10 Ways to Take Better Pictures of Your Kids On Your Smart Phone

Get better photos from your smartphone camera with these easy tips.

It’s been said that the best camera is the one that you have with you. For moms, that usually means your smartphone. In this excerpt of the new book Your Child in Pictures,  photographer Me Ra Koh offers easy ways to take better photos with your smartphone.

Skip the zoom and get closer.
Camera phones that have  a zoom feature are generally limited to digital zoom only, which compromises resolution to “zoom in.” Instead, simply walk closer to your subject to avoid losing image quality.

Set resolution to high.
Some camera phones have adjustable quality settings. Make sure you always use the highest resolution.

Play with the tonal range.
Tonal range means the range of tones between an image’s lightest and darkest areas. Turn on the HDR mode. This mode will take three exposures (pictures) and produce a blended final image to help you get good highlights, shadows, and midtones so that detail isn’t sacrificed.

Watch the light.
Many camera phones aren’t as sensitive as point-and- shoots, and quickly lose detail, definition, and noise control when things get dark, so always pay close attention to the light. That said, play around at dusk and nightfall for more golden light; the results can be rewarding.

Use rapid fire.
Some camera phones include a “rapid file” feature, which allows you to take tons of photos in quick succession by keeping the shutter button depressed; others require a downloadable app to do this. Either way, keep pressing the shutter button as you walk around your subject, get closer, or change angles. You don’t want to miss a moment. You can delete the outtakes later.

Be sneaky!
Kids are well-accustomed to seeing us with a phone in hand. Take advantage of the phone’s low profile and be sneaky by blending in and catching unexpected candids. Be the silent observer your kids don’t even notice.

Get mobile.
The beauty of camera phones is their simplicity and ease. Explore unusual angles and vantage points to see how they affect your image.

Clean the glass.
Since camera phones are constantly in our and our child’s hands, don’t forget to wipe the lens often. This is a high-traffic area for finger smudges.

Pause and check the background.
Take a moment to make sure the background is not cluttered or chaotic; otherwise, you may lose focus in your image.

Play with apps.
Play around with the many photo apps available, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different effects.

Excerpted from YOUR CHILD IN PICTURES: The Parents’ Guide to Photographing Your Toddler and Child from Age One to Ten Copyright (c) 2013 by Me Ra Koh Photography. Published by Amphoto Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.



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