Making memories using your phone

Imagine you had to recount the lockdown to your children or grandchildren 50 years from now. What would you tell them? This period will forever be etched in our hearts – for those in the frontlines, a time when they stood up to the call of duty and for many of us, a time when plans and aspirations were put on hold to fight a common unseen threat.

Thankfully, we have also been presented with the beautiful gift of time and many are taking the opportunity to wind down, meditate, learn new hobbies, and bond with family. Speaking of learning new hobbies and bonding with family, this is a good time to document time spent with family with your phone as your primary tool. Let’s delve into how you can create beautiful photographs that you will treasure. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Turn on your favourite music track.

Do you want your kids to get excited and smile brightly as you take their pictures? Turn the music on! Music can lift your mood and make you feel happy. Even as you take pictures by yourself around the house, playing music in the background will help you relax and get your creative juices flowing.

Clean your camera lens.

This seems rather obvious but it’s so painful when an otherwise perfect photo is ruined because of something as simple as dirt. A cloth or cotton swab moistened with water will do the job. Don’t use household cleaning chemicals as these can damage your phone. Lastly, remember, a dirty lens is like capturing an image through a dirty window.

Set up your scene.

If you plan to take a picture of your kids playing games or even a picture of your work environment, devote a few minutes to tidy up and rearrange your scene. Be mindful of confidential work and personal information that could show up in your pictures.

Add pops of colour and patterns.

Now that you have the basics, you can upgrade the beauty of your images by adding colour and patterns. Colourful images are attractive to look at so take advantage of the different colours and patterns around the house to make your images stand out. You can find these in tablecloths, carpets, curtains, tiles, blankets, and so many more.


Focus is useful when your subject is surrounded by people or objects that you consider distracting. You can focus manually by tapping your finger on the screen as you point at the subject. Many new phones also come with a portrait feature that enables you to do this seamlessly. Also, if your subject is far from you, move closer instead of zooming in with your camera. When you zoom in, the quality of your image decreases and in some cases, the photo becomes blurry.

Capture spectacular angles and reflections.

Images taken from different angles are visually captivating. Instead of using the standard front-facing view, take pictures from above or sideways for a change. This comes in handy especially when taking pictures of food. Also make use of reflections to make your pictures more creative. There are so many reflective surfaces in a home such as mirrors, spoons, and windows. Reflections make images look more abstract and add depth to the story.

Refrain from using the built-in flash.

The flash on a mobile device creates washed-out images when used in places with dark or poor lighting. Preferably, use natural light (from the sun) and where this is not feasible, turn on the lights in the room, or use an external source of light.

Pro tip: Avoid shining light directly on your subject. Instead, bounce the light off a wall, ceiling, or reflector to create a more natural and well-lit image.

Take candid photos and have fun.

These will never go out of style. Candid photos of children around the house, someone cooking, dancing, eating, or even of your pets staring at the camera all make good photos. Just watch out for these moments and be sure to snap the picture at the right time. Also, don’t be afraid to be bold and try new things. One approach is creating themed photoshoots based on movies, colours, music icons, or different time eras.

What other techniques do you use to capture great images with your phone? Would love to hear from you. Share this article and get started on creating memories!

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Rachel Musiime is a creative ray of sunshine based in Oklahoma City with a passion for telling stories through written content, video, and photography. She is an avid traveler, amazed and delighted by the beauty of different cultures.

This article is intended to provide general information about finance and investments and does not replace or should be taken as professional financial advice. The content reflects the view of the author of the article and does not necessarily reflect the views of Citi or its employees, and we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article except information on Citibank N.A. – UAE products referenced herein.
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