Photo Tip: Alternatives to Using your Camera Phone Flash

You are out with your family, and it’s dark. Maybe you are in a restaurant or stargazing in the backyard, and you want to remember this moment. But alas, all you have is your phone. You know you need light, but if you turn on the camera phone flash it’ll wash everyone out! What to do?

Here's a tip to try:

Step 1: Turn off the camera phone flash! Please!

Step 2: Grab a flash light (or a friends phone in flashlight mode), and place it about a foot to the right or left of the camera, pointed at your amazing family.

Step 3: Before you ask them to look at you and smile, take a test shot. This serves 2 purposes: One, you can make adjustments if you need to and two, you have a candid image of everyone in the moment.

Why?

A simple guideline is to get the light away from the lens. You’ll notice professionals use flash brackets, bounce light off the walls or using light stands. The major flaw with cell phone photography is that the flash is super close to the lens. This creates that hazy, deer in the headlights feel. I mean, if that’s your thing, go for it! Otherwise, give this a try!

Camera Phone Shot with the Flash On: The whole scene is washed out and people have demon eyes.

Camera Phone Shot with the Flash On: The whole scene is washed out and people have demon eyes.

Using an off Camera Light - much better exposure and faces are well lit! Bonus, NO demon eyes!

Using an off Camera Light - much better exposure and faces are well lit! Bonus, NO demon eyes!