Thumbs Up Thursdays

Thumbs Up Thursday: Just Keep Swimming

Hey there mermaids Tappers!

This week’s Thumbs Up Thursday was a toughie, but a good handful of you guys braved the mighty waters and managed to come up with some really fun underwater shots! We’ve chosen our five favorites below.

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We love this adorable shot of Carolina Q.‘s family. Her daughter looks lovely and comfortable as she explores the pool, and why wouldn’t she when such a great support system has got her back!

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Tutorial Tuesdays

HOW TO: Take Great Action Shots on Vacation

Alright, let’s be honest here: When you’re reminiscing about spectacular vacations you’ve been on, do you get more satisfaction from looking at photos of you standing and smiling merrily in front of monuments and pretty scenes, or photos of you in the thick of the action, whether you’re rafting, hiking, or cartwheeling across a pristine beach?

Likely, it’s the latter.

When you capture great action shots on a vacation, they tend to zap you right back into the moment. You remember how refreshing the ocean water was that day, or how good the breeze felt when you found yourself atop a cliff you never thought you could scale, but did.

Not only do photos taken mid-action inspire us to recount the best of our vacations, but in many cases these types of photos, when shot correctly, are impressive and beautiful to look at, too. Today’s tutorial will focus on teaching you the necessary steps to craft an action photo that’ll impress even the toughest critic: you!

Frame it, folks 

Whether you’re snapping a photo of your kid surfing or your significant other hiking, make sure to keep the entire landscape in mind. The way you frame your subject will have an impact on the photo as a whole, but this isn’t to say that you need your subject to be in the center of the frame. In fact — don’t! If you look at most action shots, you’ll notice that the ones with the most impact positioned the subject off-center in the frame.

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Thumbs Up Thursdays

Thumbs Up Thursday: We All Scream for Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of our favorite parts of summer. What’s more pleasant and delicious than a cone from the local ice cream joint or park-side ice cream truck? Only a cone covered in sprinkles.

Last week, we asked for your best snaps while you or a loved one were enjoying delicious frozen treats. Take a peek at our five winners, then listen closely for the ice cream truck until the heat breaks!

Jessica M

This shot of Jessica M.’s little girl epitomizes late summer for us. Green grass, hazy sun, picnic tables — and a whopping soft serve cone, doused in sprinkles! Extra love for this gal’s look of solid determination while diving into this vanilla dream.


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Tutorial Tuesdays

HOW TO: Take Underwater Photos

Real talk: There was one particular photo from last week’s Thumbs Up Thursday that got us thinking about underwater photos and how cool they are. So it was a no-brainer (and if you were here in the office you’d think it was planned) when we all yelled out, “UNDERWATER PHOTO TUTORIAL!” and then toasted with seltzers and went home happy.

You’re probably used to seeing underwater photographs floating around more than you realize (Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover, Flip Schulke’s iconic photo of Muhammad Ali, all those National Geographic photos you ogle at on Instagram), but have you ever thought about taking your own?

It’s easier than you think! Not only is it sure to be a super enjoyable experience (hello, you get to swim), it’ll also make your photo submissions stand out from the rest of the crowd, especially in these last few weeks of summer. As always, we’re here to help.

12108049_10205017339333363_2306501335766263043_nChoosing the right locale 

Whether you’ll be shooting with your phone or a more professional camera, make sure to consider the elements. Though it’s totally your call, you probably don’t want to take photos in a body of water where waves, rocks, or unpredictable conditions can get in the way.

Instead, jump into a pool. Fun fact: Chlorinated water is less damaging to your phone than salt water, and provides a safe, comfortable space for you to play around freely to get your shot. Just don’t forget your goggles!

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Crowdtap Updates

Thumbs Up Thursday: 5 Tappers Who *Nailed* the Overlays Mission

Ask and you shall receive! Tappers, just a scant few weeks ago, we asked you to not only show us how you summer, but to add one of our Crowdtap overlays to your photo. Some of you killed this assignment. Let’s take a look:

Kristen M. brought us poolside with a photo that may or may not already have us reaching for some sunscreen. BRB, looking for beach towels…

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Crowdtap Updates

HOW TO: Build Up Your Crowdtap Community With Compliments and Likes

When we rolled out commenting and liking back in April, one of our goals was to unify our community of Tappers and get you all chatting it up on the reg. Like any of your social networks (which you’ve been sharing photos to via Crowdtap) a simple like can give a lot of kudos. We saw this as an opportunity to empower you to collaborate, share techniques, and learn from one another.

Now, be honest — how often do you go through brands’ pages to check out other members’ submissions? If you have, you’ve more than likely seen submissions from Tappers who’ve gone above and beyond. If not, you’re definitely missing out.

Think of it this way: If you’re a writer, you read. If you’re redecorating, you look up designs online, watch home improvement shows and probably spend a lot of time on Pinterest. If you’re a chef, you watch those food shows on TV. See where we’re going here? Inspiration is everywhere, and your fellow Tappers are no exception.

Take Kalynn D., for instance — she went above and beyond LISTERINE’s ask by adding overlays to her photo, to help her LISTERINE ‘mic’ seem more musical.

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Simple, but effective. By liking her photo and commenting on it on Crowdtap, I presented Kalynn D. with major props, and took a mental note to think outside the box for my own submissions!

So how do you tap into your peers as a valuable resource? Easy.

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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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