What are 3 phone photography mistakes parents make?
Jessica Martin-Weber asked me this in our Facebook Live on the JuJuBe page last week, and I thought it was worth a re-share here because these common mistakes are simple to fix, and being aware of them can help you capture a lot more photos you will love of your family with just your phone.
You’re Not Wiping Your Lens Clean
Hands down, this is the most common and easiest to correct IF YOU MAKE IT A HABIT. Many of us, including myself, have taken incredible photos with our phones only to realize there’s a haze of grime and toddler gunk or French fry grease on our phone lens. You really can not edit this out, and it can totally ruin an otherwise beautiful picture.
I have a stash of these individually wrapped lens wipes. I keep them in pockets of all my purses and camera bags, and will try to use one every week or two to wipe off my entire phone (out of the Otterbox Defender case) including- of course- the camera lenses.
Don’t forget to clean the front facing camera lens, too!
You don’t have to do anything fancy to clean your lens between deep cleans. Simply wiping it with your dry shirt sleeve can usually clean it up just fine. I’m now in the habit of doing this at least once or twice a day, and always when I get the phone back from one of my kids.
You’re Not Paying Attention To Light
More than what kind of camera you have, more than your editing skills or what filters you use- the way you light your photos has the biggest impact on image quality.
A well-lit photo isn’t always one taken in a lot of light. Sometimes too much light is just as much of a problem as too little. Here’s an example of some “bad” lighting phone photography mistakes that I discuss further in Picture Play.
The best way to begin recognizing “good” light and how it plays with your subject and in your home is to simply start taking notice of the light before you shoot a photo, and take a lot of photos to see what the results look like.
Avoid uneven light, like dappled shadows under trees, or lines from blinds. Try to have your subject face the light when it’s not too harsh.
I go into a lot more detail about how to light a good photo in my ebook.
One thing I always look for that tells me, “Hey! Here’s some dreamy light!” is when the ends of my children’s hair start to glow, like in the picture above. This is usually a sign that the light source is positioned at a flattering angle and will create a pretty or visually interesting photo.
Once you know how to harness light, you can turn any mundane moment into a beautiful photo.
You’re Not Taking Enough Photos
As our phone cameras get better, the storage space on our phones also tends to increase, so we should all have at least a little room to spare on our camera rolls. That + cloud storage options + apps that help us cull our photos = license to increase the number of pictures we’re taking.
There are a few reasons I think taking more pictures will help you get more that you love:
- You’ll get in the habit of photographing the mundane and ordinary moments. These are the memories you will love and cherish years from now. And you are uniquely positioned to capture these photos- more than anyone you could hire. You live this life! You’re in it everyday.
- You’ll increase the odds you’re going to like at least one photo. It’s a numbers game. The more pictures you take of a moment, of your wild kids, of yourself, the more likely you are to land on at least one that you love or at least like. Burst mode is key for taking pictures of moving kids or moments when you’re hoping to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time. Take advantage of it!
- You’ll learn how to improve your pictures faster. The more pictures you take that look awful, the faster you’ll learn how to avoid those phone photography mistakes and get better photos. Take risks! Over edit! Create a lot of garbage! You don’t become great at something without letting yourself be terrible at it first.
You do need to make time to manage the photos that can quickly clog up your camera roll and hog your memory when you start taking more pictures. I recommend quickly looking through photos after you take them and favoriting the ones you think are keepers and you want to edit further.
Then find times to clean out your camera roll somewhat regularly. I almost always do this every time I get on a plane and have to switch my phone to airplane mode. It gives me something to do while we take off and land- other than freak out about crashing.
I love hiring professional photographers for special occasions. But you don’t have to be a professional photographer or invest in professional level cameras, lenses, and editing programs to take pictures of your everyday that you’ll love! Stop making these 3 common phone photography mistakes, and you’ll be off to a great start.
If you want to learn more about lighting, composition, how to capture moving subjects, and how to edit your pictures without relying on a lot of filters, I’ve got a 161 page ebook for that! Picture Play is an instant digital download so you can start reading more right away.
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