iPhone Photography Tips and Inspiration

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
Use these iPhone photography tips to grow your photography.

As a photographer I am struck by little bits of beauty throughout the day. I can’t help but notice how pretty the light changes through a window as a cloud cover passes.

Shadows and shapes catch my eye and my mind immediately thinks up a dramatic black and white composition. Contrasting colors or soft tones have me searching for another element to add to the scene that would make that image really pop.

Photographers are creative people.

We are story tellers who want to share what we see. Carrying around a DSLR became too much for me everyday. But that didn’t mean I wanted to stop collecting moments and the everyday details of my life.

The iPhone has given me a sense of freedom, a carefree approach to photography that was slowing me down by only using my Canon. I use the same principles of creating a beautiful image in camera on my DSLR as I do with my iPhone. With a lot less pressure of nailing the shot! Shooting daily with your iPhone should be fun and a great way to strengthen your creative mind.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

My 365 iPhoneography Challenge

I love following #cmglimpse on Instagram. Having a daily prompt to create an image of my own interpretation from any given word is fun and inspiring! Each week a new list of daily photo prompts are shared. Having to come up with an image that is different from what someone else may share is only part of the challenge.

Shooting everyday has strengthened my creativity by not always going with my first idea. Or maybe I think about the word in a different way, not what that word meant to me after first thought. Really work on your story telling skills. Following a daily photo challenge will not only get your creative juices flowing, but you will be inspired by seeing how other people interpret that same word.

Building a community of fellow photographers who share that same love of capturing everyday details has been wonderful. So many times I am completely blown away by the talent and what people can do with their camera phones.

Make friends on Instagram.

There are so many other photographers who are also shooting and posting everyday. Be sure to like their pictures, follow their feeds, and if you really like an image they post leave a comment. I love my IG family, as I affectionately refer to them as. It has been such a fun way to get to know other photographers from all over the United States, as well as other countries.

In April 2014 I will have completed my first 365. All images have been taken with my iPhone. I’ve been using the app Collect to create a daily photo diary. It really is quite an accomplishment when you see the end of the month and each day has a photo captured. Not to mention it looks really cool when the month is complete filled with your beautiful images. I strongly encourage you to remember to print the images from your phone. I love using Postal Pix and Artifact Uprising. You can also easily create a photo book using AU, right from your phone. The quality is beautiful, and it’s always fun seeing your images in print.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

Tips for staying creative

My number one piece of advice is to look for light. Good light makes the image with your DSLR; it is no different with your camera phone. My obsession with light has only become stronger by using my iPhone. Incorporate shadows, use lines of light to lead your viewer to the subject and of course have fun with sun flares!

Do you have a clean table surface, or even floor space? Use that area as a neutral background. My white kitchen table is the background in many of my images. Having a clean background let’s you create and style the scene to your liking. Play with different perspectives. Shoot from above, or at eye level by resting the phone on the table surface or floor depending where your subject is. Adjust your exposure to enhance your vision.

You can tap on the screen of your iPhone to select exposure and focus. If you want the image to be underexposed, tap on a bright part of the screen. Want an overexposed look? Tap an area on the screen that is dark. Create depth by placing objects behind or in front of your subject. You can tap on the screen to select focus. Notice how the depth of the image changes by including foreground. Images with purposeful blur or out of focus are also a fun way to experiment and show motion. It’s also helpful to use the grid on your camera phone. Use the rule of thirds to create your composition.

A must have fun accessory for your iPhone is the Olloclip. With this lens you can take images with the effect of a fish eye, wide angle, and macro lens. The details you can capture with the macro lens, and a steady hand are amazing. I also like to use the macro lens to create out of focus images. Instead of getting up close to capture the smallest of details, you can pull just far enough away from the subject to see the form. By using the lens this way you can also achieve some pretty awesome bokeh.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone article-12
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

Experiment with post processing

There are many editing apps to choose from. I like the quickness of taking an image with my iPhone, so my editing is a quick process as well. All images are taken with the camera on the iPhone. I will then pull an image I want to edit into VSCO.

By using the slider you can strengthen the filter from 1-12. I like to add warmth, take the contrast down -2 and usually have to straighten out my image. If I feel like spending more time creatively I will pull the saved edit from VSCO into Snapseed. Here you can selectively brighten or darken, add saturation to specific areas of the image vs. the entire image. I also think it’s fun to play with the tilt shift filter.

I’ve also recently become intrigued by light leaks and textures. The app Afterlight is a fun app that has many options to make your iPhone image look like an image taken with film. Sometimes I will use the IG square crop on my images, but most often I use the app Squaready. This app preserves your original crop so that you don’t loose any of the details in the composition.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

Creating images and expressing myself creatively has become a part of my daily routine. The ease of capturing a moment and sharing it instantly is addictive and fun!

blueline
bio pic-3104Kristin Dokoza – Guest Post
Kristin happily proclaims that humor and laughter are a must in life. This California photographer, wife, and mother of two boys fully embraces her clean, colorful, and thoughtful style both in her photography and in her love of design and decor. If her Mark III is not within reach, Kristin is creatively capturing light and telling stories with her iPhone.

Kristin, a CMpro and mentor at Clickin Moms will be speaking about iPhoneography at Click Away in Salt Lake City this September. {use the code COURTNEYCA to get $40 off}
Website | Instagram – kdokoza

6 Ways to Practice Photography if You Don’t Have Kids

6 ways to practice photography if you don't have kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch
When I first began my photography journey, I devoured the seemingly endless stunning images on the photography websites I was stalking. The only problem was that the majority of these images were of beautiful, innocent little children. Why was this a problem? Because I have no beautiful, innocent little children of my own! Well, scratch that, I do have a 15 yr old stepson, but he is not at all eager to put on a flower headband and ruffle legwarmers and blow on a daffodil in front of some gorgeous light while I practice my settings!

Since I don’t have little subjects around me all day (and in fact spend most of my days alone) I have had to get creative when it comes to practicing my passion for portrait photography.

Here are six suggestions for practicing photography without live-in kids or with uncooperative live-in kids—as in “MOM! Put the camera down already!!”

1. Spouse/Significant Other
I am so lucky/blessed/thankful that I have an awesome husband who fully supports my photography passion. He doesn’t even complain when he ends up in front of the camera so I can “check the light” and “test my settings.” (Although sometimes I do get some very interesting facial expressions…. yawns mostly). He even continues to pose for me after he runs to get his phone! Love that guy.

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

2. Friends
Even if you don’t have a spouse/significant other or you have one who is not keen on modeling for you, hopefully you have at least ONE friend who likes having his or her picture taken. If you don’t, give me a call. I LOVE having my picture taken but am usually behind the camera. Since I started taking my camera with me everywhere, however, more opportunities have presented themselves. In the below photo, a friend and I had just pulled up to a party where she needed to make a quick appearance. When we got out of the car, I saw some beautiful light that just had to be taken advantage of.

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

3. Friends’ kids
There’s no doubt that kids make great subjects. Their natural smiles and impromptu expressions create great shots. Although I don’t have little ones, I know a many people who do. And they rarely refuse my requests to take a few shots of their offspring.

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

4. Pets
While I may not have little humans at my feet all day, I am constantly tripping over my furry babies. Photographing pets is great practice mostly because getting them to sit still can be just as challenging as working with fidgety kids. Pets are quite useful for practicing with fast shutter speeds! My little guy likes to jump!

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

And my other little guy is so very black that he often disappears in photographs. Thus, he is very useful for practicing exposure. Properly exposing a very black dog can be very challenging!

Read more: Pet Photography Series

5. Your life
Stop. Breathe. Look around you. The photo opportunities just within your home, yard or neighborhood are endless. Challenge yourself to think differently about your surroundings. Try different lighting, lenses and compositions. You will be surprised at what you can come up with if you take a few moments to look around and see things in different ways.

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

6. Yourself
One of the most challenging and rewarding ways to practice photography is using the person who is always around…YOU! Invest in a good quality tripod (to avoid cronic “selfie arm”) and keep it available all the time. See some amazing light or a potential new location you could use with a client? Set up and get in front of the camera. Even though taking pictures of yourself may take more time, energy and determination, the rewards are worthwhile. You not only learn your camera inside/out, you also learn what it feels like to be in front of the camera, which gives you perspective with potential clients. Whenever I am in a creative rut, getting out of my comfort zone and in front of the camera always seems to get my creativity juices flowing!

Read more: Self portraits made easy
6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

6 Ways to Practice Photography Without Kids by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

blueline
IMG_2110Cinnamon Wolfe – Guest Post
I am a natural light photography junkie living in the middle of the high desert of California. Wife to an energetic Army husband, stepmom to an awesome teenager and pet mom to two silly pups, my days are never the same in the best way possible. When not behind a camera, I occupy my time by laughing, asking deep questions, drinking coffee and reading books. I will never turn down dark chocolate or stinky cheese.
Website | Facebook | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

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