The Everywoman's Guide To Taking Better Photos


You're not a photographer. You're not trying to be. But you and a large percentage of the world has a cellphone with a camera on it. There's no escaping it. You view Facebook albums online of people who have had professional portraits made of whatever event is going on lately. You even see the classic mom's-iphone-pic-of-child where the camera is angled downward because we're taller than our kids, duh. And they are CUTE!!!! But somehow, your brain just doesn't function like that and all your pictures are blurry, too bright, too dark, have awful flash, or even feature the beloved finger over the camera. Maybe you just want to take one good picture of your child before school and or before a meltdown.

I'm not a goddess and I can't work miracles, BUT.... I can give you a few tips on how to get that quick phone picture with even lighting, These tips also apply to actual cameras too. But you know, let's keep it simple.

  1. Put your subject in the shade. It helps if you're in the shade too, but for the most part, the sun won't make your child look white-like-no-summer if you find some shade.

  2. Bring the camera to eye-level. Bring your camera down to level with your subject's eye. Too high and your subject has an abnormally large head, and too low means your subject will be photographed at an unflattering angle. No-no.

  3. Wipe off your camera lens. Some people are confused as to why their pictures are hazy or have lost quality over the years. While cameras in phones are improving with every model, your problem most likely is a buildup of oils/makeup/lotions/skin/residue on your phone. Give it a good wipey-wipe and you should be okay. If not, it might be time for a new camera/phone.

  4. Make sure your screen brightness is all the way up. You don't have to keep it there forever, just while taking your photos and editing them if you choose to edit them. I can't tell you how many times I have applied a filter or adjustment to a photo only to feel like something was missing..........aka the brightness.

  5. Experiment with cropping. Most folks that take a quick phone pic don't know about or don't think about cropping. Cropping could be that missing puzzle piece to your images. I don't have a specific ratio for you, but rather a suggestion to just play around with it. Most phones give you the option to create a new cropped image(aka duplicate the image) or save the original image as cropped. That way you won't ruin your images and regret experimenting with creativity......


Good luck! If you would like, share with me your images if you tried any of the tips above! Can't wait to see!