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If you’re anything like us, more and more of our pictures are being taken by our camera phones instead of our regular cameras. They’re just so convenient (you always have your phone with you!), make sharing pictures easy, and the image quality seems to get better with each upgrade. While we’ll never part with our beautiful SLRs, the camera phone is definitely here to stay. Why not embrace it and make sure our quick clicks are creating the best pictures we can muster? Here is a list of ten ways to improve your camera phone pictures today! 

Ten Ways To Take Better Pictures With Your Phone. 

1)Clean your lens! This is the probably the number one thing people forget to do that can enhance their picture quality. Our phones are gross. They touch dozens of surfaces a day and if you have kids, are probably covered in a thin layer of goldfish dust. The surface that touches your face may boast residue from makeup, sunscreen, dead skin cells, and oil from your skin. That’s probably why pictures taken when you reverse your camera (i.e. selfies) can be a bit blurry. Wipe your phones before attempting your next selfie and see if it makes a difference!

2) Where would you like the camera to focus? Touch the screen on that point. Touching the screen will signal the camera to readjust its focal point. That way, you’re taking a picture of your kids and not what’s behind them.

3) Mind your flash. In fact, you will more than likely get better pictures without it. Natural light is best, so turn off your flash and see what happens! If you’re using an iPhone, bring up your camera. Now, look in the upper left hand side. See that little lightning bolt? That’s your flash. You turn it off and on by touching it. Easy peasy!

4) Crop for added interest or focus. If there is a lot of visual clutter in your picture, try to fill the screen with the image you want to focus on. For example, you have a great picture of your kids and their best friends at the pool, but don’t want a million strangers swimming in the background.

5) Avoid zooming in when taking a picture. This goes hand in hand with number 4. Camera phones, at present, don’t have the greatest zoom capabilities. Zoomed in images tend to come out fuzzy or pixilated. To avoid this, try simply stepping closer to your subject or see if you can crop the image afterwards.

6)Timing is everything. Know your shutter speed. Play around and really get to know your camera phone. It’s important to get a feel for how quickly the picture will take after you “click” your camera. This way you know when to signal for people to smile, when to “click” to get that picture of your friend’s face at their surprise party, and when to “click” to get a great picture your kids playing soccer (i.e fast movement).

7) Stabilize your camera. Always remember: The lower the light, the longer the shutter speed. That’s why pictures taken in a dimly lit room will often come out blurry. If you can’t adjust your lighting, try holding the phone with two hands or resting your elbow on a flat surface to help stabilize you.

8) Adjust your white balance by focusing on different sources of light. It’s not as hard as it sounds. When you bring your camera up, give it a second to adjust to the light. If your subject is a bit dark or back lit, move your phone slightly and see if it self-adjusts. If not, touching the screen where you want the camera to focus on (like in number 2) may help.

9) Put your horizon in the right place. Make sure you center your camera with the horizon before shooting the picture…or don’t! Play around with images where the horizon line is tilted and see what you get. If you want to take a picture of a storm rolling in, a sunset, or a breathtaking tree-line, try lowering the horizon to the bottom of your screen. It will really emphasize the sky!

10) When in doubt, try going black and white or adjusting with a filter. Instagram is awesome for many reasons. One of those reasons is the sheer amount of filters you can use to improve your picture quality. If you don’t have an Instagram account, try searching for camera filter apps in your phone’s app store.


Pssst! Taking pictures with your phone is also a great way to win some awesome prizes! At Fred Parent, we always have a photo contest going or one in the works. Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or website to see what we have going on, today!


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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches Visits the Past


If Pouches' experience at History Camp is any indication, your son or daughter will enjoy joining Washington Heritage Museums and the George Washington Foundation for History Camp in Fredericksburg. The week-long day camp will be held June 25-29, from 9:00 a.m. to noon each day.

Young historians discover American history with hands-on experiences as they walk in the footsteps where the history of Fredericksburg, and a budding America, was created. The camp complements the history taught in classrooms with activities such as soap making, code breaking, colonial crafts, penmanship and much more.