Apart from yourself, they say your phone camera is the next best thing you can have to document moments and capture life because it’s always with you. People usually never leave their homes without it. It comes really handy when you’re snapping the most unexpected moments when you’re on-the-go: an MMDA traffic enforcer dancing on duty, a butterfly landing on your shoulder, or a rare triple rainbow. I think it’s safe to say that recent generations’ best memory keeper is right in our very pockets.
However, with the demand for better visuals, more creative Instagram feeds, and hard-to-do flat-lays, mobile photography is slowly on the rise. I have personally always wondered how other people do it – how they can produce visually-orgasmic photos with their mobile phones. Whether or not you say that “mobile photography” is easy-peasy, it really isn’t. You really need the eye, patience, and creativity for it.
Memory Crafters recently hosted a mobile photography workshop called “4-Corner Story” with Sheila Juan-Catilo from Jorem + Sheila Catilo Photography: capturing weddings, events, and milestones in its most candid, relaxed, quirky, and spontaneous way. I’ve known Memory Crafters and Sheila ever since I started blogging, and I must say their tandem translate to quality, one-of-a-kind, creative workshops.
We all gathered at Kendo Creative, a new, open space in Cubao Expo that “you can turn to whatever you need to be.” The place itself looked so Instagrammable. Event partners included Mama Chows, who provided pretty, baked goodies for the participants, and Boqueria Lifestyle Market, who gave us a buffet of curated finds that would look well when snapping photos from our mobiles. Fujifilm Philippines was also present, and provided 2 Instax Shares for participants to use and print their photos away.
Sheila talked about how every photo tells a story, and that capturing these stories require several factors. Let me give you some mobile photography pointers:
6 Tips To Excel in Mobile Photography by Memory Crafters
6. Shoot with intention.
This basically means that you must show the world what inspires you, and have the drive to achieve better images. Look at your subject from different angles, and see what reflects your personality, your story the most. Having an open mind is also important, so welcome opportunities presented by the world, go out of your comfort zone, and keep up with trends that you can experiment with.
5. Explore different composition rules.
This includes the rule of thirds, negative space, light & shadow, symmetry, perspective, or layering. Trust me: there are endless possibilities with composition. You might even find one that’s unique from what others have been doing.
4. It’s all about lighting.
Good lighting is definitely the key element to a great photograph. Color, dimension, and sharpness of image will always depend on this. Use a reflector (such as an illustration board) to bounce your light and fill in shadows to bring out details in your subject. Angle it at perpendicular to the subject!
3. Utilize the different things around you.
I love flatlays, but it’s not the easiest task in the world. For example, you have a colorful cupcake to shoot, you can go minimalist by picking a background that matches your food or plate, like a concrete floor, or wooden table. Or you can get some burlap, wood chips, or small trinquets you can see around you and style them in! Make sure to keep your colors true to the theme you want your photo to embody, though.
2. Know your subject.
We may all be looking at the same subject everyday, but what makes the difference is how we see things. If you’re shooting food, make sure that the dish is the star, not the plating. You can shoot it from a bird’s eye view to show all the layers, texture, and height. For people, the key is to focus on the eyes to make good portraits. Landscapes have different ways of shooting: shoot the view through a window, or trees. Look for patterns n the sand, or give it room to breathe by letting the sky take up majority of the space in the photo.
You won’t get the perfect shot the first time around (unless you’re an expert in this field), but for normal people like myself, who are only discovering the world of photography now – well, you better practice. As they say, the best way to learn how to do something is through repetition.
Overall, everyone had a blast, and we cannot thank Memory Crafters, Sheila Catilo, and their partners enough for making this workshop possible. The takeaways from the activities, and Sheila’s informative presentation is something I’ll carry on.
Jorem + Sheila Catilo Photography