How to take better pictures empower your phone to be the bad ass camera she is

The trick to all photography is the light, seeing where it is coming from and where it is going and where you and your subject are in relationship to it. This doesn't change at all whether you are using a smart phone, a medium format camera or a video camera.

Light to photography is like salt in cooking - you can eat it with a little or with a lot, but get the perfect amount, everything pops.

my son getting ready to jump in the backyard pool - iphone 5


Who AM I: I'm still working on that, but in a nutshell, I'm Melissa Squires, I have owned A Girl In Love Photography for 11 years. I am a learner, a speaker, an activist, a partner and a mom. The Blurb on my website says:

"I have had work in Essence magazine, Huffington Post, Good Morning America, The BBC, Detroit Metro Bride, Michigan Brides, Brides, The Knot and The Knot Michigan, The Daily News, The Daily Post and work shown in galleries as well as on the wall of our local pizza joint, Sal’s. A bunch of blogs have featured my work and the great Preston Bailey said I was "Wildly Talented." My dad says I'm wildly talented too :) You can see reviews from real clients at myweddings.com, yelp.com and Facebook. Someday I'll get those up here too but I'm not so great at self-promotion."

I've driven cab, studied education and journalism, worked as a network engineer, and in marketing. There is more if you want it at www.agirlinlove.com/aboutme

Nows the time to get out your smart phone if you have it.

the sessions second half will be for questions!


Waking up to a dark hotel room, reaching for my phone to see the time, my son jumps up and opens the curtains and the light pours in. iPhone 4, Gaylord, Michigan.

  • find it... then follow it...
  • "Soft" is going to be better then "hard" light.
  • then move around it...
  • Changing your view is going to change the picture
  • then shoot.
  • Use your hand if you can't see the light.
I don't have a ton of followers but I still get nice comments once in a while - taken at the last iphoneography session


Wedding speeches at the Westin Detroit - Jen House Design - iphone 6 Panorama SOOC

Identifying what you are trying to capture makes a world of difference (and only takes one mindful moment!) Are you photographing the room, the flowers, the cake the venue.... where are they in relation to the light. You don't have to MOVE anything except yourself, once you find the subject.

(In the photo above it's NOT the bride and groom, or the speaker; it's the dais the bride and groom are on in relation to the rest of the beautiful room! find the light (behind them) and shoot.

Finally we can think about some photo basics

appetizers at a multi course chefs dinner @ Evans Street Station (the new iPhone studio mode doesn't' have to be used with people!)

There are a million sites that go over this list, you already know it but we'll skim some main guidelines you can click on the links below to get more info anytime you want!


It's becoming a cliche but it is still true "The best camera is the one you have with you." My nightmares are about ending up in Hawaii, in the middle of an alien invasion, during a once in a life time sunset, and having no camera.. in one dream I found an old lady with a flip phone and used that to take photos!!

  1. grid or not to grid
  2. tap on focal point, slide for exposure (use sparingly)
  3. brace your elbow or your arm to stop camera shake
  4. use the volume button not the button on the screen to snap the picture
  5. hold it down - don’t be scared of burst mode.
  8. explore off camera phone lighting
A few house plants in the sun. Kotor, Montenegro iPhone6 taken by Sean Squires


I aim to spend half the time allotted taking questions. That time can go fast. I do small group and one on one photography mentoring as well as speaking on photography, light, learning, self care and a handful of workshops a year.

iphone 4 photo of a watercolor self portrait sketch of my legs
Created By
melissa squires


melissa squires/ sean squires

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