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Take Better Photos With Your iPhone

By | Baby Photography, Baby Photography Apps, DYI Baby Photography | No Comments

Taking great pictures takes time + practice. Some people practice for years to get it right! But, let’s face it. We don’t always have the time or money to invest in professional photography gear. But most of us DO have a iPhone! We wanted to share our top 10 tips for taking better photos with your iPhone!

1 + Wipe off camera lens: This is such an easy tip, but one that’s forgotten a lot. Your phone is constantly being tossed around, going in and out of diaper bags and purses. And if you’re like me, it ends up dropped on the floor A LOT. Before taking your next shot, wipe off the lens on the back. It’ll make a huge difference.

2+Natural light is KEY: This is probably the most important tip of photography. Look for the light. Natural light is the best kind. I actually prefer turning off lamps and overhead light to reduce the yellow tint in my photos. Another great tip- if you’re outside, look for a shady spot to take a photo instead of BRIGHT sun.

3+ Tap on screen to adjust brightness: When in your camera app, tap on different parts of the screen to adjust the brightness. I always touch the darkest part of the photo and then swipe up with my finger to make it brighter.

4+ Keep it LOCKED: Hold your finger on the screen (in the camera app) for a couple of seconds to LOCK the screen. This means that the settings freeze where they are.

5+ Be super still: Another one of those tips that’s super simple, but easily forgotten. Try not to move when your taking a photo. I know it’s hard when your chasing after a toddler. Keep your hands as still as possible to keep a photo sharp.

6+ Check your background: When taking photos of my daughter, I look for neutral, plain backgrounds. You want the focus to be on your subject, not the stuff in the background.

7+ Don’t use iPhone zoom: If you want to get a closer shot, physically walk closer to your subject. You’ll get a way sharper shot. The iPhone does zoo, it’s not high quality. Get closer, instead.

8+ Use photo apps!: Even professional photographers edit their photos. It’s actually known to be the most important step of photography. My favorite is VSCO. I add a filter, crop, brighten, bump up the clarity and we’re good to go!

9+ iPhone 7 portrait mode: Have you tried this yet?! This feature on the new iPhone is a great way to get a professional look using your phone!

10+ Little Nugget App: Our app, Little Nugget is the perfect way to capture your baby’s sweet moments and milestones. From pregnancy bumps to baby mess-ups to big kid milestones, Little Nugget captures fleeting moments, big and small, so you can save them for years to come. We also have a feature that allows you to print your designs right from the app! Perfect to put in a baby book or scrapbook!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE APP.

I hope these tips are helpful for the next time you take photos with your phone!

This post was written by mom blogger, Kari from www.gracefulmommy.com . Follow along on her instagram: www.instagram.com/gracefulmommy.

Inspiring Moms: Coralee Dixon from Shortcake

By | Baby Photography, Brand Spotlight, Inspiring Moms, Mompreneurs, Parenting | No Comments

If it isn’t obvious yet, I’m really into capturing memories, especially of my daughter Leslie. Not a day goes by when I don’t take at least 10 photos of her. Rewind to her first year and I was taking at least 100 photos a day. When it came time to create her Baby’s First Year photo album I was so overwhelmed with thousands of photos to choose from. It was just too much for me to tackle. Admittedly, I walked away from the project and decided I’d tackle it another time.

About a month ago I came across an incredible mama-founded photo album service called Shortcake. Shortcake makes it easy to create beautifully-designed keepsake albums. The design service will gather your photos and social content (think dates, locations, status updates, comments…), and use the details you’ve collected and shared to create a beautiful scrapbook of your family’s moments and adventures. The only thing you have to do is connect your social and photo storage accounts, fill out a form with some details, and then sit back and wait for the design to come in. Ah-mazing! Goodbye mommy guilt. Hello beautiful, personalized album of my daughter’s first year.

Want to create one? Use code “NUGGET” to get 10% off the design fee for your first order at www.shortcakeinc.com/order. Offer expires 7/21.

I recently connected with Coralee to talk about her business and just how she keeps it all together. Check out what Coralee has to say in our latest Inspiring Moms feature!

On Motherhood, Work, and Keeping it Together

When did motherhood become real for you?
When my daughter was born. As in literally the moment when she came out of me. It wasn’t real until I saw her. My actual first words on seeing her were “Holy *, it’s a baby.” (Oh the panic of first-time motherhood.) For me, no matter how much I “knew” I had a baby in there while pregnant, I didn’t really know until I saw her in person, crying and defenseless and needing our care and attention.

What is the most surprising thing about motherhood?
The paradox of extremes. How quickly (as in seconds) you can go from being completely frustrated and overwhelmed and desperate for anyone to take over for you, to utterly melting in a pool of love and cuddles.

What is the scariest thing about motherhood?
The vulnerability of having your heart walking around outside your body.

What inspired you to start Shortcake?
A little before my daughter’s first birthday, I started feeling guilty because I hadn’t been writing down her milestones and special moments in the baby book I bought for her. Both my mom and my mother-in-law had kept lovely baby books for my husband and I, so I felt awful that I hadn’t done the same. Then I thought about how I had shared most of my daughter’s most important moments with family and friends on social media, which included written descriptions, captured the date, and received some fun comments that I liked looking back on. “Somebody must have a business that will help me turn that into a really nice album, right?” I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I decided to create it myself!

What are you most proud of?
In truth, I’m really proud of myself for starting this business. It might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There were so many times I could have quit when it got hard, but I didn’t, and I’m proud of what I’ve created. I love knowing I’m a role model for my daughter and other moms I know who are thinking of starting a new career.

What has been the hardest thing about balancing your business and being a mom?
Taking control of my time. It is not easy and I struggle with it. I’m still a full-time caregiver to our daughter while also putting in full-time hours running Shortcake from our home office, so if I want to achieve something (whether personal or business) I have to block out time for it or else it doesn’t get done. Being pregnant isn’t helping – it’s SO tempting to take a nap during naptime instead of working.

#MomTip: What is your best advice for other mamas who are trying to make it all work?
Write out your to do list for the next day before you go to bed. (That’s when all your reminders and lists are swimming around in your head and keeping you awake in bed anyway, right?) I’ve seen this simple trick greatly help my productivity (and help me get to sleep faster too). Then in the morning I don’t have to use my brain at all – I just look at my list and know what I need to focus on.

What can’t you live without?
Some help! Like many new moms, I struggled in the beginning with letting someone non-family watch our daughter. But once we finally hired our first sitter about a year ago….it’s so great. I currently have a sitter come watch her for a few hours twice a week so that I can get in some extra work time, and it is the best. Our daughter loves the sitter too and has such fun playing with her. Win-win.

First thing you do when you put your kiddos to bed…
Have some dessert and talk to my husband. He doesn’t get home from work until our daughter’s bedtime (and I’m usually still half-asleep when he leaves in the morning), so after bedtime is the only good hangout time we get. Then it’s either time for me to go back to work or call it a day. Did I mention pregnancy with a toddler is exhausting? Follow Shortcake on Instagram , Facebook and check out the Shortcake blog. Stay tuned… I’m in the process of creating my own Shortcake album of my daughter’s first year. Can’t wait to share it with all of you!