You, too, can take great photos with your cellphone


Taking photos with your cellphone makes it easy to quickly share the memories with loved ones by text or email.

8 Tips for taking better cellphone photos

With a proliferation of cellphones, smartphones, tablets and devices, it is easier than ever to capture life’s moments in a photograph.

Some seniors might find working with digital photography a bit daunting, so Senior Life spoke with local photographer Yvonne Oak about how to take the perfect picture.

“Remember to take pictures of what you like and what makes you smile,” Oak said. “If you love butterflies, then by all means take pictures of butterflies. If you like taking pictures of flowers, then take pictures of flowers.

“I find that it is more interesting to make your photographs tell a story,” Oak advised. “(For instance), if you find one white flower in a sea of purple flowers, then take a picture of both the white flower and the purple flowers, then you can ask, ‘well, why is there a white flower in a sea of purple?’ Is it (representing) someone being unique?”

There are a number of different ways to take a photo, especially with a smartphone, cell phone or tablet.

“You can also try experimenting with different lighting,” Oak said. “Do not be afraid to try taking photos with flash and without using the flash. Furthermore, you can take photos that are backlight, where the sun makes the (subjects) more shadow than clearly lit.”

One of the more common issues that seniors might experience with digital photography is the sheer multitude of ways that one can send and receive photos.

When taking a photo with a smartphone or any other device that has texting capabilities, the photo can be sent directly as a text. When looking at your library of photos on your device, there ought to be an option to send the photo as a text message. On iPhones, this option looks like a box with an arrow sticking out of it.

When sending a photo via email, the process has become streamlined. Multiple photos can be attached to an email by simply clicking the attach button.

On Gmail, this option is represented by a paperclip. From here, search files and find the photograph to send and then press OK. Presto! The photo is attached and ready to send.

“I feel like the old saying, ‘a picture can speak a thousand words,’ ” Oak said. “I feel like I can express things and tell things better in a photo and showing people the story, rather than me trying to tell the story.

“My personal favorite photos are when friends are interacting with each other and not smiling into the camera saying cheese. (For instance,) if you and your friends like playing cards together, then try taking a photo of them intensely looking at their cards and not at the camera,” Oak said. “Unless you are trying to show their entire outfit that they are wearing, it is usually best just to take pictures of people just waist up. By not including their legs in the photo, you can focus in more on their faces and their reactions. Sometimes, the best stories are when they are looking at the ocean and you are not even getting a picture of their face at all.”

In today’s world of smartphones, tablets and laptops, it’s easier than ever to share your photographs and experiences with your loved ones. Many devices are designed to be user-friendly and often use common symbols to help use their many different functions.

Be sure to keep an eye out for arrows, letters and even a handy paperclip to help show the many ways to utilize a device.

“They say that you cannot time travel,” Oak said. “However, I feel like when I am looking through photographs that I have taken 16 or 20 years ago, that I have stepped back in time to that moment. The photo, for me, captures not only that small slice of time, but also the memory of the events happening at that moment.”

Oak is a local photographer in the Viera area. See more of her work at