Top iPhoneography Tips

stunning tropical seascapeIf you’re anything like me, there are times when iPhoneography is your only photography option. “The best camera is the one you have with you,” may be a simplification but there’s also a kernel of truth to it. Sometimes even I don’t feel like carrying professional gear around. However, as a mom, I also don’t want to miss those tiny-but-important moments, and the opportunity to capture them with my “nice” camera. Recently I have been more intentional about using whatever gear I have with me to freeze important moments in time.

Still, these days, we can get some pretty great prints from our iPhoneography, too. And what’s not to love about having a decent camera with you at all times? You can also compose, meter, and focus your photos similarly to how you would with a “nice” camera. Additionally, there are some awesome apps that you can use to give your pictures extra pizazz.

First, let’s chat about exposure and focusing. Decide where you want to focus your image. Tap on the appropriate section, then use the slider with the sun (next to the box) to measure the brightness or exposure of your photo. Hold still, and capture!

beautiful exterior with little boy walking through wooden doorIf you like silhouettes, expose for the sky or bright background. Play around with the brightness slider on your iPhone to get different looks.

toddler boy wearing beach hatIf you struggle with composition, you can turn on a grid in your iPhone Settings. (Hint: it also helps keep your horizon straight!) You can even lock focus by tapping and holding your focal point until you see an AE/AF Lock banner appear at the top of the screen.

San Jose walking pathPrepare your images for Instagram using your favorite processing app. VSCO is probably my favorite app for taking an iPhone snap from simple to something magical.

pool silhouette
Sun Seeker is a solar tracking app that allows you to add notifications, if you’re looking for that golden light just after sunrise or before sunset. It also shows you the sun’s direction for each hour of sunlight.

mother and son playing at Bay Area park little boy with handfuls of woodchips, walking on beam at San Jose playgroundHere are a few other apps, just for fun!

  • 8mm: This app was used in the creation of an Oscar-winning film. Seriously! It has a wide range of vintage options and can help you capture the beauty and nostalgia of vintage movies.
  • Hipstamatic: Another retro or vintage style app, Hipstamatic throws it way back. From 1890s tintype filters, to the more recent Polaroid variety.
  • Incredibooth: A quintessential and kitschy experience. Fun selfie photo and video strips. Need I say more?
  • Cinemagraph: Not quite a photo, not quite a video. Cinemagraphs can be dazzling in the hands of the right person or applied to the perfect image.

little girl wearing red dress and butterfly headbandIf you ask which social media platform is best for sharing your photos, the answer will be Instagram, almost every time. Instagram really provides the opportunity for community building, among other amazing aspects of the app. Thinking about entering the wide and wonderful world of photo contests? Check out ViewBug, and GuruShots, for amateurs and professionals alike!

smiling boy wearing amber teething necklaceNow that you have all you need to begin rockin’ your iPhoneography, get out there! And visit me on Instagram at marybeaphoto.