Documenting the authenticity of childhood makes my heart skip a beat and the best way I’ve found doing so is with my iPhone. It took some getting use to, always carrying my phone around but I love how I can get it out and quickly pop the camera up to capture life as it is happening…versus running to get the big camera and adjusting the settings… Bam, moment is over. Not only was it a new routine to carry my phone around but also a bit of a learning curve in understanding how my iPhone camera worked and what adjustments it allowed me to control. The more time I’ve taken to play around with my iPhone camera, the better quality pictures I have been able to capture. Because of this, I now shoot almost exclusively with my iPhone (I use the native camera app with iOS 8), to document my family’s days.
The two most important things to understand when using your phone’s camera are light and composition. I recommend only using natural light if possible, even indoors (turning off all inside lights and using the natural light coming in from windows and open doors). Test your camera in different lighting situations (dim or low light, backlight, direct or hard light, etc.). You may find that the shutter speed slows down in low light creating a blurry picture and underexposes in a backlit picture. I like to lock focus on my subject by pressing and holding down on the screen and then adjusting the exposure slider up or down for situations like these. I also generally use the rule of thirds to compose my shots just like the picture I’ve shared here.
In this image, I locked focus on my daughter as she was playing in between the curtains. Since I was shooting into the light, the camera automatically underexposed so I pulled the exposure slider up to brighten the image. After, I pulled it into VSCO Cam to convert it to B&W.
My style is pretty simple and very much a quiet observer. I love how the light falls around her and shows you a bit of her introspective face. Converting it to B&W also took away distractions so that when I look at this, all I see is her. Gah, I melt.
A few last tips that I’ll leave you with… Try not to use the zoom feature on your phone’s camera as it quickly affects the quality of the picture. I recommend doing what you can when lining up your shot and then cropping it after the picture is taken. Also, whether it’s the cloud or manually downloading, don’t forget to backup your images! And, enjoy your work -- print your pictures that you’ve worked so hard to capture!!
You can see more of Andrea's work on her blog and facebook page, and see more of her beautiful iphone photoraphy on her instagram feed.