There are few things better than having priceless photos of the kiddos to look at and reminisce on, but when you don’t have the time or money to get a professional to do it, you’re pretty much left to your own devices.
We went straight to the professionals to find out the top tips for getting the best photographs with just your iPhone.
Professional photographer Regina Collier, owner of Queenfriday Photography, said before you even get to the picture-taking part, try to be cognizant of your attitude, because the wrong one can create a situation in which people may not be as likely to cooperate or just not be as happy.
“Your kid is going to do the opposite of what you’re saying,” Collier said, so try being goofy or making faces. “Take a deep breath and just play. Think of it as an hour or 30 minutes of you getting to hang with your family.”
When it comes to the key things that can create the perfect portraits, here are 10 easy ways to trick your friends into thinking you hired a professional:
1. Consider the timing.
The best time of day to shoot is either one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset. If you happen to be out in the middle of the day when the sun is blazing, make sure it is behind you. Try to find shade, but with decent lighting.
2. Think about what you’re wearing.
... Such as colors and patterns. Collier said the color orange is never a good one and that it can do a number on your skin in the images.
3. Try something fun and different.
A s’mores session, a silhouette or just walk around and explore.
4. Think about the image you’re shooting and how you should take it.
The iPhone 8 and newer has the portrait mode, which Collier said gives a great depth of feel. The portrait mode works best for an up-close image, say, of your kid’s face. For more people, turn your phone sideways.
5. Forget the filters.
You’re probably scratching your head at this one. This seems like the first way to spruce up a photo, but Collier said it can make pictures look unnatural. If you’re really aiming to get a photo worthy of sharing or hanging on a wall, use the options your iPhone provides.
“I usually try to up the exposure some … I always sharpen my image, because I just think it looks prettier. Just play with it,” Collier said.
On the same note, Collier recommended photo editing apps like PicTapCo and VSCO.
6. Try different angles.
Don’t just take pictures with the camera in front of your face or your chest. You don't want to miss out on great vantage points, so try to crouch down or hop up on a chair. Fill the frame with cheeks or other cuteness.
7. Take a lot of pictures.
Don’t just snap a few and then pick a favorite. Give it some time. It will allow you to play with the lighting and attack the picture from all angles. If you have a baby, that could make all the difference in mood (because, remember, we want good moods!).
8. Get the details.
Get all up in your kids’ business. Get those sweet pictures of the tiny fingers, toes and lashes.
Instead of using zoom (which can make the pictures grainy and pixelated), take the image as-is and then crop out the extra stuff you don’t want.
10. Don’t force it.
The sun and moon and all the planets won’t always align just right so that the situation is 100 percent perfect, and that’s OK. Take advantage of the times when your little ones have yogurt all over their face, or they’re just hanging in diapers after bath time. Those are, after all, likely the memories you’ll cherish the most.
Do you have other tips for capturing the perfect photographs? Let us know in the comment section below.