Entries Tagged as 'iphone photos'

how to organise your digital photos

It’s Wednesday and that means the next dose of my photo series.  We live in a time where taking photos could not be easier.  We click away several times a day creating thousands of memories on our phones, cameras and other devices.  On the one hand it’s quite amazing that we can photograph anything, anytime, all the time but on the other, what do you do with all those photo’s?  Do you have thousands of memories sitting in one big horrible mess on your phone, on your laptop or even on your facebook?  Do you spend hours trying to find photos?  Do you wonder what to do with all those thousands of photo’s you’ve taken?  If your answer is yes, then todays photography article on how to organise your digital photos will help you get on top of this mess.  These tips are easy to follow and with a little effort you will have a very organised photo library.  I’ve put these tips together based on what I do (when I’m organised!):

1. Download those photos
This is the easy bit because if you’re anything like me, I can’t wait to see the photo’s I’ve taken after an event or holiday.  So whenever I take photos I always download them usually on the same day or within a day or two.  Never leave photo’s on your memory card as your card will eventually get full and you may not have room the next time you need to take photo’s.  This could leave you furiously trying to scroll through your camera and deleting photo’s in a hurry to free up some space.  And besides it’s also possible to accidently delete your entire memory card.

2.  Delete, delete, delete!
As soon as you download your photos, start deleting.  And be ruthless.  Blurry shots, duplicate shots, random photos – you know the ones I mean.  And then delete some more.  Only keep the shots you really love and often you’ll find that more than half can be deleted.  This also helps keep more storage space free.  My best advice (which I try to follow) is to delete photo’s as soon as you download them.  This will make putting them in to folders a much easier job.

3.  Create folders
That brings me on to the next point – creating folders.  It doesn’t matter what software you use or even if the photos are stored directly on your PC but creating a folder system is essential to getting your photos organised.  The simplest way to do this is chronologically –  by year, then month, then by the subject or occasion.  The best way to stay on top of your system is to place photo’s in to folders as you download and after a while this will become a habit.   But if this isn’t possible you can also set aside a little time the end of each month and spend an an hour or two dividing the photos for that month in to folders.  If you do this regularly, imagine how organised your photos will be and how easy they will be to find!

None of us have photo’s just on our camera’s anymore.  In fact many of us have more photo’s on our phones than anywhere else.  We definitely don’t want to forget these so do the same with these – download to your computer (or wherever you store your photos) monthly or weekly (depending on how many you take), delete unwanted ones and put in to folders with the rest of that months photo’s.

4.  Mark your favourites
I’ve recently started flagging my favourite photos in each set of photos that I download.  This is easily doable in many photo management tools like apple iphoto or windows live photo gallery.  This has helped me so much especially when I take photo’s for my blog.  Before I’d trawl through 100 or more photo’s to choose the best two or three and then forget which ones I liked so I’d keep going back and forth and wasting far too much time.  Now when I download them, I immediately delete the hopeless ones and flag the best.  This will also help a lot if later you decide you want to print some or make a photobook – no more spending hours choosing.

5.  Storage
If you take a lot of photo’s then keeping these on your laptop can start eating away at your computers storage.  So instead you could use an external photo storage site like flickr.  There are many such sites that are free to use so it’s just a question of finding the right one for you – here’s a list that will help.

6. Print them!
Seriously, how often do you print your photo’s?  I am really bad at this but since starting this photography series I’ve realised that there is no point learning to take fab photos only to have them sitting on a hard drive somewhere.  It’s so much nicer to hold a book or album and flick through the pages than it is to stare at a screen.  With all the easy printing options available, there really is no excuse not to print photos.  And once you’ve spent a bit of time organising your digital photos, choosing ones to print should be easy.

Some ideas on printing – You could print a yearly photobook.  I did this when Anya turned one showing the first year of her life and it is such a wonderful memory.  I did it again when she turned two but since have given up but plan to re-start.  Another idea is to make mini little photobooks of instagram photos or phone photo’s that can literally be done in minutes.  Yet another idea is to make real prints and create a gallery wall in your home.  You could refresh these every couple of years and older ones can go in to an album.  There are so many easy and quick ways to get real copies of your photo’s and once you start, you’ll love the physical memories you are creating and memories that can be handed down for generations to come.

7. Don’t feel overwhelmed
If you have done nothing to organise your photo’s over the years and have thousands upon thousands stored on your laptop and phone, don’t panic!  It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start.  You can either start with your latest photos and work backwards or the other way around but most importantly, start with bite sized chunks.  So consider tackling a months worth of photo’s each week and slowly you will start to see your digital photo library looking very organised.

8. Back it up
You knew this was coming, you know you should do it but are you doing it?  Even if you end up doing nothing else to organise your digital photos, at the very least you need to back them up.  I use an external hard drive that I plug in to my laptop around once a month and job done!  But there are so many ways to create back-ups, the important thing is to do it – not say you will do it, not plan to do it but do it today! Here is a simple article that lists some photo back-up options.

So that’s how I like to keep my photo’s organised.  It’s a shame to have so many gorgeous memories lying in a huge mess somewhere.  With my tips on how to organise your digital photos and a little consistent effort, you will have the most organised photo library ever.  And once you get in the habit of doing this, you will save so much time because you won’t ever have to look through thousands of pics to find the one you want.  And don’t forget to print and back-up those amazing memories.

There are lots more handy tips and ideas on photography in my previous articles which you’ll find here:
How to grow your instagram following
How to photograph moving kids
The best photo filter apps
How to photograph kids using an iphone only
A mini photobook

how to grow your instagram following

It’s Wednesday and after a short break last week, I am back to my photography series.  In the past few weeks I’ve shared some great tips and tricks on how to photograph your kids, which apps will make your photos shine and so much more.  Today we are talking Instagram – the photo sharing app that seems to be all our addictions!  When done right, Instagram is the online place to build a community by sharing snippets of your everyday life so we’ve got some great tips on exactly how to do this and how to do it better.  Whether you’re a blogger, a small business owner or just someone who wants to share your photo’s for fun, these tips by super talented photographer and blogger Lucy of Capture by Lucy will be very helpful to you.  Lucy’s tips will not only show you how to grow your Instagram following but also how exactly to use Instagram to get the most out of it for you and for your followers.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Lucy once but have also been a long time follower of her happy and incredibly engaging photography.  Lucy has a way of putting the ‘extra’ in to ordinary every single time she takes a photo.  By her own admission she loves her Instagram space and it shows.  Her instagram feed is the story of her everyday life which is bursting with inspiration, colour, cheer and joy.  You can’t help but want to be a part of it and I know I can’t wait to see more from her each day.  I’m so delighted to have her here today to share exactly how she does this and how you can do it too so over to Lucy now!

Thank you so much for having me Nomita;  it’s such a pleasure to share how I have grown my following on Instagram since I joined just over a year ago.  I am a total Instagram addict!  I love the community spirit, the inspiration and the fact that it’s so easy to join in.  Everyday I can’t believe so many people follow my ‘mini blog’.  It’s my fastest growing social media channel by a clear mile and I see my gallery as a way to share everyday moments that help my followers get to know me better, where I can let my creative side go wild and where I enjoy practicing my styling and composition.  So I am really excited to be here today and to share my top 8 tips on how to grow your Instagram following:

how to take instagram photos

1. Be yourself
Being authentic is key.  If you aren’t a fan of staged or styled photography, no problem!  Share the photo’s of what you love to photograph because it’s hard to keep up something you aren’t passionate about.  I’m all about colour and although I sometimes try a more minimalist style, it’s really not me.  I love sharing a mix of everyday life, our home and vignettes.  A vignette is a styled photo so I am often found with a sheet of scrap paper or wallpaper, arranging a few flowers and props to create a still life image. I find it so therapeutic to share lovely photos and even if it’s pouring with rain and my boys are arguing, I can take two minutes out to create something beautiful.

2.  Embrace the community
Instagram is a wonderfully positive platform.  I have experienced nothing but great community spirit and encouragement.  I love the interaction, the way replying to comments is so easy and the engagement between my followers just amazes me.  It’s a way to be part of a community and to create a community.  Do join in with collaborative hashtags – it’s a great way to find other accounts with similar interests.  I host the hashtag #capturingcolour where each Monday morning I announce a new theme for the week and then I share my favourite picks on my blog.  I love to take part in various themes including “competition” themes just for the fun of it and also to be involved in the Instagram community.

My favourites are:
Monday – #mymondaymoodboard
Tuesday – #gatheredstyle
Wednesday – #itsamoodywednesday
Thursday – #byarrangement
Friday – #floralfridaycompetition and #fridayfaffingcompetition
Weekend – #frommykitchencompetition
Weekly and monthly themes – #natureinthehome, #stylingtheseasons, #lovelysquares, #nothingisordinary, #at_diff, #its_my_week
Family themes – #jj_its_kids, #mom_hub, #kids_of_our_world

3.  Be consistent
I like sharing lots of photos but I know it can easily overwhelm my followers and I begin to see people unfollow if I blast them with too many photos.  You don’t have to share a photo everyday but being consistent and having a regular presence is key to growing any social media platform.  Some people check their Instagram feed throughout the day while others may only check it once a day or less – so either way if you post a number of photos in quick succession, you are likely to take over someones news feed!

how to take great instagram photos

4. Be selective
Instagram is all about sharing snippets.  While on facebook you may well share 100 photo’s of your recent holiday, Instagram is more about moments that tell a story.  Give people a reason to follow your account on Instagram – keep it interesting!  I often follow the same bloggers on every platform, but find it frustrating when they share the same photo across all their accounts and then a few days later it appears on their blog too.  By that point I might have seen the same photo 4 or 5 times, and I am less likely to engage with it.

This doesn’t mean putting pressure on yourself to think of different images for each social media platform, it’s more about what you choose to share.  So for example – if we are at a play park I might share a photo of my boys to Facebook (where people are more interested and respond to family photos) and a picture of the trees or a close up shot of a little detail to my Instagram account.  Twitter on the other hand is a very fast moving medium so I often share my Instagram photos on there too.

When you are being selective about the photos you share, you want to share your best.  I recently wrote this post on Real life vs. Insta life to show that even in the midst of a normal chaotic family life you can still create beautiful photos.

5.  It is not cheating to edit your photos
There is nothing wrong at all with editing your phone photos for your Instagram account.  99% of the photos I share are from my iPhone and occasionally I will share a photo from my Canon DSLR.  But I always tweak my phone photos so they are the best quality they can be.  People often comment on how bright and light our house is but in fact we live in a 300 year old cottage farmhouse with low ceilings and small windows!  So in comes one of my absolute favourite apps – PicTapGo.  I often use their ‘lights on’ filter to help brighten my images but I steer clear of the heavy traditional Instagram filters which distort the colours and saturate the image because it’s just not in keeping with my style.  But Instagram does have a sharpening tool which can really improve those evening shots that look a little grainy and the tilt shift tool is wonderful for giving you a sharp focus point and a lovely blurry background emulating the Aperture settings on a DSLR.  So do experiment with those editing tools to improve your photos and make them the best they can be.

Remember that Instagram is a square configuration so use the square setting on your phone camera to compose your images.  I prefer to fill the whole frame instead of posting landscape or portrait images. Taking a little extra time to compose your images, thinking of things like what’s in the background that might distract from the subject can make a big difference.

instagram tips and tutorials

6.  Make it easy to find your account
It’s no good sharing lots of lovely photos if people can’t find you.  Make sure your account name or handle is consistent with your other account names on your site, blog or twitter for example.  Do share a link to your Instagram account on your blog and consider displaying your latest IG posts in your blog sidebar.  You can use a plug-in in your sidebar as I do, so it automatically displays your most recent IG posts.  Let your followers know you are on Instagram too – why not create a collage of your most recent images and share to your Facebook page or write a blog post about the accounts you like to follow.

7.  Connect and engage with like minded people
Instagram is a place to connect with like minded people.  You don’t have to follow everyone back and you can choose whether to make your account private or public.  If you go for a private account followers have to request your permission to view your photos so you have complete control over who sees your content if you choose to.  I have a public account because I want people to be able to quickly scroll through my gallery to see if it’s something they’d like to follow or not.

I follow a whole range of accounts that appeal to me for various reasons.  Some for their lovely family snaps, some who I have followed since before they were pregnant through to their second and third children, some for styling inspiration, some for food photos, some for travel.  They all engage me in different ways and no matter what the time of day is, whenever I check my newsfeed there are always lots of new photos to admire.  And I tell them so.   If you like something, if something makes you smile or if someone needs some words of support, don’t be shy – leave a comment and engage with people.  It’s a wonderful community to be part of and I have actually made some real life friendships with people I have met through following each others accounts.

taking better instagram photos8.  Have fun!
Remember the most important thing is to have fun.  If you don’t feel like posting, don’t post.  The worst thing with any social media is when it feels like hard work.  And also when it’s forced, it shows to your followers as well.  Find what you love photographing and share that.

Thank you Lucy for these fabulous tips on how to grow your Instagram following and also for sharing in such detail exactly how you do it.  I have recently gotten more in to Instagram but I definitely needed some help and these tips couldn’t be more useful.  I love how Lucy depicts everyday life but in such an inspirational and uplifting way.  Its inspired me to do better now that I know how and I am sure it has inspired you too.  Do make sure you check out Lucy’s Instagram and also her beautiful blog.  Also Lucy has kindly offered to help any of my readers with questions you may have – just find her here.

There is still more to come from my photo series but in the meantime why not check out the previous articles:

How to take great iphone photos of your kids
The best phone photo filter apps
How to photograph kids on the move
A mini photobook you can make in minutes

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for the next installment of my photography series.  Over the last three weeks I’ve shared some useful and actionable tips on photographing kids as well as some of the best photo filter apps to help turn those ordinary photos in to something special.  I’ve had some fantastic feedback on the series so far – so thank you all for that.  Today I want to talk about a really quick, easy and inexpensive way to do something with all those beautiful photo’s you’ve learned to take!  And there’s even a giveaway in today’s post so keep reading to find out more.

mini square photo book

I’m not the most organised person when it comes to printing the photos I take especially the thousands (yes thousands) of photo’s I’ve collected on my iphone.  While I love the idea of creating amazingly big and beautiful photo books, I don’t always have the time to spend compiling these.  So when I recently found out about a brand new app called Pop book, I had to try it out especially for this series.  Pop book is an app that allows you to create little mini photo books in minutes, using pics from your iphone or ipad.  I’ve made a couple of books and it literally took me a few minutes.  You can do some basic editing in the app (like cropping, adding text or borders) and then you’re good to go, all for just £4.99 delivered to your door.  The books are square, small and very cute coming in two sizes of 10×10 or 13×13 cms, each consisting of 21 photos.

instagram photo book ideas

I can think of so many reasons for making Pop Books.  Firstly, that ever growing instagram feed.  You can turn your entire feed in to a series of mini photo books.  The square format of the books is perfect for this.  The other thing that sprung to mind was my mum-in-law and other family members (especially the older generation who aren’t on facebook) that constantly ask me for photos of Anya.  Instead of emailing one photo here and there, I’m going to start sending them these cute little books every few months.  Also, because these books are small, I like the idea of having two or three perched on my desk instead of a static frame or even in my kitchen where I might put up a string and hang a load of these mini photo books.  Yet another thought I had was to have these printed after your child’s birthday party and give to the parents of the kids who came – what a great party gift and lasting memory that would make.  So many ways to use this book.

inexpensive mini photo book uk

You can do whatever you wish with these books but the absolute best part for me is the convenience of creating a book in minutes so that you have actual copies of your photos.  You never have to worry about photos being lost or deleted or wiped from your phone because you will have at least a small little hard copy.  And I also love the easiness of gifting these to family or friends.  All you need to do is download the free Pop Book app and you can start creating little photo books now.

THE GIVEAWAY:  Now the best bit – I’ve joined with Pop Book to give 5 lucky ebabee readers the chance to win one of these books.  To enter leave a comment on this post and follow my facebook page to stay in the loop.  Five lucky winners will be chosen at random.  Giveaway closes on Wednesday 8th April at midnight (UK time). Any entries after this time will not be counted.  Sorry, this giveaway is only open to UK readers.

This is my new, go to quick, easy and inexpensive solution to printing your phone or instagram photos but there will be more ideas coming on what you can do with all those beautiful photos you take.  Lots more to still come from my photo series but in the meantime why not check out the previous articles:

How to take great iphone photos of your kids
The best phone photo filter apps
How to photograph kids on the move

This post is brought to you in partnership with Pop Book.  All ideas, words and images are my own. Thank you for supporting my work with carefully selected partners that support this blog.

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered. Congrats to Sarah, Stephanie, Natalie, Sam and Alice – our winners.  If you want to find out about more giveaways, follow our facebook page

best iphone apps for filters and effects

Last Wednesday I started a new photography series on my blog and today it’s time for the next feature.  Last week I shared lots of great tips on how to take better iphone photos of your kids.  This week it’s all about the best apps for adding filters and effects to your photos.  With so many photo filter and editing apps out there it can be really confusing to know which ones to use.  So here I’ve picked the ones that I would say are easiest to use and are great to tweak and enhance your everyday photos.  I have focused more on getting quick effects with a range of filters than on editing functions as I’m not a pro photographer and this series really is about enhancing our everyday photos, not about turning pro!  With the right app and the right filter an ordinary photo can look extraordinary and a good photo can look awesome.  Here are my recommendations for the best photo filter apps around:

easy photo editing apps for iphone

1. VSCOcam
This is my favourite app for adding filters to photos.  VSCO has the largest range of filters that I have come across and they are fantastic.  The filters are the most natural looking of any app and are all quite beautiful as you can see from the range above.  With VSCO you can also take photos within the app and then experiment with the filters.  It also has loads of other editing functions like adjusting brightness, adding a grainy effect, sharpening or fading and lots more.  This is definitely the photo editing app I use the most but one word of caution – it’s addictive!  I can spend ages playing around and trying out different filters as there are so many.  The basic filters are free but to get all of them it’s paid but most definitely worth it.

2. Retrica
If you are into your selfies, you’ll love Retrica.  It’s a simple app that allows you to choose from a range of filters and effects to keep your selfies interesting and different.  What I especially like about Retrica is that any filters and effects are done before taking the selfie.  So you get a live preview of exactly what your photo will look like before you click.  Once you click you can instantly share or send wherever you want including Instagram of course.  The free version is more than good enough unless you hate seeing ads on your apps, then you’ll have to go premium.

best photo editing apps on phone

3.  Dash of Colour
This simple app does what it says on the tin and it’s free.  Strictly speaking this isn’t an app for adding filters – there are some basic editing functions and filters but the main purpose of this app is to add a colour effect.  Or what I most love it for is that I never manage clean, crisp white backgrounds to my photo’s and this app helps me get much closer to that.  You simply convert your picture to black and white and then add the colour bits back in by using your finger as a paintbrush.  This allows you to make a certain part of the picture pop like the example with Anya wearing those blue glasses. And also as you can see from the leggings photo – my original picture was quite yellow so I turned the photo to black and white and added back in the bit of pink tape.  So much better!


4. Simply B&W
I’m a big fan of black and white photo’s and this is an easy to use app to apply black and white filters to your photos and again it’s free.  While there are many apps that will convert photo’s to black and white, there are normally only one or two pre-sets to choose from.  With this app, you can not only play around with a bigger range of black & white filters but also within each filter you can adjust the effects like the strength of the filter and more.  So the same black and white photo can look completely different as you can see in the pictures above – from giving it a really old, dated feel to a much sharper looking photo.

creative photo apps on iphone5.  Afterlight
Afterlight is a filter lovers dream.  It offers an in app camera too but I don’t really use this – my iphone camera seems just as good.  What I do like about Afterlight is the big range of filters and that they can be layered on top of each other to create even more effects.  Too much of this and your photo will end up looking very unnatural but if you did want to create quite distinct effects you can.  My favourite bit of this app is the fun shapes which can be filled with your photos like the examples above which I love.  From bold capital letters to script letters to shapes like hearts, stars, sun and more.  You can be so creative with these without needing to learn how to do it from scratch.  Afterlight isn’t free but costs just £0.79 or $0.99 so it’s definitely worth it for what you’re getting.

These are my most useful phone photo apps for being easy to use, for creating a range of effects and adding lots of different filters.  And the best part is that most of them are free.  They help easily take an average photo to a fab one without getting in to the technical side.  The best way to use these apps is to experiment with them and try out different filters and effects – you’ll soon learn which are your favourites and you’ll also discover all sorts of tricks to make your photo’s really stand out.

Do you have a photo filter app you love ?  Do share in the comments so we can all try it out.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out last weeks article on taking beautiful iphone photos of your kids.

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.

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