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Instagram secrets: How to get swoon-worthy photos from your iPhone

Tips from a leading baby and wedding photographer.

Instagram secrets: How to get swoon-worthy photos from your iPhone

I am a wedding/portrait/lifestyle photographer and love my job! I adore taking photos and consider it a total privilege to document someone's special wedding day or newborn baby. With that being said, I rarely ever take “professional" pics of my own kids; they are typically all taken with my iPhone.


I truly believe everyone can take good iPhone photos that are “insta-worthy."

Here are a few basic steps I follow every time I post an image that always help me get the results I want, for maximum <3 in Instagram.

1. Use your iPhone camera instead of the Instagram app.

Why? Because you're trying to get a photo of kids and they are typically moving way too fast. I would rather take 30 photos with the camera, than try to bank on trying to get one amazing image in Instagram's app. Thirty images is an exaggeration (okay, it's our little secret), but you get the idea. I like to have options.

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2. Always take iPhone photos in “square mode."

This is probably the best kept secret (it's actually not a secret at all, I just like to build it up) Surprise! I think photo mode can sometimes distort images and make it look weird, especially when you have to crop it to square… which brings me to my next point…

3. Get down to the subject's level.

Simple and easy! (Especially if it's of kids!)

4. Try and get the subject in decent light.

Lighting is always an issue, sometimes the image can be too dark, too light, etc… So when I am taking the image, I click the screen on the darkest (or lightest) area of the image and a little yellow square box will pop up, that means that your camera will expose the image for that dark area and overall your image should appear lighter… TaDa!!! ?

5. Now select your insta-worthy image in Instagram.

This step is the easy one.

6. Use a consistent filter.

I have my go-to filters that I always like to use because I like my Insta-Feed to have the same general vibe… Crazy, I know… but I like it to keep in consistent.

You can also select the intensity of the filter by clicking on that pretty little sun in the middle of the tools… use this! I think it's great to add a bit more contrast to make an image pop.

7. Click on the tool icon and sharpen the image.

(It's the very last option and has the triangle for the icon.) I think images look so much better when they are a bit sharper…

8. Post away!

By now you have probably spent close to 20/30 minutes on this image so it deserves to be posted ;) I promise it gets faster…

Bonus tip:

Below are some of my favorite go-to apps that always make my images looks amazing and fun.

Pic.Tap.Go

Pic.Tap.Go: My absolute favorite! I love that I use can use a variety of filters and create different recipes.

AfterLight

AfterLight: Another great app with fun filters and goodness.

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess: So fun for text overlays and fun doodles.

Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising (the app): I use this ALL.THE. TIME. You can download their mobile app and actually make albums on your phone with your photo gallery. It's so easy and so great to get the photos off your phone and into your hand. It's perfect for the vacation album!

See you on Instagram!

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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