Hi! I’m Kaelynn, a friend of Nicole’s, and I am an absolute beginner at photography. As in, the friend whose friends say, “um…no, that’s okay, I’ll take the group photo myself.” But there is no time like the present (especially when the present is quarantine time!) to learn a new hobby. So join me on my beginner journey! Here are some things I’ve learned so far from exploring the picxtrix blog and my own phone camera.
1. Learn to Use the Camera App on Your Phone.
No really, guys, it can do a lot more than you think! (And the veteran photographers are probably rolling their eyes right now, lol.) A couple of things I figured out: on a Motorola phone, click on the little wheel in the top right corner and select “assistive grid” to turn on grid lines.
Tap the grid in the lower left corner to open the modes menu (or you can also do this by opening the camera and swiping right). Also, on a Motorola phone, the AE/AF lock will engage if you hold down the shutter button while in portrait mode, but if you do it while in photo mode it starts “burst mode” and takes multiple shots in a row. Watch the tutorial for your phone camera and get to know its many tips and tricks. There are so many fun things you can do!
2. Learn the Rule of Thirds.
This is such a simple concept and so easy to practice. I was shocked how much it improves the pictures I take. For some reason I always thought pictures should be centered on the subject! Read more about the rule of thirds here: https://picxtrix.com/professional-pictures-phone.
3. Download a free photo editing app
Donwload Snapseed and learn to use it. If you haven’t yet, download Nicole’s free ebook here https://picxtrix.com/free-ebook-snapseed for an introduction on using Snapseed.
4. Learn How to Use Foreground/ Background and Portrait Mode
Learn more about portrait mode here: https://picxtrix.com/flower-photography-tips-phone. Portrait mode, focusing on the subject in the foreground and using Glamour Glow effect in Snapseed
5. Practice planning out your shot and eliminating distractions.
Yes, it sounds like such a no-brainer but it never occurred to me. And in my house, there are kid things everywhere. Taking ten seconds to clear up the clutter makes a huge difference!
6. Try Using a Tripod
Consider investing in a tripod to stabilize your shots, such as the Joby GripTight Micro. Link here: https://picxtrix.com/product/joby-micro-stand
7. Learn the Basics of Lighting
Learn the basics of lightning and exposure. Check this link to learn more about exposure: https://picxtrix.com/exposure-for-mobile-photography
8. Connect with other photographers.
Beginning mobile photography can seem daunting and intimidating. These pictures are some of the pictures I took while learning. By following the steps outlined above, and the other tips in the picxtrix blog, you can begin to scratch the surface of all there is to learn. I hope that you can begin to feel as I do—that photography is fun to learn, and it’s never too late to start! Follow @picxtrix on Instagram for inspiration and ideas!