How to Take Good Photos with Your Smartphone

Most of the rules for shooting with a smartphone are no different from the rules for a classic camera. However, it not always gives satisfactory results. Try the tips below and your photos will stand out on social networks. 

  • Wipe the lens of the smartphone before taking a photo 

The front lens stained with greasy fingers is a sure way to get blurry photos. The problem is solved simply: before you start taking pictures, just gently wipe the smartphone’s camera with a soft cloth.

  • Hold your smartphone tight and take your time

When photographing on a smartphone, try not to rush. The calmer and thoughtful you do everything, the better result you will get. Full stabilization will be able to smooth out the effects of sudden hand movements.

  • Take multiple photos of the same photo and check the result

It is not easy to do everything perfect from the first shot. Fortunately, defective photos can simply be deleted.

  • Carefully line up each photo

The less excess got into the camera’s lens, the less you will then crop. This operation inevitably reduces the resolution of the finished photograph – details become even more noticeable. So, it’s better to build a composition that you want to see as a result at the shooting stage.

  • Consider lighting features

Lighting is the most important thing for any photographer. The more light around, the better. If you want to make good portraits of friends, then don’t be too lazy to leave the dark room or at least go to the window. The window should be behind the photographer, not behind the models. Otherwise, their faces will be black.

  • Take pictures from non-standard angles

It just so happened that everyone basically sees the world from the height of human growth and that is why photos from non-standard angles look so impressive. Take a landscape through a slot in a beautiful fence, raise the camera high above your head or lower the lens to floor level. These simple actions will help you show seemingly ordinary photos from a completely new perspective.

  • Don’t neglect portrait modes 

Manufacturers of smartphones have recently done everything for users to have good portrait shots. Apple was particularly notable in this matter: the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have a very cool Portrait Lighting mode. It allows you to add studio lighting effects to your finished photos.

  • Learn to improve your finished photos

Naturalness and realism are good but even an ordinary photo can be improved. And you won’t have to load it into the computer for this – the Google Play and the App Store are full of photo editing applications. Download them, try, and leave the ones you like. VSCO and Snapseed are the best mobile photo editors. 

  • Take photos as often as possible and seek inspiration

Photography is an art. If you want to achieve good results, then you need to develop in two directions. Firstly, look at photos of professionals in search of inspiration. Secondly, shoot as often as possible because you need more practice for better results.

Photography Tips for Beginners

Taking the first steps in a new occupation, everyone will certainly face difficulties. It seems that you are doing everything as it should, but the result is still not the one you expect. So, how to become a professional if you don’t even know where to start? 

  • Start learning from the basics

The main problem is the lack of knowledge or the necessary information. Go to classes where a professional will give the necessary base. You can ask questions that interest you. If it’s not possible to attend classes, don’t be discouraged. Start exploring the art of photography on your own by buying special literature or using the Internet. Don’t be afraid of the amount of information that seems huge. Stick to the training plan and you will come to the result in small steps.

  • Don’t chase newfangled equipment

Simple cameras and professional cameras are different things, there is nothing to argue. But don’t try to get the coolest camera and think that the pictures will be of high quality. In skillful hands, even photographs taken on a simple camera will look beautiful. And, on the contrary, a good professional camera in the hands of a beginner will not make spectacular shots. It all depends not on the pixels and other parameters of the camera but on the ability to take pictures. 

  • Shoot for yourself, not for others

If you shoot in order to create something similar to other popular images, get likes or comments, then you are not in the right way. This applies to all types of art, especially when you are a beginner. Your main viewer is you yourself. Shoot what you love. Focus on the things that inspire you. This should bring joy to you first. People will notice and appreciate your creativity.

  • Join the community

Choose your favorite community and join groups on Facebook or Google+ or others. Joining a group of amateur photographers has undeniable advantages. They will most likely point you to the mistakes you make or offer interesting perspectives.

  • Practice

Musicians practice, athletes practice, and you have to practice. By and large, no matter what you do, you will have to practice to succeed. If you want the finger on the shutter to synchronize with the course of your thoughts, you have to work. Also, ask those who know more than you to criticize your photos. Perhaps they will indicate mistakes that you don’t see. But be patient and prepared for the fact that your work can be criticized.

  • Don’t stop taking pictures even if you don’t like them

Do you think well-known photographers get everything right with the first press of a camera button? You are deeply mistaken. Analyze your pictures and don’t worry. Try to understand why the shot failed, what is wrong? Working on mistakes is a normal process. Nobody succeeds in making everything perfect for the first time. We all make mistakes and learn. Don’t be discouraged if the pictures are not as beautiful as you would like. If you are unhappy with what happened, don’t rush to throw the camera in the far corner. And next time, you will not make the same mistake.

Less like, more love. Introducing The Leo Loves.

I have a confession to make. It has been a long time since I really loved my business. To be clear, I have never stopped loving my clients or the work I’ve been doing, but Erin Oveis Brant Photography (despite bearing my name) no longer represents who I am or where I’m going. It’s a relic from a time when I wasn’t sure exactly who I was or what I wanted. Over the last 3.5 years I have evolved and learned and become clear about so many things that were previously uncertain. And so it’s time for an outer change to reflect all this inner change. It’s a transformation I’ve been quietly working on for most of 2013. I’m guessing some of you have noticed it has gotten really quiet here on the blog and on my facebook page. Now you know why. I’ve been putting all of my energy into preparing for the next chapter of my life and business. And it’s time to make it official.

It is with incredible excitement (and a healthy dose of fear) that I introduce you to my new brand and business, The Leo Loves!


The Leo Loves - Life's an Adventure Worth Loving

So what is exactly is The Leo Loves and how is it different from Erin Oveis Brant Photography? I’m glad you asked! Aside from a new website and name, there won’t be a huge difference initially. I’m launching The Leo Loves primarily as a photography business for fun and adventurous people…with a heavy emphasis on lifestyle family sessions in San Diego and surrounding cities. But that’s just the beginning! The really exciting part is that The Leo Loves will be a platform for other projects (some photography related, some not at all) I have in the works. It gives me space to grow and evolve in ways that just aren’t possible with a business branded for photography only. I can’t wait to share all of the ideas and future plans I’m cooking up!!!

How did you come up with the name, The Leo Loves? “The Leo” is me and the site will be dedicated to all of my interests and “Loves.” My astrological sign is Leo and I’ve always strongly identified with the characteristics of the leo sign (creative, warm, playful, loving). When I started thinking about my work and what I wanted for the future I kept coming back to these words. So it seemed fitting to incorporate The Leo into the branding for my new business. I owe many thanks to Ryan + Ben at Land & Sea Co. for helping me through the branding process. They pushed me way outside of my comfort zone and helped me land in a place that finally feels like [my online] home. I adore the look they created for The Leo Loves and I feel so grateful to have worked with such genuinely nice and talented designers! You can read their take on the project here.

What happens now? In addition to launching the new site I’ve also started transitioning to The Leo Loves everywhere else online. It is more of a process than I ever could’ve anticipated! I will post my first blog entry at in the next week and the Erin Oveis Brant Photography facebook page will flip to The Leo Loves sometime in the next month (fingers crossed!). I’m really hoping the entire process will be complete by Feb 1. Wish me luck!

I can’t thank you enough for all of the love and support you’ve given me and Erin Oveis Brant Photography over the years. I hope you’ll continue with me on the next part of my journey. If this all goes to plan we can put a little more love in our hearts, bring more adventure into our lives, and put a lot more positivity into the world. I truly hope you will join me!!

With so much love and gratitude,




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Andrew Childress - January 3, 2014 - 6:42 pm

Congratulations on the new launch! I understand all too well the loss of passion that happens when you do something for long enough. Your new site looks amazing and I can’t wait to see what you produce. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Meet Ellie, Jenny + Aaron // San Diego Family + Lifestyle Photographer

Jenny + Aaron are adorable. Together they made an awesome and adorable baby. Eleonora. But you can call her Ellie.

This was my second time photographing this sweet little family, but the first time I’d visited their home for a true lifestyle session. When I sent Jenny the photos she replied with a message that shot me right in the heart. The message (shared with Jenny’s permission):


You’ve seriously captured our family in such a sweet, simplistic way. A way in that we’ve never looked so natural and free. Essentially you illustrated us, in our happiness, in our vulnerabilities, in our true way of being. I’ve never felt more joy in seeing our family from your photography. You’ve made us come alive at this moment in our lives and for that I’m forever grateful for this keepsake that will be in our family no matter where life takes us. Thank you for seeing the beauty in our family. You are a true artist and I’m truly blessed to contribute to your craft:)keep doing what you’re doing. You do it so beautifully.  
With love, 


This is why I do what I do. Why I couldn’t give it up even if I wanted to. Thank you, Jenny, for the beautiful reminder.
You can find me online at my new website:



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The Kong Family // San Diego Lifestyle Family Photographer // Erin Oveis Brant Photography

This is Jack.


He makes fantastic faces.



He has the cutest baby toes.



And an awesome mommy + daddy.



Jack loves a good snack…



and a good book.



Jack is a sweet + happy baby boy:)



And his family is pretty adorable. (and super fun!)


I want to send out a special thank you to Nicole, Johnny + Jack for inviting me into your home to take these photos. I know I’ve probably said it a billion times on here now, but there is nothing I love to shoot more than a family in their own space, just hanging out and doing what they do. It always makes for an easy, comfortable session…especially for little ones. Anyway, I loved our time together and I love these photos! You guys are such a sweet + beautiful family!!



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Lori Fuller - May 23, 2013 - 1:12 pm

I love this session! Another great job, Erin! xo

Ashley Goodwin - May 23, 2013 - 3:28 pm

so so beautiful! You do the best natural, candid, REAL moment photos like, ever. His shirt is freaking awesome, looks like a little mini tie, and his puffy little cheeks make me wanna squeez him so TIGHT! Good lookin’ fam!

The Adiego Family // Petaluma, CA Family Photographer // Haverton Hill Sheep Dairy

I love life’s happy coincidences. Especially the ones that reconnect me with wonderful friends!

Missy and I grew up in the same small town in Western New York. I even took dance lessons from her mom when I was a little girl! Now, many years later, she lives in the same town in Northern California where my husband grew up. Not only does she live there, she owns and operates an incredible sheep dairy with her husband Joe and his parents, Jolene + Tony. Haverton Hill is one of the most beautiful, idyllic places I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting. It is surrounded by miles and miles of gorgeous countryside, and in some ways it feels completely untouched by the outside world (good thing I didn’t get lost because I had no cell reception in those hills!).

While it was so awesome to learn about the farm from the adults, it was experiencing it with Avery + Hadley (Joe + Missy’s adorable daughters) that made my visit to Haverton Hill extra special! Playing with sheep + dogs, running and jumping in the rollings hills, and riding horses all seem to be part of the routine for these sweet and wildly fun country girls. I loved my time with this family and I can’t wait to visit again! Missy, thank you so much for inviting me to your amazing home…I absolutely loved our little country adventure!!

Family Child Photography San Diego CA Fun

You can find me online at my new website:




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Anna Roberts - April 19, 2013 - 11:04 pm

So beautiful!

Lindsey, Todd, Lilly + Drew // Santa Rosa, CA Family Photographer // Shiloh Ranch Park

UPDATE: You can find me online at my new website:

Last week I spent some time in one of my favorite places in the world, the San Francisco Bay Area. In between visiting with family + friends and playing at the foggy coast, I had the opportunity to work with some super fantastic people! On the long drive back to San Diego I took some time to reflect on the trip and life in general. Here are some things I’ve decided:

- Northern California is one of the most beautiful places on earth. When we lived there I think I took it for granted a little bit. I won’t make that mistake again. I hope to visit (and work!) there again very soon!

- You can never have enough laughter or good music in your life. This trip offered up both in abundance (Lindsey gifted me this Ben Howard cd that I can’t stop listening to…how awesome is she?) and I am SO grateful!

- Lindsey, Todd, Lilly + Drew are one of the most fun, adorable, and loving families I’ve ever worked with!!! I could go on for days about how much I enjoyed not only the time I spent shooting with them, but also planning the session with Lindsey. It is always fun to work with someone who has incredible style and truly appreciates and values photography (I think she follows as many photographers as I do!).

Lindsey, I hope you love these photos we made, because I sure do. I feel the love and personality of your family in each one of them! I am so happy I had the opportunity to get to know you and your family!! You guys are awesome. xoxo






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