Using your Smartphone to take amazing photos of your kids

Devon Takenouchi

Posted on September 14 2018

With a new school year upon us there are countless opportunities to snap photos of our kids! And, as they saying goes in the photography world, the best camera you have is the one that's in your hands. And I really can’t think of a momma friend who doesn’t have a smartphone these days.  The technology in our phones has grown exponentially which allows nearly anyone to snap adorable photos of our children.
I’d like to explore a couple things that will help you take some amazing, stand out photos that you can proudly share on social media, friends and family!

Basics of the in camera phones

Most smart phones contain cameras.  With each new generation the camera lenses get more sophisticated, which is wonderful if you learn how to use them properly.  There are a couple tips that can really help you utilize the technology right at your fingertips.


  1. Use the grid to help align your photos.  This grid sets your image up into thirds, in the photography world we like to put our subject on one of the thirds rather than directly in the middle, this is called the “rule of thirds”. It helps frame your image and tell a bit more of a story. You will notice that I put my dog on the lower third of this image.  These lines also helps ensure that the horizons are straight on your image. 
  2. You can also choose what you want to be “exposed” on your photo.  You simply tap different areas and your phone will automatically adjust its settings to make the image darker or brighter. This is helpful when you have your kids in a sunny area and there is a bright light behind them. Simply tap where you would like your camera to expose for. If you tap on the bright background your subject will be a silhouette.  If you tap on your subject the phone will adjust and light up the subject.

  3. Some of the newer Iphone's have Portrait mode, which is my favorite feature to use. By putting your phone on this setting the background gets blurred out, isolating your subject and telling a stronger story.


Lighting matters

The first thing I learned as a photographer is that the quality and quantity of the light matters!  As a general rule of thumb I always put the light BEHIND my subjects.  This will create even light on their face and reduce crazy shadows that can be very distracting to the eye.  If I can’t find a shady spot to place my subject, I simply put their back to the sun - works like a charm! You can read a little more about this on my previous blogpost here.


Editing in your phone

Very rarely does a photo go untouched in my world.  And if you want to take the time to bring your phone photo game up a notch download an app to help make some adjustments to your images.  My favorite is the VSCO app but there are a number of other editing applications such as Snapseed, PicTapGo (you can go check out a ton more in the App store).

Editing can make a huge difference in your photos, sometimes salvaging an image that you might have otherwise gotten rid of.  This image was retouched using the VSCO app.


It doesn't hurt to have your kiddo dressed in a really cute outfit.  Check out our trendy girls' clothing section and our cool boys clothes department for outfits that really pop in photos!

If you want to see a little more of my photography you can head to my website! Those photos are taken with an old school FILM camera!

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