How to take great photos of your kids with an iphone

March 11, 2015

best tips for taking good pictures with iphone

Want to improve your iphone photography?  This post has so many handy tips for anybody who wants to improve their iphone photography.  This is part of a whole series of photography posts so do check them out – there are some links at the end of the post.  But for now, if you want to improve your iphone photography skills, read on. 

I am so excited to have the super talented photographer Julia Arif sharing her tips on how to take better photos with your iphone of your kids.  Many of us want to learn to take better everyday photos of our kids and this is exactly what Julia is showing us how to do.  All of Julia’s tips are easy to action and you can start trying them out today.  Julia is a professional portrait and lifestyle photographer who is also mum to one adorable little girl.  It was when I discovered Julia’s beautiful instagram feed that I knew I had to ask her how she does it.  All the photo’s on her instagram are taken with her iphone only which is quite unbelievable when you see the stunning photo’s.  Julia has agreed to share her top tips with my readers so if you want to learn to take better photos on your iphone get reading these tips.  After reading we can all get more creative with our iphones!  Now over to Julia.

I never thought about my phone as a creative tool.  Never before my daughter Sophie was born.  Then my whole world changed.  My heavy DSLR camera wasn’t my best companion anymore and my iphone on the contrary was always around.  I started to take a lot of pictures to train my eye to be able to compose a frame on the phone screen, to play with the light and angles.  Then I joined the Instagram community and got inspired by all these creative people there, their vision and ideas. I started to share the happy moments of our everyday life and today I’d like to share them with you and also some tips and tricks on how to photograph your kids using an iphone only.

top tips for taking great iphone photos1. Use the soft light.
Iphone certainly works better with it.  Overcast weather or sunsets are ideal conditions to take soft nicely exposed portraits.  Indoors you can use natural light coming from the windows.  Think about making use of any curtains and blinds in the room – it’s such fun to play with the curtains or slatted blinds to transform the light and to get nice shadows or patterns.  But this doesn’t mean that you will not get great pictures on sunny days.  You can try to shoot with the sun behind you or to the side of your subject.  Or find a big building or a tree and use the shadows they create.

how to take better photos with iphone2. Focus.
It’s so frustrating to capture a portrait of your child against a lovely background, only to find that the face is blurred.  So don’t forget to focus on your main subject by tapping the screen with your finger.  And feel free to take more than one or two shots.  Yes it’s such a pain to delete them later but among them will be a masterpiece for sure : )

iphone photography tips for beginners3. Use different angles.
Sit down, bend down, stand up, use your knees and toes – move!  The same picture will look so different if you play with the angles.  Take photos of your children from above or kneel to their level;  take full body portraits from up close or from a distance; take photos from different heights like stand below where your child is standing.  Opportunities are endless…

iphone photography tips and tricks for beginners4. Keep it simple.
I try and compose shots using clear backgrounds – this is especially useful when you are just starting to improve your photography skills using just an iphone.  I can never pass a good looking wall by : ) Especially if it has a nice shadow play or some interesting details on it.  You can find simple backgrounds everywhere: just look around you and notice the big bushes, grass, water, sand, floors.  Also indoors, beds are a whole new world for these kinds of pictures.  You can play around with linen, pillows and blankets.  When my daughter was still napping (oh happy time!) I never missed an opportunity to take a photo of her relaxing pose and angel face against the background of the bed and linen.

how to take better instagram photos5. Tell a story.
We take photos of our children to save those precious moments which pass us by so rapidly.  When you look back at the photo’s, it’s so easy to get lost in this ocean of shots: when and where did we take that picture?   What was going on around?  Here comes storytelling.  And you can use a lot of tricks for this.  You can include some seasonal things like leaves, flowers, a hat made by you, your child’s crafts or paintings.  Or you can take photos of cooking, eating, playing, exploring together.  When you look back at the picture it’s not just a shot but it will remind you of that time, that day, that activity. You will have a story in your mind just by looking at that picture.  But possibly your best friends are your children’s emotions and expressions.   And here comes the next point.

how to take great photos with iphone56. Let your children be natural.
It’s always so sweet when your child is smiling widely in to the camera.  But personally for me it’s kinda boring to see this shining expression on every photo.  Let your kids laugh, cry, be shy, be cheeky, be thoughtful, be sad and happy.  Let them express themselves and experience their own emotions.  The less you instruct a child on how to stand, look, smile – the better and more natural your shots will be.  And you will capture looks and expressions that are so much a part of your child.  And now…

how to take better photos with your iphone7. Capture the moment.
There is always a great opportunity to get a good shot, irrespective of whether the photo is posed or if it’s a spontaneous moment.  Anticipation is something many photographers draw on by getting ready to photograph.   If you feel that something is going to happen, trust your instinct and just be ready with your phone near you.

8. Learn how to edit pictures on your phone.
There are some really simple editing options that can improve your photo and make it more attractive. Simple things like straightening the picture or adding more brightness or reducing it, lightening the shadows if they are too heavy, putting a filter to style a photo – all these can make a workld of difference to  a photo.  But a word of caution – use these actions in small doses or else the picture will look unnatural.  On iphone my favourite photo editing apps are Snapseed, Afterlight and VscoCam.

9. Practice, practice, practice.
Perhaps from everything I’ve shared today, this is the starting point and the most important point. Practice, experiment, click, click, click!  The best way to make sure you practice is to start a photo project with your kids today.  It could be a portrait a day for one year or a monthly picture of your child in the same spot outside – maybe in your garden.  There are lots of little projects that you can do but the key is to start and think of the collection of photos you will have at the end of a year.  Taking lots of photos will help train your photo eye and you will see this develop as you take more and more photos.  Your child is your whole world and the biggest inspiration for you.  Document your happy time together in a creative way and enjoy those moments later looking through all the beautiful photos you captured.

There you have it – Julia’s best tips for learning how to take better photos with your iphone of your kids.  I am feeling very inspired to start clicking away!  Don’t forget to check out Julia’s instagram for more inspiration and also her blog where you can see some of her professional photography.

P.S. If you’d like more photography tips, check out how to take photos of moving kids and how to organise your digital photos.

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