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:
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.
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