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iPhoneography 101: A Teachable Moment

June 12, 2012

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It all began as we were all sitting around the dinner table a few weeks ago.

In a rare moment of kindness, Brielle decided she wanted to give her mommy kisses and hugs. This folks, was truly a treat. My daughter has never been the snuggle up and love on her momma type. She’s normally a busy, independent, free-spirited and inquisitive little girl.

“Get the camera!” I yelled to my Calmer.

The odds were stacked against him with the dim lights and squirmy toddler. He quickly grabbed his iPhone, unlocked it speedy fast, and set up the shot.

And then I watched as he made the biggest iPhonography violation over and over again.

He waited to press the shutter until the exact moment he wanted to take the photo. Again and again he’d try, but he wasn’t happy with the results. His method didn’t take into account the time it would take for the iPhone to focus and register the fact that YES! he really did want to take the photo RIGHT THIS INSTANT.

Unfortunately if you wait to press the shutter there is often a delay between when you press the button to when the camera actually focuses in on your subject and snaps the picture.

For my Calmer, during this particular instance, by the time the phone caught on to his wishes to capture me and our daughter loving on one another the moment was already lost because the phone was taking its sweet time trying to focus on us.

After a few frustrating attempts I stopped him because I knew the solution to ‘getting the shot’.

“Get your finger ready, press down that camera button, hold down the shutter, and wait to move your finger until the precise moment!” I advised. (I felt a bit like a First Grade teacher telling their students to ‘get their fingers ready’ as they gear up to track the words in a book). But the same rule truly does apply here.

See, the iPhone has this great feature where when you hold down that camera/shutter button and follow your subject, the camera will refocus as your subject moves. And, the moment when you release that button is the exact moment when your camera will take the photo!


Before I knew about this technique I was constantly getting blurry active photos like this:


But now I’m confident that I’ll capture the precise moment that she’s still, happy, and totally camera ready.

Have you been struggling with your iPhone photos like my Calmer was? Find this tip helpful? Go get your iPhone now, try this out, and report your findings in the comments below (I’d especially like to hear if this technique works on other non iPhone cameras too!). And, as always, if you found this tip helpful you know what to do. Click the handy dandy share button below and spread the love! xo.

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