10 Tips for great Phone Photos

let's be honest this year has been pretty c**p. There might be less around your dinner table this Christmas there might also be less under your Christmas tree but if ever there was time to document what's going on in our lives it's now! Hopefully this crazy year of 2020 is a one off but there's no better way to remember it all than by taking photos. If your not skilled at taking photos or you dont have a camera dont worry I'm going to give you a few tips to capture your Christmas this year on your phone.

  1. Get down to your subjects Eye level! This might sound simple, but it can make all the difference. Yes with children you might have to sit or even lie on the floor, but if you have ever watched a professional photographer work you will see them doing this all the time.
  2. If you have live focus or portrait mode on your phone make sure you use it. Phone cameras have come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years . They will never have the ability to take over from a professional camera but they do have the ability to mimic the look they produce so why not use it.
  3. Make sure you capture the details! If you look at a gallery of professional photographer's after an event a birthday or wedding for example, they will always include several detail shots, such as the wedding rings, shoes, flowers etc. Your Christmas is of no exemption, if your dress your table take a few close ups, take a few close up shots of your favourite baubles on the tree. Take a few of your children's hands opening their presents or pulling crackers. In years to come it will be fantastic to look back on, see how small the children's hands are how cheesy your table decor was, in terms of the new standards lol.
  4. Dont use a flash! Many phones are equipped with a flash these days make sure you turn them off. There's nothing worse than a photo with a flash. It will blow out the details in the faces and make your Christmas tree look awful. What you want is just the ambient light already in your room with the backdrop of your pretty Christmas lights.
  5. Dont forget your pets! Pets if you have them are an important part of our family's life's all the extra cuddles you've had from them during lockdown this year are sure to have helped you get through it. They wont be here forever and to capture them at Christmas is a beautiful keepsake to look back on. Sit them in front of your tree hold a treat above your head such as pig in blanket, I dont know any pets that can resist one of those or any people in that case lol. Get down to there level and take a few shots. If they have a new toy give it a squeek to get that cute head tilt.
  6. Dont make your family pose! Everyone line up on the sofa, Smile and say Cheese! Sound familiar? These Cheesy posed photos never look great, they also dont represent your Christmas very well. Approach your Christmas photography from a photojournalists perspective. Did your hubby fall asleep, did the baby laugh/scream at the crackers. These photos will be much more enjoyable to look back on than everyone sat rigid on the sofa smiling fakely. If you do have to take one posed family photo take a look at the next tip.
  7. Do you have trouble trying to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time? Its often the case especially with children. Get them all to close their eyes tell them to count to 3 and open them and look at you. If you make a silly noise such as a fart noise on 3! That's practically guaranteed to get the natural giggles and everyone looking in the right direction.
  8. Pay attention to your composition! Taking a photo making sure everything is in the centre is fine but if you want to take a more interesting image that's a little more pleasing to the eye then use the rule of thirds. If your phone or camera doesn't have the visual grid to guide you then just imagine one. Always try to take a photo with the focus/subject on one of the dissecting lines as shown below.
  9. If your shots are not perfect you can always edit them, there's plenty of free apps out there to help you crop , adjust lighting and filters if you like them. Snapseed is one of my favourite free phone photo editing apps.
  10. Relax enjoy, if you get it wrong just take another photo, or try again next year! fingers crossed it's a better year for us all or you can always hire me to take some Christmas images for you ;)