3 Essential Tips for Smartphone Photography:

We all rely on smartphone photography to document much of our daily lives. It’s an incredible tool to have at our fingertips. However, there is a downside as our photo collections grow unmanageable. Many of our clients know this firsthand, and it’s the most common theme we hear during our consultation calls. Let’s talk about how best to take photos and maintain an organized structure as you go.

My routine, which I share here, compounds the rewards of creating a new habit. Giving your photos the attention they deserve is imperative to being able to enjoy your collection.

Edit as You Go

After smartphones hit the market, our photo collections slowly grew to unmanageable numbers, and many have entered a state of photo chaos. We believe having tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of digital photos is counterproductive. Past Present Pix can help you remedy the photo chaos that has amassed over time, but the goal of this article is to help get you back on track with your cherished visual memories right now.

Our smartphones with us at all times, so we’re never without a camera. I have no problem with overshooting to ensure the capture of an event. In a client’s collections, it’s routine to see 30 photos of a family member blowing out candles on a birthday cake or opening gifts. Or dozens of photos of a window view from an airplane during a flight. Or seemingly endless photos of a favorite band in concert. The problem lies with never going back and removing the redundant, bad or blurry shots. Most people don’t delete a photo once it’s taken, so it’s no wonder they feel overwhelmed by their photo collection.

After I take photos, I review them with a critical eye. I only keep the ones that grab my attention. I remove redundant, blurry or poorly composed shots. Once you get in the habit of doing this, it won’t take much time at all. And you’ll be thankful you did it. The number of photos to keep or delete depends on the content. My personal mantra: less is more. This may be helpful to keep in mind you as you go through your collection.

 Enhance as You Go

As I review and edit, I also think about ways to enhance the images kept. You can do this straight from the mobile phone’s camera roll or by using a third party app. There are some great free photo apps out there – I’m fond of Snapseed. Try a few and see what you like best. Cropping, color correcting, switching from color to black and white and upping the contrast are just a few ideas.

Once you’re in the habit of routinely editing and enhancing your photos, it’s time to think about organizing, a crucial step with smartphone photography.

 Organize as You Go

I sync my iPhone to the iCloud, so anything done using my phone’s camera is mirrored in my laptop’s camera roll.

Here’s my approach: in my Apple Photos Library on my laptop I’ve set up a folder for each year, and as the year moves along, I add a separate album for each month of the year. I prefer this to Apple’s AI organizing, which has improved over time, but my structure is an added layer. It gives me more control over my content and allows for greater customization.

Typically, I do this on the 1st of the month. I create an album for the previous month (for example, on April 1st, 2020 I will go into the 2020 folder and create an album for March) and will then move the photos kept from the month of March into it. Nice and tidy! Not only have I kept the numbers of photos manageable, I’ve also got them chronologically organized in a folder structure I can easily backup.

Last, this is a good time to add searchable keywords. I will spend a few minutes on this during the 1st of the month organizing session. This ensures that I can find any photo any time, right there at my fingertips. You can do the same and I encourage you to try this system and see if it works for you. Let me know!