But my preference is normally shooting something in the portrait style (versus landscape) straight on.

Finally, don't use the zoom option. Move your feet. When you start to zoom in, the quality of the image begins to deteriorate. You just won't get the same effect than if you actually stepped closer to what you're trying to capture.

Now let's talk editing. 99% of all phone pictures out there have still been edited in some form or fashion. Cropping, brightening, adding contrast are all edits. And even for a good phone picture, I recommend taking a few extra minutes to make those adjustments. There are several different free/affordable editing apps for phones that are easy to use. I have an IPhone, but I'm pretty sure all of these apps work with android as well. (P.S. I have not been paid at all by any of these apps. I use them, I like them, and I recommend them.)

1. VSCO - I edit all of my phone photos with this app. For me, it is the easiest editing app to use. My go to preset is A6, but there are plenty of others and even some extras that you can purchase.

2. Snapseed - Another good one and fairly easy to use. Plus it includes several different adjustments that you can make to a picture like a healing brush, adding text and tonal adjustments.

3. PicTapGo - This one is definitely good when you want to add multiple filters at one time and adjust their strength on the picture.

4. Afterlight - I think this is the only one that cost me any money and it may have only been a couple of dollars. The different adjustments are easy to use, but one of the fun functions that I just discovered is in the overlays called Dusty. Every once in a while I like adding this effect to my pictures.

Lastly, when you save your images, be sure you save them as full size. This way you aren't losing any quality when you go to print them.

I really hope these tips are helpful for anyone looking to add a little more oomph to their phone pictures. Happy shooting!

xo, Lauren

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