Up until recently, we'll be honest and say 90% of our every day photos are taken on our phones. As photographers with really good cameras, you may think why would we opt for using our phones over expensive cameras? And the reason is simple. We are full-time mums and our lives are busy. We simply use what we always have on us. It's easy and convenient, and that's what you need if you are making the effort to document your life on a daily basis. Sometimes we kick ourselves for not making the effort to get our 'proper' cameras out. But 9/10 we'll take the quick phone shot of our children, over missing the moment whilst we run off to get the big camera out. Having perfectly exposed, great quality images is of course important to us, but sometimes it's the imperfect, slightly blurry moment captured on your phone, that can turn out to be your favourite.
We're guessing that most of you too, use your phones to capture photos of your daily life and we're here to give you a few tips on how to improve them.
1. FIND YOUR FOCUS
Decide what it is in your frame that you want to be in focus. Tap your screen and a square or circle (depending on your phone) should appear. This lets your phone know exactly what needs to be in focus. If you're taking a photo for Instagram, we suggest taking your photo outside of the app and then importing them in (for a much better quality image). The camera within Instagram doesn't have image stabilisation - helping combat shaky hands and it doesn't allow the features we talk about below.
The 'rule of thirds' is a golden rule within photography and simply put, means you can align things within your image to help you frame the shot and make the image visually more interesting. Without getting too technical, go into your camera settings and turn the grid ON. This will help you to compose your images. If you want to read more into this, there are plenty of articles online.
Once you've selected your focus by tapping on the screen, you'll notice a little 'sun' icon appear to the right of the square. You can move this up and down to adjust the expose. If you find the image a little on the dark side, move the sun up and this will make the image brighter. Be careful not to over-expose though, you want to make sure you still have all the detail in the highlights. Slightly under-expose (make darker) is a safe option as you can fix in the editing.
4. LIGHTS OFF
Try to always work with the natural light around you - artificial lighting from ceiling lights causes horrible colour casts and you want to avoid this where possible. Window light is your friend! If you can, move your subject towards the window light and have them either facing the light (so the light is behind you) or side on.
5. USE YOUR HANDS
Whilst shooting into the light on a DSLR can make some beautiful images, it's harder to control when using your phone. Hold your hand out in front of you and see how the light falls across the back of your hand. Does it fall into shadow? Move it around and see how the light changes. This is so simple but is a really great trick to work out the best lighting. When you work out where the light looks the nicest across your hand, you'll know which direction to have your subjects face.
There are so many editing apps you can use but a firm favourite of ours is VSCO. It's free to download with lots of free filters. If you are looking to take your photography up a gear, and happy to spend a bit, there are in-app purchases too. The pricing is really reasonable, paying about 99p for a filter and upgrading to VSCO X gives you access to all their filters and the ability to edit videos too - giving your work a really consistent look.
There are so many filters to choose from within different apps and the obvious way to edit your photos is through Instagram. However, our advice is to stay away from those filters! But decide what YOU like and find one that suits your style. Our advice is to use the filter after you've got the exposure nailed, and use them sparingly! VSCO gives you the ability to control how much of the filter is used on the image. Our style is very natural, so it's important to us to not go too crazy with adjustments. But again, find what works for you. Once you have the image just as you want, you can save to camera roll straight from the app and have the image ready to use however you like (and upload to Instagram from there).
We hope you've found these tips helpful! Let us know if you try any of them out! xo