Photo tips

Summer iPhone photo tips!

Every Tuesday I’ll be posting two quick iPhone tips to help you make the best of your summer photo opportunities.


Tip#1 Clean your lens you filthy animal! This is so basic but you handle your phone all day long with your oily hands and when you’re not using it, it sits in your dusty pocket.  That lens usually has a dusty, oily film on it and it shows up in your photos.  If you have a soft dust free cloth with you give it a wipe before you start shooting.  If not, I’ve used my shirt or my friend’s shirts if they look cleaner.

This is my phone – I’m a filthy animal lol

Tip#2 Shoot during golden hour.   Lighting is everything!  I know, sometimes you don’t always have the luxury of waiting for the perfect light but at some point at the end of the day, when the sun is low on the horizon the perfect light shows up – Take advantage of it and take some photos.  If you’re taking selfies or group shots, make sure the golden light is hitting the subjects face.  And if you love landscape photography, shoot that sunset!   A little sunset tip:  put some people in your shot and embrace the silhouette. Having people in a sunset shot makes it more than ‘just another sunset’ – it makes it a story.  

Having people in your sunset shot elevates it to a story.

Holiday Photo Tip #6


Ok, you’ve taken some great shots this holiday season!  Now what?  Most of us use our digital photos to share on social media like Instagram or Facebook.  Both of those sites compress the images to save space so all of your hard work may not look as awesome as they did on your screen but they are still the best way to share photos with your friends and family. 

Some photographers have used Flickr or SmugMug to share their images; these sites display your images with much better quality and user experience but they don’t integrate as seamlessly with with your social media, however you can still add a link to a Facebook post.   If you want to  share images privately, email or messenger the links from these photo sharing sites with your group.  Of the two sites, SmugMug  provides ways for your family and friends to easily order prints directly from their site.

PRINTING RECOMMENDATION: For printing and framing, I’ve used and I really loved their prices and user interface.  They provide custom framing so if you have a non-standard size image, they can build a custom Mat and Frame for it.  They’ll also frame pretty much anything so if you have a physical item or memorabilia you can send that to them and create a custom frame or frame box for it.   

POST PROCESSING: For you professional amateurs in the group with nice cameras I have one piece of advice for you: Shoot everything in RAW format so you can make those critical adjustments in Adobe Bridge or Lightroom. You’ll be able to fix the white balance, exposure or color in a more fine-tuned way.  After you’ve worked your magic you can export them as JPG files for easy uploading to social media or for prints and enlargements.

If you’re an iPhone user, the best App to buy for your post processing is  “Camera Plus”. 

If you are signed up for the Adobe CreativeCloud, you can try Photoshop Express or Photoshop Fix.  

You can print up to 8X10 with your iPhone photos with pretty good quality and there are plenty of websites that offer quality prints and reasonable prices.

I hope these tips were helpful!  Happy Holidays to everyone…go out and take some great shots!


Six Holiday Photo Tips – Tip #3


Shooting a big group can be challenging. Let’s face it, most people don’t like getting their photo taken and when you put them in a big group, a few of them can get impatient with the process. Let them know what to expect; tell them how many shots you’re going to take. If they know that you’re shooting a dozen shots to make sure their eyes are open and they all look fabulous it helps – everyone wants to look good.  If it’s a simple shot with one pose – take about 10 shots.  If you have an energetic group that wants to have fun or you have a few poses or actions to do, take 20 or more.

If you have an action; like, for instance, everyone jumping or a specific theme in mind, get them on board with it. Sell your idea,  get them to visualize the photo.  I find that if they know what’s coming and they understand where you’re coming from they will have more fun with it.

Be open to suggestions – you may know exactly how you want to shoot a group but if you stay in the moment, sometimes the energy and suggestions of the group can uncover some really fun photo ideas.

Make sure they all know to look directly into the camera – I know that seems obvious but once I’ve downloaded the photos, you’d be surprised how many people are looking off to the side or distracted by something.

Make the process fun for yourself and for everyone in the group and you’ll end up with some really exciting photos!

Next post:  POSES.

Happy Halloween


Halloween keeps sneaking up on me.  My friends seem to always be ten steps ahead of me, planning their costumes and finding the right party or haunted house to attend.  Me, on the other hand, wakes up on Halloween day with no costume and no plan.   Which is why I suppose I’d rather photograph the costumes than wear them.

If you’re planning to take photos this year, here are a few tips to make them stand out.

Shoot as much as you can before it gets dark.

Photography is all about using light so if you want to capture some nice images shoot at dusk.  If there’s still some light available you’ll be able to include the background in the shot and avoid using your flash

Stoop down to the level of your subject.

If you have kids and you’ve dressed them up in adorable costumes, make sure you get down to their level to compose your shot.

Fill your frame.

Whether you’re shooting with your iPhone or a nice digital SLR, move closer to your subject compose your shot.  Take a few shots, one wide and some close up portraits.

Keep still.

If you’re shooting stationary objects like a jack-o-lantern or other Halloween accessories, take your time, keep your camera steady and try a slightly longer shutter speed.  If you can, use a little tripod or set your camera down on something stable so you don’t have camera shake.


Have a safe and sane Halloween!