I'm a big proponent of taking frequent pictures of everyday life, to remember all the little moments that might otherwise be forgotten. I never want to find myself uttering the words, "I wish I'd gotten a picture of that." I try to be ready at all times, no matter how big or small the moment. I used to keep my Canon point-and-shoot camera tucked neatly in a pocket of my purse. But with today's advanced technology, I've actually been relying on my iPhone to capture my day-to-day. Why? Besides the fact that the iPhone4 has an amazing camera built in (and I hear that the next generation iPhone will be even better), I get the instant gratification of posting my pictures to various social networks and receiving quick feedback. Unlike the point-and-shoot, the pictures don't just sit there until I remember them, and I don't have to mess with cables or desktop folders to share or enjoy them. It's quick and painless.
Another fantastic reason for using the iPhone as your day-to-day camera: the in-camera creative edits are amazing. There are so many cool apps to choose from, and you don't even need to be a Photoshop whiz to use them. And so, I thought I'd share...
My 5 favorite apps to capture & edit photos using the iPhone:
1. Instagram. Love, love, LOVE this app, and I use this one most frequently. It's quick, easy and painless. You can add a "tilt-shift" to your image, and you can add cool "processing" edits with one button. There are a variety of choices, yet not too many that you get overwhelmed trying to make a decision. And besides being able to instantly post your image to Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere, Instagram is a social network of its own. You can "follow" your favorite people and "like" or comment on their images right there. This is definitely my go-to app of choice. And if you decide to use instagram, be sure to follow my own photo stream by doing a quick search for "CHELBUG." (That's ME!)
2. Incredibooth. This one is a LOT of fun. It's like using one of those fun photobooths you find along the boardwalk or at a carnival, but you don't have to pay $5 for the photos each time. And with 3 different color settings, it's even more fun. Images can be saved to your iPhone gallery, emailed, or shared on Facebook.
3. Hipstamatic. This is incredibly fun for those who miss the feel of an old camera and just want to PLAY. The design of the app is just plain CUTE, mimicking the look and feel of an older film camera. Mix and match the film, lens, and flash to create a different look each time. Then see what develops. Not only can you save and share, you can also order prints of your images straight from this app.
4. Camera+. There are a LOT of options with this app. Use it to take a picture, and there is a grid overlay to help you line up your shot properly, as well as a built-in image stabilizer, self-timer, and a burst mode (to get LOTS of shots quickly). After you've taken the image, place it in your lightbox and make edits from there. (You can also pull previously taken images into the lightbox to work on them within this app.) Once in the editing mode, there are options galore. Make basic adjustments, or choose an effect and finish with a border. Then save, email or share the image to one of several social media sites.
5. PhotoStudio. This app offers a lot of color & style overlays. Take a picture, then scroll down the list and tap the style you like. Adjust it to your taste. And you can layer the effects, as well. Bonus: while you wait for the effect to be applied and saved to your image, "fun facts" appear for your entertainment. As with the rest of the apps, you can save the image or share it on one of your social sites.
Now... ready, set... GO PLAY!
(My apologies to those who don't have an iPhone and can't put this information to use. But let me know if you need help tracking down a great app for a different smart phone, and I'd be happy to see what I can dig up for you!)