The Maker’s Guide to Kingston – Smartphoneography

My name is Sherry Jeffery and I am a Smartphoneographer. Simply put I capture and edit all my images with my smartphone.

It’s like being a traditional photographer but the photo shoot never ends. I always have my gear with me so there’s more opportunity to be spontaneous and less structured.

Early on, Instagram became my platform of choice and it is this process ofMaker's Guide To Kingston growing a community around my art that continues to build my confidence and provide me with great, instant, feedback. @SherryJeffery brings my images to a global audience and connects me daily with inspiring peers and industry opportunities.

Today I want to share with you my process, a few examples of my work and perhaps help you capture and hold onto moments that are unique and precious to you.

As you explore Kingston and beyond, there will be much beauty to take in but as you do I would like you to also think about the number 1.

Sherry Jeffery Photo Tutorial

I am a minimalist.

When capturing meaningful moments I believe it is most powerful when the image focuses the viewer on a single element.

  • 1 focal point
  • 1 mood
  • 1 message

I use smartphoneography to take the noise of my own life and surroundings away. There can be no distractions within my compositions.

That is what I mean when I say think about… 1

It’s my friendly photo challenge to you. Strip away the noise and move your audience with the power of 1.

Let’s begin:


Everyone will be moved by something different so this is a personal journey of exploration. When I’m out I say to myself:

What is my subject?
What will be the perspective?
Will I set the shot up or shoot spontaneously?

SUBJECT: Regardless of which subject becomes your focal point it is important to analyze everything that surrounds the subject and identify what will compliment it versus compete with it within the frame.

PERSPECTIVE: Be willing to do what it takes (even if it’s a bit embarrassing) to give your audience a unique perspective. I lay on the ground, stand on a wall, reach over, under and around to get the shot. Think about the thousands of possible pictures that have been taken of the subject before you and how you can make yours different.

I prefer a straight horizon so I will work to get that with the shot but if necessary achieve it with editing. I also adjust my perspective to eliminate noise within the frame. Another thing I like to do is create my scene and await a transient subject to enter the frame. Sometimes the focal point is the thing moving through the shot and sometimes whatever is moving is just adding depth or scale to the composition.

Be patient… the shot will come.


Your in position and you’ve set up the perfect scene… take the picture and take a lot of them. Take your time and make subtle adjustments as needed. Many times happy accidents will occur and you can simply take credit for the amazing outcome.


I edit every single photo I intend to share. Even with all the work setting up the scene and capturing the shots it isn’t until I edit the photo that I am able to express my personal style and communicate my message.

I don’t want to tell the whole story, I want people to fill in some blanks and make a deeper connection.

I edit all my photos within Instagram. Below are the tools I use most and in the order I use them:

  • Adjust – This is where I straighten and crop. Cropping allows you to control the viewers focus and you should definitely experiment because sometimes what you can’t see is more powerful than what you can.
  • Brighten – as with all editing this comes down to personal taste. I tend to brighten and highlight more often than not because it feels to me more soothing, calming and happy.
  • Shadows – I always play with this feature and usually I am taking the shadows down which means I have to up the contrast.
  • Sharpen – as a last bit of fine tuning I sharpen just a little bit. I find that when I brighten, highlight and then take some of the shadows out it leaves the subject with soft edges and so I like to sharpen that up again.

Ultimately you should use these editing tools and/or apps to experiment until you find your own unique look. Scrolling my Instagram feed you will see quickly that I am a fan of a consistent feel. Minimalism is a technique that I employ in every aspect of my life.

I hope you will also enjoy the power of 1.

Sherry Jeffery Kingston Maker

If you would like to book me for a photo shoot please email

Have an awesome day,

Sherry Jeffery – Maker | Smartphoneographer

Welcome to my new website.  I’m so excited to bring all of my work together in one place for everyone.  I look forward to sharing my creative adventures and connecting with as many of you as I can.

I feel so fortunate to have the support of an amazing community of creative people here in Kingston, Ontario. I can’t wait to introduce you to my friends and fellow makers.

Keeping this first post short as I have a big photo shoot tomorrow and must prepare.

Ciao for now,