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7 tips for taking better cell phone pictures

Because almost all of us inadvertently carry around a camera now, it is beneficial to have starter tips to get rid of those horrid pictures that may have you discouraged from participating in the visual web and photo sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest.

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taking better cell phone pictures

taking better cell phone pictures

Perpetually carrying a camera

Virtually everyone carries a camera with them most of the time. After all, you never know when a camera will come in handy, whether you’re in the real estate industry and you need to take a quick picture of a listing or you want to take a quick picture of your loved ones at dinner. It can’t get any more convenient than having a camera on your phone. And these days, nearly every cellphone has a built-in camera. Cellphone pictures have a reputation of being sub-par, but they don’t have to be. Here are seven ways to take better cell phone pictures:

  1. Cool Gadgets – You no longer have to accept your camera phone as it is. You have the power to enhance it by attaching any number of awesome, unique gadgets. You can attach a variety of lenses and shutter grips and remotes—to name a few options.
  2. Hold Still – While this advice seems obvious, it’s an essential part of taking better pictures with your phone. Even the smallest shake or shiver can create blurry photos. If you can’t hold the camera steady, get a tripod gadget to help you stabilize. Some say that shooting with a smartphone camera is like shooting at a gun range – breathe in while stabilizing, breathe out slowly while shooting steadily.
  3. Don’t Delete Photos – Because the resolution on your phone screen isn’t as good as your computer screen, keep your photos—even the ones that you think are bad—until you can check them out on a better screen. You may have caught a beautiful picture, but you just didn’t know it.
  4. Get Close – The camera on your phone does have limitations. So, get close to the subject of your photo. You will find that your pictures have a better quality just from scooting up a few feet before you hit that button.
  5. Find the Right Light – Appropriate lighting can make or break a photo. If you’re not sure which type of light will best suite your photos, it’s time to do a little research. Once you have the lighting figured out, you have the ability to take your photo-taking skills to the next level.
  6. Practice – The more you practice taking photos with the camera on your phone, the better you’ll become.  And you’ll pick up little bits of knowledge and tricks along the way.
  7. Experiment – While there are basic and advanced rules for taking great pictures, there is also a time to break those rules. But before you can break them, you must first understand them. And then you can find ways to bend those rules to create the effects you’re looking for.

Taking a photo with your phone shouldn’t be considered the next best thing. Instead, it’s the hot new thing. It’s convenient, fun, and fast. Go crazy with the seven tips above and then find out even more tips on your own. Don’t be afraid to try new gadgets or methods. You’ll never know how great your pictures will turn out until you give it a go. And there’s no better time than now.

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Maxejg4eispp1

    July 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @okeyrealestate https://t.co/GSxCtjDy

  2. laurenislost

    August 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Very helpful, I take food pictures for my blog using only my cameraphone as I don’t have anything better. My skills are slowly building but it takes time, I think!

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Business Marketing

Is Easy Advocacy the tool your business needs for ad campaign reach?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Product claims to make employee advocacy easier than ever with a tool that’s designed to enlist employees to share campaign content online.

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easy advocacy welcome page

Ever wished you could get all of your employees in on your campaigns, enlisting them all to help make your digital content go “viral”?

No? To be honest, me either – at least not until I learned about a new program called Easy Advocacy, created by a company called Agora Pulse.

Easy Advocacy is a productivity and marketing tool geared towards harnessing the power of larger internal groups (employees) in order to make content sharing (campaigns, social media posts, etc.) as easy as possible. The product is listed on Product Hunt, which is essentially a tech geek’s paradise for new and interesting technology. This week, on February 19th, Easy Advocacy was listed as the #1 product of the day.

The website boasts features like:

• Quick campaign setups
• Making content easier to share
• Knowing the reach of your shares

In addition to making it easier for employers to have their employees share content, the platform also offers basic analytics pertaining to things like number of shares and website visits. Employers can also identify their top advocates through a leaderboard.

Their website’s description of the toolset says that the tool “dispels the hassle of the usual employee advocacy complaints and makes the process of sharing content with employees, who then share on their social channels, easy peasy.”
One way it does this is by emailing your employees the exact instructions and copy the company would like them to share, making it somewhat automated.

Now, while this all seems great, my biggest concern is who their market truly is. Are they going after small teams? Probably not as having a team of only 5 people sharing a campaign would be nearly fruitless – unless you happen to have a major social media influencer under your employment.

If they go after larger companies, like Apple, for example, I can see this tool being helpful. However, it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword. Larger companies typically are beyond the point of needing word-of-mouth campaigns. Let’s use Apple as an example here, too. They’ve been around for years, and according to Statista, 45.3% of smart phone owners in the U.S. go with Apple iPhones. Given this, and the fact that everyone already knows what an iPhone is (unless you live under a rock…), I really can’t see much need for a tool like Easy Advocacy for such a large company.

So, where does that leave the company? Only time will tell. My first bit of advice to the company is that the name definitely needs work. The name “Easy Advocacy” implies that there’s some kind of advocacy happening for employees, when in reality, this platform is meant to help employers. But given my points above, I think they need to think about their model some more and maybe make this tool something that’s more robust that companies of all sizes can use.

Full disclosure, this does not mean it’s not worth trying out. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.

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The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to PrisonPolicy.org, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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