Tips for Better Cell Phone Photos

This is a post for all you moms out there that are looking for a few easy tricks to taking better photos of your little ones on your smartphone! As you may know, I don't have little humans running around our place, so I decided to use my favorite subjects...our too cats! Meet Lady Grey and Gallifrey! 

Here are a few useful tips to learn to take better cell phone photos of your little ones! 

Try different angles. Get down to their level, make them look all the way up at you. Try something new! You don't always need to just take a photo straight on! 

Face them towards a light. If possible use natural light. Phones aren't great with backlighting, that is sitting a subject we're behind them is your primary light source. Photographers can shoot directly into the sun, phone's not so much. Try placing them towards a window or opening the front door. 

(left photo with the light behind Lady Grey, right photo where she is looking at the window) 

(left with the window behind Gallifrey, right photo with the light infront/side of Gallifrey) 

Get more natural light. Open up the shades all the way, the front door, or even take them outside for a minute to get a photo of a cute outfit. Don't put them in direct light, try the shade. You don't want direct sun that is going to make your kids squint, you want a diffused light. 

Be patient. But also have your phone ready at any moment. You know your child best and sometimes you can anticipate those perfect shoots, but sometimes you need to spend a little time creating the perfect creating the perfect photo.

Clean up the background. Whether it's toys, or simply something distracting to look at. Typically simpler backgrounds are best so try to clear away the mess, put your kid near a solid neutral background like a couch or wall. Feel free to get creative too, but when you're starting out go with simple.

(left photo is distracting, I took a minute to move the toys and shoe for the right photo) 

Pull the subject away from the background. You know how photographers make the background blurry? Well your phone isn't as good at that, but you can help it out. The further the subject is away from the background the the more likely the photo will have a blurry background. In technical terms that's called aperture but we won't talk about that here.

Have some help. I always encourage parents to waive toys, sing songs, or make noises to get their kids to look at the camera. Don't be afraid to act like a goof. Sometimes it's too hard to set up a photo and make noises and wave your hands all at once. Getting someone else to help with that can be a lifesaver.