Author Archives: Crystal Akins

Fall into autumn with #teampixel

With autumn in full swing, we’re taking note of the warmer colors being whisked into our feeds. This week, #teampixel wonderfully captures fall’s color palette, from burnt siennas to bright oranges. So grab a cup of tea, cozy up to the fire and flip through our favorite fall finds.

You can also join @verizon and #teampixel as we pass along a Google Pixel 2 from coast to coast on Instagram. Check out some of the stunning photos from the trip—in scenic Athens, NY, historic Paris, TX, and delicious Venice, CA.

Want to get featured on The Keyword and @google? Make sure to tag your photos with #teampixel and you might be next.

#teampixel heads to the Big Easy with Pixel 2

With Google Pixel 2 hitting the streets soon, we’re excited to see what new photography fills the #teampixel feeds in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we visited New Orleans, LA, with Timothy McGurr who captured some of the city’s unique quirks and characters for a recent shoot, Pixel 2 in tow.


Check out his lovely photos—all of which are in their natural state with absolutely no retouching, no attachments and no other equipment. Because let’s face it...New Orleans is best experienced unfiltered.   

Cheers to a year of #teampixel

We’ve come a long way, #teampixel! From being featured in an immersive digital installation to getting on the big stage, Pixel photographers have been crushing it with amazing photography that let us into their everyday lives. This week, we’re celebrating #teampixel’s one-year milestone—without this community, the world would be a less colorful, creative place.

So on behalf of all of us at Pixel, thank you for your contributions. We have some surprises planned for the community in the upcoming months, so stay tuned. And if you haven’t shared anything yet, now’s the time—there’s always room for more to join #teampixel.

In the meantime, check out just a few of our favorite #teampixel photos from the past year from a range of subjects including nature, travel and animals, including the above image from @ritchiehoang. Here’s looking at you, #teampixel…

#teampixel proves you can take a good photo anywhere

We’re always excited to see what #teampixel photographs next. This week’s photos capture everything from the tombs and temples in Jordan to the crestfallen leaves of autumn, proving a good photo can be taken anywhere.   


Special shout out to today’s Instagram feature, @oxykostin, for a magical photo that takes us under the sea. Don’t forget to tag your photos with #teampixel, and you might see yourself featured next!

Cooling off with #teampixel

We enjoyed all the fun in the sun with #teampixel this summer. From a whirlwind tour around the globe to getting one with nature, our Pixel photographers shared some stunning shots that gave us the chills (in a good way). Before we head into fall, we’re paying one last homage to the warmer months with a series spotlighting the cooler tones. Thanks for keeping us cool this summer, #teampixel. 😎

Shout out to @nemod96, whose photo is featured above and makes an appearance on our Instagram today. Tag your photos with #teampixel and you could be featured, too. 

#teampixel shows its soft side

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—#teampixel, you continue to impress us! Each week we’re honored to share some of #teampixel’s best work, and today we’re spotlighting community member @fefefeng. Her tranquil image of a moonrise amid a soft pastel sky has us swooning.


If you’re looking for a few more moments of zen, make sure to scroll through our other featured images, which underscore #teampixel’s use of soft lighting.

This week’s #teampixel feature: @naina.co

This week’s tips come from Naina Redhu, India-based lifestyle photographer and blogger, who says that more is more when shooting but less is more when sharing. Check them out, then grab your Pixel to practice.

What/who are your favorite photography subjects?

I look for colors, textures, shapes and light. I'll photograph anything/anyone, whether inanimate or alive. If it helps me capture a memory, even better.

What is the biggest difference between shooting on a phone versus camera? Do you prefer one over the other?

Phone photographs, in my opinion, force me to be a better photographer. I need to get the image right the first time. With a DSLR I can be a bit lazy and can adjust exposure / contrast later. Even if a phone has the ability to capture RAW images, it's still not a full-frame sensor. If I had my way, I would photograph everything with a phone. Especially the Google Pixel. The quality of images it allows me to produce is insane.

What's a piece of advice for capturing great shots?

Shoot a lot. Use technology to your advantage. Use the burst mode. Don't be shy to use the Auto/Program mode to your advantage. You focus on the subject and let the gear worry about optimum settings.

Then choose which images to share wisely. Just because you have something on your camera roll doesn't mean it deserves to be shared publicly. Curation and selection are also important. When in doubt, hit the shutter button. You can always decide to delete the capture but you can't create the capture after the moment has passed.

Don’t miss #teampixel’s final moments of summer, and check back for more photos this fall!

This week’s #teampixel feature: @naina.co

This week’s tips come from Naina Redhu, India-based lifestyle photographer and blogger, who says that more is more when shooting but less is more when sharing. Check them out, then grab your Pixel to practice.

What/who are your favorite photography subjects?

I look for colors, textures, shapes and light. I'll photograph anything/anyone, whether inanimate or alive. If it helps me capture a memory, even better.

What is the biggest difference between shooting on a phone versus camera? Do you prefer one over the other?

Phone photographs, in my opinion, force me to be a better photographer. I need to get the image right the first time. With a DSLR I can be a bit lazy and can adjust exposure / contrast later. Even if a phone has the ability to capture RAW images, it's still not a full-frame sensor. If I had my way, I would photograph everything with a phone. Especially the Google Pixel. The quality of images it allows me to produce is insane.

What's a piece of advice for capturing great shots?

Shoot a lot. Use technology to your advantage. Use the burst mode. Don't be shy to use the Auto/Program mode to your advantage. You focus on the subject and let the gear worry about optimum settings.

Then choose which images to share wisely. Just because you have something on your camera roll doesn't mean it deserves to be shared publicly. Curation and selection are also important. When in doubt, hit the shutter button. You can always decide to delete the capture but you can't create the capture after the moment has passed.

Don’t miss #teampixel’s final moments of summer, and check back for more photos this fall!

Travel photography 101 with #teampixel

We’ve traveled far and wide with #teampixel this summer but not as far as Jeremy Foster, this week’s Pixel expert. He’s been globetrotting the world for the past seven years and offers some sage advice on taking photos with your Pixel. So whether you’re a weekend warrior or a seasoned explorer, check out his tips for travel photography:

Tip #1: All about HDR

Use for: Those glorious sunsets you only seem to find when traveling.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is is best utilized when you have an uneven exposure in your photo—that is to say, when some of the photo is bright and some is dark (for example, a landscape shot with a bright sky and dark foreground). When you activate HDR, your Pixel will take three photos in burst mode, at different exposures, and blend them all together for a well-balanced photo.

Tip #2: Turn up the volume

Use for: Street photography in crowded places. 

Hardware buttons (like the volume button) are easier to access than software buttons (like in your camera app). For a more discreet shooting experience, skip the on-screen shutter button and opt to use the volume button instead. You’ll also have a sturdier grip on the phone, which means there’s less chance for motion blur in your photos. Pro tip: If the phone is in sleep mode, double-click the power button to open the camera and slide your finger over by an inch to the volume button to snap a photo! You don’t even need to look at the screen.

Tip #3: Let’s get down to details

Use when: Your photo of that gorgeous mountain range doesn’t look like the real thing.

A camera can only capture one-third the amount of detail as the human eye, but editing your photos can bring the other two-thirds of that stunning landscape into view. Tap the “Auto” filter for the Pixel’s best guess, or, for more fine-tuned control, and to create your desired effect, tap the slider icon to adjust Light, Color, and Pop. Want to get even more granular? Tap the down arrows next to Light and Color for full control over exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, saturation, skin tone, and more.

Tip #4: Anyone can be a videographer

Use when: pictures just won’t do.

The Google Pixel has the remarkable ability to capture 4K video—the sharpest video that exists. Go into your camera settings and make sure your back camera video resolution is set to “UHD 4K (30 fps)”—that stands for “Ultra High Definition 4K” (30 frames per second). Not bad for a piece of hardware that sits in your back pocket.

And here’s another weekly roundup of our favorite photos! Keep crushing it #teampixel ✌️

#teampixel, unique in every way.

There is no theme for this week’s #teampixel feature, instead, the common thread binding them together is that each photo is unique. We’re continually impressed by our community’s work that transports us to faraway lands and different civilizations, allowing us to see the world through someone else’s eyes. So this week, let’s celebrate their diversity, and how together...we are better.

Show #teampixel some love by visiting the feed and like their photos. Who knows -- you might even make a new connection. ;)

Have a Pixel? Upload them to Instagram with #teampixel and you might be featured next.