For so many of us moms, our cell phone has become the go-to camera for documenting adventures with our little ones. In our purse, our pockets, or glued to our hands; our phone camera is ready to go at an instant’s notice. Unfortunately, cell phone pictures are not always print worthy, or even close. So, what can you do to transform your mobile snaps into images that wow?
I took my iPhone 5S and my 12 year old daughter to Crowley’s Cupcakes in Madison, New Jersey to eat some yummy cupcakes and share 5 tips for taking amazing pictures with your camera phone.
1. Find Good Light. Photography begins with light and that applies to your cell phone too. Good light equals a good photo. Plain and simple! Not all light is created equal though. You want light that is soft and even. Direct, harsh sunlight you find in the middle of the day is not good light. Good light can be found outside in the early morning or late afternoon, in open shade, or near a window. Crowley’s Cupcakes has an amazing window in front that lets in lots of beautiful light. An added bonus is that it’s a bay window so you can sit and bathe in the beautiful light.
2. Check Your Background. Before you starting snapping away, look around for elements in your frame that might distract from the photo. For this shot of a colorful M&M mini cupcake at Crowley’s, I simply placed it on a white table to keep the background simple and clutter free.
3. Get In Close. If you can’t move things in your background or find an angle that works, move in close to get the shot. Getting in nice and close will eliminate anything distracting in the background. It’s a great way to focus on the details too. I loved this sign, but it was hanging near a coffee station and I didn’t want all the clutter. I asked my daughter to hold a cupcake up to make it fun! Quick tip – don’t use the zoom on your cell phone. The more you zoom, the lower image quality you will have. Crop your image afterwards or zoom with your feet to get closer!
4. Consider Your Perspective. Changing your angle will add a ton of interest to your photos and make them stand out. Instead of always shooting from a mom’s point of view – standing over your subject – think about other ways to compose your image. You can get up high for a bird’s eye view of the scene, shoot from below to make your subject seem larger than life, or at eye level to make the viewer feel like they are a part of the scene. When photographing food, I love shooting from above, especially when you’ve got such yummy subjects!
5. Add Some Pop. There are a million photo editing apps out there to add some pop to your photos and most of them are free. I am currently obsessed with A Color Story from A Beautiful Mess. If you want a sneak peek of what it can do before you add it to your already crowded list of apps, check out this video. I like to keep it simple when editing my photos so I typically make minor adjustments to exposure and contrast. When I apply a filter, I always look for ones that can be adjust with a slider to be able to turn down the intensity. Some of my other fave editing apps include PicTapGo and good ‘ole Instagram.