Insight from our Brand Manager, Lily Cobb, on how to take Jackie quality photos and the equipment you need to get started.
For those of you who don’t know me, My name is Lily Cobb and I am the Brand Manager, Lead Photographer, and a Personal Stylist at Jackie. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Photography from the University of Central Florida and have been doing wedding and portrait photography for over six years. In this blog, I will be sharing with you some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years on how to take better photos with any camera.
Let’s start with the camera that can be found right in your pocket, your phone! It is with you everywhere you go and with each new one that comes out, the camera keeps getting better and better.
Here are my simple tips on how to take better phone pictures:
*All photos seen below were taken on an iPhone XS Max.
1. If You are Inside, Look for a Window
The best place to stand when indoors for a photo is anywhere there is natural light pouring in. Your photos will be more vibrant if the light is bright.
2. If Outside, Find Shade or Shoot in Direct Sunlight
My best tip for outdoor portraits is to find shade and to not backlight your subjects. Instead, find your nearest doorway or awning to stand under for a nice, even, well-lit portrait. For colors to POP on a phone picture, consider having your subject stand in direct sunlight. Colors appear even sharper and brighter when its a sunny day with no clouds!
3. Move Closer to Your Subjects Instead of Zooming
Moms and Grandmas, this one is for you. I repeat, do not zoom! I know it is tempting but the moment you start zooming, the picture loses a significant amount of data and will appear grainy. My suggestion is to always move closer to your subject instead of zooming!
3. Utilize Portrait Mode
*Pro Tip: Make sure there is plenty of light available for portrait mode otherwise the picture will appear grainy.
For many years, one of the main draws to “nicer, bigger” cameras was the blurry backgrounds in photos, in photography terms, it is what we like to call “Bokeh”. The buttery soft backgrounds that make your subjects POP. The iPhone has done an exceptional job with incorporating this into their latest phones. My only suggestion when utilizing Portrait Mode is to make sure you have plenty of light. When there is not enough light the portraits will appear blurry or extremely grainy. In my opinion, Portrait Mode looks the best when used outdoors in the daylight!
4. Download Lightroom App for Mobile
I use my own personal presets for Jackie but I always edit in the Lightroom app on my phone. In this app you will be able to make minor adjustments to your photos like Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Temperature, and Saturation. Although some pictures look amazing straight out of camera. I have found that most photos could always use a little adjusting to make them picture perfect!
Next, this is for you ladies who might be reading this and are interested in investing in some better photography equipment for your family photos, travel photos, and fashion/ lifestyle photos and have no idea where to begin.
Here are my top picks for photography equipment for beginners:
I am a Canon girl through and through and my first ever camera was the Canon Rebel T3i with the starter lenses kit. Rebel’s are amazing because they are at a good price point and if you do the lenses kit, you already are set up with two great lenses, a camera bag, and a memory card.
Whenever you are ready to take your portrait photography to the next level, the first lens I suggest investing in is this little beauty. Small but mighty, the 50mm 1.4 gives your portraits that beautiful bokeh we spoke about earlier and will fit onto your T7i.
What You Can Find in My Camera Bag Every Day
This was my first full frame DSLR camera and has been my go-to camera body for the past 4 years. The step up to a full frame sensor is a world of difference with how much light it brings in and how much more you can get into the frame.
This is my favorite lens ever. The sharpness & bokeh this lens gives you is truly unbeatable. With that said, this one can be tricky to focus so I recommend only investing in this one if you have been doing photography for awhile.
With a little bit of a wider angle, it is my go-to lens because it is so versatile!
Whenever I find myself in low light situations, I throw this on top of my camera to bring in some extra light.
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