FAMILY FUN: Chronicling Our Lives – Tips for Making Everyday Pictures Even Better #windowsphone

I really love that my family likes to stay connected. We are definitely a digital family.

We frequently Skype to catch up in person…well virtually in person, anyway. Skype is one of my favorite apps. From any place in the world you can talk to or chat with someone. Gone are the days of having to be on the phone or at the computer at home. I just open the app and we are face to face with my father-in-law in Florida or my mother in North Carolina. Suddenly the miles between us are gone and it feels like we are in the same room.

I am also constantly taking pictures. I shoot the entire world around me and share it with everyone I know. I frequently carry my DSLR around with me to take pictures but more often these days, I rely heavily on my smartphone to chronicle our lives.

One of my favorite things to do is to take pictures of my kids. In fact, this is how I stay connected to my family who lives all over the world. My family actively follows me in social media just to see what we are up to and to see the latest pictures of my kids. I get texts saying, “What are you guys up to this weekend? Any new picture to share?”

Here are a few tips that have helped me to take the best pictures possible with the camera on my phone:

10 Tips for Capturing Important Moments with Your Camera Phone

1. Be Phone Ready. The new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone has the side button that gives you instant camera access and will help you never miss a moment.

2. Get familiar with your phone. This will let you get the best angles, figure out how to use or remove flash and more.

3. Find a good editing program for your phone. This allows you to take pictures and fix them immediately rather than having to upload them to a computer. I can instantly Tweet or Facebook my favorite pictures from the day and share them with my family faster. I use the one on the phone and I also like Photo Studio but there are many great apps.

4. Keep the lens clean. I carry around one of those glasses cleaning cloths. I use it to clean the camera lens periodically. This removes any debris or fingerprints.

5. Use the Skydrive. Have you ever lost all of your pictures due to a camera malfunction or changing phones? That doesn’t happen with Skydrive because all of your photos are automatically uploaded to the cloud storage as part of your Windows Live account. Seriously this is one of the coolest things ever and that is coming from a mother who has lost countless pictures.

6. Work with your phone. Tight shots are never a good idea with phone cameras. Mirror shots, bright reflections or low lighting are also things to avoid.

7. Set the camera to the highest resolution possible. It is easy to resize down but you lose quality by trying to make a picture larger.

8. Use flash sparingly. I keep mine turned off and only use it when I really have to. I can always add in a little light when editing but it is very hard to edit a picture that has too much flash.

9. Frame the shot. Get your subject in your camera frame and leave a little space on either side. I experiment with poses and placement but I always think that a little space looks good in the frame.

10. Just take the picture, already! I used to spend way too much time setting up the shot only to realize I had missed the moment. I am much happier having 20 pictures to choose from rather than 1 picture that is just ok. I take tons of pictures and use less than 40% of them.

Here are a few pictures that I took recently with my Nokia Lumia 900. Note the crispness. The color. The clarity. The extremely cute kids.

This is NOT your mama’s cameraphone.

 

Brought to you by the new AT&T Nokia Lumia 900.
Tasks. Joys. Simply Faster.
 

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About Stacie

Stacie, a social media consultant, is one of Cision Media's Top 10 Most Influential Mommy Bloggers and one of the HERoic: 10 Mommy Bloggers Who Rule Social Media. She is also a frequent guest speaker at blog conferences, a contributor at Babble Kid Scoop and ShePosts.

Stacie founded Social Media Chicks, a collaborative social media consulting company and Georgia Social Media Moms, a group of 250+ social media/blogging experts in her home state.

An Atlanta resident and lifelong writer, Stacie is the mother of three children (9 & under) and married to the love of her life. She is always planning the next epic travel adventure for her family.

Comments

  1. thanks for the camera tips. I do need to read about what features mine has, it is not a smart one tho… I always enjoy your photos, you have a natural nack that some people are equipped with :)
    my is hiding way deep down some where. I do take a ton & 99% are Yikes!
    Faythe @ GrammyMouseTails´s last blog post ..Black eyes

  2. Great idea about the flash. I should do more editing post picture. Yours turned out great.

    Your phone has a camera button on the side. I want that!

    • Once I got used to spending a little time on editing, I found that I was much happier with my pictures.

      I love the side button!

  3. I really love those tall vertical photos, I’ll bet they would look great printed and framed!
    Crissy´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday: My Little Girl

  4. Good looking picts! I like the button idea for instant camera access..I cannot tell you how many times I have missed a moment as I waited for a photo app to open in order to take a picture.

  5. Cool looking phone. I really like the color and the large screen.

  6. Oh my goodness! I love my iPhone, but this looks like such a cool tool especially for us bloggers! Man, I really want to hold one now! Can I borrow yours?
    Felicia´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday: My phone has personality…

  7. I can hardly ever get my phone open in time to take a picture. I really like the idea of the button on the side of the phone.

    Great tips. Thank you for sharing.

  8. This is the second phone that I’ve seen that takes better photos that my iPhone. It’s getting me to thinking….
    ConnieFoggles´s last blog post ..MaxClarity Review Used by a Tween

  9. Elaine L. {But Why Mommy} says:

    This phone looks great. I love that it comes in different colors and takes such wonderful pictures. I am getting one this week.

    What kinds of apps does it have?

  10. Wow! Your photos are so good! I am disgusted with my current phone since it takes longer to gt the app open than it does to snap the photo so I always miss the opportunity! Sounds like I needed one of these instead!
    Henrietta´s last blog post ..{almost} Wordless Wednesday – And the fun never ends #ww

  11. Lorretta says:

    I was just searching for information about the new Windows phone and came across your site. You answered the one question that I really had left about the phone. What kind of pictures does it take? I really think that the pictures look great and much better than the Droid I use now.

  12. The pics look great. I need this so I don’t have to carry my big camera around with me all of the time and I take that thing with me everywhere.

  13. Thanks for awesome tips and great to know what you think of the Lumia. I still haven’t bought a new phone and many seem to like the Lumia here in Sweden, and I’m _considering_ taking it, even though don’t know if I could really live without iPhone :) But phototaking with my phone is def one of my most important things to do, and I loved learning about the photo button in the Nokia Lumia!
    Katja of Skimbaco´s last blog post ..Live a Little: Enjoy Sunrise & Sunset

    • Thanks for stopping by Katja! I really miss you. We need to meet up in Sweden. You should definitely check out the phone!

  14. those are some amazing shots from a phone!
    Melinda@LookWhatMomFoundandDadtoo!´s last blog post ..Check Out Her ‘Stash

  15. Becca Bernstein says:

    I love SKYPE too. Use it for personal and professional calls and catch-up sessions. The best thing about taking pics w/ your phone is that you can get up close and personal. In fact, I’m constantly on my knees taking shots! Great tips. Thanks!
    Becca Bernstein´s last blog post ..9 Mother’s Day Gifts Under 20 Dollars

  16. Beautiful pictures and great tips! I always leave my flash off, too. I usually do on my Nikon as well. I can’t wait to go see NYC next month!
    Paula @ Frosted Fingers´s last blog post ..Announcing my pregnancy- My Unexpected Moment! #sogoodsosweet

  17. Great pictures and awesome tips, thanks!!
    Hanan´s last blog post ..How do you decide to skip your child a grade in school?

  18. Yes, great tips! Sometimes you do just need to shoot or you will miss it. And sometimes the not perfect pictures that really capture the moment end up becoming my favorite.
    Coming from the blog party- nice to meet you

    • I feel the same way Emmy. It took me a long time to get used to the fact that pictures don’t have to be posed. I grew up that way so changing my mindset was key to really loving the pictures that I take.

  19. Those are some great tips. I love using my phone for pictures but it always seems I’m never ready for the picture. I need to actually learn how to use it. :)
    Cat Davis´s last blog post ..In Other News … Motherhood is Getting “Different”

    • That is exactly what I had to do. I got used to the phone and then really made myself take more pictures with it. Now I love it!!

  20. Katrina Moody says:

    Great tips, but my gosh! I suck at taking photos in general, and usually have to apologize for the quality on any of my own shots. I have Photoshop on my computer since I do graphic design, but I desperately wanted to be able to take a shot on my phone and go … looks like I should consider a Windows phone for my next purchase. I love my Android, but it uses up memory constantly and is constantly slow to open apps. *sniffs* Oh for enough money to have it all LOL
    Katrina Moody´s last blog post ..HAAN Steam System II Giveaway- ends 4/26

  21. Great commercial! Thanks for the photo taking tips too!

  22. I am a big picture taker too. I have been the one with the camera all the time for as long as I can remember.

    I have almost filled up my BIG backup drive with photos because I never want to delete any of the ones I take.
    Stefani´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday – Mommy Blogger Luggage & A Honda CRV

    • I am the exact same way!!! I hate deleting pictures too! That is too funny. My husband just told me the other day that I needed to delete some pictures to clear some space on our back up drive. I deleted 10 pictures. :(

  23. It takes great pictures. I have the same phone but I haven’t figured out it’s full potential yet.
    Canadian Mom Blogger´s last blog post ..Win a Pair of Viking Sandals (ARV $64.99)

  24. That has a really nice camera! The SkyDrive sounds like a great feature.

  25. Stacie, you’re a rock star! :) You look beautiful in the ads. I’m so proud of you!
    Dawn Camp´s last blog post ..The Oreck Magnesium Vacuum Giveaway: Because Photoshop Can’t Clean Your Carpets in Real Life

  26. Great pics! I really like your new phone.
    And Stacie – your ads are awesome! You have such a natural talent for being in front of the camera.
    Autumn´s last blog post ..The Best Easter Basket Ever!

  27. What a wonderful experience! It is so beautifully produced and you look so natural in all the shots. Congratulations on such a milestone.
    Ann at Mundane Magic´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday: Training First Responders

  28. Lisa R Charles says:

    This is so cool! You look great, very professional and have me considering this phone. I heard about it through my friends who are technology fanatics and they highly recommend it.
    Lisa R Charles´s last blog post ..Escape Routes Meetup Atlanta at Twelve Hotel

  29. I guess I need to upgrade my phone ;) have a great day!

  30. Wow! Those pictures are beautiful. I always miss a moment with my camera. It’s either blurry or just doesn’t take the picture.
    Apryl @ Christian Clippers´s last blog post ..American Family Pet Expo is This Weekend!

  31. Those are great shots…especially for a phone. So bright and vibrant.
    Krystyn´s last blog post ..See Rock City {giveaway}

  32. Wow, great pictures! I wish I had something to capture such wonderful moments in such great ways! Thanks for the write up!
    Brandy´s last blog post ..VTech Safe & Sound Full-Color Video and Audio Monitor

  33. Great idea with the flash! I need more tips from you- I am such a newbie!
    melissa´s last blog post ..Soft Minky Couture Blanket Review-Giveaway!

  34. I use my sad little camera phone all the time — I need to get a lens cloth for it. That’s a great tip!

    (p.s. SO jealous of how great those pics look with that Nokia!)
    Rachel @ Following In My Shoes´s last blog post ..Huevos On The Half Shell (baked mini egg tacos)

    • They do look great don’t they? Yeah the lens cloth made a huge difference. Much more so than my shirt! ;)

  35. Henry H. {Writer} says:

    Hi Stacie,

    I read your blog a lot but I don’t always take the time to comment.

    I have been wondering about this phone since I saw all of the commercials on television. You have inspired me to check it out.

    I also noticed that you are starring in a commercial on your blog. This is really a nice commercial. I like that they used a real woman and not some stick figure who looks like she hasn’t eaten in days.

    Cheers!

    Henry

    • Why thank you, Henry!! No worries about not leaving comments before, I appreciate that you did now!

      I am sure that you will love the phone.

      And as for the stick figures, I am sure that we could all use a sandwich, right? ;)

  36. Elizabeth says:

    Your awesome! We know this! :). Great tips!
    Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Latest Party Posts

  37. Love your pictures!
    Sue Rodman´s last blog post ..Adventure Travel in Georgia on Better Mornings Atlanta

  38. I need to figure out how to turn off the flash on my Windows phone. I absolutely despise flash in photos!
    BusyWorkingMama´s last blog post ..Grow Green Onions in A Week #WW

    • It is on the Settings page when you go to the camera to take pictures. Took me a minute to find it at first too.

  39. I love reading about a windows phone! I have been doing a lot of research about them so it was great to hear a users experience. And wow – those are great photos!
    Dresden´s last blog post ..Team US and Team THEM {guest post}

    • Thanks so much Dresden! I just love the camera feature on this phone. This phone has has some amazing reviews.

  40. Nice! A big YES to the flash. I hate when mine comes on! It (and you) took great pictures!
    Melissa {momcomm}´s last blog post ..Blog Critique: The Well-Rounded Home

  41. Danielle Adams says:

    Wow, great pictures! I’m not a pro but I love taking photos and nothing beats capturing special moments. Thank you for the tips!
    Danielle Adams´s last blog post ..4 Chic Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

  42. Ashley - Embracing Beauty says:

    Wow, those are great pictures! It makes me want to buy a new phone just to have those kind of quick, crisp, and gorgeous pictures!
    Ashley – Embracing Beauty´s last blog post ..Julep Maven Nail Polish Bundle is Only $1 Shipped!

  43. I admit to using my phone camera more than a real camera. Love all the apps they have out new.
    Courtney´s last blog post ..I believe in Fairy Tales, and The Fairy Hobmother!

  44. Oh my gosh I absolutely love using my phone camera. I no longer use any other type of camera. I remember how thrilled I was to get my digital camera back in the day, but now it is collecting dust.

  45. Oh all I do is use my phone camera. I too had forgotten about my old digital camera. Who would have ever thought that the digital camera was soooo several years ago?

  46. The pictures look really great. Who would have thought a camera on a phone could take such clear pictures?

  47. Oh my goodness the pics that I take from my phone come out AMAZING!! And it is so convenient too. If I am out somewhere and want to take a great pic I just use my phone for it! No need to drag around the old digital.

  48. Interesting! I have long said that cameraphones will replace point and shoots. Now it looks like it is happening.

    • It may be. Although I still love and use my DSLR, I hardly ever pick up my point and shoot anymore now that my phone takes such great pictures. There really is no need.

  49. I really use my phone for everything except making calls. I am excited to check this phone out based on your recommendation.

  50. We were talking about this phone the other day at my playgroup.

    By the way, are those your kids in the video? They look completely different from your header. Just an observation.

    • That is great that you were already talking about the phone!!

      Actually, they are not my children by they are adorable nevertheless. The commercial/video was actually shot in New York City and my family was at home in Atlanta.

  51. I have been looking for a new phone for a few months but nothing piqued my interest until this. Definitely on the list now.

  52. I cannot imagine life without my cellphone, especially the camera. What would I ever do if I found something priceless outside somewhere that was a true Kodak moment haha and I did not have my camera with me…. but with my cellphone attached to me I don’t have to worry about that!

  53. Firstly, girl you ROCK on camera, and 2ndly I love the advice – most of which I need to heed myself. I am going to be in deep trouble if I don’t backup my pics… soon.

    My best advice from the above list – take the pic already – YES, that one I am learning to pay attention too.
    Niri´s last blog post ..Book People Unite Campaign By Reading Is Fundamental!

    • Thanks Niri!!

      Took me a long time to get to the place where I would just take the shot. Now I am much happier with the quality of pictures that I take!! :)

  54. I love how bright that display is on the phone!

  55. Oh my goodness, I love this post. I often wonder how I would survive without mine haha.

  56. That phone is so pretty!! And I love your tips! How adorable is that picture of your daughter and the bubble!! So cute!
    Emily @FamilyNLifeLV´s last blog post ..I have a new blogging love! Her name is Windows Live Writer.

  57. Yeah that phone is really pretty and pics look absolutely awesome :)

  58. I cannot imagine my life without my camera phone!!!! The pics coming out looking awesome and I love yours that you had displayed too.

  59. And you know what I love about the camera phone too? You can show your friends the latest pics of your kids right then and there and don’t need to tell them “oh I will have to show you another time or email it to you later.”

  60. You are so right about having to keep the lens clean. If it is dirty or blocked in anyway the pic is hardly noticeable. A clean camera phone delivers awesome pics! Let’s keep it clean so it can preform its magic.

  61. Skydrive? OK is that like Dropbox for mobile phones? I have never heard of Skydrive before but many thanks for the suggestion!! Would never ever want to lose my precious pics taken from my phone.

  62. i love how the pics you take with your phone come out so crisp and clean!! Evolving technology will make it that much better too!

  63. The pics on here are gorgeous! I love how they come out on the camera phone.

  64. I have no idea what I would do without my camera phone. Everything you say is so true. And good reminder for keeping the lens clean. Very important.

  65. I also like Photo Studio, it is a good program. Pics are exquisite.

  66. Rachelle says:

    Oh my goodness I love how the pics turn out and would never trade my cellphone camera for any type in the world!

  67. Wow great post and thanks for the useful info. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without my cellphone for so many reasons, and taking pics with it is a huge one.

  68. Charlene says:

    Framing the shot is so important. I tend to make that mistake when I take my pics. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get better with that so I can take awesome pics with my phone.

  69. You got that right that the camera needs to be set to the highest resolution, because if it is not, the picture ends up coming out awful. Great points you bring out here.

  70. Oh my gosh, I gotta back up my pics, and should have done that a while back. Anything can happen to your cell!

  71. LOVE the tips and this….this is awesome! Congrats to you sweet friend. The photos are impressive…seriously…and yes…the kids…all kinds of cuteness…..mobile phones are the new cameras for moms!
    Caryn B´s last blog post ..Celebrating Mother-Daughter Relationships: Girl In Progress *Giveaway*

  72. It is amazing how much better phone pictures are now than pictures from expensive cameras were a few years ago – technology is amazing!

  73. Great tips – I am always amazed on how well the photos on my Windows phone turn out.
    BusyWorkingMama´s last blog post ..PMD Personal Microderm Tool Review

  74. Nice tips! I definitely agree with # 10. Just take the picture, already! I don’t know how many shots I’ve missed because I spent too much time thinking about the shot! LOL! I’m actually in the market for a new phone. I’ll check out the Nokia Lumia 900. Thanks!

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