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Taking Better iPhone Photos Part II - Cameron's Editing Secrets: Instagram like a Pro

 1)  I shoot on an iPhone7-Plus. The 7 Plus has "Portrait" mode which basically allows you to shoot with a shallow depth of background is blurry person or thing is in focus. It's life changing. Get one.   

2)   I only shoot photos in the Instagram application for my Insta-stories. It takes much smaller images which are bad for archiving or prints later. I import images from my camera roll. I never used to use the Instagram filters but I do from time to time, but in every shot, I adjust the brightness/exposure, contract, saturation and add a little sharpness and structure to the image, which can now be done in this app. 

3)   My biggest secret is that I shoot A LOT of photos. Don’t expect to be perfect in one click. Think of each click as a rough draft. Sometimes in the middle of drafting I see something great. Take a lot but know when to say when!

4)   I use the camera native to the iPhone as well as Pro Camera App. My ProCamera app allows me to choose an exposure point and hold it through multiple clicks of the "shutter," the iPhone camera resets exposure after each press of the shutter. Annoying. 

5)   I cull my iPhone photos, immediately. Once I have enough shots of a scene, I will go back and choose the one I like and often delete the rest in the process. Once I have the image I want, I tone it (adjust color and contrast). 

6)   I also use Google Snapseed (free) to edit my photos. For heavy lifting, I use Adobe Photoshop Fix. This app is a little scary as you can literally change your face. Use with caution. In Snapseed you can actually select an area pretty well and adjust the brightness in just that zone. That is helpful sometimes. 

7)   After I have the images the way I like, I click save as New or if I'm in Instagram, I just post it. 

9)   A word about content: I hold back on my Instagram feed. I’ll ask myself, “Is this good enough for Instagram?”  You have to decide what is right for you on which platform. I post more “unfinished” images on Facebook because I use that as a family journal.  For my Instagram feed, I use it more as an artistic inspiration. I follow lots of wedding designers and photographers who inspire me. In the same vein, I try to post photos that would attract the type of people I follow. Ask yourself, What audience are you trying to attract? Who is following your feed? What will appeal to them? My feed, which is ‘cameronclarkphoto’ is part business, part family, part good ole photojournalism. I keep my feed populated with interesting color, composition, moments and new places I travel. I try to stay within this platform’s strengths, which is beautiful photos. I really don’t use it to promote our business at this time because with under 1000 followers it doesn’t make sense. If I had 50K followers, I might try to sell something every now and again with my feed. For me Instagram is the little visual escape into the lives of the people you follow.

10)   Stay tuned for the next CK Guide: How to print like a pro: Get those digital pictures printed!

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