…also known as “How to get your photos featured in Homemade Parties!” 😂We’ve got new tips today and this time it’s all about taking photos using your camera phone. Most of us shoot our DIY parties and party preps using our camera phones so hopefully these basic tips will help you take better photos to capture these fun times. Today’s pro – photographer, supermom and crafter Camille King of @momwithcam – is no stranger to HMP. We’ve seen her parties in our round-ups and happy to see her gracing the blog for a guest post. Read on!
You planned your DIY party and ticked off a lot of things on your to do list. Venue is confirmed. DIY lootbags completed. Buntings are ready. Cake is frosted. Backdrop, dessert table and candy buffet are set-up. Now it is time to take the photos. You spent a lot of time and effort working on all the pretty details of your party. Make sure that the photos show these. You styled and DIY-ed your party like a pro. Your photos should look professional as well. Here are some tips to achieve this.
1. Decide what to include and exclude in the photo. Everything in the photo must be deliberate, intentional and purposeful.
Before taking a photo, make it a habit to look all around the frame to determine if there are any items that should be excluded (or included in the photo). Inspect the background and the foreground. Are there any items that should not be included in the photo and detracts from the subject? A common thing I see in photos shared on social media is stand fan in the background. Funny, but true! If so, move the item out of the way or change the camera angle to exclude it.
In this photo, I was taking an image of my planner and craft supplies. In the background and outside the window, there is a yellow object that distracts from my subjects. This is actually a parked motorcycle covered with a yellow tarpaulin.
I cannot move the motorcycle out of the way so I simply changed the angle of my photograph by taking it from a higher angle. This is the resulting photo. Better right?
Conversely, are there any items that should be included in the photo to complete the story or to improve the image? If so, move it into the frame or change your perspective/framing to include it.
My mom made these cute loot bags for my daughter’s 10th birthday. I took two different images. The image on the left does not include the throw pillows in the background. I felt that it lacked dimension and depth. So I took another image (on the right), this time including the pillows.
2. Ensure lines are straight and parallel to viewfinder of the camera.
This is an easy and simple tip to implement. There is nothing more distracting than having images that look as if the subjects are going to fall off the image.
This a Halloween themed table that we styled for a craft party. Table is not straight or parallel to the sides of the photo. This is my pet-peeve and it makes me sad seeing photos like this because it is an easy fix.
Isn’t it so much better this way?
3. It is all about the light!
It is 10pm, the children are in bed and this is the only time to do DIY projects, take a photo of the finished project and share on social media. However, it isn’t the best time to take photos. It is dark and you only have overhead, artificial light. Artificial light (from ceiling lights and the flash on your smartphone) is harsh and casts strong shadows on and around the subjects which isn’t very pretty.
To take pretty photos of your craft projects, you need soft, natural light (unless you have studio lights and know how to use them). During the day, find a window with indirect, natural light, preferably diffused with sheer curtain if it is harsh light. Turn off all artificial lights from lamps, ceiling lights and the flash on your phone. Place your craft project on a surface at the same level as the window. I like to use side lighting.
Here is an example of photo taken of my craft supplies at 9pm with ceiling lights as my light source. Can you see all the harsh shadows? Not pretty at all!
Here is an example of the same items using natural light from a window. Isn’t this so much prettier? Shadows are subtle and fall to one side instead of all around.
4. Adjust exposure / brightness before taking the photo.
As I mentioned, I use my iPhone 6 (with iSight Camera) to take photos of 98% of my images on Instagram. As soon as I am ready to take a photo and my set-up is complete, I hold my phone facing the subject then tap and hold on the screen, specifically on the subject. By doing this, a yellow square with a sun icon will appear. A yellow bar with the words AE/AF lock will appear on the top portion of the screen. This means that the exposure and focus is locked on the area tapped. To adjust exposure or brightness, slide the sun icon up or down to achieve the desired exposure/brightness.
5. Use different viewpoints.
Use a variety of angles to mix up look of images. The most common we see on Instagram is the flat lay which is a photo taken from above. There is no right or wrong viewpoint to use. It all depends on the your artistic vision.
6. Share a work in progress with a flat-lay (or other angle)
I like sharing work in progress photos to generate excitement or to show the progress of my project.
7. Be mindful of your styling and composition. Here are some tips on how to take great photos just by how the elements are arranged in your frames.
Fill the frame with the subject. These are cute Easter bunny lootbags made by my mom.
Take vignettes. A vignette in styling or interior design is grouping of objects usually arranged on a table. This is different from a flatlay because a flatlay is taken from above.
Include the environment in the image to strengthen it with the setting/location. This is my kitchen.
Take close-up detail shots.
Use negative (empty) space to draw attention to your subject…
…or, center the subject.
You can also position the elements in the photo so that the viewer’s eye moves across the frame. This keeps the attention of the viewer longer.
8. Edit and share!
Photographers are taught and trained to capture beautiful images straight out of the camera (also known as SOOC). In photography workshops I attended, assignment submissions must be unedited or SOOC. Even cropping was not allowed. With that being said, there are times when minor editing is necessary. I use Instagram to edit my photos if I am sharing on Instagram. I use Pic-tap-go App for sharing to other social media sites. I only do minor tweaks (crop/straighten, adjust brightness, highlights, shadows, warmth, sharpness) to my images. I don’t use heavy filters that alter its color.
About the author: “I love crafts and DIY, I enjoy taking photos and I love sharing on Instagram! Visit my feed and follow me. My name is Camille King and I go by @momwithacam. I would appreciate it if you say hello. I get a lot of direct messages asking what type of camera I use to capture the images I share on my feed. I also get questions as to what types of filters I use. To be completely honest, 98% of the images in my feed were taken with my iPhone. As for filters, I don’t use any! I find that the filters alter the colors of my image and I like my photos to be as close to the colors in real life, as much as possible. This is a personal preference and an artistic decision so feel free to use them if you like. People are surprised when they find out that I use my phone for majority of the images in my feed and that I don’t use heavy filters. Expensive or special equipment are not necessary! Follow me on Instagram and visit my website www.camillekingphotography.com for more tutorials and inspiration. Please use the #momwithacam and tag @momwithacam if you are sharing a photo with tips learned above. I would love to see them!”