Go Karts & Instagram!

When your neighbors have go karts and there are open lots across the street… supercharged racing will ensue!!  


These were all taken with my Canon 5DMarkIII and my Tamaron 70-200mm f/2.8… that’s how I’m able to freeze time!  But what about using your phone?  Can you capture these shots using the phone in your hand?  Maybe… the technology has come a LONG way!  You can command a camera phone better than ever, but you will still have to follow some rules of photography to make your phone pictures pop! 

For instance, if you want to take better pictures of your kiddos for posting on instagram… first and for most make sure your camera phone lens is clean!  Oil and grime can collect on the lens and will make your pictures cloudy and blurry.  Clean gear does matter!

Second, look for the light!!  The definition of photography is “painting with light”… so you’ve got to figure out where the good light is!  Indirect, diffused light is hard to see at first, but it’s definitely some of the best light to play with!  Harsh sunlight will make your kiddos squint and give them super harsh shadows.   So look around… where’s the shade?  Ok good!  Now put them in the shade and try to see where the light illuminates their face (this requires both of you being flexible & moving around – you don’t want any uneven lighting/shadows/bright spots on their face).

Third, look at their eyes… do you see the little twinkle?  You are actually looking for the catchlight in their eyes (yes this is an actual photography term!).  You might have to get closer or zoom in the camera lens to see the catchlights but they make a HUGE difference.  If you are in good light and can see the catchlights in their eyes – you’ve found a sweet spot!  Without the catchlights, the eyes seem dull and lifeless in the final picture.  I generally focus on the eyes when I’m taking pictures… the more light and catchlight I can find, the better the picture! 

Now quick focus on their face and click the picture before they move!!  

Oh, one more thing, there is a TON of distortion that comes with these little hand-held super charged camera phones!  To reduce the effect of distortion, turn your camera sideways so it looks like more of a traditional point & shoot camera.  Not only will you have more background interest in the picture, but you will avoid some of the distortion!  Another trick is to watch the angle of your camera.  If you are standing too close and pointing the camera down at your kiddos, their heads will look way bigger then their bodies!  Although this is fun occasionally, it’s not ideal for good pictures.  Step back and keep your camera more level to get a more pleasing shot.  This holds true for videos as well… turn the phone so you have more field of view in your video!


Now just upload to instagram!  Hope that helps!  Happy snapping!!  

Jeremy Waterhouse