ICA INSIGHT // Tips to Taking Better Everyday Pictures


No I'm not talking about taking better selfies. I'm talking about taking better everyday pictures of your life, adventures & your loved ones.

I'm going to bet you probably take at least 1-2 pictures a day with your cell phone. Whether it's a silly snap with the latest filter or maybe it's a daily photo you text your significant other, your mom or your bestie.

We take pictures every day.
Why not take better ones & do justice to the small every day adventures that make up your beautiful life?

Ps. Enjoy a peek at my iphone's camera roll & my every day adventures. All images below are taken from my iphone 5s with a little help from my favorite photo app: vsco cam.

Tip #1. Clean your camera/cell phone.

This is such a silly thing to say but it's makes a big difference in your photos. I'm sure you can tell which image above was taken before I cleaned the camera (left) & after (right)? It's the difference between a frame-able photo or one that never gets printed at all. Which one would you take the time to print? 

Plus cell phones are notorious for being the dirtiest thing we own. A daily cleaning couldn't hurt. Am I right?

Of course there are those exceptions like a dreamy photo of you & your best friends that no amount of smudge can keep you from printing (ie. this picture of me and my girls). But you bet your bottom that If I had taken the time to wipe my phone clean, it would have been an even better photo. Lesson learned.

2. Know how to use light

The absolute, most fundamental aspect of photography is knowing how to use light. Any & every professional photographer will tell you that much. Good light, bad light, harsh light, or low light. What makes each photographer different is how they use light (and editing) to give their work a distinct style.

So what does that mean for you & your cellphone? Here's the simplest break down I can give you.
A. Always find the best light to light your subject. Put your hand out in front of you & look for the light that casts the least amount of shadows on your hand.
B. On an iphone when you open up you camera app & tap on the subject matter in the frame and a box next to a sun icon will appear. Move that sun icon up & down to change the exposure  (brightness or darkness) of your image & then shoot.
C. Editing in your camera roll, on instagram, or with a photo editing app can help in pinch after the photo is already taken. 

Lastly, cell phones now a days have incredible camera quality. But if you don't know how to instruct your camera on exactly how to take the photo the way you want it to, it limits the possibilities of your image results. On a DSLR this is the difference of shooting automatic or shooting manual. 

*If you want to learn how to shoot manual (Though I am a Nikon user) Canon can teach you more about exposure & how to shoot manual HERE.

3. Share your vantage point.

Be the narrator of your day to day adventures by sharing photos through your eyes, through your vantage point. What do you see when you look up or down, or across the room that others can't see except for you? 

When taking photos of other people don't simply point & shoot (ex: the image on the left. Though I love this photo of my husband, niece & nephew). Tell the story from their vantage point instead (ex. the image on the right). For this second image I got down to my husband's level & waited for this sweet moment to unfold. 

The photo on the left was alright, but the photo on the right feels like I'm right their with them.

4. Take in the scenery

Photos of people I love are THEE most important photos I own. But to tell better every day stories I always take a second to take in the scenery. 

How many good books, or great movies start by setting the scene? What are the opening scenes to your favorite tv shows? Don't they usually start by sharing a glimpse of where the plot is taking place? This is how I think as I take photos on new adventures.

5. Don't stop! Capture life in ACTION

My tried & true, very-best-tip & my #1 intention for every wedding & portrait session is to capture life in action. You know I love me some posed photos, but the beauty of photography is that a photo freezes time, it freeze a single moment & a single action. 

You don't recall memories by recalling every time you posed for a photo do you? No. You most likely remember life events by recalling the exact thing you were doing on that day.

You recall the way you felt as you walked down the aisle at your wedding. You recall the way you felt when the Dr. handed your baby to you after giving birth. You remember kissing that sweet baby of yours for the first time. You remember the first time your significant other held your hand. 

Capture life's actions & remember life is about living. Not photographs. Let life happen & if a moment is special, don't spoil it by posing or staging a photo, simply capture it. This is my favorite insight on taking better every day photos.

I've just realized that these five tips are actually my five secrets to how I capture ALL my images, professional & personal. Take these tips out for a spin & if you are on instagram please use the hashtag #icainsight because I'd love to see your every day adventures come to life too!