Confession: I’m a photographer, with very little photos of my own family. Ya know, kind of like the road construction company with the owner’s driveway the worst in town?
I am that girl. Too busy with clients and work to even want to take my camera out with my own family. The sight of it makes me cringe….it’s work to me and who wants to work on their downtime?! After realizing about a year ago that I’d totally neglected capturing those special moments of my own, the ones that I’d hold closest to my heart I decided that I was going to be proactive. With a major case of guilt because I had missed out on what seemed like an eternity of photos I decided to make it my mission to capture them in all their dirty, scuffed up, “boy” goodness as much as possible.
A few weeks ago it all dawned on me, I couldn’t possibly be the only mamma in the world that was falling short in her own personal photo stream. I just knew there were so many more of us out there and quite possibly those that wanted to give photos of their everyday a bit more umph! Today ladies, I’m here to help! Not only do I want you to realize how important it is to document your everyday but to also give you a few tips on getting the most out of that phone in your hand….get you those nice, appealing snapshots that everyone on Instagram is sure to swoon over.
This, my friends is where it all starts. The absolute top thing on my list is to stress to you how important your everyday is. These days are your life…your moutains crossed…your happy memories….these days are your story. Whether it’s giggles and grins rolling around in the grass or even one of those small disasters…waking up to your toddler devouring a gallon of chocolate ice cream on your white sofa (<<<<yes that has totally happened, more than once)…capture them! The truth of the matter is that every little shot of your life is a memory…good or bad, they’ll all bring you back to a time that you’ll never get back.
Next up, getting you photos those photos that are nice and appealing. Capturing a pretty, clean, well compositioned iPhone photo isn’t as easy as it seems. To some, it comes natural but to others it’s something learned. Not all of us are artists…not all of us naturally pick up on what will wash our subject out or how great sticking your focal point to the bottom right hand corner will do you. To everyone else, a little guidance is needed.
I’ll start with lighting. There are a few things to remember when taking photos of your children and family with your phone.
1. Try to avoid direct sunlight. Let’s face it, bright sunshine is nice but it is not so friendly to photographs. A shot out in the wide open sun makes for squinty eyes and nasty shadows. Try to bring your subject to a more shaded area or even face them away from the sun, this will get you big open eyes with those sweet little smiles. Now I know that capturing one of those candid moments of your kids playing at the splash pad isn’t one you can press pause and recreate in the shade. For those moments, go for it and don’t let the sun stop you from getting a great shot of your littles running around in the water.
2. When shooting indoors, have your subject face the sunlight (notice I said sunlight, we’ll touch on that in a bit). Taking a photo of someone in front of a big open window with sun pouring in from behind will make your subject dark, a quick turn towards that window will give you a more creamy, soft photo.
3. Try to avoid artificial light when shooting indoors. Opposite of my first tip, sunlight is our friend when inside. Try turning off the lights inside and opening some blinds to grab a shot of that sleeping baby in his crib. Doing so will nix that yellow-ish look artificial light gives us and replaces it with a more natural look when only using sunlight.
Now that lighting is covered, I’ll touch on perspective.
When capturing your everyday, not every photo has to be front and center. Sometimes a different view, a different perspective will tell it’s own story. Want to show off your toddler’s new shoes he loves so much? Instead of taking them how it comes natural to you, maybe on the table next to the box. Have him put them on and stand up feet together, stand over him (like phone directly above him) and snap! This not only gives you a shot away from the norm but it also tells a story. It puts him in the photo as well, not in focus but just enough to tell everyone that these are his shoes and how much he loves them. I personally love to take photos from up above the boys. My next favorite tip on perspective? In the theme of keeping away from front and center, I love love LOVE the bottom right hand corner. I love the way it keeps them little with all that extra space and how it draws your eye right to them.
A good editing app will make a world of difference to your iPhone photos. This part, it’ll be short and sweet…because there is only ONE app that I absolutely love. Obviously, a photographer is going to try every app under the sun to get her something similar to what she does professionally. PicTapGo. Download it. Not only can you tweak lighting, warmth and contrast in addition to SO many other filters but it has one feature that I absolutely cannot live without. Instagram full. Have you ever had a photo that was perfect just the way it was, it it’s entirety and you had to crop it to fit that stupid IG square completely ruining the whole photo? Well, those days are over. PicTapGo gives you the option to post your full photo straight to Instagram in two different ways! This is why I cannot live with out it!
Now that we have covered everything to get you those pretty photos and how important your everyday is we need to discuss preserving those photos. I will speak from experience and say that losing years of photos stored away on your phone can be pretty devastating. I’ve recently had a phone stolen and didn’t have my photos backed up to any time recent, losing thousands of photos. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it sent me deep down in the dumps over not being able to get them back. With that being said, please make it a priority to have those photos printed. There are SO many fun ways to display them around your home as well, Pinterest is always a great spot for Instagram DIY’s!
Before I sign off there is one last thing I cannot leave out. YOU. Do not forget that YOU belong in these photos too! Remember that this is your everyday, this is your story and there is no “your” without “you”. I hadn’t realized until recently that I couldn’t be found in many, if not any of my own photos. With my boys, my husband, family and friends….I was always the one holding the phone. I now have to remind myself to ask someone to take a photo of my husband and I or hey, I’ve even learned to improvise and take a few “us-ies” with the boys. I’ve come to hold those few photos closest to my heart and have realized too that this was something that needed improving on.
I hope you all feel confident to go out and conquer your everyday with these tips! Good luck and happy memories!