Phone Photography Tips and Activity for Families


Don't you love taking photos? Whether it’s of your pet, your friends, or nature! Being able to capture and freeze extraordinary moments in your life is one of the coolest things about technology. However, photography can be a little overwhelming and frustrating when you’re new. Enjoy this photography guide, featuring my top 5 tips for a successful photo session!

Tip #1 - What is the Best Camera?

The best camera is the one you have! You do not need an expensive camera with fancy features. In fact, the most important thing new photographers need is the patience to practice. With this patience, you can use any camera and this includes a Pinwheel phone!

Tip #2 - The Subject is the Main Piece of the Puzzle

In every photo, there needs to be a subject. A subject is the main object in your photo, for example: a friend making a silly face, a toy on the stairs, or a pet sleeping! Whatever you choose, it is important that you aren’t too close and not too far away before you take the picture. 

Practice this step by step!

  1. Move as close as possible to your subject. Example: a sleeping cat on a bed. 
  2. Slowly back away from the cat and take a photo every few steps.
  3. When you are done, review which picture looks best. Maybe ask a friend!

This practice will help you understand the importance of depth of field (how far your camera can see). Every camera is different.

Tip #3 - Not Too Bright, Not Too Dark

One of the most important things to consider is light, which has the power to reveal all sorts of details. When taking a photo, check these three things:

  1. There should be enough light in your space to see the details of your subject with your own eyes. If you have to squint because it’s too bright or too dark, your camera won’t be able to see well either.
  2. The light should typically come from behind or above you. Play around with different directions! 
  3. Make sure there aren't too many shadows, which can make your picture dark and even grainy. 

Tip #4 - Choosing Your Angle

Isaiah McPeak, COO of Pinwheel playing the trumpet.

Did you know that photographers conduct experiments? When choosing an angle (the position of your camera), there are usually so many options to choose from, you have to test out many of them!

It’s always important to think about these three things:
  1. Does your subject look better when it's above you or below you?
  2. Should you stand directly in front or behind it?
  3. Move your feet! (example: move in a full circle around your subject to make sure you won't miss any hidden angles!) Imagine what will look best. 
Don’t be afraid to play with all the angles you can come up with. After experimenting, choose the angle you think looks best. The way you see it is completely unique! 

Tip #5 - Slow Down

It’s better to take one thoughtful picture than 10 pictures on-the-go. Before clicking your camera, study your subject closely with your own eyes and not through the lens. Take your time to notice the details and consider what you like or don't like.

Practice this Fun Photography Activity: 

  1. Find an object around your house, like a chair, a book, or a house plant!
  2. Move close enough to your object so that you can see all the details.
  3. Notice the color. How many colors are on your object?
  4. Feel it's surface. If you rub your finger on it, does it feel the same or does it change? Is it rough or smooth?
  5. After looking it over with your eyes, take a picture to see if your camera can pick up the same details you just saw with own your eyes.

There is no one right way to be a photographer! Taking good photos takes a lot of practice, but you can do it with patience and determination. Your pinwheel phone can help you on your way to taking beautiful photos. Just remember to have fun!

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again!”  -Zen Cho

Sunshine smiling