Helloooo beautiful people!
I hope the week has been treating you well. 😊 Today I thought I’d do a little post about my tips for taking better photos with your phone, and how I edit my pictures as well! I always love seeing how people choose to capture and construct their images so I thought I’d share my own process.
I am by no means a professional photographer (I wish! Maybe someday), hence the title of this post, “phone photography”, lol. But I do strongly believe that not having a big, fancy, expensive camera should not stop you from capturing images of the world around you and exploring your creativity.
Due to the fact that phone cameras don’t always take pictures that have as high of a resolution as that of actual cameras, there are a few important things one must keep in mind:
Lighting is everything when it comes to how clear your photograph will be. Especially when the subject isn’t an object but an actual person, make sure that the person being photographed is facing the direction the light is coming from. Unless you’re trying to create a dramatic effect, lighting from behind (back-lighting) casts dark shadows over a person’s face and makes them hard to be seen. The best time to take pictures is during golden hour, because the lighting isn’t as harsh as it is during midday, when the sun gives everything a washed-out, white tint.
Always make sure that your phone camera is focused! For most devices, all you have to do is tap the screen before taking the photo, and of course, make sure your that your hand is steady. Nothing is worse than having dozens of blurry photos, especially if you took pictures of or in a place you won’t be visiting again anytime soon, or taking pictures of things you won’t ever see again.
Although most, if not all, things can be corrected with editing apps, you still always want to make sure that the raw image itself has been photographed to the best of your ability. A common mistake made, especially when it comes to pictures of landscapes or buildings, is taking pictures that are skew or not aligned in the frame. Before you take a picture, make sure your phone is straight and not tilted to an angle that completely warps the subject.
A very easy way to be creative and have fun with taking pictures is to play around with angles. The angle you choose to take a picture from has the ability to create a very powerful or impactful image.
This is another feature that makes allll the difference with your photos. Depending on the weather and the time of day, set your camera white-balance accordingly. Most phones have the setting to change the white balance automatically, but it never hurts to double-check before snapping away! This setting alters the colour temperature of your pictures, allowing the colours of certain settings to look more true-to-life i.e. cloudy days being a more grey-ish blue, and sunsets typically being a more contrasted, saturated orange or brown. The little picture icons on your phone tell you which setting is more appropriate for what (cloudy, shade, daylight, fluorescent etc).
And now on to my favourite part, editing!
I use the app VSCO (Visual Supply Company) to edit all of my photos. The app is free as well! I know most people swear by Lightroom, and buying presets, but I’m low-key a technophobe lol. So the easier the app is to use, and the more familiar with it I am, the better.
I prefer having warmer, brown tones and a bit of a higher saturation to my photos so I always increase brightness where I need to, increase the saturation, warmth, sharpness as well as the contrast. My two go-to filters are M5/Mood and A4/Analogue because they give such a warm, old-school-style feel to pictures, that I like.
I’ve been using VSCO for a couple of years now and I love everything about the app and what the brand stands for. I get so much inspo from the articles they share and the VSCO community, because the focus isn’t on likes the way Instagram is, the focus is on the pictures themselves and creativity. I’d highly encourage everyone to download the app or at least give their page a follow on Twitter or Instagram!
I thought I’d include a few Before/After pictures of some edits I have made in the past…
I thought I’d include a step-by-step breakdown of a typical edit I would make, also just so you can see how the VSCO app works if you’ve never used it before:
I share my picture to the VSCO app, then open the editing tool. The first thing I will do is add a filter. You can use the slider to choose just how heavy of a filter effect you want to use. Sometimes only 8 or 6 out of 12 (the highest) is just enough. You don’t want to filter your pictures to the point where they look unnatural.
I will then go into the tools which look like this…
Time to increase the contrast….
After I’m editing the picture on VSCO, I then upload it to Instagram. I’ll then use Lux to increase the definition of the photograph, so that the flowers can stand out more.
I then use the Instagram editing tools…
I love using ‘Structure’ to increase the clarity of photos even more…
After that, my photo is all done and ready to share! Below is a slideshow showing the before and after…
I think it’ll be fun to look back on this one day and see how much my editing style has changed.
What photo editing apps do you like using? What other photography tips do you live by? Lemme know!
That’s the end of today’s post, till next time!