photo tips

leslie white shooting, an example of the rule of thirdsThe following is an article I just had published on a new emagazine called MOMtography which focuses on helping manage all the photos mothers take (  I was thrilled to be including in this project! Hope you enjoy it.

“Leslie White, overworked, MBA, marketing executive, needed a break from the corporate grind. So she took a photography course. That was 25 years ago. Then she had kids, two girls, and started taking pictures. Lots of them!

 Every once in a while, Leslie took another course. Most recently one about how to better use your iPhone camera. I asked Leslie to share what she learned.

 “The course really made me thing strategically about how I use my iPhone. Instead of random selfies and snaps, I now put energy into setting up a shot.”

 Leslie explained that she now approaches iPhone photo taking with way more seriousness. The basic rules of photography still apply. These may seem obvious to the profession but she stresses she’s just an amateur, as are most of us. Here are her favorite tips.

photo taken from below *Alter your perspective. Take your picture while lying on the ground or standing on a chair. Leslie suggests just turning your iPhone upside down can give you a completely different shot.

 *Rule of thirds. Basically the focus of your picture should be off center. In your head, divide the screen in thirds both vertically and horizontally. Your subject should be centered along one of these imaginary line or their imaginary intersections. Though your natural instinct is to put your subject smack dab in the middle, try moving it or cropping it to the side, the bottom or top. (The iPhone allows you to set an actual grid on your camera screen if you want)

 * Golden hours. Everyone and everything looks better with the right light. Sunrise and sunset provide the most beautiful natural light, full sunshine the harshest.

filling the frame *Fill the Frame. A super close up can make for a wonderful photo.

 *Change the Aperture. A blurry background makes the subject pop.

 Even after taking the course, Leslie acknowledges that she doesn’t always get it right so she edits, edits, edits! A lot of which can be done right in the Photos App that comes with your iPhone. But sometimes a little more help goes along way.

 an example of blurred backgroundAbout half the iPhone photography course focused on experimenting with Apps you can download. Leslie has three favorites.

 Snapseed (free) provides a wide selection of different effects, filters and editing features. There are tutorials to help you learn how to use the various tools

 Color Splash (free) allows you to convert a photo to black and white and then highlight only a specific detail in color.

 Big Lens ($1.39) is called the ultimate focus and filter tool. Leslie says it can be a bit tricky to learn but is the best way to adjust the aperture and get a blurry background. There are instructive YouTube videos that really help.

example of rule of thirds Except for a few years off when her children were in elementary school, Leslie has worked in finance. With her girls now off to university, Leslie decided to retire from the corporate world and find something more creative and less nine to five (or as anyone knows, actually 7am to 8pm). Recently she started a business making coffee table books for people using (and editing) their own photos. Check it out at”

(all photos provided by leslie white)

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