Hey there friend! I’m Brittany, a natural light photographer based out of West Monroe, LA. If you're reading this blog then you are one step closer to taking better photos on your iPhone. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter if you are trying to document your kids, a new product your selling, a vacation, or day to day life, we all want to take better images without toting around that heavy camera all the time. This blog will help you achieve your goals of using your iphone to get great images!
Don't fret, learning takes practice, but you'll be a Pro phone-ographer in no time!
When taking photos with your phone, the first thing you want to look for is good lighting and location! It's super easy to notice a GREAT back drop and think it will be a beautiful image... not exactly if the lighting is too harsh or too dark! Your picture would be better in good lighting and a not so pretty location!
ARTIFICIAL LIGHT VS. NATURAL LIGHT
Natural, Soft, Clean Lighting makes for the best photos!
Check out the natural light beaming in from this window! I turned off our light fixtures to nail this look!
The artificial light makes weird shadows and colors on the skin that are hard to edit , but the natural window light is perfect. If it's daylight outside, turn off those yellow light fixtures and get next to a window to take your images!
Bonus Tip: If you have harsh light coming in through the window, put a thin white sheet over the window to diffuse the light!
Also, try to take pictures in the daylight. Night pictures are harder to take good quality pictures, and they definitely will not be Light & Airy!
HARSH LIGHT VS. DIFFUSED LIGHT
If I can plan when I am taking pictures, the best time of the day is the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset! I know that's not realistic if you are in the moment in the middle of the day, but there are still ways at noon when the sun is the highest to capture amazing phone pictures.
If the sun is harsh, find shade to take the photo in or go inside near a window!
Open Shade, and diffused light make for the BEST PHOTOS!
Next Let's talk about BACKDROPS:
I like to use lighter colored back drops with alot of white, gray, or greenery! These light colored backdrops allow your subject to stand out and your pictures to be light & airy!
If your style is dark and moody, then look for dark photos to make your images look more cohesive. If you are a business or blogger, then this tip is especially important for you to create a cohesive look on your instagram, website, etc. Always find the same types of background, and color schemes.
It could be as simple as picking a light colored chair over a darker one or reverse if you are the dark and moody kinda gal!
Look at the difference in these two images. The only difference is the location really. Lighter grounds reflect white light back into the subjects!
If you are photographing products like coffee, or paper, etc. Use a white table, countertop, or buy a styling matt to get that clean and light look to your photos!
1. Avoid Clutter: Clean up any random objects in the background!
2. Avoid distracting elements- Maybe get in a little closer to crop that random yellow blanket :)
THE RULE OF THIRDS
Imagine a tic-tac-toe board across your phone screen. Your Subject should be lined up with one of the four intersections! (You can actually set this up to practice) Try focusing on faces, and if it is a close up put the eye on one of the four sections!
If there is horizontal lines, make sure they are even! Uneven lines are distracting! Dont worry if you mess this up in the moment, you can always crop and rotate your picture to fix this later!
If you don't already have it, download the LIGHTROOM app on your phone! It's free and super easy to use.
Import an image from your phone. Choose one that follows the rules above and has good lighting, a light colored background, and no distracting elements!
The main two adjustments you need to make are in the Light tool ! Increase your exposure, and shadows!
The second tool you'll want to use is the color tool!
If your photos looks too yellow or blue, use the white balance slider to correct the picture! Then click mix and play with your HSL levels.
Follow the steps below!
HSL stands for Hue/Saturation/Luminance and controls the intensity of the colors and tones in your photos. Collectively adjusting these is how you create the L&A look! This is like MAGIC in our opinion, because it allows you to adjust individual colors!
So what does each panel change?
Hue: The overall TONE of any given color. For example, greens can be more yellow or more blue. Basically it allows you to replace the shade of colors with neighboring ones on the color wheel!
Saturation: The intensity of any given color. This allows you to make any color stronger or more muted.
Luminance: The brightness of any given color. This allows you to make any color brighter or darker! Much like the coffee, cream, and sugar in your morning cup of joe, you'll want to find your perfect ratio of Hue, Saturation, and Luminance for each color!
I focus on the greens, yellows, and oranges ! to master my greenery in the background, and the skintones!
My greens are always light and airy, to achieve an edit like this, try dragging the Green Saturation slider to the left and the Green Luminance slider to the right! Click the green dot and you'll see this panel where you can adjust your greens!
All skin tones are different colors! Think like a make up artist to figure out what colors certain skin tones need, pink, orange, red.
Start adjusting the orange first, I always put the saturation down at first, then play with the luminance to get the perfect look!
Okay, now get to taking better photos with your iphone! P.S. If you're interested in taking the shortcut and getting a more cohesive look, invest in mobile presets! You can find them online pretty cheap and nail your style every time with minor adjustments!