Monday, October 29, 2012

What I Didn't Say on the Today Show

Last week I was on the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee, ready to sip some wine and chat about Dancers Among Us.

First of all, there was no wine.

Second of all, the introduction wasn't exactly about my book...

"Have you ever tried to capture the perfect picture of your kids, or your pet..." Kathie Lee began. She went on to tell the millions of viewers that I would be offering some tips about how to take the perfect photo with an iPhone. But first we had to dispense with this Dancers Among Us business.

We looked at some photos while they said lovely things about the book. They were very enthusiastic, and it was a blast. I LOVED them! We had so much fun, in fact, that we ended up with barely thirty seconds for the camera lesson. "Zoom in to blur out the background," was the only advice I had time to dispense before snuggling up to Kathie Lee for a quick snapshot by Hoda.


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I have since received several emails asking what other suggestions I had for iPhone photographers everywhere. So here we go, with help from a few of my own iPhone photos-

1. Zoom in to blur out the background. Unless the background is photogenic, closer is better.

2. Find even light. Overcast days are perfect! Otherwise, look for shade.

The iPhone cannot read the exposure if your subject is backlit by the sun (it will expose for the bright background, and your child's perfect face will be in shadow). And if there's bright light directly on your subject, the iPhone washes it out.

A great option is to find an interior with lots of window light.

3. Try interesting compositions. Don't put your child right in the middle of the photo- try her on one side of the frame, or at the very bottom or top (to focus, just tap the kid's location on the iPhone, and she will become the point of focus).

4. Avoid the flash option. It's yuchy looking. Unless it's completely dark, it's much better to turn off the flash and use whatever available light you can find.

5. Crop and brighten when you get home. Sometimes you just have to get the shot and worry about composition later. It's easy to use iPhoto to crop any image and get rid of distracting stuff, and to brighten or darken it a bit.

6. Finally, download Instagram. It's loads of fun.

I thought I could get those points covered in a minute or two, but my silly book got in the way. Obviously they'll have to bring me back to demonstrate these techniques personally.

And to offer me that glass of wine.