How to Take a Great Photo of Your Child Using Your iPhone

Taking a great photo of your child is not an impossible feat for the everyday Mama! The latest iPhones are equipped with the technology to capture beautiful photos of our babies. I for one, love to use my iPhone 8 Plus as an everyday camera at home or when we’re out and about. With its portrait mode, shallow depth of field & editing options it’s possible for anyone to capture amazing photos of their kids!

Many of my friends ask … how do you take such great photos of your kids on your phone? They chalk it up to the fact that I’m a photographer and while yes, I am a professional photographer, who is accustomed to manipulating DSLR cameras in manual mode, I’ll be the first to tell you that “anyone” can achieve awesome results with an iPhone camera!

I will give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to take a beautiful image of your kid using your iPhone camera and then how to edit it using the phone’s editing options (no other apps needed) within minutes!

Here’s an image I captured and edited yesterday, using my iPhone. I didn’t want to have to take out my professional equipment for a quick shot of my daughter! I will start with the finished product so you can see what you’re capable of creating if you follow these simple steps below!

 This is my 4-year-old daughter. I simply wanted a cute photo of her in front of this pretty tree with pink blossoms that’s in our backyard.

This is my 4-year-old daughter. I simply wanted a cute photo of her in front of this pretty tree with pink blossoms that’s in our backyard.

Most people think, I want to take a photo of my kid ~ so they whip out the phone and quickly click on the camera icon, snap really fast & then done, time to post it on Instagram. First, I took the type of snap shot that most Mama’s would capture of their child in this circumstance (see the image below). I mean, it’s cute right? The thing is, it will take a little more effort to get a better quality image!

Are you ready to learn how? Continue on below.

 I would consider this a quick snap and done. Notice how it’s dark, there’s a lot of negative space, everything is sharp, you can see a pile of unwanted items on the left, the gate is crooked. I mean its decent, but it doesn't wow you in any way.

I would consider this a quick snap and done. Notice how it’s dark, there’s a lot of negative space, everything is sharp, you can see a pile of unwanted items on the left, the gate is crooked. I mean its decent, but it doesn't wow you in any way.

Rather then take a photo in this hurried fashion, stop and think about what you are trying to achieve and then select the appropriate option within the camera mode. In this case, I knew I wanted a pretty photo of my daughter with the tree in the background but I wanted it to look a little bit more professional (without having to use my DSLR). If you select the camera icon on your phone you will see a few options; such as, video, photo, portrait, etc. (see below). In order to accomplish a more professional look I selected the “portrait” option (see below) and got closer to the subject (my daughter) so that she was much larger in the frame.

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Straight out of the camera phone the photo was decent but rather dull looking and overall pretty dark because it was a bit cloudy outside. So i decided it needed a little bit of editing to really make it pop. If you look at the top right corner of the image you will notice a blue icon that says “Edit” ~ click on it.

If you have selected the “Edit” option within your photo you will see a few icons at the bottom of your image. (see below) I selected the one that looks like three circles, then you will see different color options appear. I selected the “Vivid” option to bring out the color and contrast.

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The image looks more colorful but the horizon is still crooked so I selected the little “crop icon” at the bottom and straightened out the horizon by moving the line slightly to the right (image below).

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The photo is still dark so I decided to manipulate the lighting. I selected the “sun icon” on the bottom (image on the left). Then a drop down menu appeared (image on the right).

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The first option I selected was “Shadows.” Look at the bottom of the photo, you will see a bar that starts in the middle on a dot (you can move it to the left or right to add or reduce shadows). I moved it to the right to reduce the shadows, don’t go crazy here just move it to where it looks brighter but still natural.

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The last option I selected was “brightness.” I didn’t add too much here, just a slight amount to give it a more sunshiny feel.

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It probably took me 5 minutes to take this photo of my daughter. She’s four, so as you can imagine she didn’t quite cooperate perfectly, she actually fell off of the stump and was being goofy, then my dogs were photobombing her. I took over 40 images until I got a few I really loved. Add another 5 minutes (or less) for the editing. Once you’re familiar with where everything is on the camera app and how it all works, it’s actually really easy to get a great shot and you can do it quickly. It doesn’t take a professional to capture an everyday moment of your child using your phone!

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When it Rains on Your Parade, aka Your Family Photo Session

Living in South Florida, it is impossible to avoid unforeseen rain storms! And when photographing families is your job … it can be a huge bummer! Most of the time we avoid the drama all together by calling off & rescheduling the session; however, sometimes it’s just not possible. Why? Clients only in town for that one day, no job flexibility with people who work demanding careers that require weekends or the weather forecast flat out did not show any rain … ugh!

In the case with this session, we happened to just arrive at our location and then the torrential rain started to pour on us. We sadly stood under a covered garage and watched it rain while trying to figure out what to do. We decided to stick it out and hope for the best because rescheduling wasn’t a possibility.

Here are Some Tips For a Rainy Predicament:

  • First and foremost, give the client a chance to reschedule for optimal light and sun!

    • make sure they are on-board with going with the flow and make sure they are willing to be ok with the results of potentially rainy photos

  • Have patience! The odds are the storm will pass.

    • we waited and it eventually stopped completely

  • Be creative! Is there a place for you to still photograph that is under cover?

    • in our case we found a covered parking structure and started our session underneath it, while it rained around us.

  • Be prepared! Do you have items that can be helpful for your session in this circumstance? (i.e. rain boots, umbrellas)

    • I was so happy that this client happened to have two adorable umbrellas that we were able to incorporate into the session.

  • When you are cool & calm, the clients will be too. So stay calm and carry on! :-)

    • We didn’t stress it, we went with the flow, we captured some amazing shots under the parking structure & guess what? The rain stopped, and we were able to venture around the area.

Check out the results of this situation below <3

Why Newborn Sessions Take So Long

On my previous two blog posts I described how the petite newborn session is a great option for capturing your newborn session completely at home or all outdoors; however, today I am going to explain why the full session happens to be my favorite option!

First of all, the full newborn session includes 3 hours of time (versus 90-minutes) and while this may seem like a tremendous amount of time to be taking photographs … I guarantee you, it isn’t! Many potential new clients might scratch their heads and wonder why soooo much time is needed for a newborn session.

*Here are a few reasons why a newborn session takes time & why a full three hour session is a great option:

  • Babies are unpredictable, you don’t know if they will be content or fussy

  • They will require several feeding breaks, which also includes time for burping

  • They will require one or more diaper changes, most likely even a diaper blowout

  • There will be clothing changes (whether by choice or if he or she happens to spit up on their clothing or even on you or your husband resulting in your clothing change)

  • Even if you opt for no clothing or just a diaper … time is needed for swaddling and re-swaddling

  • Now that you’ve fed and changed the baby multiple times guess what … we still need more time to settle them and get them to sleep for those adorable sleepy shots everyone loves … this is usually the easy part but some babies out there decide that they do not want to sleep for the first 2 hours of the session

  • Factor in extra time if you are wanting to use props and get them to sleep in cute accessories

  • If you have other children (especially toddlers), add-on more time because the odds are they might not cooperate like you thought, especially if they somehow missed a nap that day

  • If you’d like more than one look, as in …. not just in the nursery or not just at the park, but maybe you want to capture images indoors and outdoors as well, it will take a bit of time to pack up and maybe even drive to a different location

Check out this newborn session below. It was an amazing three hour lifestyle newborn session. We captured a variety of images in the nursery and Mom & Dad’s room, then jumped into our cars and headed to the beach which was only 10-minutes away. We were able to capture the family, the baby alone, the siblings, Mom with the baby, Dad with the baby and then do many of those same shots at the beach.

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Newborn Sessions with Multiple Siblings

I absolutely love capturing newborn sessions when older siblings are involved! It is so sweet to get to witness their absolute awe and wonder as they see their beautiful baby brother or sister, that’s been living in Mommy’s tummy for the past nine months. The focus is still the baby, so we focus on those images that show the other children loving on the baby.

Check out this sweet ALL outdoor newborn session at one of my favorite locations that incorporates three older sibling below

*My Must Have Sibling Shots are:

  • Holding & snuggling the baby in various ways (if the older sibling is old enough & trust worthy enough of course!)

  • Kissing the baby on the cheek

  • Gently touching the baby’s face or tickling their toes

  • Spending time with Mama who is holding the baby