Newborn Baby

Baby Mason

Tips on capturing babies, children and the whole family using an iPhone/iPad – continued

In my last post I shared some tips on capturing children or the whole family to improve your camera skills when using an iPhone/iPad or any other camera.  In this post I’d like to share a few more tricks that I use to improve you ‘iPhonography’. The next paragraph explains where the idea comes from.

Many people think you need this amazing camera to take pictures. More often they say that they need to get a professional camera like yours to take as good pictures…haha. During my photography training and development I’ve learned it isn’t so. I get lots of likes and compliments about the photos I take purely with my iPhone on the go. The truth is, I don’t often take my DSLR camera with me when we go away, but I still love capturing any special moments of my children and family all together…well usually my daughters. Since I always carry my iPhone 6 with me, that is the device that I use for the job and I’ve learned to exploit its possibilities to produce quite good results. Would you like to learn how I do it?

How do I use my iPhone from the moment I shoot to the moment I post my images on the social media? Keep reading…

A quick recap of the steps from the last post:

1. Turn on the Grid feature (Settings>Photos&Camera>Grid On).

2. Launch the Camera app.

3. Turn off the flash.

4. Turn on HDR (if the light isn’t ideal).

5. Try to apply various strategies (angles & perspectives) when framing your children / family.

6. Focus on your children / subject(s) and activate the AE/AF sensor by tapping on the screen.

7. Hold the iPhone/iPad very still.

8. Tap the Shutter button (or the Volume Up or Volume Down button) to snap the photo.

9. Tap on thePreview icon to view the photo you’ve just taken.

10. Use the Crop tool and reframe an image if necessary.

Now, let me add a bit more to that…

1) POSED & CANDID SHOTS

There are many ways to capture your kids and family in pictures. A posed photo works if your kids will follow your instructions where to sit, where to look and exactly what to do. This also works with those people who are confident in front of the camera. I can pose my younger daughter who is three years old…she’s absolutely perfect for this and will smile anytime, but not all under 4 year olds are like her. At the same time, I find it more difficult to pose my ten-year old daughter who’s is growing up fast, changes moods a lot and basically, does not want to be photographed. She has also become more self-conscious recently when a camera, even an iPhone, is pointed at her and any shots taken in that way may look unnatural – her body language and facial expressions tell me it all. Instead, I often try to capture more authentic emotions and actions by snapping candid pictures. In other words, I don’t give any directions, but chat and interact with children while taking photos in an unobtrusive way and having fun with them at the same time. Simply, allow your subjects to go about whatever it is they are doing. As for the babies, it’s sometimes easier to give a young child a rattle or a toy to capture a close-up, candid shot. Alternatively, have someone stand directly behind you to help you capture the baby’s attention using keys or a rattle, or by making silly faces.

2) PHOTO EDITING APPS

Visit the App Store on your iPhone and search “Photo Editor” to find hundreds of apps you can use to edit, enhance and share your images from your iPhone or iPad. I must admit I’m addicted to those image enhancement apps and my photos never leave my phone without being slightly altered…but I love editing as much as picture taking. So here are some fun apps that I’ve used or tested over the last few years and would recommend to you if you’d like to improve the final results a bit more:

–  Snapseed (my favourite – no.1 for a number of reasons with tilt-shift being one of them)

– VSCOcam (editing app with a great camera)

– PicLab HD (allows you to also add text, artwork and much more fun to you photos)

– Adobe Photoshop Express (includes automatic one-touch fixes)

– PicFix (gets regularly updated with fresh new filters and overlays)

– Magic Hour (very much like Instagram filters with preview which is what I like about it – check out my favourites: SX-70, Weak Lomo & Ilford film)

– Wood Camera (great filters control and textures to apply)

– KitCam (High quality photos and HD videos)

– Repix (very much a creative tool – I love its layout)

– Afterlight (simple design plus quick and straightforward editing)

3) MY EDITING WORKFLOW

-Open the Image

– crop & straighten

– brighten – improve ambiance – remove shadows – add warmth

– centre focus – vignette – old lens – foggy effect

– tilt-shift to give more focus on the children

– sharpen only slightly (20%)

– save to Photo Library / Open in Instagram / FB

– apply filters (20-50% opacity)

4) SHARING YOUR IMAGES

After taking the photos and editing them so they look better, you might want to share the images with other people as I do. You have a variety of options which include online social media such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, for example, but also email, Apple TV+AirPlay or AirDrop.

With social media apps, you can add photos directly from your iPhone/iPad in several different ways. You can do this either from the Photos app (or another compatible app such as photo editing app mentioned earlier in this post) or directly from the official Facebook, Instagram or another social media app: Open Photos app>Select the image(es)>Tap on the Share icon>Tap on the social media icon you want>continue as instructed.

In addition to the online social networking services, there are many free online photo sharing services which can be used to backup or archive your images.Some of the popular online sharing services include Dropbox, Flickr, Shutterfly and Smugmug.

From your iPhone/iPad, it’s possible to send an email message with up to 5 images as attachments. You can do this from the Photos and iPhoto apps (or many third-party photo apps) as well as from the Mail app: Open Photos app>Select up to 5 images>Tap on the Share icon>Tap on the Mail icon>continue as instructed.

You can also share your images by displaying them on your HD TV set using several easy methods.

1.wireless (Apple TV device & built-in AirPlay feature) – what I use!

2. wireless (iCloud My Photo Stream or Shared Photo Stream feature)

3. USB cable supplied with your iPhone /iPad connected via HDMI port& special adapter (either the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter or theApple 30-Pin to Digital AV Adapter)

Finally, you can quickly transfer images between iOS mobile devices in close proximity to each other using AirDrop.

I share my images in a number of ways described above, but Instagram is my favourite by far..so hope to see you there. Now, experiment using different special effects – put your knowledge to use to create unique and artistic images of your children as well as the whole family.

Thanks for reading this and if you have any thought to share on this post, please feel free to comment.

Renata x 🙂

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