Tools & Tips

15 Essential Smartphone Photography Tutorials

Makr. A Designer in Your Pocket.

Makr is like having a designer in your pocket. Or rather on your tablet computer.

With just a few taps you can create your own stylish designs for stationery, branding and packaging. Start by picking one of the sophisticated templates, and customise it to create your own visual style for invitations, business cards, gift tags, product labels, stickers, menus, thank you notes and more. 

If you like you can tweak the colours, patterns, fonts, shapes and textures and you can add your own logo or other artwork. The Makr blog is full of design tips, ideas and creative inspiration.  


Here are some tips to think about if you want to add your own graphic: "We recommend importing your logo/graphic as a 300dpi transparent PNG file. That way it can be dropped into your project design without a white overlay and will also be a high enough resolution to ensure optimal printing quality. Learn a bit more about the logo-importing process here."

After you’ve finished your design, you can purchase a high-res PDF and print it out at home, or order professional prints and have your design delivered right to your door. The Makr app itself is available for free

Before and After: A Vintage Record Cover

shades of lemon.jpg

I'd just updated my profile picture and wanted to see if I could do something creative with it. I thought I'd take the opportunity to create a vintage record cover with VinilyzeMe!, one of the apps featured in Apps for Design and Visual Story Telling. This is a fun app that taps into our nostalgia for retro artwork and music on LPs. 

My original self portrait was rather small in size, since I'd taken it with my iPhone's front facing camera. Because of that, my selfie became jagged and pixelated when I brought it into VinylizeMe!. With Big Photo I could resample my original image, resizing it without losing quality.  

Next I flipped my photo with Leonardo to create more variation to my album cover. 

Putting together your album cover in VinilyzeMe! is an easy process where you start by selecting one of the beautifully designed templates and add your own images and words. You can create your own record label, and as you can see I founded Moontone Records! Optionally you can also add scratches and wear and tear to your album cover. 

This was a fun and charming project. Lighthearted. 



Here's a fresh bunch of inspiration for your smart phone photography:

See the world like an artist. You don’t need to paint to create beautiful water-colour images, Waterlogue captures the essence of your photos in brilliant, liquid color.

Stuck in a creative rut or looking for challenges to stretch your photography muscles? With the photo app OKDOTHIS you can turn photography into a game, with tasks as your goal for an image. Connect with other photographers and turn challenges into flashes of inspiration. 

Or maybe turning photography into a to-do list shared with a community sounds like it might kill your creative spark? Perhaps it's time to give yourself a photo detox?

New App Guides for 2014


I've just updated my free library of resources for mobile art and photography, adding a brand new section, Graphic Design and Visual Story Telling! I hope you enjoy it! 

2014 Guides and Tutorials for Mobile Art, Photography, 
Graphic Design and Visual Story Telling

How to Organize Your Photos on Your iPhone

How to organize the photos on your iPhone, iPod and iPod

There are several ways to organize your photos. Some of you may choose to use an app like DropBox, some may use iPhoto for Mac, or perhaps just the standard folder system on your computer. There are many ways to organize them after you transfer them to your computer, but what if you want to organize your photos directly in your iPhone prior to transferring them?

Here are some easy steps on how to create a folder for your photos and how you can move them to the new folder:

  1. On your iPhone, select the "Photos" icon, which has the picture of a sunflower on it.
  2. Click on "Albums" in the bottom left corner. You may see several folders created already, if you've been taking photos on your iPhone for a while, or have used several different photo apps. I have 5 myself.
  3. To create a new folder, tap the + at the top left.
  4. Type the name of the folder and hit save. A screen will pop up that allows you to go ahead and move some photos.
  5. Select the Camera Roll folder to locate the photos you would like to move to the new folder.
  6. Tap the photos that you would like to move and press "Done" in the top right corner.
  7. To go in and transfer photos to this folder later, after it has been created and saved, select the new folder, press "edit" in the top right corner, press "add" at the bottom, locate the photos in the camera roll that you want to add and press "Done".

*You will notice that the photos still appear in your camera roll. If you delete them from the camera roll, you are also deleting them from the folder that you created. Essentially, creating a folder is kind of like adding a hash tag. So each folder is a separate hash tag, but the main folder, the Camera Roll, contains ALL of the hash tags.

Photo Stream Folders

Creating a separate folder in your Photo Stream is meant for sending to someone in particular and not for organization. If you hit the + to create a new folder, it's going to ask you who you want it sent to. So this is not ideal for organizing.

The easiest way I find to organize my photos is to use the DropBox app. It just makes my life a whole lot easier, as I can create folders just like I would on my laptop, but also delete them from the folder they were in prior to moving them to the new folder.

Also, if you download the DropBox app for your Mac or PC, it will sync your iPhone with the DropBox folder when you are near your computer, which makes it nice when I need to access a photo from my phone for use on my Mac. Here's a tutorial for How to Automatically Backup Your Mobile Photos With Dropbox

About the Author: Jennifer Lynn Bishop is a freelance graphic designer, artist, and iPhoneographer. Follow her artistic journey at Rainy Day Doodle. 


© 2014 Marmalade Moon