So I am going to admit as a professional photographer, I’ve always been totally rubbish at taking more professional photos with my phone. Knowing what I can do with my camera, always stopped me from trying to do a better job.
But, since the lockdown I’ve been working on improving my smartphone photography skills.
I have to admit they don’t turn out the same as they do with my big camera. But I’ve managed to capture some lovely memories of the kids and be happy with the result.
Light is the absolute key to photography. Without good light it’s hard to take a nice photo. The same applies to smart phone photography. The direction of light and how harsh it is, plays a big part in the final image.
When taking a photo, always make sure your subjects face is lit well. I always try and find a room with the best light (where it’s not too harsh or too dark). If the rooms in your house are fairly dark, try and get as close to the window as you can.
Try different angles. If you’ve found a room with good light or you’re taking photos outside, play around. A lot of the time we pick our phone up and are guilty of, just snapping away. Looking straight on to the subject, with the phone held in upright position.
Try to photograph from above or below (maybe when your little ones are busy playing). Simply turning the phone landscape can also give you some more interesting images.
Camera settings vary depending on the smartphone manufacturer. But these are the things that can be done on every phone:
Turn your grid on – to help make sure you’re taking your photos straight (I’m terrible for taking my photos on a slight angle without a grid). And play around with where on the grid you’d like to place your subject.
Focus point – always use it to make sure exactly what you want is in focus.
Keep HDR turned on (High Dynamic Range). This helps balance highlights and shadows, creating an image that resembles more of what our human eye sees.
Stay away from camera flash. Unless it’s unavoidable, for example at night or really low light situations. It tends to make the image worse. When used you’ll find that you might have over lit skin, unwanted red eyes and a flat look to your images. And generally it just ruins the quality.
Avoid zoom at all costs. When using smartphone zoom, it doesn’t just zoom in, it actually crops your images. Resulting in a very poor quality photo.
Lightroom Mobile is fantastic but can take a little while to get used to. I do use it on all my smartphone edits. And mainly stick to adjusting Light (so exposure, contrast and highlights). As well as crop tool, and I occasionally adjust the temperature.
Snapseed is also pretty great, there are some amazing looks you can choose from or edit your photo manually. Again, I keep it pretty simple. Either changing my images to black and white or playing around with exposure and contrast.
I hope this has been helpful and you can create some gorgeous memories with your kids whilst in lockdown and afterwards. I would love to see what you’ve come up with <3.