iPhone Photography Tips with Carly Abbott

Any marketing professional will tell you that visuals are a crucial part of the process, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run out and buy a DLSR camera to get the best shots. Our photographer, Carly Abbott, shares her tips for getting the best photos with your iPhone.

iPhone Photography Tips with Carly Abbott - Social Stylate

A simple snapshot saved by shooting in Live Mode and exporting from Motion Stills.

Professional photographers are loathe to admit it, but iPhones have come a long way and can be wonderful tools for your personal or marketing photography. Equipment does not make the photographer; A good natural eye, and a grasp of photo knowledge is what really counts.

I am mainly going to focus on ways to use your iPhone’s built-in technology to create beautiful images. However, there are several apps I enjoy as well. For filtering, I enjoy VSCO and Instagram. There is also an app called Camera+, which allows you to take “macro” shots of small objects.

Now, down to the tips!

1. Control your exposure and focus point:

Many of you may know that if you want your phone’s camera to expose correctly for a certain object, you can simply tap the spot on the screen before shooting. This will tell your iPhone to use its best guess on exposure. However, once you tap the screen a little sun icon appears. Try running your finger up and down on the screen, and you will see you know have total control of the image’s exposure!

Now, if you know you want this spot to be in focus, you can also lock the AE/AF. Instead of tapping, hold your finger down on that spot until the square flashes, at which point it is locked. Now, you can play with the exposure and composition, and the camera will maintain that focus point.

2. Prevent camera shake:

These cameras are pretty powerful in dim lighting, but they still have the same issues as DSLRs. If there is not enough light, you may end up with blur due to camera shake. One way to combat this is to keep your camera as still as possible when shooting, something that can be hard if you are holding it at a tricky angle. There are two ways to help this: once you want to shoot, you can hit your volume up button to take the picture. OR, if you are really planning ahead and have your phone on a stable surface or even a tripod, you can use the volume up button on your headphones as a remote shutter trigger. Cool, right?

There is also a timer icon on the top row of your camera screen. This is great if you don’t want to move the phone by hitting a button.

3. Catch them in the act!

Anyone who has tried to photograph kids or pets knows you can completely miss the perfect moment by being too slow on the draw! I have two ways around this. The first is shooting in burst mode. Simply hold your finger down on the shutter button, and your phone will shoot many frames in a row. The drawbacks to this are you use up a lot of storage space, and you have to cull through a bunch of images to find the perfect one.

I also love to shoot in Live mode. Not only do I love playing these images to hear the odd giggles my kids made at the time, but I also view them in an app called Motion Stills. This app allows you to make the live image into a looping GIF, or you can export any frame captured in the Live photo. So, if your dog blinks when you hit the button, there’s a good chance you can freeze the image in another split second when his eyes were open!

These are just a few tips to help you with your phone’s camera. The newest phones coming out have even more features, such as portrait mode and “studio lighting” which all leaves this photographer worried about the art form’s future, because they are so cool! But the biggest photography advice stays the same no matter what equipment you use: Turn that cheap little flash off, and focus on your lighting. And when in doubt, move your feet to the right spot to get the coolest shot. Happy shooting!

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Boss Lady: Dr. Francine Edwards

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Dr. Francine Edwards, an Associate Professor of Mass Communications at Delaware State University. Dr. Edwards began her career in the television industry covering news, entertainment, and sports, as well as producing award winning documentaries and co-hosting live shows on the Black Entertainment Television network. Next she moved to public affairs, launching several celebrity endorsed healthcare campaigns before moving towards her passion of teaching.

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1) Having worked at BET for 11 years, what is the most valuable lesson you learned from your time there?
Robert Johnson, owner of BET, was probably the most empowering boss I’ve ever had. His advice to his employees was to step outside of your own box and to always be looking for the next opportunity. Mr. Johnson always said that he didn’t expect us to stay at BET and that when we moved on, what people in the industry would see in us is the work ethic, creativity and skills we learned from BET being put into action.

2) What has been the key to your success in the world of mass media?
I’ve always been willing to learn, be innovative and I know how to reinvent myself.

3) What challenges have you faced as a woman throughout your career?
In looking at the workforce as a whole, women of color face colorism (in my own experience what I mean is a light vs dark complexion issue because that was something I dealt with early in my career) and I also find that there is a thin line between being aggressive and commanding respect and being perceived as too forceful. I believe that I’ve broken down walls by finding that balance and being able to provide proof of my worth/value in my research, production ability, and that fact that I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences or serve in leadership roles within various organizations.

4) When did you realize teaching was a passion of yours?
I started graduate school several years after the BET show was canceled. I was in a world that was polar opposite of the corporate or government sector; supportive, engaging and I truly felt valued. I could see the impact that I was having on students and that’s when I realized my true passion and the greatest blessing was being able to continue my love for the media, just in a different way.

5) How did you approach the process of seeking out new professional opportunities?
My career just fell into my lap. After completing the Master’s program at Bowie State University, the faculty encouraged me to pursue the PhD and they provide so much support. Howard University was the ideal place for me to pursue the PhD as well and there I had excellent mentors.

6) Why did you decide to work in communications?
I can honestly say it was a life-long dream. I always wanted to be like Barabara Walters. I admired the fact that she was a groundbreaking female journalists who paved the way for so many women in media. As I got older I realized the power of the media and wanted to be someone who could educate through visual storytelling. My proudest moments are winning NAACP Imagr awards for documentary and production work, so looking back I can see the impact that I had as a journalist and producer.

7) Who inspires you?
So cliche but I have to say my mother. She was an engineer at NASA who went back to school after having a family and supporting our dad with his educational aspirations. She worked in a very male dominated world but worked hard in her union to fight for equal rights for women in the workplace. She also made it a priority to balance her career and family and never once let us down.

8) What gets you up in the morning?
Knowing that my kids look up to me and expect me to be an example and source of encouragement for them.

9) What would you tell other women looking to kick off a career in communications/media?
The truth! Today’s broadcast world or media landscape is not what it used to be! What are you going to do to set yourself apart from the next citizen journalist/producer and those who are trained in the craft? You can’t make excuses and you have to find work-arounds to any problem that may present itself to you. And lastly, think quickly on your feet or you will miss the story.

10) What do you enjoy the most about your position at Delaware State University?
Everyday I get to make a difference in the life of a young person who may otherwise not have a chance or an adult to listen to them and take them seriously. This is a space where we are supposed to encourage students to be exploratory and accept both the challenges and victories and my job is to support them through both so that in four years they are ready for career success.

Read more Boss Lady interviews here.

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Client Spotlight: Caffé Gelato

Delaware native and University of Delaware grad, Ryan German, discovered his love of gelato while traveling Europe during his college years. Main Street in Newark lacked an ice cream parlor and few Americans ever tasted genuine gelato so German brought gelato to Newark. German and his father spent months renovating the location themselves until all that was left was the perfect gelato recipe. He traveled to Italy and attended trade shows which allowed him to establish the import connection that would set Caffe Gelato apart. Caffe Gelato ingredients are imported from Italy to create the perfect and authentic gelato. German also saw the opportunity to staff a full kitchen and capitalized.

While the gelato is amazing take a break from walking Main Street for lunch their new Fall menu has everyone talking.  The Fall Menu designed by German and Chef Jeovany Vale has everyone talking. Caffé Gelato has a relaxed atmosphere, vibrant bar, Wine Spectator award winning wine cellar, great food, delicious homemade gelato and homemade pasta. Ordering take-out has never been so easy ad they do deliver. Make sure to check for monthly specials {for a limited time, receive 2 appetizer size salads and 2 entree size pastas for just $29}

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Stop in for lunch or dinner any day of the week, but come the weekend it’s a popular brunch spot. If you are picturing a standard diner breakfast try again. Their brunch menu features both savory and sweet crepes, French toast, poached eggs with lobster, filet mignon or even with mozzarella and Roma tomatoes, elevated omelets, and variety of sharable small plates. Wear your University of Delaware gear on a Saturday and receive 50% off! Parking is available in the back lot for 3 hours free when you dine in!

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On October 29th Caffe Gelato is hosting a 10 Miler, 5k Run and 2 mile walk to benefit the Friendship House in Newark. Register now online until the Thursday before the event.

Use their online system or call them directly at (302) 738-5811 to make a reservation for your next dinner, reserve a party room, or catering.

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Boss Lady: Jennifer Steiner

Jennifer Steiner - Adorn Goods - Boss Lady - Social Stylate

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Jennifer Steiner, co-founder of Adorn Goods boutique in Centreville, Delaware. Jennifer shares with us what it means to empower women to live positive and organized lifestyles along with advice for future #bossladies.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I studied Communication and Art History in college. Everything I’m about and ever known has one theme…aesthetics. I was lucky to grow up with a father who is a mastermind of 18th century architectural design and lover of Philadelphia high style antiques and a mother whose house was always a home and was impeccable. I learned quickly quality over quantity.

I started working on the curatorial staff at Delaware Art Museum as an intern right out of college. I remember my first project was to design a rug out of garden hoses. I thought if I can make a rug made of hoses look good…well I may have potential. From there I went on to special events and then advertising. After I was married, I decided to start the interior design program at Moore College of Art and Design. Then came children and all my time went to them! I feel so lucky to be able to own a business and still pick up my kids from school.

2. What prompted you to start Adorn Goods?
A love of all things beautiful…whether it’s a gorgeous vase, an essential oil that brings you a few moments of relaxation and mindfulness, or the most delicious jar of homemade jam you are so proud to serve your friends and family.

3. How do you decide what brands/lines to carry?
Everything we carry we love and want for ourselves. It’s hard to find the unique, but that’s what we strive for! We want people to love everything and find something they love…truly enjoying their shopping experience.

4. As a retailer, what lessons have you learned that you didn’t know prior to opening the store?
The time it takes to keep things energized and fresh!

5. How do you make your store stand out against competitors?
By offering unique lines with a mix of nostalgia and passion.

6. Where do you hope to see Adorn Goods in 5 years?
The addition of an online store, increased event space and hopefully doing what we are doing now, with the same amount of passion.

7. As a working mom, do you have any tips on creating a balance?
Do the best you can…it’s all good!

8. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
It’s simple, being in nature and mindfulness.

9. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
There’s always a way…especially for women business owners. Join a support group or local women in business club.

10. Who is a #BossLady that inspires you and why?
My friend Debi Brooks, who runs a major non-profit, she also a mom, a cook, baker and everything maker : )

Just for fun…

Your happy place is: Anywhere in nature.
The one item you can’t live without it: Salt and chocolate.
Favorite Instagram account to follow: Ugh….
The last show you binge-watched: Big Little Lies!
Cocktail of choice: Dirty Martini
Song you could dance all day to: Crazy In Love by Beyonce and September by Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Trend you wish would disappear: Any trend…I alway try to stick with the classics.

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