Rock Your Camera Phone–From Snap To Print {Ann Arbor Family Photographer}

Once upon a time I brought my big camera with me everywhere.  Because my 3 and 5 year old also came with me everywhere, I started to feel like I had a third child–which was a bit much for me. I reluctantly started using my camera phone instead. Then I upgraded my iphone 4s to the iphone6, and I fell head over heels with it. Along with the faster shutter speed and improved sensor, I have found several apps to play with that allow me to take better shots with the phone camera. I also like that I can do a little OR a lot of post processing right on my phone. I thought I would share some of my favorite apps. I hope it helps you to capture your little ones while on the go too,  and to learn how to get the most out of your phone camera.

1. Camera Apps

The camera app that comes with the phone is okay. I like that I can move the focus around (that square that appears when you tap the screen) and adjust the exposure (the sunshine–slide it up to brighten, down to darken). This is especially helpful if you have bright light behind your subject. Put the focus on your subject and the camera will expose for your subject.

However, I find the color to be a bit cool. Instead of the camera app that came with it, I like to use the Afterlight app or Vsco Cam app. I find the colors to be more true to life (warmer skin tones).

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2. Editing (Basic & Creative)

Once I have a snap I like, I use Afterlight for basic edits. Here is the SOCC (straight out of camera) shot.

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Then I adjust the crop. In this case, I crop in tight to remove my hand and play with the angle a little bit.

Next I make some minor tweaks to exposure, temperature, and saturation. Now I have this.

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At this point, I save to my camera roll. If I want to do more creative editing, I can continue in Afterlight and play around with filters OR I can add different textures with Mextures or Glaze. In this case. I used the glaze app to make it look like a painting.

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3. Organizing  

Collect App

This app is a nice way to create a visual journal of your life. You can simply add photos from your day to the calendar. In this case, I usually just pic a favorite or two that I want to print in the future.

Ann Arbor newborn photographer

Instagram and hashtagging #notjustaplacetoinsertacleverquip

I love instagram for the simplicity of just sharing a picture and connecting with other photographers. The hashtag (#) is great for organizing your pictures and connecting with like-minded photogs.

4. Printing:

I took pictures and video of my daughter’s first steps on my google phone. They are still there because I never got them off the phone. Now I can’t find the charger or the cord to connect it to my computer. I have learned my lesson and have started importing my iphone photos into Lightroom. You can also use whatever imaging software that came with your computer. Even better, you can send your photos from your phone to the printer. Here are a couple of my favorite apps for creating albums and printing right from your phone.

Artifact Uprising

This app collects photos from your instagram feed. You create the album right from your phone! You can add text or it will pull the date from the image. I love the little albums and my kiddos love seeing our phone photos in a book. When we got the first one, my daughter realized my son was in a lot more pictures than she was. Probably because he is a ham and she covers her face and runs from the camera. 😉 When I pointed this out, she had me take her picture right away so she could be in my next book. 🙂

Ann Arbor family photographer

Ann Arbor family photographer


I have not used this app, but I thought this one might appeal to people who have A LOT of photos stored up to print.

Books to Me

This is a really cool concept. Basically, you download the app, sign up for a monthly plan, and the photos are taken right from your camera phone and put into an album, printed, and shipped to you each month. You don’t have to do anything but take the pictures and pay the monthly fee. I have not tried this one out yet, but think I might give it a try when the weather warms up and we are out and about more.

I hope this gives you ideas on how to best use your camera phone to document AND print your memories. 🙂

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