I fully admit that I’m a “late adopter” when it comes to technology. My friends were busy clicking away on their blackberries and iPhones for several years while I was still sporting my three year old pink Motorola Razr. I’m not one to upgrade my camera right when the latest and greatest is announced and believe it or not, we haven’t had a TV in our house for over three years! Yes my friends, I’m afraid that we are “that” weird family.
All of that said, at some point I just couldn’t resist the lure of Instagram, of relatively decent photos taken in no time without any aperture this or ISO that, and the chance to capture our everyday moments without hauling my big camera everywhere. I succumbed to the iPhone. I admit defeat (but oh how sweet it is).
At first I just snapped away without much thought or intention to what I was capturing. I mean this was just for recording our casual everyday moments and my big girl camera was for the important stuff right? That’s how I saw things initially anyway.
I’m not sure when that point of view changed but it may have been while taking the Mastering Natural Light Indoors class over at Clickin Moms. That class really changed the way I looked at light and I started to pay attention to it in all settings and even when using my iPhone for quick snaps. I also realized that my phone could be used as a testing ground or preview of sorts before getting my DSLR out to shoot. In the images below I first used my phone to capture leading lines and second my DSLR.
Another thing that I’ve found my phone useful for is testing the light in an area that I’m thinking about shooting. Sometimes I will snap a quick image on my phone and then immediately pick up my camera to shoot. Other times I will make a note to come back to that spot at the same time of day. The next two images were taken minutes apart using natural light from a north facing window at camera right.
It is also fun to explore the editing possibilities with your smart phone and consider your personal preferences. Do you lean towards bright and colorful, soft and muted, inky black and whites or perhaps something different? This year I plan to work on my use of color in my photography and it has been great to use my iphone for that purpose on a daily basis. So far, I’m finding that I lean towards neutral tones and softer editing.
It has been freeing for me to know that I am able to record our daily lives without carrying my big camera with me everywhere we go. There is definitely a time and a place for both, but I hope that I have given you some ideas on how to use your smart phone to improve and refine your photography on a daily basis.
Favorite iPhone apps for photography – VSCO Cam, Snapseed, Squaready, Flickr, and Pic Stitch
Favorite External Lens – Olloclip for their macro and fisheye reversible lens
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Elicia Graves – Guest Post
Elicia Graves is a Texas girl living in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two little girls. Her photography style is simple and earnest and she enjoys documenting her family in her free time. She tries to make it to the beach as often as possible, and is always on a mission to find the best ice cream in the Bay Area.
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