In my ebook Picture Play, I empower readers to use what they most likely have on-hand nearly all the time- their phones- to take and edit photos they will LOVE. It’s not just about how to use filters. A filter isn’t going to make a bad photo great. The key to a really great photo is to start out with one that’s composed and lit well BEFORE you edit or apply any filters.
Here’s a quick example of how I played with my perspective and light source to get the best photo I could before editing.
Wallace passed out in a hotel bed when none of us were looking, and it was so sweet to see him all sprawled out. My first rule of taking pictures of your kids when you catch them in sweet moments, which has actually been instilled in my by many photographers I admire, is to just take a picture. Fast. Because who knows? He could wake up that very second and scream at me for the next 30 minutes before passing out again on my boob.
So I at least try to get one picture that might work but is probably not technically very good. Then after I have that, I work on improving what I can while they stay in that moment, pose, whatever.
What I didn’t like about that first picture was I was shooting up his nose, meaning my phone wasn’t directly overhead and you’re getting a good look at his nostrils. So I moved to the side of the bed so my phone could be directly over him and got this.
Much better! But what I didn’t like about this shot was the only light source- the TV- was blocked and the light on him looked really flat. So I moved a little bit so I wasn’t blocking the TV light and got some of it to shine on him, which gave him a little more depth.
Notice what a difference that is between the 3, just by moving myself around a bit and being mindful of the light source I was working with?
Now that I had a photo that was well-composed with interesting lighting, I could edit it. I brightened it with a simple curve in Snapseed, and increased the highlights and shadows with the tuning tool. Then I applied a subtle filter at half strength in A Color Story.
I now have a really sweet photo of a moment that looks exactly how I remember seeing it with my own eyes. It’s not just a snapshot in my camera roll, but a photo I want to print and keep forever.
If you want to learn more about easy photo composition and how to edit with apps on your phone, check out my ebook Picture Play. It has over 50 5-star reviews and is an instant digital download, so you can start improving your photos today. Also, it comes with access to my private Picture Play Facebook group, which is where I first shared what I just wrote in this post. Head to JillKrause.Shop to purchase.