Below I have listed my top 9 tips for capturing your kids on the iPhone. All photos below were taken with an iPhone.
1. Use apps to enhance your photos.
In the photo above, I used the app Snapseed. The tools used to create the effects in that photo are drama, crop, HDR and Frames. Snapseed is one that I like to use, but there are several others out there, including Lightroom, PhotoShop Express, PhotoToaster, Enlight, just to name a few. They can be really fun to play around with!
2. Get down to their level.
It’s always nice to get down to the level of your subject, whether it be a pet or your child. Not only are you getting a nice perspective when you are at eye level, but it’s often more flattering when you’re not looking down at your subject.
3. Position them near a window for natural light.
The photo above is a shot I took of my daughter near a window and was taken with my iPhone 11 pro, using Portrait mode. The natural light coming through the window is all you really need for beautiful lighting. One thing to note is that the light coming through can sometimes be too harsh when it is more direct. If this is the case, then position your subject at a further distance from the window or wait until the sun is in a different position.
4. Use portrait mode.
The photo used above for my 3rd tip is in portrait mode. If you have an iPhone 7 Plus or above, you should have portrait mode. To access this mode, open your camera app. Then under the image, you will see “PHOTO” is highlighted. Place your finger there and drag to the left until “PORTRAIT” is highlighted. Some of the newer iPhones will allow you to change the f-stop. Look for the “f” icon in the upper right corner of your screen, then tap on it. Using the slider below the photo, click and drag to the right for more background blur. If you do not have this feature, you can try to do it after the photo is taken, in editing mode. Some of the earlier phones (such as iPhone 8) have this option.
5. Use burst mode to capture action.
Burst mode is an iPhone camera feature. While using burst, you can take more than ten photos per second. In earlier iPhones, you can activate this by holding down the shutter button. From the 11 series iPhones, swipe left on the shutter button and hold to shoot. For more info on burst mode, see this article: How to Use iPhone Burst Mode For Incredible Action Photos.
The photo above is an old action shot I took from one of my previous iPhones. I editing this photo using Snapseed. The tools used were Tune Image, Crop, Vignette, Lens Blur and Frames.
7. Look for good light.
My husband took the above image of my daughter and I with my iPhone right before sunset. The lighting at this time can be pretty awesome! Notice the warm glow on our skin. Lighting is important for photographs and understanding light, which direction it’s coming from, what temperature the light is when it’s cloudy and how it changes in the sun, can make or break an image. If you’re interested in learning more about different types of light, I found this great article on the iphone Photography School website.
8. Don’t tell them to smile, make them laugh.
Nobody looks natural with a fake smile. You know your kids the best, therefore you are probably the best person to get them to laugh. In the photo above, my husband was tickling my daughter. In other photos I’ve taken of her, I’ve successfully made her laugh based on knowing her sense of humor. The photo above is also an example of good lighting. We were at an outdoor concert and it had just rained. The sky was dark and the sun was coming out from behind the clouds, again right before it was setting.
8. Simplify the background.
Sometimes if there is too much going on in the background, it can be distracting and take away from your subject. To avoid this, either use portrait mode to blur out the background or look for a simple background such as bushes, a wall, etc. In the photo above, I captured my daughter with my iPhone on portrait mode standing in front of a grey wall.
9. Get creative.
Take a photo of a reflection or in a mirror. I like to find interesting angles to shoot from or use the new iPhone’s wide angle (.5) lens, which is what I used on the first image of this blog post.
For more info about the iPhone camera, see my article about the new 11 Pro features.