MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

Now the funny thing with Morgan silver dollars, I mean it doesn’t really make that much of a difference but if you place it in your hand, I can see it just there, you close your hand up, make a nice, tight fist. The thing is, I believe there’s a button somewhere, I’m not exactly sure where the button is, but if you press it, the coin disappears completely. That’s, I’ve always found that interesting.

It’s Two Minute Tuesday, let’s go. (upbeat rock music) What’s up, everybody, Peter McKinnon here and welcome back to yet another Two Minute Tuesday. It’s so great to have you here and see all of your, all of your smiling faces. Today’s gonna be a fun one. You see, over the past weekend, I attended a wedding for one of my oldest friends, not oldest in age, just I’ve known him for, I’ve known him for a long time.

Anyways, finally got married, and I was in the wedding party, so I wasn’t actually shooting the wedding. Because, as some of you may know, I used to shoot weddings way back in the day when I first started my photography business. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again and I’ll continue to say it that, if you are looking to make money with photography and you’re just starting out, beginning to shoot weddings is a great avenue for that skill. You can make good money, you can learn a ton. During the week you can work on booking those gigs and honing that craft, making your website, building your portfolio, then on the weekends, you can actually shoot those weddings and get experience from that. It is amazing and I’ve said this before that it’s both product photography, photojournalism, food photography, portraiture, street photography, it’s all of these things wrapped up into one event in one day, so you really learn on your feet. It’s a true run-and-gun style, so if you haven’t tried shooting a wedding before, I highly recommend it. You can start very, very small and offer your services at a good deal, at a discount so you can get your foot in the door.

Then as you work your way up the rungs, you can polish that skill, turn it into a viable business, and actually make a living from shooting weddings. So, that’s something I used to do, way back in the day. But this weekend, I was in the wedding, so I didn’t actually get to shoot it, I was apart of it. So because I was in the wedding, I couldn’t actually photograph the wedding, so I actually just took my phone around and followed the photographer and my friend, I’m sure my friend liked it, the photographer probably not so much, but I was just doing my own thing with the phone. Bare bones, no lenses, no extra, nothing. I was editing the photos with a couple apps at my seat at the head table during dinner and I just mass-texted them all to my friends before I left and it got me thinking on the way home, this would be a really great video to just talk about a few of the photos that I took, show you the apps that I used to get the results that I got and then just kind of encourage everybody out there that has a camera that you can do this, too.

So that’s today’s video. I’m going to try and keep it to two minutes, but we all know that’s pretty much impossible, but I’m feelin’ good today. Let’s throw two minutes on the clock. (imitates explosion) Let’s go. Okay, let’s start with the ten photos that I took this past weekend, they look like this. (upbeat electronic music) Alright, so first things first, that’s not bad for a phone, with no extra lenses. Like, that’s a cellphone. That’s the phone in your pocket and you’re able to shoot photos like that. When I first started weddings, I don’t even think I was taking photos that good. Mind you, it’s a calculation of both the light and having an eye and knowing what to look for and what to shoot for, and I’d love to get into that in a little more detail in further videos.

If that’s somethin’ that you think you’d like, leave that comment below and let me know. But those ten photos, from a phone, crazy. I attribute a lot of that to the apps that I use. Now, both apps that I used were Lightroom and Lens Distortions. So I’m gonna grab one of those photos, one of those raw photos, and we’re gonna edit it together onscreen so I can show you exactly what I did so you can kinda get a feel of how easy it is and how you can actually take banger shots, crazy good photography with your phone using these apps and you can start doing that today. Okay, so the first photo I started with we shot at Golden Hour, so that was step number one, finding the right light. If you don’t have good light, it doesn’t matter what gear you’re using, be it that’s a cellphone or a $10,000 camera, it’s not gonna look as good as it could. So this shot was taken just as the sun was comin’ down over that treeline, just rim-lighting her hair.

It looked perfect, the sky was a little blown out, so to compensate for that, I snuck behind a pine tree so I could have some of those pine needles framing the shot. You guys know I love always shooting through something, that’s why you’ll notice a few of these shots, I always have some leave hanging in front, be it that I’m actually behind a tree or I’m just taking leaves off of a tree and holding them in front of my phone. I did that many times, this is a perfect example of that. So I pretty much moved through these three or four effects: light, color, effects, and detail.

photography tips leading lines

So if we start with light, you can mess around with the exposure, maybe bring it down just a little bit, to bring back some of that highlights that are blown out in the sky. To compensate for that as well, we can actually drag this highlight slider all the way down, but you’ll notice it doesn’t really do much, it actually just pixelates the image a little bit more. So I’m gonna leave that where it was. It’s also important to say I shot this on Apple’s portrait mode to try and get as much depth of field as I can. And that mode doesn’t always work very well, but in the right light, with the right background, sometimes the portrait mode of this phone just blows my mind, okay. So, with that being said, continuing down, playing with the shadows, I lifted the shadows just slightly so we got a little bit more detail in their clothes, in the suit and in the dress.

photography tips iphone xr

And I’m fine with that, I think it’s exposed fine as it is, so moving on to color. This is where I play around a lot. Now, just like the HSL tabs within Lightroom, you can do that on your phone. Just hit this little button up here that says mix, that’s a little color wheel. Now you can go through and individually select the colors that you wanna tweak.

So, with the greens, they’re a little bit too green, I wanna make them more earth-y, which actually means making them a little bit more brown. But you might think, “but, Pete, dead grass “doesn’t look good”. But in this context, it does, so we’re gonna hit the green slider right here and then we’re going to change that hue. So you’ll notice going to the left makes that a little more gold, whereas going to the right makes it way too green, looks like the PGA tour, that’s not what we’re lookin’ for. So I’m gonna bring that down, further to the left, almost all the way. Now we can mess with our saturation. Too high doesn’t look good, too low gives me no color, so just below center is where I’m gonna leave that. And then I’m gonna turn the luminants up a little bit just to brighten those greens, that color that we just added.

Following that, yellow would be the next closest color that I’m gonna manipulate, doing the same thing, moving that yellow around to find where I like it the most, closer towards the warm side, bringing that saturation a little bit and then, of course, orange we’re gonna move that slider left and right, see where we like it the most. It’s pretty much good as is at this point. We’re gonna hit “done”. Now I’m gonna move over to the effects tab. Clarity, dehaze, and vignette.

You don’t wanna go too crazy on these, but because it’s your mobile phone, to pull out some of that detail, I do need to raise that clarity a little bit and watch what it does. So if we go too far, it looks too far. But if we just go 25%, that looks so much better. And then I just wanna bring a vignette in to kind of compensate for how bright and blown out the sky is. So I’m gonna just drag that vignette, not this way, that’s the wrong way, we’re gonna drag that in just to focus in on that couple a little bit more.

I’m happy right there, detail maybe a little bit of sharpening, not too much overkill. I could go back to the light tab now and maybe just raise the whites a little bit so her dress just stands out. And now I’m happy with this shot. It’s very moody, it’s my style. I’ve brought down those greens, we made sure that rim light on her hair is really popping, so that looks great. Now we’re gonna save this to our camera roll and we’re gonna open it in Lens Distortions. Hit this button, save to camera roll, maximum available, saved successfully to camera roll. Now we’re gonna go ahead and open up Lens Distortions. Once you’re in Lens Distortions, this app is really great for adding those extra tweaks and enhancements. A lot of people might say, “how did you get “that sun flare, how does that fog look so good, “how were you able to get those out-of-focus elements “over top of that photo, that doesn’t make any sense”.

This is the app that I do it with. Now I taught you guys this way back, it’s probably like a year ago now, but since then, there’s plenty of new people here, so if you’re looking to take photos on your phone and make them a little better, this app is highly worth investing in, checking it out on the app store. I’m not sponsored by them, but it is one of my favorite photo apps, so check this out. We’re gonna open up light hits and we have a whole list of different light hits that we can choose from here. So, I’m going to go with… I’m gonna go with this orange one right here, because I love the bottom ring of that. But I’m just gonna raise that ring up around halfway, so it kind of sits at the top of the photo where it looks like the sun might actually be shining in and we got that nice ring along the bottom and I’m pretty much done.

So now I’m just gonna hit save, I’m gonna choose where I wanna save that, I’m gonna save the image. It’s done, and now it looks like this. (laid-back rock music) So how great does that look? Also, using this app to add other effects that just make your photos look incredible. There’s a setting called “shimmer” that I really like. So when you open up that shimmer menu, you’ll see down here we have a lot of out-of-focus elements that add big, kind of bocce balls, boko balls, however you like to say it.

I’m not the biggest fan of that, sometimes they look great and I have used them, but I like the ones that have streaks, that almost looks like a meteor shower is happening. So I throw that on and you can change the angle, you can make them a little bit bigger if you want and then you can go over and change the opacity so they’re not as offensive, not as huge.

Just drag that down a little bit. But now, when we look at this photo right here, it just adds so much drama to a photo for a day that should have lots of emotion and feeling to it. So doing this all from your phone, while sitting at the head table or wherever you’re sitting, it just shows you the power of being able to capture this type of content with something that you have in your pocket. So those are the two apps that I like using, Lightroom and Lens Distortions. So, my tips for you would be try to find things that you can shoot through, be it that that’s through a fence, be it that that’s through a tree.

If you have to grab some leaves from a tree and hold them in front of your lens, do that. I don’t limit this to anything. I find whatever I can shoot through. I’ll take my hat off and shoot through the back adjustment strap just so that I have som unique shadow play around the photo, creating its own vignette.

These are things that I find are super valuable and make your phots look 100 times better because, let’s be honest, most people who aren’t photographers or who aren’t interested in this, if you were to hand them a camera and say, “hey can you take a picture of this real quick?” They’re just gonna stand exactly where you hand the camera to them, they’re gonna point it at you, take the photo, and hand it back. There’s no creativity, there’s not thought process at all. So if someone hands me a camera, one of the first things I do is I look around, what can I grab, is there something close? A napkin, I’m gonna bunch that up, can I shine a light through the napkin and just hold it over the corner of the lens to kinda get a unique lens flare or some kinda softened effect that’s gonna make this photo look better? Is there some tall grass, is there something I can shoot through, can I borrow your hat, can I use that flashlight? All of these things, combined with some of the apps that you might already have on your phone, are gonna give you incredible images.

Mobile. And the reason I titled this video “I Shot A Wedding with My iPhone” was because I did. The couple then took those photos and posted them everywhere to thank everybody for their special day and those were the first photos that anybody saw from their wedding, but they were passable. They were acceptable. And it just goes to show you, if something like that can be done, think about the opportunities that could be out there for each and every one of us, using any type of equipment. So, I hope that helps you out. I hope you like those apps. If you haven’t seen them, I’ll leave the links to them below. Thank you so much to Adam and Kristy for letting me use these photos in this video and kinda talk about your wedding day and how I was able to capture something from it. So again, congratulations, and guys, thanks so much for watching.

Hit that like button if you liked this video, smash it if that’s somethin’ that you’re into. Subscribe if you aren’t already and, and I will try next week to nail two minutes. I really want to, I really want to be able to nail that two minute mark. It’s just, I would have to cut out so much valuable information that I’m not willing to do to make that two minutes. But one of these days. Like, I’ve done it, like five times. If you guys have been here since 100K, you know, I’ve done it, like, a handful of times.

This is the exact reason I can’t do it. I don’t know when to stop, I just keep talking, we just gonna– (laid back electronic music).

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