14 Tips on How to Take the Perfect Picture With Your Smartphone

14 Tips on How to Take the Perfect  Picture With Your Smartphone

You don't need an expensive camera to take an incredible picture.

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Taking pictures makes an experience last forever. Make sure you give that experience what it deserves by producing an amazing photograph. Here are 10 tips on how to take the perfect picture.

Use Lighting to Your Advantage

The most important aspect of photography is lighting. If you have poor lighting, it ruins the entire picture no matter how well you do everything else. Avoid taking pictures in direct sunlight, but use natural light when you can. The "golden hour" is a perfect example of using natural light to create an incredible picture. The golden hour is the hour before sundown when there is enough sunlight for the picture, without it being too bright.

Take Several Pictures Before Looking at Any of Them

A big mistake many beginner photographers make is to immediately look at a picture they've taken. This prevents you from capturing special moments if you're taking pictures of other people. You might miss the perfect smile or a unique expression. Instead, take many pictures before pulling back and looking at what you've got.

Learn How to Frame

Framing is so important in photography because it allows the photographer to tell a story and provide a more aesthetically pleasing picture. Avoid putting subjects in the middle of a shot, especially if they are walking or moving in one direction. You can use grid line tools to help create balanced, well-framed photographs on your phone.

Try Unique Perspectives

Perspective can change the meaning of a photograph, so don't be afraid to play around with it. Get low and take shots of things above you or climb up a ladder and take shots of things directly below you. Perspective allows you to explore some of your creativity when taking pictures.

Avoid Zooming In

Smartphones have significantly improved their cameras over the last decade. You can take incredible pictures that look like they were taking with an expensive camera. But that quality quickly diminishes when you start to zoom in on your subject. Your smartphone quality is at its best, by far, when it is completely zoomed out.

Keep it Simple

If you have too much going on in your pictures, it can look crowded and feel a bit overwhelming to look at. When photographing a subject, keep the background and surroundings as minimal as possible. This allows the eye to capture and focus on what the picture Is about.

Edit Your Photos (But Don't Overdo It)

You should strive to take the perfect photo while actually taking the picture, but that doesn't mean you can't edit it a bit afterward to make it look even better. You can edit pictures to make the subject pop out more, or enhance the colors and lighting. You can also use editing to create a unique style or aesthetic for the photos you take. Read more here about some creative photo ideas. But make sure you don't overdo it. Too much editing can take away from the beauty of the original picture.

Use Your Camera's Focus

Utilize your smartphone's focusing ability whenever taking a picture of a subject. This allows the camera to sharpen on the subject, and slightly blur the background making the image pop a lot more. Get creative and play around with which part of the frame you want to focus on. Sometimes focusing on background objects instead of the subject can create a uniquely interesting photograph.

Look for Leading Lines

Using leading lines in your pictures can create a unique sense of depth. Leading lines are straight, circular, or spiraling lines that lead towards the focal point in your frame. Think of roads, spiraling staircases, or trees as some great leading lines to create more depth in your photographs.

Find Symmetry

Symmetry can create an incredibly aesthetically appealing photograph. To create symmetry, you need to use framing to make your picture perfectly balanced. There should be something in the center of your picture, and the exact same thing on either side. Symmetry creates a powerful photograph if done correctly.

Look for Repetitive Patterns

Using repetitive patterns is another way to create a beautiful and powerful picture. They are pleasing to look at and create a powerful image. Look for repeating lines, geographical shapes, or objects to create this appealing effect. You can either create these images on your own or look for them where they naturally occur in the world.

Understand the Importance of Small Details

The tiniest of details can tell a story in a photograph. Use your phones focus and get up close to capture these small details. For example, you can photograph the tiny crevices of a tree trunk, or the incredible detail of a spider web. There's beauty all around you, all the time, waiting for you to notice and capture it.

Take Candid Photos

When photographing people, there's something magical in capturing the most human moments. It's one thing to ask someone to look at a camera and smile big. But it's something entirely different to capture the way a lover smiles at their partner when they aren't looking. Capture these everyday moments that make us who we are, and you'll end up taking some incredible pictures that could never be recreated with something that's posed or planned.

Don't Be Afraid to Break the Rules

While there are many rules in photography, it's important to know that you can break them and still capture a brilliant picture. Aim to be unconventional and unique. Take pictures from strange angles, use different lighting, experiment with ideas that other people try to avoid. If everyone followed the same rules of photography, there would be no creativity in the art. Find your style by trying new things and stick to it.

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10 Absolute Classic Christmas Flicks To Decompress After College Finals, Because You've Earned It

What movies are the best to watch before Christmas.

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Finals week is finally over, which means that if you're in college, you can finally start enjoying the holiday! And for a lot of college students, one of the best ways to enjoy the holiday is to start watching Christmas movies. There are so many great Christmas movies to watch, and if you're in college, they're a great way to destress after a long stressful semester. Here are 10 of the best Christmas movies to watch if you're in college.

1. "Elf"

Elf

travis / Flickr

Almost any college student will agree with me that one of the of the best Christmas movies is "Elf"! It's one of my favorite Christmas movies, and it's the funniest one to watch! I'm sure a lot of us can relate to Will Ferrell's exaggeration of being excited for Christmas, especially since it's the one time that we can have a break from college. It's a great holiday movie to watch if you want to take away the stress of the semester and if you enjoy movies that make you laugh!

2. "National Lampoon Christmas"

National Lampoon Christmas

travis / Flickr

This is another great Christmas movie to watch if you want something that will give you a good laugh! For anyone who doesn't know what this movie is about, it's a comedy about a dysfunctional family that prepares for Christmas.

3. "It's A Wonderful Life"

It's A Wonderful Life

Wikimedia Commons

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies! If you love old classic uplifting Christmas movies, then you'll enjoy "It's a Wonderful Life." The movie is about a man who wishes he was never born and goes through an experience during Christmas where he gets to take a look at how he impacts other people's lives. What I love about the movie is that it has a good message and you can relate to the characters.

4. "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas / Facebook

Whether you decide to watch the live action version featuring Jim Carrey or the newest movie "The Grinch" that's in theaters right now, this one is a Christmas movie must. Whichever type of Grinch movie you prefer, both are funny and great to watch during Christmas.

5. "The Polar Express"

The Polar Express / Facebook

"The Polar Express" is another classic Christmas movie that a lot of college of students probably grew up watching. If you love classic Christmas movies that are uplifting, then this is a great Christmas movie to watch! It's especially great to watch when you need a movie that reminds you of your childhood! It's a fun movie to watch with family or friends too!

6. Home Alone

Home Alone

s_herman on Flickr

"Home Alone" is another great Christmas movie to watch when you need a movie that will make you laugh or remind you of your childhood! It's about a child that gets left at home on Christmas, and a few thieves try to break into his house with him by himself. The movie is a great classic Christmas that's fun to watch with anyone over the holiday!

7. "A Christmas Story"

A Christmas Story / Facebook

This is a great movie to watch if you want an old classic Christmas movie that will give you a good laugh. It's told from the perspective of a child during Christmastime in the 1960s. It's very fun to watch and it gives you a good laugh!

8. "A Christmas Carol"

A Christmas Carol

dennis.pope85 / Flickr

There are tons of different versions of "A Christmas Carol" that you can find anywhere. Even Disney made a version of the movie with Jim Carrey! It's a top classic Christmas that's fun to watch with family or friends during the holiday. It's great to watch when you need an uplifting message after suffering from stress from fall semester.

9. "Jingle All The Way"

Jingle All The Way / Facebook

This is one Christmas movie to watch when you need a good laugh! It's about a father who is struggling to keep his family together after focusing on his job and having issues with his marriage. When his son asks him for a toy that is one of the most popular toys during Christmas and the toy gets sold out, he goes through extreme lengths in order to make his son happy. The movie is relatable because it makes fun of Black Friday and Christmas shopping.

10. "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

The Nightmare Before Christmas / Facebook

If you love Tim Burton or claymations, then you'll enjoy this Christmas movie! This movie is often watched for Halloween or during Christmas since it features both holidays. It's one of the best claymation movies!

Watching Christmas movies is a great way to enjoy the holiday and hang out with your friends or family. You can even make a movie night for watching Christmas movies! Whatever Christmas movie you watch over the holiday, make sure that it's one that you'll enjoy and that will help you get into the spirit of the holiday!

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10 Ways to Change Your Look and Reinvent Yourself

It's time to change what you've been doing for years. It's time to reinvent yourself.

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Change is bittersweet. It's always difficult to let go of what you've been comfortable with for years. But change is a positive experience because it gives you a fresh start. Change can make you feel more confident and give your life the rush of adventure you may need. Here are 10 ways to change your look so you can completely reinvent yourself and start fresh.

Get a Bold, New Haircut

The easiest (and most popular) way to change your appearance is by getting a haircut. That doesn't mean trimming a couple of inches off the ends. It means completely changing your hairstyle. There are so many directions you can go with this type of change. You can go from having super long hair to chopping it all off and rocking a bob cut. You could get bangs for the first time. You could shorten your hair and get layers. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure you've thought this one through and you're not chopping your hair off based on an impulse.

Start (or Stop) Wearing Glasses

If you need glasses or contacts to help with your vision, you can switch up the routine. If you've always worn contacts, try wearing glasses and see how it can completely transform your look. If you've always worn glasses, you can switch to contacts and it'll totally change your vibe. Or, you could just buy a different style of eyeglasses to switch up your look without using contacts. Read more here if you want to start using contacts instead of glasses.

Buy New, Different Styles Clothing

Your clothing says a lot about who you are. If you wear blazers and business suits people see you as a professional. If you wear long, flowy skirts people might see you as boho. If you wear leather jackets, you could have a more grunge look to you. No matter how you dress now, you can completely change your look and reinvent yourself by trying a new style of clothing. This can be difficult because you are so used to shopping at specific stores and buying the same type of clothing. Start by determining which style you want to go for and talk to people who have this style. As them for tips and where you should shop. Start out by just buying an outfit or two and seeing if it feels right to wear that style. If you love it, then you can continue to grow your wardrobe!

Switch Up Your Makeup Routine

The way you do your makeup can completely affect your appearance every day. You could start wearing more bold lipstick and eyeshadow to completely change your look. Or you could use darker or light colors. The ideas are endless! Check out YouTube makeup tutorials for some fun makeup ideas that are different from what you've been doing lately.

Stop Wearing Makeup All-Together

If you want to go all-natural, you could stop wearing makeup all-together, or only wear it on special occasions. This is a huge change, especially if you would wear a lot of makeup every day. Not wearing makeup will help you feel confident in your natural appearance and will also be great for your skin because it'll be able to breathe more throughout the day.

Whiten Your Teeth

This might seem like such a simple, small change, but it can make a huge difference. Your smile if often one of the first things people will notice about you when they meet you. If you don't feel confident in your smile or your teeth, you could really benefit from getting your teeth whitened. This will make you feel more comfortable smiling, which totally brightens your entire appearance.

Dye Your Hair

Just as getting a bold haircut can be a huge change in appearance, so is dying your hair. This is one of (if not the most) popular ways to change an appearance. If you have light hair, you could dye it dark or go for a super bold color. If you've had dark hair your whole life, you can add some blonde to your hair to completely change your look. The choices are endless when it comes to dying your hair, so make sure you do your due diligence before deciding on a color.

Wear Different Accessories

Accessories may seem like such a small part of an outfit, but they can really change your whole vibe. If you never used to wear accessories, simply adding some jewelry a watch, a hat, or bold sunglasses can give you an entirely new look without changing your style overall. You can use accessories to switch up your current wardrobe and give it a fresh new feeling without breaking the bank on new clothes.

Get in Shape

This is the most difficult and time-consuming tip on this blog. Getting fit requires dedication and hard work. If you're willing to put in the time and effort, you can start to feel and look healthier than ever. Getting fit will give you an increase in confidence that some of the other tips can't do. This is because you are making yourself healthy by working hard, which makes you feel really great about yourself.

Be Confident in Yourself

Once you've made changes to your appearance, it's important to be confident in yourself. The difference between two identical people (one confident, one not) is huge. Confidence really pulls a new look together and will make you feel great about the reinvented person you've become.

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