How to Capture the Moment With a Cell Phone

Erin Lorton essentials

How to Capture the Moment with a Cell Phone

Photos are my passion, not my career but my passion. I don’t make a dime as a photographer, but having moments of our lives etched onto a picture forever is priceless. I get asked all the time what camera I use. While I do have a nice DSLR, I tell people most of my pictures are from my cell phone camera. Because carrying a camera the size of a toddler is not ideal for a trip to the zoo when you’re the mom of little ones. In the early years of mothering the last thing you need is more luggage to carry. I’m grateful for cell phones we carry with us everywhere and conveniently have cameras built in.

Over the years I’ve learned some tricks and hints on capturing the perfect cell phone shot.

1. Natural light.

Indoor cell phone photography is hard, make sure you are near an open window letting the light shine in.

3. Height.

The height at which you take the picture is important. If you are trying to capture art time at the kitchen table, stand on a chair and take the picture above their heads. This will capture the entire scene of what’s going on from a unique angle. If you are trying to capture your child playing, get on their level. Laying on the ground placing the phone on the floor to take the picture captures the heart of the scene.

4. Filters.

There are so many apps to help turn your dark, poorly framed photos into works of arts. My favorite editing apps are PicTapGo and Afterlight. You can play around with different filters and then save your favorites, so future edits are fast and easy. If your photo does have a lot of background noise (messy kitchen, junk in corners, etc) filtering with black and white will help hide those eye sores.

5. Centering.

Most people think you need to center your subject in every photo. Get creative and try some different angles. Having your subject off-centered can create a fun photo.


Erin is the mother of three little boys (5,4 and 2) and the wife to a wonderful man. They live in the St. Louis area and love spending the weekends exploring their great city as a family of five!

Where have you found is the best place to snap photos of your little ones?