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Early in our marriage, I asked for a DSLR camera for my birthday. “It’ll be so great for when we have kids, Babe!” I definitely sold him on it.
Ha. Those young, idealistic, pre-kid days. Sure, I pull out the heavy-duty camera once in a while now. But mostly, I steal shots on the go with my phone as I chase my toddler around a playground, or while I wheel them around Target. Any moms relate?
You can, however, get frame worthy photos from a phone camera. With the right tools, and a few tips, you can capture those memories and treasure them for years to come. I’m partnering with Samsung Galaxy S9+ to share these tips, which has some amazing features of its own for taking vibrant pictures. All the pictures shown, except the ones of me AND the phone, are taken with the Samsung Galaxy S9+.
- Make sure your lens is clean for an optimal image.
- Keep an eye out for inspiration. Maybe it’s some street art, a cool wall, or a fountain. Or maybe you see a couple cool photos on Pinterest or Instagram you want to try. Think ahead, and then keep those things in mind when you’re out and about.
- To switch up from a center shot, try the rule of thirds. If you were to divide up your screen into thirds horizontally and vertically, try to have your subject fall on one of the lines, or where they meet.
- Play with angles. Get down to their level, do an overhead shot, or do head-on for different views. Getting down on their level has to be my favorite option. It really gives you more of a sense of their view of the world.
- Get up close, or step back and leave lots of space. It’s better to do this manually while you take the picture than to edit it later, which might affect the look of the photo.
- Lighting is key. I usually say always go with natural, indirect light. But with the Samsung Galaxy S9+, it’s designed with Dual Aperture, so you can take gorgeous photos in low light.
- There are all kinds of ways to make your kids smile. My kiddos do the silliest, “cheesiest” grins when they say “cheese,” but to get their attention and make them smile and laugh genuinely, I do other things. I pretend to sneeze, or play “peekaboo” with the camera in front of my face. I hold up a favorite toy, or point out something for them to notice.
- Don’t always go for the pose. Genuine, in-the-moment photos are so fun and really capture the feeling of the moment. Even if there aren’t smiles involved.
- Let them be goofy and wild. The most fun, vibrant pictures are the ones where the kids are running, jumping, making faces, doing some kind of acrobatic trick only kids can do. If they’re having fun, chances are you’ll get better shots too. Plus, digital photographs are free to take and easy to delete. So snap away!
- Get in the picture when you can. I’m probably in 10% of the photos of my kids on the phone, but I take them when I can get them, because I love having pictures of me with my kiddos. Have a friend take them for you, or set up self-timer. And if your friends are okay with it, take pictures of them with their kids in the moment. A friend does this for us when she can, and it’s always the most encouraging thing to see.
- When all else fails, bribe with gummies. Works every time.
- Figure out your subject, and focus the camera on it. You can do this by tapping on the screen. It doesn’t have to be a face. It could be their hand, something they’re holding, shoes, etc. Getting up close and focusing on the subject usually makes for a blurry background, which creates depth and is a more interesting picture.
- Take multiple pictures in a row. The Samsung Galaxy S9+ has a “slow-mo” feature where it will take multiple shots of something, and create a short, slow motion movie out of it. Plus you have multiple shots to choose from.
- Play with the different modes! You can take a selfie with a blurry background, or a wide selfie that captures a whole group. (Almost like a panoramic shot.) Use those modes for pics with the kiddos – or when you’ve had a particularly good hair day.
Let’s talk the Samsung Galaxy S9+ for a minute, because yes, it’s an incredible camera. I’m definitely impressed with the crisp, clear shots, and how easily it adjusts to the light.
But it also has new features that make for an amazing phone, too. The one that is mind-blowing to me is the Live Translation, which can literally translate words on a sign in front of you on your screen. I appreciate facial recognition, which makes unlocking a snap, and Dolby Atmos speakers for an unbelievable sound experience for entertainment. It’s even waterproof (which, with kids, is crucial).
If you’re looking to seriously upgrade your phone, this week is the week to do it. I got mine at Target, where you can buy a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+ and get a free $300 gift card with qualified activation on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon at participating Target stores. This week only, June 10-16.
Finally, can I just say how easy the process is to buy your phone from Target? We had a great experience, with a knowledgeable tech support person, and it didn’t take hours.
Which feature sticks out to you the most?