Thumbs Up Thursdays

Thumbs Up Thursday: Happy Fourth!

For a lot of us, July 4th is a big ordeal. Not only is it a beloved national holiday, it’s the perfect time to break out the reds, whites, and blues – in clothes, flags, and (our personal fave) foods. We also know that while the holiday lasts only a day, lots of families get together for long weekends or weeks to celebrate America’s independence together.

With this in mind, we launched our July 4th mission a little early and closed it out a little later so that we could get the best idea of what you Tappers were doing to celebrate. The results were a lovely mix of time with family by the pool or beach, adorable kiddos playing with sparklers, and lots and lots of nommable bites. Take a peek at five of our faves!

Jessica J

This fresh feast from Jessica J. had us heading out to buy a watermelon for ourselves. Not only do the slices (and fruit skewers!) look delicious, but we loved the sunny July light and subtle filter she chose. The framing plates and slightly off-center focal point were an added bonus!


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Tutorial Tuesdays

HOW TO: Create Your Own Smartphone Tripod

Last week, we talked about a bunch of really cool smartphone accessories to up your photography game. This week, we’re diving deeper into one vital accessory that you can make yourself: the tripod.

tripod is traditionally a 3-legged platform on which a camera sits to keep steady. Using a tripod helps prevent blurry photos, and allows you to explore different angles without worrying about shaky arms. However, tripods are also traditionally made for manual or DSLR digital cameras, fairly large, and not particularly budget friendly.

In an age of smartphone photographers, we found some cool hacks to create a few different types of tripods that can help your amateur shots adopt a slightly professional style.


The most important element of the tripod is the ability to keep your camera steady. We found 3 hacks using stuff you usually have lying around the house or office that will give you 3 different heights.

Binder Clips

These durable, butterfly-style clips are awesome for steadying your phone’s camera and giving an interesting, low-height angle. There are two cool ways to improvise these office supplies into tripod-alternatives.

binderclip tripod

In this simple version, you clip your smartphone directly into the binder clips! Once comfortably secured, just set the arms directly on a flat surface You’ll get a slightly downward angle if you’re shooting with the rear camera, and a slightly upward angle if you’re using the front-facing camera. Good for: close ups of small objects on a flat surface.

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Thumbs Up Thursdays

Thumbs Up Thursday: Our Favorite Adopted Cats

It’s no secret that Crowdtap HQ is ob-SESSED with dogs. Our furry friends provide entertainment when meetings run long, comfort when the cold brew runs dry, and companionship when we fall far into the depths of a deadline. And while our dogs are definitely one of the plus sides to working at Crowdtap, we’ve also got to give our WFH days (work from home) a shoutout, because they help us hang with our cats too.

But enough about us — we wanted to peek into your lives, and the lives of your favorite furry adoptees! When the internet hears the word “cat,” the results are usually hilarious, super aw-worthy, and overall fantastic. It was no different with you, Tappers! Take a look at our five favorite adopted cat submissions.

Kimberly M

Ok, hard to say who’s cuter in this one! Kimberly M. shared this photo of her daughter with a gorgeous black and white kitten that they found abandoned in a neighbors boat. Looks like these two are about to embark on a beautiful, beautiful friendship together.

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Tutorial Tuesdays

HOW TO: Enhance Your Phone With Useful Accessories

Hey, Tappers! Recently, many of our Tutorial Tuesday posts have focused on apps, apps, and more apps. That’s because it’s not just about having a high-tech phone anymore — it’s about utilizing your phone to the best of its many, many abilities.

While we’ve mostly been dealing with the internal functionalities of your phone, today we’re excited to chat about all things external. What we’re talking about, of course, is accessories (oooo, shiny). Similar to how some of us have dressed and accessorized our outfits, our pets, or even our kids, there are thousands upon thousands of phone accessories out there that can do anything, like simultaneously hold your phone and your toilet paper (yup), cracking open a beer bottle, or providing an external flash for when you want a crisp, higher quality photo taken in the dark.

For the sake of brevity, we’ve narrowed down the top four accessories we think will be particularly useful (and fun!) for you, Tappers. Make sure your phone is by your side, and read on!

Moment Lenses

The market for attachable iPhone lenses is certainly expansive, but if you’re looking for unbeatable quality, you’ll find it in Moment lenses. Designed in the same aerospace grade metal and glass that’s utilized in professional camera lenses, Moment offers three varieties of lenses: wide, tele, and macro. Each lens has its attributes, but we recommend the wide lens, which takes incredible landscapes, giving your photo much more sharpness, clarity, and width than when taken on a iPhone camera alone. It’s perfect for capturing the perfection photo for one of our missions. The lens is simple to attach — you can twist it onto the mounting plate that comes with the lens, or you can purchase the Moment Case, which not only allows you to easily attach and take off lenses, but also comes with an app that gives you even more control over the type of photo that you’re shooting. For anyone who takes their photography seriously, this is a worthy, worthy addition to your phone.

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Photos taken by the author with a Wide Moment lens

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Thumbs Up Thursdays

Thumbs Up Thursday: Congrats, Grads!

As this year’s graduation season comes to a close, we want to give an ovation to all the 2016 grads out there. From youngsters bridging the gap from kindergarten to elementary school, to degree-earners in both high school and college, graduation is an achievement to celebrate — a door opening to the next chapter life has in store.

Last week, we sent you on a mission to share your favorite grad photos, both recent and from year’s past. After sifting through pages of polyester gowns, we selected five of our faves spanning the last 30 years. Let’s start down memory lane:

Taylor W

This professional shot, care of 2016 grad Taylor W., captures the sentiment of graduation. She sums it up pretty perfectly in her caption: “I remember having a lot of mixed feelings: I was excited, nervous, and sad that college was over. My whole family was there supporting me and cheering me on, and as I walked across the stage with two degrees, I knew that all of my hard work the past four years had finally paid off.” Congrats, Taylor!


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Tutorial Tuesdays

HOW TO: Add Crowdtap Overlays to Breathe New Life Into Your Photo

There’s nothing quite like a warm summer day to lift your spirits, especially when you walk away with your new favorite photo:

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Whether you’re out exploring, relaxing outside with your loved ones, or celebrating something this summer, these are the moments you never want to end, so you snap a quick pic. One way to relive those moments is to add an overlay to it to re-imagine your fave photo. One of our awesome designers at Crowdtap created three cool photo overlays to help us do just that. Scroll down to see how we gave this photo new life!

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Thumbs Up Thursdays

Thumbs Up Thursday: Let’s Hear It For the Dads

We know we’re coming in a little late after Father’s Day, but figured now is as good a time as any to celebrate Dear Old Dad. There’s no wrong time to celebrate how awesome your parents are – right? Whether he’s a tough teddy bear or a caring goofball, there are tons of dads to celebrate out there.

From dads to granddads to husbands and fathers, we saw photos of all sorts of beloved and loving pops’ come in from all of you. Take a look at our top picks, then go give the dad in your life a hug.

Tabitha R

The smiles on these two are totally contagious! Tabitha R. snapped this shot of her husband and son, sharing a sweet moment of admiration and fun. Love it!


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Tutorial Tuesdays

HOW TO: Keep Your Phone Safe at the Beach

So…does anyone else nearly tear up at the thought of accomplishing an absolutely perfect beach day? And we really do mean perfect — a cooler of fresh, delectable snacks, ocean water that doesn’t freeze your insides, great company, a light breeze, and above all, a peaceful little escape from your daily grind. IT IS THE GREATEST.

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The only thing that would put a dent in a beach day like that? Some sort of terrible fate befalling your phone. Suddenly, you begin to understand that the beach is fraught with danger. Waves with the potential to knock you over even if you’re only calf-deep, and that heat without a lick of shade to speak of! But also…your canteen full of sweet, sticky iced tea that your chatty friend will most definitely knock over onto your phone with her elbow.

Everyone knows that a spill (or any contact with liquid, really) can cause your phone to break or flat out perish, but did you know that other natural elements at the beach can be just as problematic? Not only can grains of sand scratch up your screen, but they can also creep into crevices in your phone and cause some major internal damage. Too much direct sunlight on your phone can cause it to overheat, which is never healthy for the device.

So how do you avoid these issues at the beach? It’s simple, really. Read on!

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THE FANCY

If you’re looking for ultimate protection, you might want to invest in a waterproof phone cover. While this is a pricier option, if you do enough research you’ll definitely get some bang for your buck, and you’ll be able to use it all year round, not just in the summer. LifeProof iPhone cases, for instance, employ a sleek, compact design that not only allows your phone  to be submerged in up to six feet of water for an hour, but can also protect your phone from dirt, snow, dust, and drops. It’s also got a built in screen cover. LifeProof cases range anywhere from $80 – $129, and come equipped for iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 5, 5s, 5se, as well as Samsung, Motorola, and LG phones.

Other well-reviewed companies that sell waterproof cases are OtterBox and Catalyst.

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Thumbs Up Thursdays

Thumbs Up Thursday: Celebrating Pride

In light of recent events, our heavy hearts are grateful to see so many of you are still celebrating Pride this month. The attack on Pulse in Orlando struck a chord with us all, and our sincerest condolences, love and gratitude go out to all who suffered. Within all of the sadness and hurt, let us not forget that there’s still much to celebrate, this month and all year long.

Scroll down to see how this week’s Thumbs Up Thursday winners like to live loud and proud.

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Alissa C. hits it home with temporary tattoos that sit right on a pulse point. The symbolism is strong with this one, and we’re feelin’ it.

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Tutorial Tuesdays

HOW TO: Add Character with Photo Filters

Do you ever find yourself thinking about the early days of photography?

We’re not talking about the grainy photos you once snapped with your flip phones, or even the not-so-great ones you took with one of the first digital cameras you owned (which you insisted on taking with you to every single function imaginable, remember?).  No, we’re talking about the very beginning, when developing just a single photograph required chemical concoctions and glass plates and copper sheets, when posing for a single photo was a grueling test of staying absolutely still for thirty minutes. Those days.

As tedious and as time consuming as that process was, it resulted in images that were fraught with meaning. How could they not be? They were layered with time and process and effort, and the result was, many times, otherworldly.

The reason we bring this up is because we’re here to talk about photo filters, and when we talk about photo filters what we’re really talking about is making our crisp, unmarred images into something much more layered, into a photo with a story.

What exactly is a photo filter anyway? In our modern world, when we talk about the photo filters, like the ones we see on Instagram for example, we’re simply talking about a photography effect which enhances an image we’ve taken. It does this by dynamically diversifying the color spectrum of a photo. How it diversifies the spectrum depends on the type of filter you choose.

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