{guest post} meet our guest, Jill Jarvis!

I’m so excited for today’s post.  It’s our very first guest poster!  I was so excited when Jill Jarvis agreed to share on the blog!  I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jill on several fun projects…including having her take photos of our family while we were visiting South Carolina a few summers ago.  best. photos. ever.  I love them.  She even got the kiddos to hold hands…briefly!  You can see her work on website and keep up with her on her Facebook fan page (head over and let her know we appreciate her sharing with us!).  I’ll let her have the post now…


Capturing moments with our cameras is one major way to record our lives. We document everyday moments, major life events and places we visit. Having your best camera in your hand when each of these moments occures doesn’t always happen. However you may be more likely to have your phone with you. If that is the case, and your phone has a camera…you are in luck! Below you will find a few tips on ways to get the most out the camera on your phone.


{disclaimer…this is written with information on using the iPhone camera. If your phone varies some adjustments may be necessary.}

Get close and on the level of your subject! Below are three examples of my son, Jace. The first was taken from the location that I was at when I first launched the camera app on my phone. Jace was in the center of theframe but he gets lost in the surroundings. I stepped closer to fill more of the frame with him. The focus is definitly on him and what he is doing at the moment. I still felt like the piece I wanted to remember most about this moment was how happy he was to ‘work’ in the yard. I knelt down and was able to capture his happy face…for me, this was the best way to capture this moment.

Another tip involves forcing your camera to focus where you want. Within the frame the iPhone camera is designed to take into account the entire scene. I was at a play with my son, Jameson. The auditorium was quite dark, with the excepection of the stage. To force the focus onto the lit stage, I had to trick the camera. The first image is an example of how the camera would default to photograph this scene. Since 75% of what was within the frame is not the stage, the camera will use the settings for these area, instead of the stage. The scene on the stage is what I’m hoping to document.  The second example is one where I tapped on the screen to force the focal point to be on the stage. When you do this you will see a box appear on the screen of the iPhone. The camera will then adjust its settings to meter off of this 25% of the frame and photograph the stage so it looks best. This feature can be used not only in poorly light situations but also when you taking a close up photo of a person.

Taking your phone camera to the next level is possible with add on lenses…no longer do you need to invest in an SLR camera to play with lenses! I recently purchased a set of three from PhotoJoJo.com. I selected the fisheye, zoom and wide angle lenses. There are many options on the market to add to your phone camera. One thing that made me choose these particular lenses was that they didn’t require a special case to attach to the iPhone. Below are a couple examples of images that I captured using these lenses. The first was captured with the fisheye. I so enjoy the distortion that puts the main focus on Jameson’s plane. The second image was captured with the zoom lense. I was so excited to be able to capture Jameson mouth as he was making the zoom noise of his plane. Since I had the zoom lense on, I was able to capture this moment without being quite so close to him.


Another fun way to play with the images you capture with your camera phone involve using photography apps. There are apps that can make collages of your images. This is how I created this 3 in one image. This was done using the app called diptic. This particular app has a wide variety of layout choices as well as the option to brighten individual pictures. There are many other apps to choose from to play with the images you capture!


Overall I hope that with these tips you are able to capture more of the moments of your life – not only the ones that happen when you have digital camera with you.  Using the camera that is in your hand to document these moments is always going to be better then not having the memories captured at all.

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