Yes, we're all on our phones way too much, but one of the best parts of having an iPhone constantly at our fingertips is the ability to capture all of our children’s sweetest, craziest and most memorable moments with the tap of a button. This transforms our iPhone into something way more than a time-sucking device. It becomes a mini time capsule, a way to remember all the little bits of motherhood that our mom brain would surely forget.
But how do we make the most of this technology? How do we get the very best pictures of our little cuties without ending up with a million half-blurred, just-OK images we'll never delete?
From my very first flip phone that had a camera lens (if you can really call it that) to my current iPhone 7, I’ve committed to learning how to take the very best photos I can. Over the years, I’ve learned a few photo tricks that I think every mom should know.
These three tips have made a huge difference in the quality of the snapshots I take of my little ones, and hopefully yours, too:
1. Start With Great Lighting
The best photos tend to have the best light. And the best light is natural light! If you’re staging a photo or aiming to capture a picture of your kids in action, do your best to catch the natural light by being outside or near a window. If you can’t achieve natural light, make the most of what you’ve got by increasing your cameras exposure.
How do you do that? By purchasing an inexpensive photo app! The Camera+ app ($2.99) takes your phone’s standard camera app to a whole new level. In this app when you fill your screen with the scene you want to snap, tap on the bottom and a "sunshine bar" will appear. This handy little feature allows you to maximize the present light by scrolling one way or the other. Easiest trick in the book! Here's where you'll find it:
2. Pick an Editing App That Works for You
I’ve tried quite a few photo editing apps over the years, but I think I’ve landed on my favorite: A Color Story! In this app you can apply filters and effects and make various clarity and size adjustments to your photo. But the best feature of this app is the option to create a custom filter. Once you adjust the percent of each filters strength, tap up the brightness, adjust contrast and whatever else your heart desires, you can name and save your custom editing to apply to future photos. Basically, A Color Story allows your to create your own signature “style” so you have cohesiveness among your photos. Here's a peek at one of my favorite customizations.
When I polled my mama friends, other popular apps included Snapseed, PicTapGo, A Beautiful Mess, VSCO and Prisma. Plan to try them each out for a week or so and see which one is your jam!
3. Turn Your iPhone Into a DSLR
No joke, your iPhone can get that blurry background effect like a fancy DSLR camera. The iPhone 7 includes a beta function called "Portrait" within the standard camera app. All you have to do is opt in! When you choose to take a photo in Portrait mode, the screen will guide you with prompts to move closer or father away to create a depth effect and you'll end up with something like this—a focused, cute baby and a blurry backgroud that hides all sorts of things!
And finally, give up perfection! There will always someone taking better photos, someone who has better light in their home or someone whose dishes make food look prettier. Let it go. Your pictures are the most special of all because they’re a snapshot of your life. And your life is wonderful just the way it is.