9 Tips for Taking Gorgeous Family Photos With Your Phone

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Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show Aired October 13, 2017

We love those DSLRs, but let's be honest: More often than not, it's your phone that you're snapping pics with.

And that little puppy should not be underestimated!

Packed with the latest technology, your phone can capture some STUNNING photos, and we're going to teach you how to take the best of the best, of the thing you love most — your family.

We recruited NYC-based family photographer Michelle Rose Sulcov to share her best tips on how to capture gorgeous family photos (she would know!) using just your phone.

Read on for her 9 best tips!

1. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PHONE IN HAND

"This is my #1 tip!" says Michelle. While it may sound like a no-brainer, the photographer explains, "You never know when the moment for a photo will pop up. It could be bedtime, while watching TV or just out for a casual walk. So be prepared!"

2. GET YOURSELF A POPSOCKET

Say hello to this little friend: the PopSocket. It's a button that attaches to the back of your phone and accordions out into a grip, giving you the stability you need to take a crisp pic. "The genius part is that it can also be used as a little tripod to prop your phone up when you using the self-timer function," says Michelle. (Sounds pretty ingenious to us!)

3. SELF-TIMER IS YOUR BFF

It's the perfect way to snap casual photos of you and your family — hands-free! You can use a pop socket to prop it up or, as Michelle says she sometimes does, lean it against a ledge or a tree.

But a note: It can be hard to get your kids to sit for the 10-second self-timer waiting time, so be prepared! (More on this later.)

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4. TAKE A LOAD OFF

One of the best angles for your family photo? Right above you. Have your whole family lay down on the bed (or the floor, or a picnic blanket outside) and snap a pic from overhead. "One of my clients does this all the time, and she gets the best results!" Michelle says. "Not only is it ridiculously flattering, but it’s really easy."

Of course, you can also shoot just your newborn from above — like Michelle did here!

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show


5. USE THOSE VOLUME BUTTONS

The last thing you want in your family photo is your arm, stretched out through the photo, clearly aiming for the capture button. That's why you should take advantage of the volume buttons, which for iPhone users, also function as a shutter release. Hold one down, and you'll get a burst of photos — one of which is bound to be a winner!

6. FIND YOUR LIGHT (AND YOUR LIGHT BOX)

Anything backlit (i.e. the sun is behind you) can be tricky, because your phone will automatically adjust to the brightest part of your image, putting your subject in serious shadow. That said, you still want light — and the best light is natural light. So if you're inside, position yourself near a window.

Here's another pro tip for iPhone users: If you hold your finger down on one spot of the screen, it will focus there — and you can adjust the lighting there, too. Just wait for the box to pop up and a little flash symbol (or sun) will appear next to it, which you can scroll up or down to adjust the light.

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7. THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT — “THAT” BEING EDITING

And by an app, we mean many! But Michelle loves two most: AirBrush and Photofy.

"AirBrush has some nice filters, including makeup filters," she says. (Her personal favorite is the "Rosy" filter at about 20 or 30 percent.) The app can also take care of dark circles, acne spots and teeth whitening.

Meanwhile, with Photofy, you can add some extra-cute text overlays (like the one Michelle shared with us, below). "I really love the text overlays they have for announcing monthly baby birthdays," she says. "There's also fun illustrated clip art you can add to your pics!"

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show
Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show


8. AIM DOWNWARDS

Want to go the selfie route (and highlight your best jawline)? For the most flattering photos, Michelle says to hold your phone (or your camera, for that matter!) slightly higher than your face, with your arm straight out and your phone angled down towards you. (#Flawless.)

9. AND WHEN ALL ELSE IS LOST…

Your babies just won't sit still? Michelle understands — and promises this: "There's no shame in bribing your kids to sit down for a photo. The promise of a snack or a toy can go a long way!"

And when all is said and done? You can print them out using a phone dock printer. And lucky for you, we're giving a few away to some lucky shutterbugs! For your chance to win a Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi 4x6” Photo Printer, click here!

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